Saturday, January 08, 2011

Did the Tea Party "Win"?

Like me, there are some who think that John Boehner may not be the solution.

Boehner's irrepressible hackosity is a serious problem for the Republican establishment, which desperately needs a more convincing con man to stave off voter anger on the right. In this regard, the contrast between Boehner and Littleton, the Tea Party leader in Boehner's home state, is interesting. The two men live in the same place, the small township of West Chester near Cincinnati, so Littleton is very familiar with Boehner. But Littleton's opinion of the Republican establishment couldn't be lower: It was precisely programs like the Medicare drug benefit bill and No Child Left Behind, programs he considers unacceptably wasteful and intrusive, that moved him to get into politics. "These were all Republican programs," Littleton says. "If you look at Republican congressmen from Ohio, they all voted for this stuff."....

...in some states the Republican Party fought...fiercely against the Tea Party; in Ohio, the party spent nearly $1 million campaigning to stop Tea Party candidates from assuming jobs at the state level. "They hate us more than they hate the left," says Littleton. "The left's just an enemy. We present a legitimate threat to them."... --Taibbi, quoted at Hit and Run

That stands in distinct contrast to the Wisconsin experience.

When Littleton met with party leaders after the election and asked what programs they are willing to cut, he was brushed aside. "We're going to be discussing that in April," he was told.

"I thought to myself, 'You campaigned on an entire platform of cutting government spending, and you don't know what you're going to be cutting until April?'"

It's not entirely unreasonable to defer commitments on spending reduction. The FedGov budget is not a 5-page document, and guerilla-warfare on line items is not necessarily the best way to achieve the ends.

At the same time, Boehner & Co. should have SOME articulable ideas, even if they're small.

After all, the trick is to starve the Feds while not killing the patient--which is the entire country. But Boehner & Co. best demonstrate--damn quickly--some bona fides, or they will not long remain in office.

5 comments:

Deekaman said...

"Mainstream" GOP and pundits like Coulter and Krauthammer seem to be missing the big picture here. The TEA Party activists got the GOP back in the majority. The GOP would do well to follow our agenda.

neomom said...

I have more confidence in Paul Ryan writing the budget than Boehner... which may be why Johnnie B is deferring...

However, they better get serious - fast.

I'll give them a place to start.

1) The United States Institute of Peace - in its entirety (we have a State Dept folks). Then they can sell their fantabulous building on some prime real estate overlooking the Lincoln Memorial for condos.

2) All non-profit organization funding. The cream will rise very quickly to the top on which ones are working and worthy.

3) The Department of Education. Everything except student loans/grants... for now. Probably better handled by the states.

3) The Department of Energy. Everything except the NRC.

4) The Department of Agriculture. Everything except actual food inspection.

5) The Department of Commerce. Everything except the Census.

6) The Department of Housing and Urban Development. In its entirety. Better handled by the states and localities.

7) The Department of Homeland Security. Break it back apart and get rid of TSA before they unionize. They made it worse and spent more. Like, something close to a Billion dollars just on a freaking building?

8) The Department of the Interior. Everything except mine and equipment inspection.

9) The Department of Labor. Everything except OSHA... for now. Our state has its own "star" program that is every bit as stringent as the feds.

10) The Departments of Defense, State, and Justice. 10% across the board cuts.

11) The Department of Transportation. Keep the "I" system and the FAA. Amtrak can live or die on its own.

12) The Department of Health and Human Services. CDC and NIH can stay. The bureaucrats can all go. This would effectively kill ObamaCare on its own.

Other biggies like Social Security Admin, Medicare, and the USPS should be stand alones. Much easier to keep the budgets straight and visible. Welfare and food stamps etc should be handled by the states.

I would also massively reform taxes - lower rates across the board and get rid of all the loopholes and shelters. The IRS agents that get laid off can go look for Medicare/Medicaid fraud.

Billiam said...

I think I'll choose political atheism. BOTH parties suck. I seriously doubt anything of substance will change. I also don't want to see complete republican control again, either. Last time was ugly. Granted, these last 4 years, 2 with dems in complete control have done more to ruin this country than anything before, but I just don't think the repubs have it in them.

Anonymous said...

"2 with dems in complete control have done more to ruin this country than anything before..."

Hyperbole at its finest.

neomom said...

Thanks dad!

Anony - you don't think adding over $5T to the debt in 4 years of Madame Speaker is a bad thing?

Yes, that is more than what Speakers Delay/Hastert added in the first 6 years of GWB. Even with wars and tax cuts.