The Gang of Six proposal (its executive summary, kindly reprinted verbatim by the Washington Post) says this in its opening:
This bipartisan, comprehensive and balanced plan consistent with the recommendations of the Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission that will:
• Slash our nation’s deficits by $3.7trillion/$3.6trillion over ten years under CBO’s March 2011 baseline, or $4.65 trillion/$4.5 trillion under the original fiscal commission baseline (which used the President’s 2011 budget request as the starting point for discretionary spending).
Note that the Gang says immediately that they have “used the President’s 2011 budget request as the starting point for discretionary spending” in their proposal.
Now. Let’s climb in the American Spectator time capsule and return to the very same Washington Post on February 1, 2010.
On that day, when President Obama’s 2011 budget was newly in the news, here’s what then-House Minority Leader John Boehner and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, respectively, had to say about the very 2011 budget that the Gang of Six now touts as their “starting point.”
First, here’s Leader Boehner, who is now Speaker Boehner in considerable measure because of Obama proposals like that 2011 budget:
“Just three days after talking to House Republicans about the importance of fiscal responsibility, President Obama is submitting another budget that spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much.
“Filled with more reckless spending and more unsustainable debt, the President’s budget is just more of the same at a time when the American people are looking for Democrats in Washington to listen and change course. Families asking ‘where are the jobs’ deserve better than more government ‘stimulus’ programs and another year of attempting to tax and spend our way to recovery. Under President Obama’s budget, the federal government will continue to live well beyond its means for years to come with no relief in sight.”
And here is Senator McConnell on the Obama 2011 budget:
“This morning, we received the administration’s budget for the next fiscal year. While there are plenty of issues raised by this budget, the fundamentals are clear: this budget is more of the same — more spending, more taxes and more debt.”
So, to clarify.
The Gang of Six is using the Obama 2011 budget as their baseline. While Boehner and McConnell are on record hotly condemning the Obama 2011 budget as “Filled with more reckless spending and more unsustainable debt…” (Boehner), and saying “the fundamentals are clear: this budget is more of the same — more spending, more taxes and more debt…” (McConnell).