Sunday, 23 November 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

Austerity Lovers in D.C., Austerity Haters At Home

Sunday, 31 March 2013 11:48 By Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future | News Analysis

Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-Minn.) speaks at a Tea Party rally in front of the Capitol in Washington on April 6, 2011. (Photo: Philip Scott Andrews / The New York Times)Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-Minn.) speaks at a Tea Party rally in front of the Capitol in Washington on April 6, 2011. (Photo: Philip Scott Andrews / The New York Times)In Washington, austerity-hungry Republicans called the sequester’s “across the board” spending cuts a “victory” – until their districts feel them. Then they complain about the cuts, but still demand cuts somewhere else and add new demands that someone ELSE decide what should be cut. This is because Republicans talk about cuts, but the American Majority doesn’t want cuts.

Please send us examples of sequester supporters in Washington who go home and cry about how it is hurting their constituents.

The Sequester

Some people think the “sequester” has something to do with racing horses. But it’s a technical word for the “across-the-board” budget cuts resulting from when the Republicans took the “debt ceiling” hostage, demanding big cuts in government or they would force the country to default on our promises to pay our debts, which would crash the economy.

They demanded these cuts, and they called the cuts a victory. That is, until the citizens who voted them into office started feeling the cuts.

In D.C. Sequester’s Cuts Called A ‘Victory’

In Washington Republicans called the sequester cuts a “victory.”

In The Washington Post, “Tea party owes this victory to ‘establishment’”:

‘This will be the first significant tea party victory in that we got what we set out to do in changing Washington,’ said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), a tea party Republican elected in 2010.”

In Slate, “We Took a Hill and Defeated the Enemy”:

The conservatives argued that they’d taken the worst the president and the press had to offer during the sequestration fight. They’d won. They would win again.

“In Vietnam, we took a hill and defeated the enemy, then we retreated and let the enemy take over,” said South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan. “In the sequester we’ve held that ground … the momentum is with us.”

(Note that there is no discussion of solving the country’s problems, only of defeating “the enemy” – government.)

Republicans even “cheered” that the sequester was going forward. In The New York Times: “Boehner Halts Talks on Cuts, and House G.O.P. Cheers”:

Republican aides say privately that Mr. Boehner sees no need to negotiate; Republicans are in a good place, they argue, because they want spending cuts and those cuts are happening.

See Terrance Heath’s collection of GOP “victory” claims: “The GOP’s “Sequester Cheerleaders” Greatest Hits … So Far”

But Back In Their Districts … They Cry About The Harm Done By Cuts

They cry for cuts, cuts, cuts. When the cuts happen in their districts they cry for cuts somewhere else, cuts somewhere else, cuts somewhere else.

The poster child for this hypocrisy is of course Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) who decries government spending but goes home to her district and instead cries about airport tower closings and other harm done by cuts… Greg Sargent at the Washington Post explains, in Michele Bachmann, ardent foe of spending cuts (in her district),

Michele Bachmann has taken a fair amount of heat lately for various over the top statements about the evils of government spending, from her false claim that 70 percent of food stamp money goes to “bureaucrats” to her false claim that President Obama and his family enjoy $1.4 billion in personal “perks and excess.”

But there’s nothing like a few spending cuts in your own district to concentrate the mind.

More from the Minneapolis Star Tribune: FAA tower closings bring sequester home for Bachmann,

As expected, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced the early April closure of control towers at 149 smaller airports across the U.S., part of the Obama administration’s response to the federal budget cuts mandated under the so-called sequestration program.

Two of the affected towers are in Minnesota: Anoka County-Blaine Airport and St. Cloud Regional Airport. Both are in the congressional district of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who just last week was complaining about President Obama’s high-flying lifestyle in the White House.

… “While I certainly agree we need to balance our budget, it must be done in a responsible way that sets priorities, not in an arbitrary way.”

But Bachmann is far from alone when it comes to the hypocrisy of calling for cut, cuts, cuts – somewhere else.

Take, for example, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) – (yes, this Steve Stockman: Ted Nugent to join Stockman at State of the Union.) From his House website, “Texans insist House make ‘significant spending cuts’”.

But when the cuts happen in his district? Then, it’s “Texas Rep. Steve Stockman denounced NASA cuts under sequestration”

Virginia’s Bob Wittman (R-VA) voted for the sequester and for the Ryan budget. But when the cuts happen in his district, it’s “REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: Military ‘Lives Are At Risk’ Because Of The Sequester”,

In a recent interview with Business Insider, Wittman, a Republican who represents Virginia’s defense-heavy first district, said that sequestration will cost 200,000 jobs and create a wave of uncertainty for the state.

