Ross: Republicans know their spending cuts are unpopular

Jan 24, 2023, 7:40 AM | Updated: 9:03 am
McCarthy house republican spending cuts...
(Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Yesterday I asked CBS’s Business editor Jill Schlesinger about the debt debate. She told me she hated the subject – but I asked her this question anyway:

Have Republicans specified what it is they would cut that’s a big enough spending item to make a difference in the debt?

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“No, because what is more fun to do is to talk in generalities instead of pinpointing what the issue is,” Jill said.

I was distressed by that answer. Because it would mean there are members of congress actively trying to undermine your financial security and my financial security even as the economy is heading toward a recession, without revealing to us why that’s worth doing.

Which seems unhelpful.

It’s also given Democrats like Chuck Schumer a big, fat political target because the Republican leadership is demanding a balanced budget but will not come out and say what they would cut to get there.

“House Republicans, you voted for rules that require regular order for bringing bills to the floor. So put your proposals for the debt ceiling on the floor. Let the entirety of the House debate and vote on it and let the American people see and assess these cuts for themselves,” Schumer said.

Now, I’m not naïve. I’m pretty sure the reason Republicans won’t reveal their plan is that, as Jill will tell you, the programs that get the big money include “Social Security and Medicare benefits. Military salaries. The interest on the federal debt itself.”

And I understand why they’re afraid to mention items like that – especially Social Security. Full disclosure – I am now getting a Social Security check. Do I need it to pay my grocery bill? No. But do I expect that check to keep coming? Heck yes! Because I’ve been paying into Social Security since I was 16.

But – okay– if members of Congress think it’s time to eliminate my payments, at least have the courage to put it on the table. Courage is a core conservative value.

That’s why I have a hard time believing Republicans have no plan. So I am going to ask for your help, especially if you’re a conservative. I would like you to write your favorite Republican member of congress and ask for their plan.

Ask them to tell you what they’d cut and how much those cuts would save.

Would you do that? And then, if you get an answer, send it to me, and I will share the list, and if it turns out they actually have a reasonable common sense plan, then we’ll go to phase two – which would be to write all the Democrats and ask them why they won’t go along with this reasonable common sense plan.

In fact, I will send the list to Chuck Schumer from my official KIRO Newsradio account, and he’ll be forced to take back what he said and admit that there is a plan after all.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

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Ross: Republicans know their spending cuts are unpopular