Friday, February 4, 2011

$32B in Cuts - That's It

The GOP rode the Tea Party back to power in the House, decrying the deficits, and promising massive cuts to spending. Yesterday, the House GOP proposed a paltry $32B in spending cuts. That's it. We have a $1.5T deficit and they were only able to find 2% to pare. After all the town hall takeovers, all the shouts and tears, all the hysteria... 2%!


Jim G. said...

Gosh, I wonder why it is so hard to cut the budget.

from the article.

Congressional Democrats criticized the Republican proposals as irresponsible and said they would endanger the still precarious economic recovery.

Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the senior Democrat on the Budget Committee, said in a statement, “The immediate spending cuts proposed today by House Republicans will harm the economy and put more people out of work.”

Jim G. said...

and perhaps we are not done.

Republican senators demand spending cuts of 'no less' than $100 billion

Nearly a dozen Republican senators sent a letter on Friday urging the House to make at least $100 billion in spending cuts this year.

In a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Republican senators said the American people expect that level of spending reductions from the new GOP majority.

"Since the Democrats still control the Senate, we need the House-passed [continuing resolution] to be as bold as possible in order to strengthen the hand of Senate conservatives in increasing or maintaining the spending reductions," the letter said.

"We believe that, as part of the urgent need to cut federal spending, the total value of the fiscal year 2011 spending reductions in the upcoming continuing resolution should be no less than $100 billion," the senators said in the letter.

The senators noted in the letter that a cut of $100 billion would be only "one-15th" of this year's budget deficit.
The letter was signed by a group of reliably fiscal conservatives, including five newly sworn-in senators: Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. Sens. Demint of South Carolina, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, John Ensign of Nevada, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Mike Johanns of Nebraska and David Vitter of Louisiana also attached their name to the letter.

On Thursday, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who was given unilateral authority to set spending limits, said he would cap total appropriations at $1.055 trillion. That's $74 billion less than the budget request President Obama submitted to Congress for fiscal 2011 and $32 billion less than the level at which lawmakers agreed to maintain spending.

Baxter said...

My point exactly, Doc. It is easy to shout "Cut spending!" absent specificity. To actually identify the spending to be cut is very hard and political support evaporates. It puts the consequences of tax cuts in clear relief. The "Starve the Beast" crowd blanches at such transparent reconciliation - they advocate tax cuts as though they are free.

The chickens are coming home to roost. If the GOP spells out spending cuts that would actually balance the budget, they will lose the middle and some of the right. Remember - most Tea Partiers do not want cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Defense. In this context, a VAT begins to look good to those who are genuinely concerned with balanced books and fiscal rectitude.