Monday, July 25, 2011

The Boehner two-step (UPDATE)

Monday afternoon, the Speaker had a press conference with the rest of the GOP leadership to divulge new details on the latest debt limit proposal.  Boehner said this plan will provide spending cuts, while avoiding default (readers know how I feel about that terminology from the last few posts).  Basically, borrowing would not exceed spending cuts, there'd be no tax increases involved, and a vote on a balanced budget amendment would be required by year's end.  Hmmm, let's see...

The devil is in the details, so as The Hill digs into these a bit more, many Republicans appear skeptical, and rightly so.  The plan proposes an initial $1T debt ceiling increase if $1.2T in spending cuts is agreed upon.  There's a couple of questionable issues here.  We're talking about a trillion dollar increase immediately on our debt, as opposed to $1.1T in cuts over the next decade.  Besides the 'trust' factor of whether Congress and the President would actually even follow through with this promise to set these spending cuts in motion, that's only a fraction in billions each year when compared to the $14.3T-and-rising national debt!  On top of that conundrum, lies the proposal for a bi-partisan commission that would determine the spending cuts (let's hope they don't gut the vital while keeping the frivolous), and pave the way for the next step: an additional round of similar ratio increases/cuts at the tune of a later $1.6T debt limit increase (again, immediately) in exchange for $1.8T in additional spending cuts (also over the next 10 years).  Total: a $2.6T debt ceiling increase for $3T in spending cuts, all in 2-steps.

Now, Reid's plan is definitely no better, and full of gimmicks, so don't take this as just beating up on Boehner for the sake of it.  But don't you love how 'ceiling' or 'limit' is being used throughout this debate?  Or that a commission of a few (assuredly, the most radical among the Democrat alignment) within the entire elected body would figure out the cuts?  The desired 'greater than 1:1' ratio is said to be attained when ceiling increases will occur immediately, but spending cuts in any of these proposals over the past few weeks are stretched out over a 10-year period, giving us $300B/year with Boehner's latest, as our deficit increases in the trillions each year.  I'm no accountant, but how's that slightly greater than 1:1?  It's NOT by far...

The White House has announced that Obama will address the nation tonight as a follow-up to these discussions...I'm sure he'll tell us how this proposal guts too much, blaming Republicans for the complete opposite of what they're trying to achieve, and certain to express how his tax-and-spend approach would be more balanced, along with more shared sacrifice class warfare rhetoric.  Will these people ever get serious about the debt that's been racked up, particularly that of Obama's first few years alone?

UPDATE: Hot Air reports that the CBO has scored Boehner’s bill and finds that it would save less than $1T over 10 years, and only $1 billion this year, in which Boehner's office has said they'll be re-writing the proposal to match the amount of the debt ceiling increase.  It won't matter, because there's no 'real' match, Speaker.  A trillion spent NOW still doesn't equal a trillion cut over 10 years!  Also, Heritage explores how Boehner's plan will lead to tax increases.  This is just more capitulation from our so-called leaders, folks.

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