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Mitch McConnell, Just Like John Boehner, Has No Plan to Reduce Deficits or the Debt
A few weeks ago, NDN put together an analysis of House Minority Leader John Boehner's plan to increase the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. Today in the Washington Post, Lori Montgomery breaks down Senate Minority Leaders Mitch McConnell's plan to do the same:
Even as they hammer Democrats for running up record budget deficits, Senate Republicans are rolling out a plan to permanently extend an array of expiring tax breaks that would deprive the Treasury of more than $4 trillion over the next decade, nearly doubling projected deficits over that period unless dramatic spending cuts are made.
The measure, introduced by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) this week, would permanently extend the George W. Bush-era income tax cuts that benefit virtually every U.S. taxpayer, rein in the alternative minimum tax and limit the estate tax to estates worth more than $5 million for individuals or $10 million for couples.
Aides to McConnell said they have yet to receive a cost estimate for the measure. But the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently forecast that a similar, slightly more expensive package that includes a full repeal of the estate tax would force the nation to borrow an additional $3.9 trillion over the next decade and increase interest payments on the national debt by $950 billion. That's more than four times the projected deficit impact of President Obama's health-care overhaul and stimulus package combined.
And how does he propose to pay for these cuts? Well, he doesn't:
Asked how McConnell would cover the cost of his proposal, the Tax Hike Prevention Act, aides noted that he has backed a bipartisan plan to freeze spending that would save an estimated $300 billion over the next decade - a drop in the bucket compared with his $4 trillion-plus plan.
For the rest of the cash, McConnell has said he will turn to the same place as Obama: a presidentially appointed, bipartisan deficit commission that is due to issue its report in December.
"This is not going to be your typical commission that's going to issue a report, sit on the shelf and gather dust," McConnell said last month on NBC's "Meet the Press." "We'll wait for their report. And I intend, if it's a responsible report that I can support, to encourage my members to support it."
Let's remember that McConnell opposed the President's deficit commission, and John Boehner mocked the President's spending freeze. Now, these represent Republican leadership's only strategies to cut deficits. So, here's the state of play: Boehner and McConnell now own plans to increase the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. The President owns a commission that they opposed designed to cut deficits. In what way are Boehner and McConnell actually for fiscal balance, and on what grounds can they ever criticize the President on this issue?