GOP Ready To Wield The Spending Knife? Not So Much

Posted by | November 18, 2010 15:11 | Filed under: Contributors Opinion Sandi Behrns

by Sandi Behrns

For nearly two years, Republicans, especially those of the Tea Party variety, have drilled the idea into American minds that the single greatest issue we face is over-spending in Washington. The TARP bailout, the auto bailouts, the stimulus, even health care reform were lambasted as wasteful spending. (Never mind the demonstrable evidence to the contrary.) Finally! After having snatched control over the House in the recent midterms – it’s time to get serious and put those campaign promises into action, right?

Considering that, so far, the GOP’s two main areas of concern have been to adopt a ban on earmarks and force a futile vote to defund NPR, maybe they’re not really quite so serious. After all, earmarks account for a mere 1%  of the budget; and defunding NPR, even if successful, would have  saved us a whopping $3.3 million.

For further proof, consider this: committee seats on the powerful House Appropriations Committee have always been highly coveted. Members, after all, are responsible for spending our money; and naturally their respective districts have always been the beneficiaries; which, in turn, has virtually guaranteed reelection. Of course, for an earnest fiscal conservative eager to slash government waste, the Appropriations Committee would be an excellent tool to achieve that goal. Naturally then, we should expect to see the likes of Michele Bachmann and Steve King jockeying for these positions, right?

Sorry, but no. As Politico reports:

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) was asked to be an appropriator and said thanks, but no thanks. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a tea party favorite, turned down a shot at Appropriations, which controls all discretionary spending. So did conservatives like Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), an ambitious newcomer who will lead the influential Republican Study Committee.

Rep. Michele Bachmann has her chance to take back her government, rein in all that Socialist spending, and embody Tea Party rhetoric — and she takes a pass? It shouldn’t really be too surprising though; the Republicans have always been great at politics, but clueless at governing.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Sandi Behrns

Sandi Behrns is a noted policy nerd, new media & web developer, and consultant to progressive organizations and campaigns. She is a senior contributor to Liberaland, and the Executive Editor of Progressive Congress News.

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