And they think they are helping themselves, but rather than looking at this as an opening bid, they’re just using it as another excuse to blast the president. Ezra Klein sums it up:
It calls for $1.6 trillion in taxes and only $400 billion in new entitlement spending cuts (though note that it assumes the roughly trillion dollars in discretionary spending cuts passed in the Budget Control Act and the trillion dollars in savings from ending the wars, such that the total spending cuts, at least in the White House’s view, are nearer to $2.4 trillion). It also includes about $200 billion in stimulus, including the extension or replacement of the payroll tax cut, and a proposal to encourage homeowners to refinance. Oh, and it lifts the debt ceiling.
President Obama says he’s done negotiating with himself. If Republicans are serious, it’s time for them to take a stand with a specific counter-proposal.