The Tea Party began as a group of individuals who claimed to be aghast at runaway government spending. To fight back, they promoted a number of candidates who ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility.
That was 2010.
Just a few years later, those so-called fiscal hawks have decided that federal spending is a good thing…as long as it’s used for a good cause, such as paying large bonuses to their staff and friends. According to the website, www.LegisStorm.com, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who was defeated in his attempt at a Senate seat, used taxpayers’ money to increase his staff’s salaries 98.3% in the final quarter.
Many outgoing Democrats also gave large bonuses to their staffs, but the records show that Republicans were even more generous with taxpayers’ money. Among the most generous were Tea Party Representatives Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.) and Allen West (R-Fla.), who ranked numbers 3 and 4 in giving pay increases to staff members.
In other words, these so-called deficit hawks are partying with our money as though it were 1999.
Moreover, if you think the Tea Party is any more serious about reducing the deficit than Democrats, compare the Paul Ryan budget, which was passed by the Teapublican-led House, to the People’s Budget proposed by the House Progressive caucus.
Both plans cut about the same amount from the federal budget. But the Ryan plan does it on the backs of the poor and the middle class while cutting taxes for the rich and increasing the already bloated defense budget. On the other hand, the progressive plan cuts the defense budget, raises revenues by eliminating tax dodges for the rich, secures the future of Social Security and Medicare, and rebuilds our failing infrastructure. And it does all this while reducing deficits by $5.6 trillion over the next decade according to the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute!
When you look past the Tea Party rhetoric and look carefully at its policies, you quickly discover that the teabaggers are more interested in self-interest, greed and ideology than principles, debt reduction and the future of our nation.