Lawmakers are working on a major deficit-reduction deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” which takes place at the beginning of next year when the Bush-era tax rates expire and sequestration takes effect.
“Americans overwhelmingly support some cuts,” McConnell said. “Yet the president refuses to commit to them. He thinks if all he talks about is taxes then some of us will forget that Washington spending is completely out of control.”
Obama’s proposal also would raise $1.6 trillion with higher taxes, find $400 billion in savings from entitlements and spend $50 billion on measures to stimulate the economy.
Republicans have said it is a one-sided offer that shows the White House isn’t serious about the talks. House Republicans made a counteroffer that includes $800 billion in new tax revenues, but the White House rejected it, demanding higher tax rates on those making more than $250,000 a year.
“We saw his idea of balance — $1.6 trillion tax hike and $50 billion stimulus, even more spending,” McConnell said. “He’s been vague about his cuts but very specific about new spending, something no reasonable person was expecting.”
McConnell pointed to Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-Okla.) list of things being funded by the federal government that could easily be cut, such as a robotic squirrel and a video game that allows players to relive their prom.
“Government has grown well beyond its means and we need to start acting like it,” McConnell said.