Republicans are countering President Obama's new economic proposals--$50 billion on infrastructure spending and $100 billion in business tax credits--with economic plans of their own. House Minority Leader John Boehner, who looks increasingly likely to become Speaker of the House in November, has offered a two-part economic proposal. Boehner wants to limit the federal budget to cost no more than the 2008 budget and to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for everyone. (President Obama wants to extend them for everyone except the wealthiest 2 percent of households.) Here's what people have to say about the GOP plan, including the proposals by "Indiana governor, former Bush budget director and rumored dark-horse Republican presidential candidate Mitch Daniels."
Setting November Election Framework The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder writes, "The Republicans want to freeze all spending and tax cuts. The Democrats want to cut these taxes and spend more. John Boehner, a relative unknown to the American people, took the bait this morning by offering an immediate counter-proposal. So now, Democrats have the beginning of what could credibly be called a message: here's what we're going to do. And here's what they're going to do. Do you trust them?"
- Lame, Unhelpful Ideas The Washington Post's Ezra Klein summarizes, "Pass a budget that costs only as much as the 2008 budget, and extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone, including the wealthiest Americans. So on the one hand, a measure that will make a small dent in the deficit. On the other hand, a measure that will lead to a huge increase in the deficit. There's no theory of the economy in which this really makes sense: If the market is worried about the government's finances, this makes them worse, not better. If we need lower tax rates, then simply holding the tax rates at the level that produced 2010's disappointing economic performance isn't enough."
- That's a Bumper Sticker, Not a Policy The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen scoffs, "Boehner seems to have an allergy to policy depth. He wants to lower spending to 2008 levels. Why? Because those levels were lower. Why would that be worthwhile? Because lower is, you know, better. Likewise, he wants to keep Bush-era tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. Why? Because those rates were lower. Why would that be worthwhile? Because lower is better here, too. Boehner isn't just wrong; he's superficial. He can make an argument and sound coherent, just so long as no one expects a thought any longer than a bumper sticker."
- Obama, GOP Should Work Together Time's Mark Halperin writes, "The President and his top advisers have betrayed visible annoyance at the Republicans' failure to rally behind the White House's latest plans to goose the economy: proposed tax incentives for companies to make capital expenditures and do more R&D. ... sooner or later the President is going to need Republican votes and the backing of business to get this and other measures passed. Treating his opponents as unprincipled chuckleheads makes it less likely that Obama will get what he wants and more likely that voters will be turned off by contemptuous rhetoric. That sort of gambit is likely to prove unhelpful for either the long-term good of the economy or the President."
- Mitch Daniels: My Republican Economic Plan The Indiana Governor and former Bush budget director suggests in the Wall Street Journal that Republicans push these ideas, which he spells out in the Journal column: payroll tax holiday, impoundment power to "spend less than Congress made available through appropriation," recall federal stimulus funds, federal hiring and pay freeze, suspend the "agonizingly slow environmental permitting" requirements, and "accelerated or full expensing of business investment."
- 'Mitch Daniels Wins the Fiscal Special Olympics' The New Republic's Jonathan Chait says the "problem" is that any GOP economic "proposal that seems remotely close to reality will be widely praised, as if we were watching a person with severe disabilities manage to finish a race. Wow, look at that! You have a plan! With numbers! Hooray for you!" Chait writes to Daniels on his plan, "you rely on magical constitutional thinking and empirically false analysis of federal pay. And your savings only make it 9% of the way to your stated goal. And the four revenue offsets you promised are really only three offsets plus one unrelated ideological hobbyhorse. But it was a good try. Look at Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich over there -- they fell down after only a few yards! You should really think about running for president."