President Obama has called for a “balanced” approach to avoiding the fiscal cliff – one that combines revenue (demanded by Democrats) with spending cuts and reforms (demanded by Republicans). In an effort to find common ground, Republicans have outlined a plan that meets the president’s test without hurting our economy or destroying jobs – now we need Democrats to do the same.
Republicans have offered to accept new revenue if it comes from tax reform (not tax rate hikes) and is accompanied by real spending cuts and entitlement reforms. Reforming our tax code will help grow our economy – and a stronger economy means more jobs and more of the revenue Democrats want (without hurting small businesses).
But now that Republicans have put new revenue on the table, the question is: what spending cuts are the president and congressional Democrats willing to make?
The president “says he wants a balanced approach,” said Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Fox News today, but “we haven’t heard of where his cuts are.”
Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R-IL) made a similar point, noting, “The president has been litigating the tax question, but there hasn't been any discussion substantively about where the cuts are.”
“The president keeps reminding us he just won an election,” Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “It’s time for the president to start talking about what he has to offer and put something on the table.”
The American people know where Republicans stand: the House passed a bipartisan bill to stop all tax rate hikes on families and small businesses, and voted to expedite the process of fundamental tax reform. The House also voted to replace the defense sequester with common-sense spending cuts and reforms. And the House-passed budget would help save entitlement programs like Medicare from bankruptcy. Speaker John Boehner has even said, “2013 should be the year we begin to solve our debt through tax reform and entitlement reform.” Now Americans deserve to know where Democrats stand.
“A ‘balanced’ approach isn’t balanced if it means we increase the amount of money coming into the coffers of government, but we don’t cut spending and address entitlements at the same time,” said Speaker Boehner. “We’re asking [President Obama] to make good on his ‘balanced’ approach” – and to tell the American people what spending cuts he’s willing to make.