By Tom Tillison
Florida Political Press
More proof that if you hang around long enough, you'll see just about everything! Anyone who knows me knows that I am far from being an apologist for the Republican Party, but what a pickle they find themselves in. And, as is usually the case, they can look amongst themselves for much of the blame.
There's much ado being made about the announced budget cuts that House Republicans are proposing. Is it $50 Billion, or $74 Billion or is it $32 Billion? As is typical with D.C., math is far from an exact science, with it all dependent upon who's holding the calculator. But, even before you can start analyzing the figures, there must be a debate over - not making this up - exactly what a 'year' means.
It's not quite as simple as we want it to be. First of all, just to refresh your memory, there is no budget for FY 2011 - Nancy Pelosi and the Progressive Left never got around to passing Obama's budget. The government is now operating under a 'continual resolution' set to expire next month. And, we are now more than four months into FY 2011.
The $74 Billion figure is based on cuts to a budget that technically doesn't exist. The $32 Billion figure comes from proposed cuts to the continuing resolution. Overall, the GOP plan calls for a 9% reduction in nondefense, discretionary spending.
Regardless of which number you buy into, though, it seems the Republicans are damned if they do and damned if they don't.
Pundits and grassroots activists on the right are condemning the GOP for not making deeper cuts and for going back on their word to cut $100 Billion, which is what was promised in their 'Pledge to America'. On the other side, we have Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blasting the proposed cuts at $32 billion from 2011 spending levels as “draconian” and “unworkable.”
And the poor Republicans keep mumbling something about 'pro-rating'...
We all seem to forget that just a few short months ago, there were NO spending cuts at all being proposed. Since the November election, the incoming freshman class in Congress has made it clear to the Republican leadership that they came to Washington to reverse course, and that process has begun.
The expectations placed by many on the right upon the Republican House majority are going to be difficult, if not impossible to live up to. Without the Senate and White House, any progress, so long as it's continual and building progress is a step in the right direction, is it not? We didn't get here overnight and we certainly won't get out of this mess overnight.
I recall back in the early days of the battle for healthcare reform, once Republican lawmakers took a good look around and saw that not only where conservative American's supporting their efforts to fight this legislation, but were right there with them on the front lines encouraging their every action, how they became incredibly energized and even more determined in their resolve to fight that legislation.
I will also never be mistaken for a cheerleader, or John Mica, but this is food for thought for folks who are expecting the impossible.