Wow, that was quick:
As Congress returns from recess this week, House Republicans are set to advance legislation to replace automatic defense spending cuts they agreed to last year with cuts to programs for the poor and working class. The controversial measure is expected to pass the House and die in the Senate, making it largely a political exercise that allows the two parties to contrast the values at the heart of the 2012 election: Should the burden for addressing the country’s long-running fiscal challenges fall to struggling people, or to the wealthiest people in the country?
The proposal — which is an outgrowth of the budget the House GOP overwhelmingly voted for late March — would cut some $261 billion from health care programs, food stamps, unemployment benefits and child tax credits, among others. It constitutes a violation of the GOP’s end of the debt-limit deal, which included painful sacrifices for both parties if the Congress failed to reach a bipartisan deficit-reduction agreement.
Democrats would be crazy to let Boehner negotiate a new deal. This specific plan is clearly DOA, but there has been some wavering among Dems on the defense cuts.
Tough. These cuts are far from draconian, and there is more than enough fat in the defense budget to accommodate them without hurting America’s security.
Of course, if the Republicans disagree, and don’t want the cuts, there’s a simple solution: PAY FOR WHAT YOU SPEND. These cuts were only agreed to as a backup to a deficit cutting plan — a plan that never came together because Republicans opposed even a reasonable increase in revenue.
If Boehner & co want to avoid these cuts, there’s a simple solution — negotiate in good faith, come up with a compromise, and (for the first time in a long time) actually focus on what’s good for the nation — as opposed to a whacko lunatic fringe within it.