GOP’s so-called fiscal counteroffer is no such thing

Steve Benen has the story HERE

Last week, the Obama administration presented congressional Republicans with a formal offer in their ongoing fiscal talks, and challenged GOP leaders to come up with a plan of their own. Today, House Speaker John Boehner and the House Republican leadership sent a [three-page] letter to the White House that’s been described as a “counteroffer,” but that’s not quite correct…

Under this proposal, Republicans would keep all of the Bush-era tax rates, but accept $800 billion in new revenue. How? Through “through pro-growth tax reform that closes special-interest loopholes and deductions while lowering rates.”

From there, the GOP leaders want to cut $600 billion from Medicare and Medicaid; cut $300 billion from mandatory programs; cut $200 billion by changing the consumer price index; and then cut another $300 billion in further discretionary spending.

To call this a “counteroffer” is to strip the word of meaning. Under the GOP plan, Republicans get the more than $1 trillion in spending cuts Obama already gaved them; Republicans get the entitlement cuts they want; Republicans get hundreds of billions of dollars in additional cuts to programs they haven’t identified; and Republicans get all of the Bush-era tax rates they’ve prioritized.

This isn’t a “counteroffer”; it’s a Christmas wish list written by kids without access to a calculator.



  1. Just a desperate offer written on Boehner’s bar napkin. Nothing to concern ourselves at this time.

  2. The GOP proposal does much more to bring us closer to a balanced budget than that insult to the American people that the Democrats opened with.

    The liberals aren’t even living in reality anymore. Only in the deranged warped minds of the far left can they propose eliminating the debt ceiling entirely. Every family in America has to live with a household budget, but not the Democrats. No one even remembers the last time the Democrat Senate passed a budget. They have no idea how to cut spending. All they know how to do is continually feed the beast until we end up like Greece.

    Put it another way. Liberals could propose 500 quadrillion in increased spending to teachers and to the poor. Republicans would obviously raise their hand softly to complain, only to get immediately smacked down and labeled as “anti-teacher” “hater of the poor” and probably racist, too.

    “… The vast majority of Democrats on Capitol Hill would prefer not to have to do anything on entitlements, would prefer, frankly, not to have to do anything on some of these debt and deficit problems. . . . And what I’ve tried to explain to them is, number one, if you look at the numbers, then Medicare, in particular, will run out of money, and we will not be able to sustain that program, no matter how much taxes go up. I mean, it’s not an option for us to just sit by and do nothing.”

    – President Obama, July 11, 2011

  3. Neftali,
    What spending has the debt ceiling prevented? It does nothing.

  4. Neftali: There’s so much right-wing B.S. in your comment that I hardly know where to begin.

    Wait! Here’s a good one: “Every family in America has to live with a household budget, but not the Democrats.”

    That’s just another version of the right-wing myth that American families don’t have the luxury of spending money they don’t have.

    Here’s the reality: The average American household debt is nearly $118,000. The average credit-card debt is $2,200. Sixty-two percent of Americans do not have an emergency fund to fall back on. Forty percent of Americans are not saving for retirement. One in four Americans have no savings at all.

    The last Republican administration squandered a big budget surplus and drove the economy into the deepest ditch in more than 70 years, and you’re squawking about the supposed spendthrift penchant of the Democrats.

    Income inequality in America is scandalously high and getting worse. And just today it was reported that corporate profits hit another all-time high in the third quarter while workers’ wages fell to their lowest level as a share of the gross domestic product.

    Of course, my citation of these statistics is dismissed by the plutocrats as mere class warfare. And, in fact, there is class warfare in this country. And the lower classes are taking it in the shorts.

    But, hey, Neftali, you go right ahead and cheer for your demagogic heroes on the political right. And believe their lies, if you want. The tide, however, is slowly turning. By a margin of more than four million votes, the American electorate rejected the nostrums of the Republican right in the recent election. And national demographics suggest that Republicans are going to have a hard time regaining the White House in my lifetime.

    So there.

  5. I never realized Cunningham was a Greek surname.

    You list the sad average financial state of the American household and use that as justification for reckless federal government spending?

