Bravely Bold Budget Cutters
The Republicans decided to step up to the plate and deliver their own ideas on the federal budget, offering $375 billion in potential cuts over five years. Wow, that's a serious effort at belt-tightening! Except, it's not.
Well, according to this document, $317 billion comes from every budget coward's favorite gimmick: an across-the-board spending cap that (a) they know perfectly well will never happen and (b) allows them to avoid mentioning any actual specific cuts. Another $45 billion comes from devoting returned TARP funds to deficit reduction — something that's going to happen over the next five years anyway. That leaves $13 billion in actual targeted cuts. For the arithmetic challenged among you, that's $2.6 billion per year out of a budget of about $3.5 trillion.
That's a reduction of 0.07%.
And those cuts that exist, of course, hit the most vulnerable members of society and valuable programs, including a program that hires crossing guards and builds safe bike paths for schoolchildren. But set that aside for just a second, and consider that Obama's $17 billion in cuts were met with derision in the media as an unserious proposal.
The GOP countered with $13 billion.
Will the media call them on it?