As the fiscal cliff approaches, Republicans and Democrats continue to debate which party is less serious about negotiations. Seriously. In fact, actual negotiations over the fiscal cliff have pretty much come to a standstill because they are too busy calling each other unserious. You think we’re kidding? You think we’re not serious? Seriously, we’re serious. Serious, serious, serious. Aaaaand … do we have another one for you? Yep, here it is: super serious.
But perhaps no one is more serious about having a debate over the seriousness of the budget crisis as Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), who held a press conference to announce that President Obama’s proposal “wasn’t a serious one” because it didn’t contain enough spending cuts. In fact, Obama’s budget proposal was allegedly so unserious that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “burst into laughter” when he first saw the measly little spending cuts Obama offered in exchange for a tax increase on the wealthiest 2% of earners.
So what did Obama’s budget contain that was so hilarious as to elicit actual LULZ from the Senate Minority Leader? According to Bloomberg News, Obama’s budget proposal calls for roughly $600 billion in spending cuts:
It calls for $1.6 trillion in tax increases, $350 billion in cuts in health programs, $250 billion in cuts in other programs and $800 billion in assumed savings from the wind-down of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the officials, who asked for anonymity.
Oh. That’s not really that funny. There’s not a even single Boehner joke in there, which would have been legitimately hilarious.
Okay, well maybe McConnell meant that Obama’s budget was funny in comparison to what the Republicans came up with? What did the Republicans come up with again? You with the beard, in the back, yes you, Mr. Krugman? What say you?
In his interview with the Wall Street Journal, Mitch McConnell finally mentioned a few sort-of specifics about what spending cuts the GOP wants: raising the Medicare age, charging higher premiums to affluent Medicare recipients, and changing the price indexing of Social Security. But how much does all this amount to?
…[I]f we take all of McConnell’s ideas together, we get a bit more than $300 billion.
In other words, McConnell’s super-duper serious budget proposal calls for half the spending cuts that the Obama budget calls for. Oh now we get it!! Hahahahha, that’s hilarious, actually. Well played, Republicans.
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