That’s not enough. Ryan, recognizing this, has repeatedly said that his initial pass at budget-cutting is just a first step and that he will come back again and again and again with more cuts.
But Ryan, despite his sincerity and good intentions, misses the point: In this first go-round with Obama, the Republican House should reach for the sky. By low-balling their budget proposal, they create the illusion that they are just tinkering with the budget, rather than really cutting it. Conservatives, tea party activists and GOP voters will be disappointed, and a rift may develop within the party.
Ryan and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., need to come in with a set of budget cuts that give the impression of real reductions. Rogers announced that he will try to find an extra $26 billion of cuts, bringing the total to $61 billion. But $61 billion is still short of the $100 billion the GOP promised. Sure, on an annualized basis, it comes to $100 billion, but so what?
One hundred billion dollars should mean $100 billion. Not $35 billion or $61 billion. But $100 billion of cuts!
This is the GOP’s moment. Don’t blow it!
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