In the case of the budget, the GOP should be presenting the argument in the form of ‘questions’ for the Democrats.
“Is there a limit to the amount of government spending that we can sustain? If not, why? If so, what is that limit?”
“Can we tax our way out of our deficit and cumulative national debt? If so, show the numbers and how that works, and explain why you think that level of taxation will not disincentivize significant segments of the economy? If not, then what is the point of making tax rates the number one focus of budgetary debate?”
“What industries are driving the American economy, and what are we doing to encourage their growth?” If we are instead discouraging their growth, why are we doing that?”
The list is a long one, but each and every one of the relevant questions should be accompanied by succinct numbers, calculations, and charts. You don't argue with liberals without the facts in hand, and you have to argue with them publicly. The goal is to make them look to the public like the liars and head in the sand ideologues that they are. This is what Romney did to ‘the one’ in that first debate. I totally disagree with the premise that the public’s eyes glaze over and they don't pay attention when numbers are thrown out there. If that happens, you're not presenting the data compellingly enough. IMHO.
Nah, not the way the rhetorical game is played.
Ask the first question, then, depending on the response, "They're proposing unlimited spending", "They don't even want to tell you how much of your money they want to spend", or "They're proposing a spending amount we all know they won't be able to stick to because they never have in the past, for example...".
Always frame the question so that whatever the response is, they're wrong.
Jeeze, you'd think these guys had never been married before.