Then there’s Texas’ Blake Farenthold, (R-TX) voted for the sequester and for the Ryan budget buts. “As sequester hits home, Rep. Farenthold fights Texas airport closures”,

Farenthold represents Victoria, and he says that closing the Victoria Regional Airport will negatively affect the city of Victoria and the surrounding region.

The trio of Reps David McKinley (R-WV) Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Bill Johnson (R-OH) all voted for the sequester, and Capito and Johnson voted for the Ryan budget. But now all three lament airport cuts in “Officials condemn air tower closure”.

According to the St. Augustine Record, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) said of airport closings in his district, “We didn’t think there needed to be closures … There are other things they can do to cut their budget. There’s enough money to keep the towers.”

Talking Points Memo is also on the story, in “Local Airport Closures Cause GOPers Sequestration Anxiety”,

“I am disappointed to learn of the FAA’s decision to implement the budget sequestration by closing the air traffic control tower in Columbia,” wrote Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO).

[. . .]“There’s no reason the Obama Administration shouldn’t be able to figure out a 2.5 percent spending cut without interrupting Americans’ lives and air travel to communities like Branson and Columbia,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) in a statement last week.

Reps. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Ron DeSantis (R-FL), and others have made similar statements.

Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) is concerned that the closure of a tower in his district will imperil the state’s annual Sun ‘n Fun convention.

Of course, this is about cuts to local airports. Not a word about the damage done to seniors, children, the poor, the unemployed, etc. Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog explains, in Republicans overcome with ‘Sequestration NIMBYism’,

Is it concern over Head Start closings? Food-safety furloughs? Struggling Americans going without housing assistance? Setbacks for medical research into Alzheimer’s disease and influenza? Layoffs at nuclear containment sites? Disruptions in the courts?

No, as is it turns out, the one issue that finally managed to capture Republicans’ attention is … airports.

This is only about airports – many of which handle private jets. Imagine the outcry from the austerity preachers if the budget cuts they demand interfere with the operation of luxury yachts or exclusive golf courses or dressage stables!

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson (Redwood City, CA) is a Fellow at Campaign for America's Future, writing about American manufacturing, trade and economic/industrial policy. He is also a Senior Fellow with Renew California.

Dave has more than 20 years of technology industry experience including positions as CEO and VP of marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic. And he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers. More recently he helped co-found a company developing desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.


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Austerity Lovers in D.C., Austerity Haters At Home

Sunday, 31 March 2013 11:48 By Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future | News Analysis

Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-Minn.) speaks at a Tea Party rally in front of the Capitol in Washington on April 6, 2011. (Photo: Philip Scott Andrews / The New York Times)Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-Minn.) speaks at a Tea Party rally in front of the Capitol in Washington on April 6, 2011. (Photo: Philip Scott Andrews / The New York Times)In Washington, austerity-hungry Republicans called the sequester’s “across the board” spending cuts a “victory” – until their districts feel them. Then they complain about the cuts, but still demand cuts somewhere else and add new demands that someone ELSE decide what should be cut. This is because Republicans talk about cuts, but the American Majority doesn’t want cuts.

Please send us examples of sequester supporters in Washington who go home and cry about how it is hurting their constituents.

The Sequester

Some people think the “sequester” has something to do with racing horses. But it’s a technical word for the “across-the-board” budget cuts resulting from when the Republicans took the “debt ceiling” hostage, demanding big cuts in government or they would force the country to default on our promises to pay our debts, which would crash the economy.

They demanded these cuts, and they called the cuts a victory. That is, until the citizens who voted them into office started feeling the cuts.

In D.C. Sequester’s Cuts Called A ‘Victory’

In Washington Republicans called the sequester cuts a “victory.”

In The Washington Post, “Tea party owes this victory to ‘establishment’”:

‘This will be the first significant tea party victory in that we got what we set out to do in changing Washington,’ said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), a tea party Republican elected in 2010.”

In Slate, “We Took a Hill and Defeated the Enemy”:

The conservatives argued that they’d taken the worst the president and the press had to offer during the sequestration fight. They’d won. They would win again.

“In Vietnam, we took a hill and defeated the enemy, then we retreated and let the enemy take over,” said South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan. “In the sequester we’ve held that ground … the momentum is with us.”

(Note that there is no discussion of solving the country’s problems, only of defeating “the enemy” – government.)

Republicans even “cheered” that the sequester was going forward. In The New York Times: “Boehner Halts Talks on Cuts, and House G.O.P. Cheers”:

Republican aides say privately that Mr. Boehner sees no need to negotiate; Republicans are in a good place, they argue, because they want spending cuts and those cuts are happening.

