House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, meet with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, after their closed GOP caucus meeting ahead of President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (AP)

The Republican budget is a hairball

Where did all the roaring and raging on the right during the 2010 election go?


Robert Reich
February 4, 2011 9:07PM (UTC)

The federal budget is $3.8 trillion.

The Republicans have just come up with their plan to cut the federal budget. They've found $32 billion of cuts.

Their fiery campaign rhetoric, fierce determination, righteous indignation, and bloviated anger have summoned forth a hairball.

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What happened to John Boehner's $100 billion budget-cutting commitment? What became of Paul Ryan's big ideas? Where did all the roaring and raging on the right during the 2010 election go?

This is embarrassing.

I once had a dog who thought he was the fiercest thing in the county. He wasn't the brightest dog in the world. I brought him to a friend's farm where he spied a large bull far off in the corner of a large field. From that vantage point the bull didn't look very big, so my dog took off after it — howling and yelling to the skies. But as he got closer to the bull, I could see him slowing way down, and his howling turned into a whine. And by the time he came within five feet of the bull he skidded to a stop and turned silent. When the bull looked in his direction, my dog put his tail between his legs and ran.

As Republicans got closer to Social Security, Medicare, national defense, and homeland security, their bark grew quieter and their fierceness turned tail. They discovered the job of tackling the budget will be far bigger and tougher than it looked from the far end of the campaign trail. Americans don't want big spending cuts. They want to cut what doesn't work.

And now congressional Republicans have got to explain this to the Tea Partiers, who are still howling and yelling in the next field.

 

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Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written 15 books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's also co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism."

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Economics Republican Party Taxes War Room

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