With everyone focused on Barack Obama’s hard pivot to the economy — which has taken him nine months to accomplish — John Boehner appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America and stole a march on the President. He pronounced himself open to Obama’s ideas on R&D tax breaks and capital-investment tax credits, but produced a counter-proposal to roll back federal spending to FY2008 levels. That would save $100 billion this year, and at the rate that Democrats have spent money, close to a trillion dollars in the next fiscal year alone:
The FY2008 budget allocated $3.1 trillion in spending, an increase of over $300 billion from the previous year. It makes more political than fiscal sense in that the FY2008 budget was passed by a Democratic Congress, which means that Obama and Nancy Pelosi will find it a little difficult to argue that it’s somehow inadequate. It still would outstrip revenues by around $600 billion, but that’s less than half of the projected deficit for FY2011 — if Democrats ever get around to proposing a budget for that fiscal year, which starts in 23 days. It’s a good pre-emption effort by Boehner and a way to focus on the real problem in the economy, which is not a lack of government spending or interventions.
Be sure to stick around to the end, when George Stephanopoulos makes sure that he asks Boehner about the real pressing issue of … his tan. Boehner laughs it off with good humor, but seriously, is this the best that Stephanopoulos can do in the middle of a midterm election season?