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February 04, 2011

Democrats To Lobbyists: Help Us Fight Back Against The Mean Republicans

Republicans, at least nominally, are on the side of taxpayers. spending cuts and growth. Democrats have conveniently admitted they are on the side of those who suck up resources and lobbyists. Contrast and honesty is a good thing.

In an e-mail obtained by ABC News, a top staffer for the key Senate Appropriations subcommittee called for a meeting of lobbyists and interest groups that would be affected by expected cuts to the Labor and Heath and Human Services budget. The Jan. 24 meeting was attended by approximately 400 people, sources told ABC, and served as a "call to arms" for those determined to fight Republican budget cuts.

"One thing everyone should be able to agree on now is that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that a higher [Labor, Health & Human Services] allocation improves the chances for every stakeholder group to receive more funding," the committee staffer for Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, wrote in an e-mail inviting people to the meeting.

...Another source familiar with the meeting said Democrats used the meeting as "an attack on House Republicans."

"They said these evil House Republicans are here and they're going to kill all these programs that support little kids, senior citizens, and health care," the source said. "They're trying to instill the fear of God that Republicans are basically going to blow up all these programs, kill these programs, defund them."

If only the Republicans were as committed to cutting spending as the Democrats claim!

Still, I think Harkin should be thanked for doing such a good job of encapsulating the statist/redistributionist position so nicely. It's time to pick sides and the Democrats need to own the fact they are about taxing and spending. You think they'd have learned from November but apparently not.

As for the Republicans, we need to hold their feet to the fire. On that front, Rand Paul can be very useful. His thoughts on the House budget plan? Not enough, not nearly enough.

"It's really not going to touch the problem," Paul said. "There's a disconnect between Republicans who want a balanced budget but aren't maybe yet brave enough to talk about the cuts to come."

The plan by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., released on Thursday, would cut non-security discretionary spending by $58 billion by the end of fiscal year 2011, which ends on Sept. 30.

In an far-ranging interview aboard the Capitol Subway, Paul embraced the label "true believer" and said staying true to the principles of the Tea Party movement is more important to him than being a Republican. He also refused to rule out a future run for president and suggested it may be time to reduce U.S. force levels in Afghanistan.

Paul has proposed his own plan to cut spending by $500 billion this year. Paul's plan would impose deep across-the-board spending cuts -- including a reduction of 83 percent from the Department of Education, 6 percent from the Department of Defense and the elimination all foreign aid. He considers it just a start.

"I go to a tea party and you know what they say to me? It's not enough. It's not enough. Where's the other trillion you need?" Paul said.

Paul's plan is politically untenable on its own but it's very useful in dragging the GOP to the right before the inevitable compromise is struck. Yes, there will be a compromise, it's called politics. It's also called "reality" because the Democrats still have control of 2 of the 3 other institutions that need to sign off on a budget plan. The trick is not to pretend that we won't have to compromise but to start pretty far out there so that when you do cut a deal, it's on your terms. Paul's budget plan and his full throated defense of it will force (hopefully) the rest of the party to the right on spending and create pressure on them not to cave in too much in the end.

Believe it or not but getting the GOP elected was the easy part. It's forcing them to live up to what they said they would do that will be hard.

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posted by DrewM. at 10:59 AM

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