Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Boehner Plan: Bad for Conservatives, Bad for the Republican Party, Bad for America

In my last post, I wrote about how the current debt deals, Cut, Cap and Balance mostly, are showing the problem with “Conservatives” (not really conservative, but that will be discussed in an upcoming post, Heritage Conservatism: The End of Conservatism?).  In this post I will be writing about why the Boehner Plan is in no way conceivable, conservative and why the best option is Cut, Cap and Balance.  In case you are reading this from a deserted island, the Boehner plan I speak of is Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner’s debt limit plan.  His plan calls for “$1.2 trillion” in cuts, which was later found out to be actually $850 billion in cuts.  The plan also doesn’t actually include cuts; it does limit discretionary spending over the next ten years, but doesn’t actually cut anything.  You may be asking, “Then why does the Speaker get to call them cuts?” The answer: the “cuts” in the Boehner plan are only “cuts” from the CBO baseline, which is an imaginary path of future spending designed as a planning tool for Congress. Boehner can propose to spend any amount in any future year he wants, and in this plan he chooses to have a steadily rising spending path. The Boehner plan also only “cuts” $6 billion from the FY2012 budget, which is $105 billion short of Cut, Cap and Balance. Most importantly, the Boehner plan doesn’t lead to a Balanced Budget Amendment like Cut, Cap and Balance does.  A true conservative plan would involve, at a minimum, sending the Balanced Budget Amendment to the states along with statutory caps on spending to restrain Congress while the Balanced Budget Amendment is being ratified.  Cut, Cap and Balance, while not the perfect plan (see last post), is the best available option to get a Balanced Budget Amendment to the states, which should be the goal of these negotiations. 

The Boehner Plan doesn’t cut, cap or balance (Bad for Conservatives), the Boehner Plan doesn’t fulfill the promise of $100 billion in cuts that the Republican Party promised in the last election (Bad for the Republican Party) and the Boehner plan raises the debt ceiling without getting anything real in return (Bad for America).  To sum it up, The Boehner Plan is Bad for Conservatives, Bad for the Republican Party and Bad for America.

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