Dems want GOP to list $700B in cuts to pay for high-end tax cuts

Democrats pounced Friday on a top Republican's suggestion he knew of plenty of spending to cut in order to pay for the extension of high-end tax cuts.

If Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) thinks he can identify $700 billion in cuts to offset the costs of extending Bush tax cuts, Democrats said, he should specify where.

“If veterans are going to have to give up their benefits to pay for the Republican leadership’s tax breaks for the richest 2 percent of Americans, then they deserve to know that immediately," Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) spokesman Ryan Rudominer said.

The Democratic attack reflects the larger gambit over taxes both parties believe they face in the fall's elections. Republicans think running on an extension of all the tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of the year barring congressional action, makes for good politics. Democrats, by contrast, believe running against the high-end tax breaks — and against the kind of steep cuts that Ryan's plan would involve — are just as good a message.

GOP leaders have largely avoided explaining how they would pay for extending the top-tier tax cuts as budget rules call for. Implicit in that maneuver is a desire by Republicans to have to pinpoint where they would have to make cuts, thereby giving Democrats a cudgel to use against them.

Ryan said that he doesn't believe in such sidestepping, however.

"Look, I'm not one of these people who says that all tax cuts pay for themselves, but tax rates on the margin is where growth occurs, and that does make a difference," he said this morning on CNBC.