The hitch: After blasting President Barack Obama on the budget, it turns out that Rep. Mike Spence can’t answer a question on what the deficit would be under the new Republican plan — and he continues to blast Obama’s projected deficit even after he can’t answer the question about the GOP’s:
It’s clear what the GOP’s strategy is heading into 2010. This is its real theme song (and most of the words do seem to fit):
House Republicans released their response to President Barack Obama’s deficit-laden budget Thursday — a glossy pamphlet short on detail and long on campaign-style talking points.
It promises to simplify the tax code and cut income tax rates to 10 percent for people making $100,000 or less. The brochure itself promises to cut domestic spending below current levels, and that pledge seems to include Social Security and Medicare. Republican aide Matt Lloyd clarified later that the politically sensitive programs won’t face outright cuts.
It’s impossible to determine the projected deficit based on their offering.
The GOP plan comes two days after Obama criticized Republicans for offering criticisms of his budget blueprint, currently making its way through Congress, instead of solutions.
Republicans said more details will be out next week as the party offers an alternative promising spending amounts, revenue levels and the size of the budget deficit in a more traditional format.
“We’re going to show a leaner budget, a budget with lower taxes, lower spending, and lower borrowing,” said Mike Pence of Indiana, the No. 3 Republican in the House. “And it’s going to be a budget that says, ‘Here’s how best to get America out of this struggling economy.'”
The reaction at the White House? From the AP story, it sounds like barely concealed glee:
From the podium in the White House press room, press secretary Robert Gibbs happily continued the mud fight.
“I think the party of ‘no’ has become the party of ‘no new ideas,” Gibbs said. “The rhetoric inside the budget seems to be a road map for the failed policies that got us into this mess … The administration’s glad that the Republicans heard the president’s call to submit an alternative. We just hope that next time it will contain actual numbers so somebody can evaluate what it means.”
It turns out some Republicans are angry about the way this was rolled out…
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.