    What a joke. I just hope you live long enough to see the Greek style riots that are inevitable when no other country is willing to loan us another dime and the government can’t afford to mint another dime of our soon to be devalued currency.

  6. Jerry,

    The debt ceiling hasn’t prevented any spending because we keep raising it.

  7. The GOP under Bush voted 19 times to raise the debt ceiling increasing the debt by 4 trillion. McConnell, Boehner and Cantor all voted for it as essential for the economy. My how times change!

  8. And the ceiling has not stopped the congress from appropriating money we do not have.

    During the Clinton years we had paygo and it produced budget surpluses. Then along came Bush and the republicans who blew up paygo and the budget surpluses. Obama has instituted pay as you go to help curb republican spending and get the budget back under control.

    Remember, all spending bills originate in the House, the republican controlled House.

  9. Brian Opsahl

    Clearly the last 3 Presidents running things their own ways pretty much, and we have seen the results and unless your completly stupid we should learn from those results. And apparently the voters are catching on…finally. As the salary of CEOs Has increased to over 400 % above the average worker, the workers portion keeps getting smaller.
    The republicans are fighting tooth and nail to help these multi millionares keep as much of that as possibly while giving us middle class the bills for the wars that profited on.
    And don’t even get me started on the amount of taxpayer Corporate welfare give aways..!!

  10. Pat sounds like me when I sometimes try to defend the inexcusable just for the sake of arguing. In this case, he fumbled the ball by trying to justify that American household debt makes it okay for the government to run up unfathomable debt numbers. Shouldn’t the government be trying to lead by example? Not “do as I say, but not as I do?”

    Pat’s analogy would be closer to the truth if he said imagine your typical middle class family buying a multimillion dollar mansion and yacht every year on credit. Yes, we all know the truth. Republicans raised the debt ceiling 5 times more than Democrats, but that doesn’t make it okay. Democrats should have held Republicans in check in the past, but didn’t.

    Now, finally, the tea party backed Republicans are actually trying to do the right thing for the first time in my lifetime. That is put a hold on raising the debt ceiling until we have a permanent long term solution to get our fiscal house in order. The added incentive of this year’s fiscal cliff drama before next year’s actual debt ceiling decision makes it even more imperative. But the Democrats want to keep on spending. Its perfectly clear which side has the correct stance.

  11. Luke Fredrickson

    “Now, finally, the tea party backed Republicans are actually trying to do the right thing for the first time in my lifetime.”


    I agree. Finding the backbone to defy Grover has been LOOOOOONG overdue.

  12. Neftali: One of your comments from yesterday gets prominent display in my first post today. Check it out.

  13. Brian Opsahl

    Just think how good things would be if the President didn’t have to spend his first 2 years in office fixing what the last guy left you…!!

  14. Stevo says “The GOP under Bush voted 19 times to raise the debt ceiling increasing the debt by 4 trillion. McConnell, Boehner and Cantor all voted for it as essential for the economy. My how times change!”

    Yes and I maxed out a credit card about 20 years ago and then quickly learned never to do that again. So what’s your point? How high should the debt ceiling go Steverino? Until the Chinese decided they are done financing our fiscal folly? Until the currency is so badly devalued that the middle class and poor are really getting hammered?

    Your a liberal. Liberals are very into fairness. What would a fair level for the debt ceiling be Stevo?

  15. The debt ceiling is not the problem. It is meaningless. The problem is that Congress keeps authorizing too much spending without compensating revenue to pay for it. Fix the problem at the source, not with some artificial, ever expanding ceiling. The Democrats have tried to do that first with paygo under Clinton and now with pay as you go under Obama. It is the republicans that keep refusing to do it. They are the ones who want to spend but not pay for it.

  16. Brian Opsahl

    Here’s a bright idea…have the one’s who can afford to pay more…do just that, just as we said before and after this election. America has spoken about this loud and clear…the rich pay more and we need to cut spending and thats what will happen…but on the Democrats terms, NOT the losing republicans. Mr. Obama has said he wants 4 trillion of deficit gone in just ten years so thats a pretty big cut…

    Turn off Fox lying news and pull your heads out from your rectums and listen to what he says NOT what the make beleivers at FOX says..!!

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