See Terrance Heath’s collection of GOP “victory” claims: “The GOP’s “Sequester Cheerleaders” Greatest Hits … So Far”

But Back In Their Districts … They Cry About The Harm Done By Cuts

They cry for cuts, cuts, cuts. When the cuts happen in their districts they cry for cuts somewhere else, cuts somewhere else, cuts somewhere else.

The poster child for this hypocrisy is of course Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) who decries government spending but goes home to her district and instead cries about airport tower closings and other harm done by cuts… Greg Sargent at the Washington Post explains, in Michele Bachmann, ardent foe of spending cuts (in her district),

Michele Bachmann has taken a fair amount of heat lately for various over the top statements about the evils of government spending, from her false claim that 70 percent of food stamp money goes to “bureaucrats” to her false claim that President Obama and his family enjoy $1.4 billion in personal “perks and excess.”

But there’s nothing like a few spending cuts in your own district to concentrate the mind.

More from the Minneapolis Star Tribune: FAA tower closings bring sequester home for Bachmann,

As expected, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced the early April closure of control towers at 149 smaller airports across the U.S., part of the Obama administration’s response to the federal budget cuts mandated under the so-called sequestration program.

Two of the affected towers are in Minnesota: Anoka County-Blaine Airport and St. Cloud Regional Airport. Both are in the congressional district of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who just last week was complaining about President Obama’s high-flying lifestyle in the White House.

… “While I certainly agree we need to balance our budget, it must be done in a responsible way that sets priorities, not in an arbitrary way.”

But Bachmann is far from alone when it comes to the hypocrisy of calling for cut, cuts, cuts – somewhere else.

Take, for example, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) – (yes, this Steve Stockman: Ted Nugent to join Stockman at State of the Union.) From his House website, “Texans insist House make ‘significant spending cuts’”.

But when the cuts happen in his district? Then, it’s “Texas Rep. Steve Stockman denounced NASA cuts under sequestration”

Virginia’s Bob Wittman (R-VA) voted for the sequester and for the Ryan budget. But when the cuts happen in his district, it’s “REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: Military ‘Lives Are At Risk’ Because Of The Sequester”,

In a recent interview with Business Insider, Wittman, a Republican who represents Virginia’s defense-heavy first district, said that sequestration will cost 200,000 jobs and create a wave of uncertainty for the state.

Then there’s Texas’ Blake Farenthold, (R-TX) voted for the sequester and for the Ryan budget buts. “As sequester hits home, Rep. Farenthold fights Texas airport closures”,

Farenthold represents Victoria, and he says that closing the Victoria Regional Airport will negatively affect the city of Victoria and the surrounding region.

The trio of Reps David McKinley (R-WV) Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Bill Johnson (R-OH) all voted for the sequester, and Capito and Johnson voted for the Ryan budget. But now all three lament airport cuts in “Officials condemn air tower closure”.

According to the St. Augustine Record, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) said of airport closings in his district, “We didn’t think there needed to be closures … There are other things they can do to cut their budget. There’s enough money to keep the towers.”

Talking Points Memo is also on the story, in “Local Airport Closures Cause GOPers Sequestration Anxiety”,

“I am disappointed to learn of the FAA’s decision to implement the budget sequestration by closing the air traffic control tower in Columbia,” wrote Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO).

[. . .]“There’s no reason the Obama Administration shouldn’t be able to figure out a 2.5 percent spending cut without interrupting Americans’ lives and air travel to communities like Branson and Columbia,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) in a statement last week.

Reps. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Ron DeSantis (R-FL), and others have made similar statements.

Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) is concerned that the closure of a tower in his district will imperil the state’s annual Sun ‘n Fun convention.

Of course, this is about cuts to local airports. Not a word about the damage done to seniors, children, the poor, the unemployed, etc. Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog explains, in Republicans overcome with ‘Sequestration NIMBYism’,

Is it concern over Head Start closings? Food-safety furloughs? Struggling Americans going without housing assistance? Setbacks for medical research into Alzheimer’s disease and influenza? Layoffs at nuclear containment sites? Disruptions in the courts?

No, as is it turns out, the one issue that finally managed to capture Republicans’ attention is … airports.

This is only about airports – many of which handle private jets. Imagine the outcry from the austerity preachers if the budget cuts they demand interfere with the operation of luxury yachts or exclusive golf courses or dressage stables!

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson (Redwood City, CA) is a Fellow at Campaign for America's Future, writing about American manufacturing, trade and economic/industrial policy. He is also a Senior Fellow with Renew California.

Dave has more than 20 years of technology industry experience including positions as CEO and VP of marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic. And he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers. More recently he helped co-found a company developing desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.


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