Chasing Budget Cutters

Tired of no specifics from deficit hawks? A GOP governor shows the way. Florida's Rick Scott is telling his state exactly what he would cut. If it is a model for what spending cutters in Washington would do, you can see why they dodge giving out details.

Here are some of the losers with Gov. Scott's cutbacks: "Public schools and universities; health care for the poor and disabled; nursing-home services for the elderly; prisons, courts and other government services used by millions of Floridians" (Orlando Sentinel, 2/6).

Public employee pensions are also in his crosshairs. There is even talk Scott would release prisoners and privatize prison health care to save money.

More cutting is needed under Scott's plan because he wants to lower taxes for corporations and property owners. This in a state that already has no individual income tax?

Scott might get much of what he wants from a GOP-dominated legislature. But even his party leaders are calling it a heavy lift. Tea Party activisits must like it though. Scott previewed his cuts this week at their rallies.

If this is what the Tea Party and other fiscal conservatives want from Capitol Hill you can see why lawmakers would rather stick with rhetoric and symbolic cuts. And why they are producing plans that Deficit Commission Co-chair Alan Simpson calls a "sparrow belch in the midst of the typhoon."

Craig blogs daily for CQ Roll Call