Republicans and the media are still pretending that Obama has put forth no budget cuts, yet he has a very detailed plan on the White House blog for anyone to read, whereas Republicans have put forth a two page blank slate yet again.
Yet another surreal moment. As far as I am aware, there’s no automatic stop on the Internet that prohibits Republicans or the press from obtaining this information.
Why then, is this happening over and over again? An example from December 11:
MR. CARNEY (White House spokesperson): Let me take your questions in relative order. First of all, I did hear what the Speaker of the House had to say, and I would note that if there is one fact that should not be in dispute it ought to be this: The President, unlike any other party to these negotiations, has put forward detailed spending cuts as well as detailed revenue proposals. It is a simple fact that the President put those forward to the not-so-super super committee in September of 2011, and that he again, in the process of these negotiations, put them forward as his position when it came to both the revenue that was required to achieve the kind of balanced deficit reduction package on the scale of $4 trillion that was necessary, as well as very specific spending cuts, including savings in entitlement programs.
And again, it’s not a mystery. We’ve seen this before. This is the document that contains the specific spending cuts. The Speaker of the House sent us a proposal that was two pages long that included one sentence on revenue. The proposal here includes, I believe, from pages 17 to 45, details on proposed spending cuts by the President — pages 17 to 45. I recommend them to you.
Q Jay, how do you explain this enormous disconnect that you say the President has put forward spending cuts, and yet today Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell say no, you haven’t. There’s no leadership on that. They haven’t gotten any. Isn’t that something you need to address?
MR. CARNEY: I have. And I think I made –
Q — pages 17 through 45, is that –
MR. CARNEY: I’m making it clear that that assertion is incorrect. We all know it is because we have access to the computer. I don’t have any more hard copies for you, but I can give you the link.
Q Do you understand why the Republican leaders might say they didn’t receive any when you say they have?
MR. CARNEY: Mark, can we just end the charade here that we say they have?
Q Well, we didn’t go to the floor of the Senate and the House saying this. They did.
MR. CARNEY: No, no. But it’s not that we say one thing and it might be true, and they say one thing and it might be true. This is a real piece of — this is a real document here with pages and tables and numbers.
Now, I understand they may not agree with all of it, but it exists and it was put forward.
This continued with reporters asking for specifics on what might have changed in negotiations. A fair question — but we have 2 pages from Republicans, with a single sentence dedicated to revenue, reminiscient of their 2009 proposal that contained no actual budget numbers (another year they blew the font up to make up for lack of content, and then there was Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity with much pontificating and not a lot of actual numbers). Perhaps someone ought to ask them when they might get around to a wee bit of detail — especially since technically, it is their specific job to come up with budgets and they don’t appear to be doing much else.
The President’s plan offers $ 4 Trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years. The mysterious document that may or may not exist? It’s right here (hidden under “budget”). Also, in detail, tables.
It’s not as if Obama has a reputation for fiscal recklessness, like Republicans do. Under Obama, federal spending has grown at 1.4 percent per year, the slowest pace since Eisenhower, and far lower than the 8.7 percent in President Reagan’s first term. This includes the money spent on the stimulus to rescue us from the Bush economy. It was Republican Paul Ryan who refused to do the math on his budget, not President Obama.
Yet, the media buys the Republican line that they don’t have these budget cut proposals. Further, we are all to suspend disbelief and pretend as if Republicans have no access to the Internet, if in fact they never got their hard copy. This is how paid representatives of the people conduct themselves.
We all very busy pretending Republicans are suddenly serious people who actually care about the deficit and even though they only presented a 2 page document with one sentence relating to revenue, the real problem is that they can’t find Obama’s budget proposal because he is hiding it from them. And now we must pretend that Republicans shouldn’t be held responsible for reading things and admitting they exist.
The media needs to admit the Obama budget cut proposal exists and that Republicans have access to it, and stop pretending that there are two sides to reality.
Additional sources: Cuts, Consolidations,
and savings-Budget of the U.S. government,