GOP Declares Victory on Budget
There are two reasons this story by Gail Chaddock from the Christian Science Monitor caught my eye.
First, Gail quotes me in it. Second, it shows that the new Republican communications strategy is to declare that they've already won this year's budget debate because the discussion, they say, is all about cutting spending. Here's the money quote (and it's not mine) from Gail's story:
This debate has completely changed,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, in a floor speech on Tuesday. “Two years ago, the president and Democrats running Congress weren’t debating whether to cut spending. They were debating how much to spend…. Today, the only debate is how much to cut.”
Never mind that two years ago the economy was in a recession and spending cuts were the wrong fiscal policy. Never mind that, as Gail quotes me saying, overall federal spending will go up this year in spite of McConnell's victory declaration because the GOP only wants to look for reductions in a very small part of the budget. And never mind that there actually is some talk about spending increases (did McConnell not hear the president say in the State of the Union that he would propose some investments in his budget?).
The key here is that the McConnell is saying that what actually happens doesn't matter. That sound to me like the start of a plan to satisfy the tea party wing of the Republican Party on the budget without actually cutting much spending.