During the 2010 congressional campaign, Republican House leaders issued a Pledge to America, wherein the GOP leadership made pledges to make spending cuts, repeal ObamaCare, and make congressional reforms, among other things.
One of the most prominent pledges was "we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone [emphasis mine]".
A lot was made about the House Republican's intent to cut at least $100B from the budget in their first year of control. However, it seems that this particular pledge won't actually come to fruition.
It seems that the House GOP leadership is planning on cutting $74 billion from the budget. That is, $74 billion from President Obama's 2011 budget proposal. As Erick Erickson said today on RedState.com, "There’s just one problem — the Democrats left power without ever passing Barack Obama’s budget. In other words, the GOP is cutting $74 billion from a budget that does not even exist." In actuality, the GOP leadership-proposed cuts amount to about $35 billion less than the 2010 budget.
"We're going to cut at least $100 billion. No, make that $74 billion. Actually.... $35 billion. What? Is something wrong? Pledge? What 'pledge'? Oh, 'at least $100 billion in the first year alone'? Well..... yeah, about that..."
Our fiscal situation is in a mess. Everyone agrees on that. It's a total and bipartisan wreck. We have to do something about it, something major. Halfhearted, hesitant nibbles won't cut it. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has found $350B in waste, fraud and duplication that could be eliminated. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has proposed $500B in cuts.
That's more like it. As Sen. Coburn has said, we have an apocalyptic fiscal crisis on our hands. Our national debt now stands at over $14,000,000,000,000.00 (14 trillion dollars). We stand on the brink. Now is not the time for hesitant indecision. Either we take the plunge into national fiscal ruin -- or we take the plunge and make the deep cuts necessary to balance our budget and pay down our debt as speedily as possible. There is no other option.
My hope is that the Congressional Republicans will finally get the message, and do the right thing for our nation, even though it is hard. It remains to see whether or not they will summon the courage to do so.