Gibbs Trashes GOP Alternative Budget
By Scott Wilson
The president has been asking for it. Today House Republicans responded, offering a budget alternative that met with instant ridicule from the White House.
"It took me several minutes to read it," Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in his daily news briefing at the White House.
The punch line came in response to a question noting that the GOP alternative spending proposal "doesn't actually contain any numbers."
"I think the party of 'no' has become the party of 'no new ideas,'" Gibbs continued. "The rhetoric inside the budget seems to be a road map for the failed policies that got us into this mess -- to extend trillions and trillions of dollars of tax cuts for the wealthy, continued subsidies for big oil. And I think it's -- it takes us back to where we've been and why we're in this problem."
President Obama argues that his $3.6 trillion proposal is "inseparable" from the country's economic recovery. He says the money it allocates to broaden access to health care, sponsor research on renewable energy, and improve public education is the best way to ensure long-term growth in a hyper-competitive global economy. It would cut the deficit in half by the end of Obama's first term, but it would also force the country to borrow nearly $9.3 trillion over 10 years.
Congressional Republicans have called the president's budget irresponsible. But this president, like others before him, has promised a less partisan tone in policy debates. Asked if his harsh words about the GOP budget were consistent with that goal, Gibbs said, "Well, yes."
"I guess it's no wonder that over the course of many years, budget deficits in this town and debts ballooned because a group of individuals think that you can have a budget that doesn't contain numbers," Gibbs said later. "No wonder we have inherited a budget deficit of $1.3 trillion and a debt that's out of control."
Posted at 6:06 PM ET on Mar 26, 2009
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