Last week, President Obama complained during a prime-time press conference that Congressional Republicans were failing to offer concrete alternatives to his budget, opting instead to simply obstruct and delay his own. In response, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) hurriedly assembled a news conference to introduce the House Republican’s alternative “budget” (the one without any numbers). “Well, that’s not true because here it is, Mr. President,” Boehner said, brandishing a shiny 19-page document in his hand.
But reporters refused to fall for their stunt, pointing out that budgets need to be more than a “glossy pamphlet” without any numbers. During the same press conference, one reporter asked, “Are you going to have any further details on this today?” Another went further, asking, “What about some numbers? What about the out-year deficit? What about balancing the budget? How are you going to do it?” Boehner and others defended the pamphlet, calling it a “detailed road-to-recovery plan.”
In face of all this criticism, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is now backtracking and admitting that last week’s budget was just a “marketing” stunt. Asked by Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski if the budget legislation he’s introducing in the House today is “a little bit more clear than the one we saw last week,” Ryan responded by claiming last week’s budget wasn’t a budget at all, but rather just a “marketing document”:
RYAN: Yes. The thing you saw last week was not the alternative budget. This is our alternative budget we’re bringing to the floor today. [...]
What was released last week was more of a marketing document. Not a budget. This is our budget.
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Despite his admission, Ryan’s budget proposal doesn’t appear to make any more economic sense than it did last week. Indeed, despite the growing recession, Ryan is calling for a five-year spending freeze which, as Pat Garofalo explains, would “negate the stimulus, while betting economic recovery will occur thanks to an abundance of supply-side tax cuts.”