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March 04, 2011

WaPo: Even We Can't Stomach Dem Lies About Budget Cuts

At least one person at Washington Post has had enough of Democratic lies that claim Dems have already offered substantial budget cuts. The WaPo Fact Checker gives Democrats "Two Pinocchios" for the talking point:

This has become a constant refrain by Democrats -- that they have already gone some distance to accommodate the Republicans' efforts to cut federal spending. We already awarded Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) two Pinocchios for this claim, but the talking point keeps popping up again and again.

[...]

The 2011 fiscal year began Oct. 1, but Congress, then led by the Democrats, failed to pass any of the annual spending bills that would fund the government. Instead, lawmakers have passed a series of stopgap measures, known as continuing resolutions, based largely on 2010 spending. The most recent one was approved this week, though it also included $4 billion in cuts based on proposals in Obama's 2012 budget blueprint.

Yes, it's a bit confusing. Lawmakers mix and match the three budgets in their rhetoric faster than any three-card monte player.

When Democrats say they are meeting Republicans halfway, they are talking about "cuts" from Obama's never-enacted 2011 budget. By the White House's math, they have proposed $41 billion in cuts from the 2011 budget, plus $4 billion in the latest stopgap measure, plus $6.5 billion in unspecified cuts annnounced Thursday, for a total of $51 billion. But there was no heavy lifting involved, and certainly little discrete examination of which programs to preserve and which ones to cut. It's lot like saying you are running a 100-yard dash, but starting on the 50-yard line.

So here are the real numbers. Starting from the 2010 budget, the GOP are seeking $61 billion in cuts. The Dems, by contrast, have agreed to just over $10 billion in cuts --- the $4 billion they just had to eat because of Speaker Boehner's slick maneuvering, plus an "unspecified" $6.5 billion. That ain't halfway, and it makes Democrats liars here.

It's also not like Democrats willingly cut the $4 billion in the two-week CR. That's not really part of their offer. That's just what they had to take because they ended up with no choice. Remember, Reid's initial position was that there should be no cuts in a short-term CR.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 07:41 AM

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