Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Heritage Foundation on the Republican Offer on the Fiscal Cliff

As background, let’s turn the microphone over to Josh Barro:
It's not really a proposal -- it's just a set of headline numbers without specific policies. The letter says Republicans want to cut $900 billion from mandatory spending and $300 billion from discretionary spending, but they don't say what or how they want to cut … On the tax side, they agree to $800 billion in new revenue from "pro-growth tax reform that closes special-interest loopholes and deductions while lowering rates." But they don't endorse specific loophole closures or propose a new rate structure.
Josh has a lot more to say including how the President did offer specific proposals. But in the interest of fairness, let’s turn to Alison Acosta Fraser and J.D. Foster of the Heritage Foundation:
To be fair, the details of the Republican proposal are extraordinarily vague. Nor is much clarity or comfort gained from the three-page accompanying letter sent to the President and signed by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), and three other senior members of the House Republican leadership.
At first blush, they seem to be agreeing with Josh Barro! But read on and notice that the folks at the Heritage Foundation fear that the Republicans are engaged in “categorical, pre-emptive capitulation”. After all, they prefer that we slash and burn Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid so as to avoid raising taxes on the very well to do. Not that I agree with their agenda in the slightest – but at least the folks at the Heritage Foundation are a lot clearer about the Republican agenda than is the Speaker of the House.

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