Spending cuts? Don't look at me
The Kansas City Star
With the tax aspect of the fiscal cliff negotiations, we had a pretty good idea of where everybody stood.
President Barack Obama wanted to raise taxes on Americans who made $250,000 and above. Republicans wanted no tax increases on the rich. They compromised at household incomes of $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples.
With spending cuts, though, the American people have no clue as to what either side wants.
The president agrees we need entitlement reform and spending buts, but he hasn’t laid out a specific plan for how that would work.
Republicans say they are for deficit reduction, yet they rail against cuts in military spending. And just try tampering with entitlements that affect senior citizens, the mainstay of the GOP voting bloc.
A tweet last week from Marco Rubio, the U.S. senator from Florida, was illuminating. “Report that GOP insisting on changes to Social Security as part of fiscal cliff false,” he tweeted. “BTW those changes are supported by Barack Obama.”
As it turned out, nobody was talking about changes to Social Security. But they should be. Rubio voted against the compromise bill in the Senate.
His quote: “I appreciate all the hard work that went into avoiding the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’… Nevertheless, I cannot support the arrangement they have arrived at. Rapid economic growth and spending reforms are the only way out of the real fiscal cliff our nation is facing.”
OK, what spending reforms? Everybody keeps talking vaguely about them, but we haven’t seen concrete proposals. Not from the president, not from Senate leadership, not from House leadership or the tea party caucus.
While the rest of us prepare for the next fiscal cliff, how about all of these parties put their proposed spending cuts out there. What exactly do you propose cutting? What does entitlement reform look like to you?
Then the nation could have a productive debate.