The Republican budget alternative

The reviews for the GOP's answer to President Obama's spending plan

"If you're having a bad day, I highly encourage you to spend some quality time with the Republican budget proposal," said Ezra Klein in The American Prospect. It reads like a satire in The Onion. You see, a budget tells you how much the government plans to bring in through taxes, and how much all the spending will total. The GOP "budget" does neither.

Yes, the proposal was short on details on the bottom line, said David Freddoso in National Review, but the Republicans have spelled out ways to reduce President Obama's massive deficits. "End a litany of controversial programs of doubtful value to the public," and don't assume additional spending for bailouts—at least that would be an improvement over what the Democrats have to offer.

Even a summary of the GOP alternative helps shoot down "the Democrats' spin that Republicans have 'no ideas,'" said Jennifer Rubin in Pajamas Media. The Republicans would rein in spending, lower taxes, and provide universal access to health care not through massive new unfunded liabilities, but through "common sense reforms." This marks a direct attack on Obama's budget and an attempt to re-establish the Republicans as the party of "fiscal sobriety."

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Granted, said Steve Benen in The Washington Monthly, "House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) sounded like he had something real to offer." But the numbers Boehner promised weren't there, and the only big idea in evidence was a huge tax cut for the wealthy. "If Republicans aren't going to take their own ideas seriously, why should anyone else?"

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