House Republicans sent an offer to President Obama including $800 in new revenue by closing tax loopholes and spending cuts that don’t amount to a whole heck of a lot. According to the Wall Street Journal, they initially had planned to send the budget crafted by Paul Ryan and tell the White House to take it or leave it. But they had a change of heart, and the plan they presented was instead in line with a proposal by Erskine Bowles, a Democrat who was part of the Simposon-Bowles commission appointed by Obama.
House Republican leaders have made a counteroffer to President Obama in the fiscal cliff negotiations, proposing to cut $2.2 trillion with a combination of spending cuts, entitlement reforms and $800 billion in new tax revenue.
The leaders delivered the offer to the White House on Monday with a three-page letter signed by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and four other senior Republicans, including Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the party’s just-defeated vice presidential nominee.
Republican officials said the offer was based on a proposal outlined by Erskine Bowles, the former chief of staff to President Clinton, in testimony last year before the congressional “supercommittee” on deficit reduction. That offer is distinct from the widely-cited Simpson-Bowles deficit plan released two years ago. (Read More)
The Journal has more on the Bowles plan:
The 2011 proposal looked like this (all numbers are spread over 10 years):
1) $300 billion in cuts to discretionary spending.
2) $600 billion cuts to health care programs, which would include raising the Medicare eligibility age.
3) $300 billion in “other” mandatory spending cuts, which could include things like farm subsidies and changes to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.
4) $800 billion in new revenue.
5) $200 billion from changing the government’s measurement of inflation for certain programs and in the tax code.
6) $1.3 trillion in already agreed upon caps and reductions.
7) $400 billion in savings on interest payments that wouldn’t have to be made because the deficit would be lower.
That leads to a total package of $3.9 trillion. (Read More)
Well, it doesn’t matter because the White House immediately shot down the proposal, saying it wasn’t balanced. Their idea of balance is trillions in tax hikes and no spending cuts. So it looks like the GOP will have to move on to Plan B – The Doomsday Scenario.