Democrats Offer $20 Billion Spending Cut Compromise

Which, along with the $10 billion in cuts Republicans have already pushed through, would mean $30 billion total in cuts for the 2011 budget. That’s the halfway point between the $60 billion goal Republicans have been targeting (downgraded from the $100 billion they promised pre-election) and the $0 billion Democrats wanted.

In other words, Obama will have proposed more new spending on high speed rail projects for the next budget than Democrats will have been willing to concede to in spending cuts. But even so, might this be an offer worth taking?

Especially when a balanced budget amendment may be a price tag Democrats will concede to?

The White House and Democratic lawmakers, with less than two weeks left to avoid a government shutdown, are assembling a proposal for roughly $20 billion in additional spending cuts that could soon be offered to Republicans, according to people close to the budget talks. …

House Republicans are preparing a budget resolution for 2012 that would make major spending reductions in entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and give states more flexibility in how they spend federal Medicaid money.

Separately, Senate GOP leaders are urging all 47 Republicans in the chamber to sign on to a proposed constitutional amendment to balance the budget and demand a vote on it.

However much in spending cuts Republicans may be able to pry out of Democrats, one point is clear: Our national fiscal problems are not going to be solved with this budget alone.

The question is, can Republicans cut this compromise and leave themselves in a strong enough position to move on to the debate over entitlement reforms and other more serious fiscal cuts? That’s really what this is about. An exit strategy that allows Republicans to get out of the debate over the 2011 budget with enough political capital intact to continue the push for spending cuts in future budget battles.

If Republicans throw this offer back in the face of Democrats, we’ll likely end up with a government shut down with the sympathetic liberal media flooding the zone with stories about all the suffering that shut down is causing. Which, in turn, could very well sour the public at large on push for spending cuts.

We all know what needs to be done. Cut, cut, cut. But in order to make those cuts, Republicans need to chart a safe course through some dangerous political waters.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Kevin Flanagan

    It’s chump change from a bunch of chumps.

  • robert108

    That’s not a “compromise”, it’s a sellout to the greedy spenders.

  • Goon

    Why is Obumble proposing a light rail that won’t benifit many people at all?

  • Jimmypop

    enough of liberal bashing, people!!!! its the gop that has the momentum now. look what they are dong with it……. exactly nothing.

    the whole dc world of mcsames needs to go. where are berg and hovey on these things? i have not heard on ‘OH, &$&^ NO.’ from either of them.

    the only REAL leaders we have have paul as a first or last name. only these few folks are willing to cut hundreds of billions or more. we need to turn them into the gop leaders.

  • tarpon

    And now today Obaby makes 25% of the country disabled ….

  • HG

    A balanced budget ammendment might not be all it should be with the fuzzy math the democrats engage in. In the collective mind of liberals all Obama’s stimulus spending was tax cuts regardless of the fact that the tax rates remain the same, and all republican proposed reductions in tax rates are said to be gov’t spending that has to be paid for. With that level of backwards ignorance it’s not clear what harm a balanced budget ammendment might do?

    Remember, these are the same idiots who counted medicare savings twice just to reduce the costs of Obamacare, and they pretty much got away with it. Could you imagine the mockery the democrats will make of a balanced budget ammendment? We’re not dealing with reasonable adults on the other side of the isle.

  • HG

    After a little more thought:

    It’s time to step it up in my opinion. Enough compromise with these blow-hards. A balanced budget ammendment willl be a shell game for democrats — just look at California! No Deal! Keep the promises made to the electorate and cut spending.

  • Camsaure

    They need to realize that they cannot make an honest deal with the dems. Not matter what deal they think they can reach with them, the dems and sympathetic media will throw it all back in their face and use it against them. Remember senior Bush’s “read my lips, no new taxes”. Well he wimped out and caved on that and they sucessfully used it against him in the elections. (I think he got what he deserved,except we certainly did not deserve Clinton). The lesson: beware progressive/RINOs.