Earlier this week, President Obama challenged Republicans who have been ripping his budget proposal, saying, “Critics tend to criticize, but they don’t offer an alternative budget.” Today, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) released a GOP budget called “The Republican Road to Recovery.” “Here it is, Mr. President,” he said, proudly waving it in the air.
Except this “budget” is short on one key detail: numbers. The AP calls it “a glossy pamphlet short on detail and long on campaign-style talking points.” The budget proposes heavy tax cuts to the wealthy, which have time and again exploded the deficit. Today, MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell challenged Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) to say what the deficit impact of the GOP plan would be. Pence awkwardly tried to change the subject:
Q: So you don’t have the numbers now? About what you’re plan would be in terms of how it would cut the deficit or add to the deficit? You don’t have any numbers on that?
PENCE: Well, it’s really a broad – when the White House a few minutes ago was attacking the numbers in this bill, the tax cut numbers. There’s plenty of numbers in the Republican recovery plan. And we just really believe the President’s plan to raise taxes by nearly 2 trillion dollars on almost every American…deserves a debate on Capitol Hill.
Without details, “how is your plan credible?” asked O’Donnell. “Well, I thought through this morning, we didn’t have a plan, so it may be progress our plan is being attacked,” Pence responded. “This is the broad outline,” he said, stating that the GOP would introduce a bill soon. Watch it:
Pence is unable to specify what the deficit would result under his plan because his plan simply doesn’t say so. The plan contains three charts: “Gov spending as percentage of GDP,” “Future Debt Burden, and “Deficit Under Democratic Budgets.” Yet there is no chart about the GOP budget. Under “Republican Solutions” to excessive spending, the document states:
And Republicans would fully fund our ongoing commitments overseas while devoting the entirety of any savings from reduced fighting to deficit reduction, rebuilding our military, and funding our commitment to our veterans.
In a press conference today, reporters pressed Boehner on why the plan was so short on numbers. “What’s your goal?” “To do better,” said Boehner. “How much?” “You’ll see next week,” he said.
David Freddoso at the National Review writes: “I was not the only reporter in the room during the delayed press conference who had expected to see some numbers, at least ballpark. Today’s press conference did not provide further details.”
,President Bush described his first budget this way: “It’s clearly a budget. It’s got a lot of numbers in it.”