House Republicans have unveiled a plan to slash $35 billion from the federal budget over the remainder of the fiscal year. "Washington's spending spree is over," said Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, as he announced the cuts. But critics noted that the proposal falls significantly short of the $100 billion in reductions House Speaker John Boehner promised ahead of the November midterm elections. Will Ryan's plan be enough to satisfy deficit hawks? (Watch an MSNBC discussion about the GOP's cuts)
Republicans are all talk, no action: After all their "fiery campaign rhetoric, fierce determination, righteous indignation, and bloviated anger," says Robert Reich in The Business Insider, "this is embarrassing." By offering to cut just a billion here and there from a $3.8 trillion budget, the GOP is essentially admitting that, despite all the "tough talk," it's not really up to the "job of tackling the budget." Let's see them explain this to the Tea Partiers who put them in office.
"Why the Republican budget plan is a hairball"
At least the GOP is trying to cut spending: "Some conservatives will see this as not bold enough," says Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post. But remember, this is merely what we'll save over the rest of the current fiscal year — and the Republican plan amounts to $74 billion less than President Obama asked for. So even these limited cuts are "a considerable improvement" over Obama's proposed spending freeze, making it easy "to tell which party is more devoted to cutting spending." And when House Republicans release their budget for 2012, the cuts will be even deeper.
"Republicans begin to cut spending"
Fiscal conservatives will feel let down, and rightly so: These cuts "seem awfully timid," says Eli Lehrer at Frum Forum. A party truly committed to "fiscal discipline" could have found more savings — "subsides for ethanol, farm price supports, needless weapons systems." What's worse, Ryan and all House Republicans are going to have to compromise with Democrats and settle for less than they're asking for. They have given up "too much ground before the battle really starts."
"Ryan's budget cut hopes fall short"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Yes, Republicans can impeach President Obama
- Why Texas' abortion rates aren't falling as quickly as everyone expected
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- What religious traditionalists can teach us about sex
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- 10 things you need to know today: July 29, 2014
- How to trim $500 from your monthly spending
- Comic-Con 2014: Everything we learned about Avengers 2, Batman v. Superman, and more
Subscribe to the Week