Yesterday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner brought the President’s $2 trillion deficit reduction plan to the Senate.
It included $1.6 trillion in new revenue and $400 billion in entitlement reform to Medicare, as well as $50 billion in infrastructure spending that will put more Americans to work.
It should be noted that unemployment is one of the leading contributors to our deficit – putting Americans back to work will by definition reduce government spending and increase tax revenues across the board.
The president’s proposal would also aid the financial markets by, one, ending the fear of the fiscal cliff, two, make a significant dent in the deficit and, three, eliminate the unconstitutional debt limit that Republican’s have used to undermine the global economy in the past.
It is also the only blueprint for deficit reduction any party has put forward.
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) went so far as to openly laugh at proposal and then countered with … nothing.
It seems that the same policy geniuses that proposed no specific plans for the Romney campaign have been employed by Congressional Republicans.
This highlights the one of the biggest problems for the Republican Party: they are leaderless and they are gutless.
The position of their leadership in Congress is that the president should save John Boehner and Mitch McConnell from their colleagues by putting forward a plan that Republicans can get behind.
If Republicans have spending cuts in mind, they should propose them. If not, they should shut up and vote rather than acting like toddlers screaming “this isn’t what I wanted.”
The fact is that a year and a half ago Republicans walked away from a $4 trillion deficit reduction framework. They did not want to give the President a victory – even if that meant doing harm to the U.S. economy.
Congressional Republicans went all in that they would win the November elections and get everything they wanted, but when voters were presented with the two options, Democrats won in a landslide.
The president won over 300 electoral votes. Democrats picked up a number of Senate seats in a year Republicans predicted they would take the Senate back.
While Republicans held on to the House, Democrats did win the House popular vote. More Americans voted for Democratic House candidates than Republicans. If not for gerrymandering, Democrats would control the House as well.
The one branch of government that Republicans do control is unwilling, or unable, to produce a Republican blueprint for deficit reduction.
With one month to go before we reach the fiscal cliff, Republicans are going to have to figure out how to do something serious for a change instead of grandstanding and avoiding specifics.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.