Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yes, It's Just a Gimmick...

The GOP's latest stunt is political gimmickry, but as gimmicks go, it's a pretty darned good one. Touted by House GOP Whip Eric Cantor as first-of-its-kind, YouCut is a website and program aimed at the runaway spending culture in Congress. It allows website visitors to vote via online and text message on cuts to spending programs. You get to vote every week, and Cantor promises to try forcing a vote based on the people's choice. It's novel, it's techno-fabulous, and it's sure to entertain.

But let's be honest, folks. You won't see any entitlement program appear on the list of choices you are asked to make. Don't expect to see any of Paul Ryan's Roadmap waypoints show up anytime soon. The real spending problem with Congress is its absolute refusal to address the miracles of compound interest found in Social Security or Medicare, and don't expect to see any calls for repealing Obamacare to show up on YouCut. The programs you will be seeing fall on the discretionary side of the budget, and anyone who's paid any attention to our looming budget crises realizes that you could eliminate discretionary spending altogether and still not address the real problems.

Still, as gimmicks go, engaging the public in such a fashion as this is probably going to be a hit.  How could it not be? It scores high on PR points, even if it really won't do much to rein in spending.

Extra Point: It's also a brilliant way to annoy the living hell out of the Pelosi - Reid cabal. Thumbs up, Mr. Cantor.


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