On Fox & Friends, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin falsely suggested that Democrats have not offered a plan to resolve the debt ceiling crisis, saying that "conservatives ... have something to debate, which is something you can't say about the other side." In fact, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has introduced a plan, which has been assessed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and been widely discussed by media outlets.
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Malkin Falsely Suggests Dems Have No Debt Ceiling Plan
Malkin: Conservatives Are "The Ones Who Are Putting Forth Ideas ... Which Is Something You Can't Say About The Other Side." From the July 28 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
STEVE DOOCY (co-host): All right. Let's get moving. What do you think, Michelle?
MALKIN: Well, they sound like such programmed androids. They don't even believe their own rhetoric and spin anymore. I mean --
DOOCY: What do you mean by that?
MALKIN: It's been two years that they've been calling the tea party right-wing extremists who are out of touch with America and reality. OK. We get it. And, of course, the reality is that so many tea party grassroots activists are very unhappy with the compromise bill that Boehner is putting forward and as many conservatives on the Hill and outside the Hill believe is being forced down their throats.
I mean, there's been so much rancor on the right. I think it's a welcome and healthy thing. And the good news is, to look at the bright side for a moment, that despite all of the disagreement there is among conservatives, we're the ones who are putting forth the ideas, have the initiative, have the solutions. At least we have something to debate, which is something you can't say about the other side. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/28/11]
But Reid Has Offered A Plan To Resolve Debt Ceiling Crisis
The Hill: "Reid Introduced His Own Budget Control Act, Which Aims To Cut $2.7 Trillion Over 10 Years" And "Increase The Debt Ceiling." The Hill reported on July 26:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) late Monday released dueling budget plans, and both took steps to move their competing plans ahead this week.
On the Senate side, Reid introduced his own Budget Control Act, which aims to cut $2.7 trillion over 10 years. In return, the bill would increase the debt ceiling by enough to get the U.S. past the 2012 elections. [The Hill, 7/26/11]
CBO: Reid's Plan Would "Increase The Debt Limit By $2.7 Trillion," "Establish Caps" On Spending. In a July 27 letter to Reid, the CBO "estimated the impact on the deficit of the Budget Control Act of 2011, as proposed in the Senate on July 25, 2011":
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated the impact on the deficit of the Budget Control Act of 2011, as proposed in the Senate on July 25, 2011. The legislation would:
- Establish caps on discretionary spending through 2021, including separate caps on new funding for war-related activities,
- Allow for certain amounts of additional spending for "program integrity" initiatives aimed at reducing the amount of improper benefit payments and enhancing compliance with tax laws,
- Extend and expand authority to auction licenses for parts of the electromagnetic spectrum,
- Make changes to the Pell Grant and student loan programs,
- Reduce certain payments to agricultural producers,
- Increase the debt limit by $2.7 trillion,
- Reinstate and modify certain budget process rules, and
- Create a joint Congressional committee to propose further deficit reduction. [Congressional Budget Office, 7/27/11]
Moreover, Obama Outlined Specific Details Of Negotiations Made Before Boehner Walked Away From Talks
Obama: "We Had Offered Speaker Boehner ... Over A Trillion Dollars In Cuts To Discretionary Spending ... [And] An Additional $650 Billion In Cuts To Entitlement Programs." During his July 22 address on the default crisis, President Obama outlined several specific measures that he claimed he and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) had negotiated during their talks up to that point, including cuts to entitlement spending:
Good evening, everybody. I wanted to give you an update on the current situation around the debt ceiling. I just got a call about a half hour ago from Speaker Boehner who indicated that he was going to be walking away from the negotiations that we've been engaged in here at the White House for a big deficit reduction and debt reduction package. And I thought it would be useful for me to just give you some insight into where we were and why I think that we should have moved forward with a big deal.
Essentially what we had offered Speaker Boehner was over a trillion dollars in cuts to discretionary spending, both domestic and defense. We then offered an additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs -- Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. We believed that it was possible to shape those in a way that preserved the integrity of the system, made them available for the next generation, and did not affect current beneficiaries in an adverse way.
In addition, what we sought was revenues that were actually less than what the Gang of Six signed off on. So you had a bipartisan group of senators, including Republicans who are in leadership in the Senate, calling for what effectively was about $2 trillion above the Republican baseline that they've been working off of. What we said was give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking taxes -- tax rates, but could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process that could have lowered rates generally while broadening the base.
So let me reiterate what we were offering. We were offering a deal that called for as much discretionary savings as the Gang of Six. We were calling for taxes that were less than what the Gang of Six had proposed. And we were calling for modifications to entitlement programs, would have saved just as much over the 10-year window. In other words, this was an extraordinarily fair deal. If it was unbalanced, it was unbalanced in the direction of not enough revenue. [White House, 7/22/11]
NYT Ran Graphic Showing Specific Offers Obama And Boehner Had Made Through July 22. In a graphic first published July 21 and updated several times since, The New York Times listed specific measures that both Obama and Boehner had reportedly offered in negotiations. According to the Times, both had agreed to $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, a $250 billion cut from Medicare, and an increase in federal tax revenue of somewhere between $36.2 and $36.7 trillion over a period of 10 years. From the Times:
[The New York Times, accessed 7/27/11]