During the roll-out of the House GOP’s “Pledge to America” gimmick, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) was asked for specifics on how his colleagues would balance the budget and cut the deficit, but he wasn’t able to hide the fact that document falls short on details. “I don’t have all of the solutions,” Boehner said, adding that the American people “will help us get the answers.”
Noting Boehner’s dodge, MSNBC host Chris Jansing today asked Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) — a key GOP lawmaker involved with the “Pledge” — to help the Minority Leader out. “Can you tell us how, specifically, you’re going to cut spending?” Jansing asked. But like Boehner, Cassidy came up fairly empty, only offering the old GOP fallback of “tort reform” — saying it would save $54 billion over ten years — and ending the benefits enshrined in the new health care law. Echoing Boehner again, Cassidy said the GOP will ask Americans for answers, which Jansing called a “cop out”:
JANSING: Isn’t that a cop out? … If you’re going to say, “Here’s our pledge.” Don’t you have to say, “Here specifically is what we pledge to do”? Don’t say, “American people, I know you elected us to find answers but we’re waiting for you to give us the answers.”
To be clear, the proposal Cassidy is offering to reduce spending and reduce the $1.4 trillion deficit is to enact a law that may save $54 billion in ten years. Moreover, according to the CBO, which Cassidy cited for his figures, getting rid of the new health care law would actually increase the deficit by $143 billion.
But the fact that the GOP’s new “Pledge” does not answer these questions should come as no surprise. Republicans have been asked repeatedly over the past year what federal spending they would cut to bring down the debt and deficit and can never come up with an answer.
Read more about the “Pledge to America” in today’s Progress Report.