‘Voodoo Economics’: Senate Dems Accuse House GOP of Adding $1 Trillion in Red Ink

Jan 6, 2011 11:47am

 ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports:  Well, that didn’t take long. In a sign of the type of partisan back-and-forth that we expect to see for the next two years, Senate Democrats today ripped House Republicans for exempting over $1 trillion in proposed legislative measures from their campaign promise to cut the country’s soaring deficits. “On their first day on the job Republicans are already spending trillions more than they planned to cut,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, said at a press conference on Capitol Hill this morning. Democrats estimated that the House GOP’s desire to repeal health care reform, permanently extend the Bush tax cuts, and make other changes would add $1 trillion in red ink since Republicans have exempted the measures from pay-as-you-go budget rules. House Republicans, Democrats said, are using “fuzzy math” and “gimmickry” to hide the real costs of their plans. “These reckless fiscal policies are dead on arrival here in the Senate,” Schumer said. “They said they came into power to reduce the deficit. That was their claim and they’re not going along with it. Period,” he added. “They’re living in the world of Dick Cheney and deficits don’t count. We’re back into that all over again,” said the Senate’s number-two Democrat Dick Durbin. “Some might call this voodoo economics,” quipped Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-MI. In their “Pledge to America” House Republicans promised to enact $100 billion in spending cuts. Thus far they have only cut $35 million – a miniscule fraction of that promise – by reducing things like staff salaries and office supplies. Earlier today House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-VA, told George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America” that the House GOP’s promise was to bring spending back down to 2008 levels. “What we promised was we are going to bring spending down to ’08 levels, okay, and I think all of us know that the sun rose and set in 2008 – this is pre-bailout, pre-stimulus levels – so we can begin to return this country back to a path of fiscal sustainability so we can get people back to work,” Cantor said. But when pressed on precisely how much money the country would save by getting back to those levels, Cantor did not reply with a dollar figure. Schumer said House Republicans are “already backpedaling” on that campaign promise.

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