After being criticized for just blindly opposing the President's budget without offering any alternatives, the House GOP today came out with an outline for an alternative budget.
Well, sort of. At a capitol hill press conference minority leader John Boehner presented the Republican budget alternative. Their 'budget blueprint' is eighteen pages mostly of platitudes and talking points with unspecified proposals to cut wasteful spending and cut the size of the government (no hard numbers or programs where spending would be cut.) Cutting government spending is a little like ending hunger or creating a permanent peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians-- it's easy to talk about but much harder when you have to figure out how to do it-- so hard that nobody seems to be able to figure out a way (certainly not house Republicans, who ran the place for six years with a President who signed everything they sent up and responded by passing budgets that featured explosive growth in government spending.)
They say they are working on the details. OK, we will see exactly what they propose to cut and by how much.
They are proposing some tax incentives to insurance companies and other entities to expand access to healthcare. Ho-hum. The same kind of do-nothing approach that didn't do anything about healthcare during the past decade and a half.
The only hard number they offered was this one: Another massive tax cut, cutting the marginal tax rate to 10% for anyone earning up to $100,000 and 25% above that. Remember of course that the Bush tax cut only cut the top rate from 39.5% to 35%-- so this proposal appears to be at least twice as large as the Bush tax cut. Now, remember that the Bush tax cut cost $1.3 trillion. So just off the cuff, I'm guessing (even assuming no inflation) that this one would cost well above $2 trillion, in fact probably closer to $3 trillion. And this is from the crew who just last week said we couldn't afford the Obama budget which they claim will cost $1.9 trillion. How do they plan to reconcile the fact that their tax cut alone looks like it will add more to the national debt than they claim Obama's plan will add? Oh yeah, it's those unspecific and unnamed spending cuts.
Yeah, I'm convinced. I'm convinced that the Republicans still don't have a plan.