Republicans offered up their own proposal to avert the impending “fiscal cliff” on Monday amid Democratic demands that the GOP match the Obama administration’s plan with one of their own.If you read the letter, it's basically a two-page whinefest about how much they hated President Obama's proposal from last week. But the only thing included in their counteroffer is a regurgitation of their willingness to raise $800 billion in new revenue from unspecified tax reforms along with a proposal to cut $300 billion in discretionary spending and $900 billion in entitlements. They offer no details whatsoever to explain how they would achieve any of these targets. They also say they want to continue all spending cuts included in the Budget Control Act last year, which presumably means the sequester would remain in effect. There might be more to this "offer," but at least at first glance, it appears to be nothing more than some numbers picked out of thin air, and certainly not an offer worth taking seriously.
In a letter to President Barack Obama, House Republican leaders outlined the contours of a deal they said would achieve a net savings of $2.2 trillion. The plan, which is based on fiscal commission Democratic co-chairman Erskine Bowles’s proposal to the super committee, would achieve these savings through revenue from tax reforms, health savings and discretionary spending cuts.
12:54 PM PT: From their letter here's the heart of their so-called "proposal":
For instance, on November 1 of last year, Erskine Bowles, the co-chair of your debt commission, presented the Joint Select Committee with a middle ground approach that garnered praise from many fiscal watchdogs and nonpartisan experts. He recommended that both parties agree to a balanced package that includes significant spending cuts as well as $800 billion in new revenue.That's not a proposal. It's barely enough for a bullet point. It's not something a legislator came up with. It's something from a P.R. flack.
Notably, the new revenue in the Bowles plan would not be achieved through higher tax rates, which we continue to oppose and will not agree to in order to protect small businesses and our economy. Instead, new revenue would be generated through pro-growth tax reform that closes special-interest loopholes and deductions while lowering rates. On the spending side, the Bowles recommendation would cut more than $900 billion in mandatory spending and another $300 billion in discretionary spending. These cuts would be over and above the spending reductions enacted in the Budget Control Act.
This is by no means an adequate long-term solution, as resolving our long-term fiscal crisis will require fundamental entitlement reform. Indeed, the Bowles plan is exactly the kind of imperfect, but fair middle ground that allows us to avert the fiscal cliff without hurting our economy and destroying jobs. We believe it warrants immediate consideration.
If you are agreeable to this framework, we are ready and eager to begin discussions about how to structure these reforms so that the American people can be confident that these targets will be reached.
12:55 PM PT: Oh yeah, and their plan for more tax revenue? Lower tax rates. Brilliant!