How Much Would It Hurt To Be Specific?

Just a quicky post linking to something from Yglesias' blog (link).  Here's the key quote:

To which I ask, if “the whole idea is to cut spending,” then why not propose spending cuts? It’s a lot easier to pass a budget than to pass a constitutional amendment. Surely, if a majority Americans are clamoring for “robust spending cuts” as DeMint claims, then the GOP would benefit in the midterms by proposing such cuts. Instead, the GOP either cannot or will not propose anything specific; rather, they continue to push for extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy without any spending offsets. That really should end any serious consideration of what this balanced budget amendment is all about.

But the larger point here is that the Republican Party is refusing to detail an actual agenda in advance of the November elections. There are plenty of things a Speaker Boehner really might do if the GOP were to regain the House majority in the fall. But instead of talking about which of those things they’ll attempt, Republican leaders continue to play to their base with notions of ACA repeal and radical changes to the constitution that require 2/3 majorities and approval of 38 states. The answer of the pundit class seems to be to sort of laugh off this talk of amending the constitution since it “won’t happen” — to which the follow-up should be, what will happen if the GOP takes over Congress? Voters should probably hear the answer before going to the polls.

This fits in very nicely with my complete disdain for the Tea Party/GOP.  When pressed, the answer seems to be, "We'll figure out the spending cuts, so can I have my tax cut now, please?"  The weighty manner in which the government deficit is discussed is a front.  We'd see serious answers otherwise.  Why be specific and risk ideas being discussed, when my political position is improved by transparent pandering and fear-mongering.

As a side point;  I'm with Krugman, Klein, and Silver on how Ryan's blueprint is bogus, with the effect of spending cuts taken credit for but not showing the deficit worsening impact of his tax cuts.  But at least, Ryan is showing the government programs he wants to gut (Primarily Medicare).  A constitutional balanced budget amendment requiring a super-majority to pass a tax is not only fantasy land (And bad economics), it's also completely disingenuous.  But then again, what was I expecting?.