Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
We have a winner in the blame game! The Tea Party takes credit for the sequester. Tea party claims credit as deep cuts loom:
Since the day they were swept to power more than two years ago, the
tea party’s legions in Washington have made dramatic federal spending
cuts the centerpiece of an economic message that has dominated the
Now they’re about to get what they wanted.
Deep reductions in domestic and defense spending
begin Friday, a process known as sequestration, which will make
progress toward the tea party’s goal of shrinking government. What
unfolds over the following months will be a high-stakes test of whether
significant cuts in spending will help or hurt the economy — and the
Republican Party’s brand.
The cuts, worth $1.2 trillion over 10 years, are to become reality after several years during which the tea party
— a group of Republicans elected in 2010 with the goal of radically
shrinking government — has struggled to have a lasting impact on
* * *
[M]any Republicans say the sequester is the moment when the tea party
can claim it has made its mark. Although both Democratic and Republican
leaders are pointing fingers, the tea party and its allies are happily
accepting credit for the cuts.
“This will be the first significant
tea party victory in that we got what we set out to do in changing
Washington,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, a tea party Republican
elected in 2010.
The sequester, which will begin slowly but build over time, has put
Republican leaders in a difficult corner. They say they oppose the cuts
to defense spending and see little wisdom in indiscriminate,
across-the-board reductions elsewhere.
But they also say they
agree with the magnitude of the spending reductions — and in fact want
to go much further over time, reducing discretionary spending and
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) last
week advocated an approach that has been a hallmark of the tea party —
reduce federal spending so that the budget is balanced in 10 years,
without any increase in taxes.
To do that, experts say, such cuts
would need to generate $4 trillion to $5 trillion in savings over a
decade — more than three times as much as the $1.2 trillion under
Huelskamp said he expects Boehner and other
Republican leaders to come through but that he is nervous about recent
statements suggesting they might be looking for alternatives.
promised the sequester would happen,” said Huelskamp, who voted against
Boehner as speaker earlier this year. “For them to go back on their
word certainly threatens their ability to lead.”
* * *
Barney Keller, communications director for the conservative Club for
Growth, said Republicans who don’t support big budget cuts might face
primary challenges next year.
“Many Republicans aren’t afraid of
losing their job to a Democrat, because of redistricting” that virtually
guarantees that Republicans will hold on to their seats, he said. “But
they are afraid of losing their jobs to more fiscally conservative
Conventional economic theory holds that significant
cuts in government spending harm the economy. Tea party Republicans,
however, argue that reducing federal spending and borrowing will help
minimize distortions and keep the government from crowding out private
sector growth. By quickly slowing the rise of the national debt,
austerity advocates say, businesses and consumers can be confident in
the nation’s long-term economic stability.
economic analysts agree that reducing budget deficits is a good goal but
don’t think it should occur in any significant way during times of
economic weakness. They tend to argue that government spending has a
positive role to play in providing support to the economy, and they note
that Europe has struggled under austerity measures.
* * *
Tea party members say the failure to do more hurt the GOP in last
year’s election, which gave Obama a second term and Democratic gains in
the House and Senate.
“Part of that was rank-and-file Republicans
were upset that we hadn’t followed through on what we had promised,”
said Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.).
Uh, no. The American people deserve more credit than this. They looked at the "Roadmap to America's Ruin" GOP budget from the GOP's alleged boy genius, Ayn Rand fanboy and GOP nominee for Vice President Paul Ryan (R-WI), and said "Hell no! We don't want that!" They didn't reelect President Obama and more Democratic Senators, and cast more than a million votes more for Democratic candidates for the House because the Tea-Publicans weren't crazy enough. Voters rejected the crazy Tea Party. These delusional ideologues just can't handle defeat and rejection.
UPDATE: The Pew Center on the States has measured each state’s exposure to the
sequester by calculating its federal aid subject to the sequester as a
percentage of the state’s total GDP. You can see the full list of states here and read the full report here.
The Pew Research Center also published a poll report (pdf) late last week that found that there's "little support for cutting most programs."