GOP offers $2.2T in deficit cuts

Republicans on the deficit supercommittee have presented a counteroffer to Democrats that would reduce the deficit by $2.2 trillion over a decade.

The GOP plan includes no tax increases, but does include up to $640 billion in new revenue. Some of this revenue is from increased fees, and some is from expected gains in tax revenue from an economy the GOP expects will improve from its plan.

Spending cuts in the proposal include $600 billion in changes to Medicare and other healthcare entitlements, and $250 billion in discretionary spending cuts.

The GOP proposal is a counteroffer to a $3 trillion plan proposed by Democrats on the panel on Tuesday. The Democratic plan included new taxes and some stimulus spending, as well as cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

Democratic labeled the GOP offer as an “unserious” proposal because it did not involve pain for both sides in the talks. They say their own proposal is serious, given the proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid that are controversial with liberal groups, which drew scorn Wednesday from MoveOn.org.

“Their offer is a joke. Democrats came to the table with an offer that had serious skin in the game for both parties. Rather than offering real solutions, Republicans are just doing more of the same posturing they do every time they walk away from efforts to constructively tackle this crisis,” one Democratic aide said.

The Democratic offer split the six Democrats on the panel, with some unable to support the cuts.

Republicans tout their proposal as meeting the pledge most in the party have taken to raise no taxes. This pledge, circulated by the anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform, requires that Republicans not raise any new net revenue through changes to the tax code.

Entitlement cuts and tax hikes have been the chief stumbling blocks in efforts to reduce the deficit, with Democrats insisting on higher taxes and Republicans insisting on entitlement reforms.

The Democratic plan contained up to $1.3 trillion in tax hikes, according to aides.

Time is running out for the supercommittee, which is huddling again Thursday morning. It has until Nov. 23 to come up with a plan to reduce federal deficits by at least $1.2 trillion.

While the competing plans underscore the differences on taxes, the fact that actual numbers are on the table represents progress from earlier weeks, when vague frameworks were bandied about, aides said.