Austin Frankt: Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Might Health Care Reform Save Money More Quickly than I Expect?

Tim Pawlenty vs. John Boehner

A Republican who still has some sense of honor vs. one who does not.

Alex Seitz-Wald watches the cat fight:

How House Republicans Are ‘Lying To You’ About Spending Cuts: [M]ost Republicans in Congress refuse to propose specifics that would actually cut spending in any significant way. Recognizing the extreme unpopularity of cutting Social Security and Medicare, and the aversion of their base to military cuts, these self-styled fiscal conservatives often take entitlement and defense spending off the table, removing nearly 60 percent of the federal budget from scrutiny. Of the remaining spending, another sizable portion goes to debt payments — which are untouchable — and most Republicans also take homeland security and other security spending off the table, leaving only a small fraction of the total federal budget from which to find cuts.

Despite this stark reality, Republicans still try to claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility....

Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty... [tells us that] anybody says they want to cut spending but won’t touch entitlements or defesne is “lying to you”:

HOST: What are you going to cut?

PAWLENTY: If you look at a pie chart of federal outlays, discretionary spending being the red, non-discretionary being the blue. The blue is already over the over the half way mark and it’s growing in double digits. Anybody who comes in here and tells you they’re not going to cut anything other than waste fraud and abuse, they’re not going to touch entitlements — they’re lying to you. If you want to deal with the spending issue, in terms of total federal outlays, you got to deal with interest on the national debt, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid — if you have the time I can walk you through my ideas. But that’s the truth, you got to do entitlement reform, particularly if you’re going to hold defense harmless...