The Republican led House passed their CUT, CAP and BALANCE deficit plan yesterday. Led by the Tea Party freshman, the bill cuts 2012FY spending by 50%; caps government spending at 18% of GDP and proffers a balanced budget amendment that would require a supermajority vote of 2/3 to pass any future tax increases.
The bill now moves to the Democrat controlled Senate where it has no chance of passing. No matter. These freshman can go home to their constituents and say with a loud and clear voice that they did what they were sent to Washington to do…pass legislation that cuts spending while holding the line on taxes.
If only these Tea Party freshmen had the strength of character to practice what they preach. But they don’t. In fact they are hypocrites. At the same time that they were railing against big government spending they were trying to get millions of federal dollars for their pet projects back home.
Ron Nixon, columnist for the New York Times, reports that an examination of spending bills, news releases and communications with federal agencies obtained under the Freedom of information Act shows that many of the freshman have sought money for projects that cost billions of dollars, while calling for less spending and banning pork.
Nixon cites Republican Rep. from South Carolina Tim Scott’s efforts to acquire federal funds for a harbor dredging project in his hometown of Charlestown. He cites a bill co-sponsored by Republican freshman Sean P. Duffy from Wisconsin and presidential candidate and Tea Party favorite Michelle Bachman from Minnesota, pushing for funding for a four-lane bridge over the St Croix River. Nixon reports that last March, while the House was drafting the defense authorization bill, 22 freshman Republicans wrote a letter to the House leadership requesting more defense spending than Obama had requested.
The Tea Party freshmen like to talk out of both sides of their mouths. They decry federal spending and threaten to allow the country to default if they don’t get their way; while they lobby for earmarks and pork projects for their hometown constituents.
The Tea Party patriots of revolutionary times had courage and conviction. They were willing to fight and even die for their beliefs. As for the Tea Party members that roam the halls of Congress today…not so much.