I’ll believe it when I see it. Lindsey Graham was on CNN a bit earlier talking to Wolf Blitzer and says that he’s willing to raise $600 billion in new taxes as part of a so-called ‘grand bargain’.
Here’s a rush transcript …
Graham: We’re the party of fiscal conservatism. Have we put together a plan to cut $20 billion between March and October? No, the house passed a plan, the senate republicans have yet to offer a plan. But the house would have to pass it again. But the House used savings outside of the 2013 window. If you think this is that easy, I challenge any member of Congress to come up with a proposal to cut $85 billion out of the federal budget between March 1st and October 1st.
Blitzer: Why not give the president the leeway, the flexibility. This is an awful way to cut $85 billion. come up with a way that’s not gose to. You think that’s a cop out?
Graham: We’ll criticize everything he does. Say it’s up to you to find this $85 billion in savings and we’ll see it to be easy for you, but every decision he makes, we’ll criticize. To me, it’s a bipartisan deal. It’s a lousy way to cut $1.2 trillion, which is imminently acheivable. This is the chance to do the big deal. I’m willing to raise revenue. I’m willing to raise $600 billion in new revenue if my Democratic friends would be willing to fix entitlements. Because if you don’t think it’s that bad, why don’t you come up with your own plan?
Blitzer: The president invited you and John McCain to the white house tomorrow?
Blitzer: That doesn’t happen every day.
Graham: It doesn’t happen every day. Yeah, we’re going to talk about immigration. I hope we’ll talk about this. Now is the time to grow up. Both parties need to grow up. We need to find a chance to do the big deal. I’ll challenge the President. ‘Mr. President, let’s do things that will straighten out the long term indebtedness of the country. Stop talking about between march and october. Talk about the next 30 years. I’ll raise revenue. Will you reform entitlement? And we’ll set aside sequestration in a way that won’t disrupt the economy.’
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.