John Boehner went on CNN yesterday, and was put on the spot by Dana Bash who tried, not entire successfully, to get him to say specifically where his spending cuts would come from.
Boehner, in true Republican fashion, begins promising money that has already been spent elsewhere:
Let's bring all the unspent stimulus money back. You know, the stimulus was supposed to create jobs in America and it hasn't," said Boehner.
When pressed for examples of other cuts he would make, he repeated his call to return unspent stimulus and bailout funds to the federal treasury.
"There's $700 billion right there, " he said.
Except, there's not, Mr. Boehner.
As of Aug. 4, 2010, $223 billion of the promised $288 billion in tax relief had already been paid out, as had $132 billion of the budgeted $275 billion for projects and $140 billion of the $224 billion set aside in the stimulus for entitlements. That comes to $495 billion that has already gone out the door.
There was $787 billion in the stimulus, so that leaves only $292 billion that hasn't yet been paid out by the government... But we think it's misleading to refer to even that lower number as "unspent" stimulus, because much of the $292 billion has been obligated, even though it has not been paid out.
Much like Bush promising tax cuts for the wealthy, two wars, and no cuts in spending or services, or even like Bush promising seniors they could maintain benefits while promising younger voters they could invest their SS funds in the market, Boehner is promising two sets of people the same amount of money.
And conservatives wonder how our country got so deeply in debt.