Tea Party Tries to Occupy Congress; Advocates Cruel Spending Cuts

Hat Tip to the Washington Posts’ WonkBlog for news that TeaParty has decided to launch their own version of Occupy by targeting Congress’ Supercommittee and advocate spending cuts that make Draconian sound almost generous.  A branch of the TeaParty was removed from the Senate’s Russell building because Senate officials the TeaParty presentation on deficit reduction was a violation the chamber’s rules for outside group events by calling itself a “hearing.” 

After getting kicked out, the Tea Partiers left the Capitol to meet up at a conservative constitutional study center located near the right wing Heritage Foundation offices.  Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of Freedomworks, told the older crowd not liking to live in tents near the Capitol that the group was there to Occupy the US Senate.

The Supercommittee is currently mulling plans for up to $4 trillion in spending cuts. The Tea Partiers want to go much further — advocating $9.7 trillion from the budget through 2021 and reducing government spending to 17.5 percent of GDP.

From the post: “The proposed deficit reduction measures ran the gamut of tea party targets: eliminating the Department of Education, Energy, Commerce, and Housing; allowing opt-outs for Medicare and privatizing Social Security; letting people use gold-backed currency; and eliminating all federal student loans and farm subsidies.

The plan doesn’t have a chance of passing Congress any time soon, but it’s the tea party’s attempt to retake the helm of the party’s right flank and blow up the parameters of the debate, as they had not, even a year earlier. “I think $9 trillion is a good start,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), comparing the Freedomworks’s budget favorably to his own proposal to cut $9 trillion by freezing federal spending for 10 years. “It fits very closely with what I’ve been promoting,” he told the crowd.

But it’s unclear whether all of Freedomworks’s proposed cuts would add up to $9.7 trillion in the first place. The group says, for instance, that eliminating the Affordable Care Act, for instance, would save $212 billion in spending over the next 10 years (the Congressional Budget estimates that it would actually increase the deficit by about $145 billion by 2019). And, as Dave Weigel notes, Freedomworks admits that a handful of its proposals — eliminating the president’s policy “czars,” “green technology” initiatives, and curbing medical malpractice lawsuits — would reduce the deficit by a total of zero dollars.”

The fact that this stunt got so little attention demonstrates the declining influence of the Tea Party compared with the OccupyWallStreet movement.


  6 comments for “Tea Party Tries to Occupy Congress; Advocates Cruel Spending Cuts

  1. November 18, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Glass Steagall vs. Obama: the Choice is Yours

    The Tea Party and the Occupy Whatever Movement are both a waste of time, neither group has anything useful to say.

  2. November 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Yea Dan, you are right about them getting little attention. I suppose if they had pitched their tents in the hallways, defecated in public, locked arms and beat their drums, the media would have been all over it. Instead, peaceful Americans showed up to protest and when asked to leave, they disd o. Frankly not much of comparison to OWS and definitely not a media event.

    Not to worry though, because as more radicals and anarchists join the OWS movement and the public attention starts to fall off, they will smarten up and realize that Wall Street, banks and major corporate corruption is but the symptom and that the root cause lies down the road in Washington D.C. With a little luck, they will take their mass of misfits there and give Congress a taste of what they deserve. If that happens, hell I might grow my hair, forget to shave or bathe and join the protest lines. Can we expect to see you there?

    • anon
      November 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      Oh really? Did Congress create THIS sequence of events;?

      high-risk loans –> mortgage-backed securities –> collateralized debt obligations –> credit default swaps –> synthetic collateralized debt obligations –> financial institutions leveraged 30:1 –> financial crisis –financial institutions beg to be bailed out

      • November 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm

        Well, we know that Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and other prominent Democrat Congressional members pushed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to put pressure on the lenders to make those high risk loans and to a smaller degree are still doing it today. I am currently going through three refinance processes and am pleased with the hoops the lenders are making me jump through. This suggests some sanity is returning to the mortgage market and that is good for all of us. Financial instruments and investments are not my thing, but if I had been a member of Congress voting on the bailouts, no one would have gotten a dime of taxpayer money. Not GM, not the banks not the insurance companies and definitely not Wall Street. Of course, with Congress being in bed with all those fine folks, money talks and commen sense walks.

        • anon
          November 20, 2011 at 7:03 pm

          Yes, yes, we should have let the banks and auto companies collapse. Yes. That would have done WONDERS for the economy.

          This housing bubble wasn’t driven by the front of the supply chain – borrowers and lenders – but instead pulled from Wall Street. If Wall Street weren’t buying all these bad loans, the bubble would have been pretty short-lived and small. It was the ability to buy a pile of shit and sell it as gold that drove the entire chain – Wall Street alchemy enabled by the ratings agencies.

        • anon
          November 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm

          And yes, Fannie and Freddie and their enablers were a part of the problem. But that doesn’t mean that they were an EQUAL part of the problem to what was happening on Wall Street. If this were JUST a housing crash, it would have hurt a little (think early 1990s), but it wouldn’t have brought the GLOBAL-freakin’ financial market to its knees. Wall Street is largely responsible for that, not Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.

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