Government: Where's the Obama plan (that we leaked)?
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) drew a rousing ovation from his troops on the House floor Friday when he accused President Obama of having no plan for ... well, he didn't say what Obama didn't have a plan for, but it's safe to assume that he meant a plan for cutting spending. It's become an article of faith in conservative and "tea party" circles that the president hasn't offered any actual proposals, just a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Here's what Boehner said Friday:
Not one time, not one time did the administration ever put any plan on the table. All they would do is criticize what I put out there.
How soon they forget. Less than three weeks ago, Boehner's second in command, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), distributed a set of PowerPoint slides detailing the cuts that the administration had proposed in private White House talks, as well as changes to entitlement program budgets. There are more specifics in those slides than you'll find in the "cut, cap and balance" bill, which doesn't identify any programs to cut -- it just sets broad spending limits.
Cantor's move drew denunciations from Democrats, who claimed he had damaged the negotiations by making public things that were discussed privately. And indeed, the revelations about the administration's willingness to "adjust" the eligibility age for Medicare and to slow the growth of Social Security benefits (see slide 6) prompted a mini-rebellion from liberal lawmakers.
Given all that hubbub, it's a little odd to hear Boehner accuse the administration of not having a plan. Maybe Cantor didn't show it to him.
-- Jon Healey
Photo: That's not a deficit-cutting plan on the table in front of President Obama. Or if it is, he's not showing it to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Credit: Yuri Gripas / Reuters