Via Twitter, Peter Suderman points out that Republicans plan on campaigning this fall against the federal deficit, but have no plans to actually do anything about it if they take Congress. See Sunday's "Meet The Press" for confirmation. In response to such complaints, National Review's Robert Costa points to Eric Cantor's YouCut website, which he describes:
Cantor debuted YouCut [in May]. Its premise is simple: Each week, Americans can vote for their favorite of five potential spending cuts on the web (or via text message to 68398). Cantor works to bring the winner to the House floor. With one click, you can help to shape the House GOP agenda.Unprecedented? Whatever. It's also incredibly piddly and lame. Look at the current options YouCut offers for a vote.
“It allows us to focus on out-of-control federal spending, the number-one issue for millions of Americans,” Cantor says. “For us, it is an unprecedented online project.”
* Eliminating unnecessary Congressional spending: Potential savings of $35 million over 10 years.Notice a common attribute? All these options are piddly rounding errors in the gargantuan federal budget, eliminating -- at most -- $120 million a year out of a $3.55 trillion budget! It's simply not a serious attempt to address budget fears; it looks a lot more like feeble, ineffective pandering. Real austerity is going to force people to give up stuff they want or like getting from government. And not just the poor, "unproductive" people. Hard, politically unpopular choices will have to be made. Republicans have never shown the ability to make those choices. Eric Cantor's "unprecedented" web site proves the point.
* Eliminate the "Dodd Earmark" from "ObamaCare:" Savings of $100 million over 10 years.
* Prohibiting first class subsidies on Amtrak: Potential savings of $1.2 billion over 10 years.
* Reform the Energy Star program: $655 million over 10 years.
* Prevent energy assistance payments to dead people: "Hundreds of millions of dollars" over 10 years.