Conservatives Throw Wrench in Boehner Debt Plan, CBO Piles On

Yesterday, conservatives came out in full force against Speaker Boehner’s debt plan. Last night, they got an assist from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which has scored House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) (this is what happens when you actually produce a plan, White House). Unfortunately for Boehner, the plan does not cut as much as he promised.

The CBO has found that the plan’s initial $1 trillion cuts only actually equals about $850 billion, which is less than the $900 billion increase in the debt limit he asked for.

This is bad news for the Boehner plan, which was already taking heat for not actually solving our debt problem. So far, the only plan that has been floated (out of about 7) that actually solves our long term debt problem is still Cut, Cap, and Balance. All the other plans just cut some spending around the edges over the next 10 years. And it’s hard to describe them as cuts, since most of the “savings” results from just restraining the growth of spending, assuming future Congresses actually abide by the caps.

Or, more likely, they’ll simply ignore the cuts all together because there is no real enforcement mechanisms. The way that Washington works, this bad CBO score may serve as encouragement for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to move forward with his plan, which also saves less than advertised.  The Reid Plan claimed to cut more than $2.7 trillion, but it actually only cuts $2.2 trillion, which is still more than Boehner’s. More than $1 trillion comes from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But that funding was never requested by President Obama, or even considered. It’s phantom savings. Reid’s plan also contains serious cuts to our nation’s defense.

Neither plan solves the problem which has lead to our debt problem, which is spending. If one of these plans does end up raising the debt ceiling, our AAA credit rating will still be in danger.

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