Budget cuts from the Republican leadership? Don't count on it

This comes less than a week after the Republican house promised significant budget cuts in everything but Homeland Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Military and Social Security. 

First, it was a bit disingenuous to propose cuts to everything, but not to the largest programs that we can really have meaningful cuts.   It seems insincere to not even suggest cuts to entitlements.  I mean, if they can cut entitlements in France, why not here?

Second, they have already started waffling on their original budget cuts.  On their current course, they will "settle" for about half of the budge cuts they proposed.  Via Reason:

Far from seeming ideologically rigid, Republican leaders in the House are showing so much flexibility that it's not clear they have any backbone at all. In their Pledge to America last September, they promised to "roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone." Before the new Congress had even convened, that number, which represents just 2.6 percent of the $3.8 trillion budget, had been cut in half.

On Meet the Press this week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) explained that the downsizing promise had to be downsized because legislators are starting to discuss cuts "five months into the fiscal year." Evidently Republicans did not realize until after the elections that the current fiscal year began in October.

Still, Cantor said Republicans are committed to hitting their original target "on an annualized basis." By that standard, if they do nothing until September, they can make $8.3 billion in cuts and declare their mission accomplished—on an annualized basis.


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