Back in the 70’s, the Left was all about “all we need is love.” The motto of the progressive movement has since changed to “all we need is your money.”

When President Obama gave his State of the Union speech he talked about the “investments” that we need, investments in green energy and infrastructure, investments in manufacturing. He did not use the word “stimulus,” but his new plan is almost identical to his old one, which neither worked nor convinced the public that it worked.  An ABC/Washington Post poll had 68% of Americans described the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act a “waste.” 

Trying to capitalize on this sentiment, Republicans have been pledging to try and cut the CBO projected $1.5 trillion deficit for 2011 and reduce spending. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor pledged to cut “$100 billion in the first year alone.” Senator Rand Paul introduced a bill that would cut $500 billion dollars. And last night Speaker of the House John Boehner came out against this new call of stimulus spending by the White House saying that “there is no limit to the amount of spending we’re willing to cut.” Bohner then followed up his statement by releasing this mega-post on his blog citing a variety of authorities (including my favorite newspaper) to the same effect.

But Boehner is correct to suggest we stop digging the hole, none of the spending cut bills on the docket now address the core of the problem or create a sustainable budget that won’t bankrupt the country. Cantor’s originally bullish charge towards spending reduction is under pressure from the side of the aisle that wants to exclude Defense from cuts -- mostly the Republican side. Even Sen. Paul’s bill, though courageously large with its cuts, would only eliminate one-third of this year's projected deficit if it were to pass -- which it will not.

All of the plans ignore the single most important issue when it comes to the nation's long-term fiscal situation -- entitlement reform. The only Republican who does have a solution to entitlement spending, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has had difficulty convincing the party faithful.

At least the Republicans are trying. The Democrats have yet to offer meaningful ideas, unless you’re still convinced that an open-ended entitlement like Obamacare is really going to save money. The fact remains, though, that neither party is truly approaching the spending and deficit problem with the seriousness that it deserves.