If you think the Republican budget proposal written by Paul Ryan was bad — gutting Medicare and giving tax breaks to the rich — consider that it could have been worse. The Republican Study Committee (RSC) wrote an alternative budget that was Ryan on steroids, all but destroying the social contract and giving even larger tax breaks to the wealthy. Of course, if this budget ever actually passed it would be hugely unpopular and would destroy the reelection chances of many Republican Congress-members.
So when the RSC budget came up for a vote in the House, the Democrats did a crafty thing — instead of voting no, they voted “present”. The RSC has 176 members, so the Republicans suddenly had enough votes to pass this suicidal budget. Watch as pandemonium breaks out as the Republicans realize that they have walked into a trap of their own making:
What do the Republicans do when given the choice of sticking up for their declared principals or chickening out? In the end, a bunch of RSC members had to publicly flip-flop and vote against their own proposed budget, and it was narrowly defeated 119 to 136 (with 172 Dems voting “present”).
UPDATE: Paul Ryan is booed at a town hall meeting in his district when he tries to defend tax cuts for the rich.