As noted previously, the deficit Super Committee is gridlocked largely because the GOP is unwilling to accept higher taxes on wealthy people as part of a compromise with Democrats that also cuts Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. But the parties also differ on the question of whether their recommendations should include any near term spending and/or tax cuts to give the weak economy a much-needed boost.
Recently committee Republicans and Democrats presented each other with competing plans — some details of which were leaked to the press. Aides note that the Dem plan contained about $300 billion in expansionary measures, while the GOP plan contained… well, see for yourself.
The GOP plan contained about $2.2 trillion in cuts — well over the $1.2 trillion minimum required of the Super Committee by the debt limit law. That left the Republicans ample room to include many kinds of near-term growth measures, but they picked none.
In the past, some Super Committee Republicans have contended that cutting spending is in and of itself a form of stimulus — expansionary austerity, if you will. But most experts dispute this idea, and Republicans themselves don’t even seem to believe it.