Tea partiers should be boiling at $1.1 trillion bill

We’re in need of some fresh, hot tea, and not just because it’s been so cold outside.

Senate Democrats — and some Republican accomplices — want to defy the will of the voters and have one last big-government hurrah. If there was ever a moment for tea partiers to prove to everyone that they’re not going away, this is it.

The immediate threat is a $1.1 trillion spending bill, with some 6,500 earmarks in its nearly 2,000 pages, which Senate Democrats suddenly unveiled Tuesday and want to pass ASAP. The bill would essentially freeze the bloated federal budget through the end of this fiscal year.

In every respect, this is the kind of action voters rejected at the ballot box last month. It is a budget-busting, debt-inducing, written-in-the-dark and rammed-through-before-daylight bill.

Democrats didn’t have the courage to pass such a spending bonanza before the election. They knew the public would punish them for it, and they took the unusual step of refusing to pass an appropriations bill (actually, 12 appropriations bills rolled into one “omnibus” spending package). Well, they refused to do so before now, anyway.

That they punted on this most basic of congressional duties before the election, just to avoid voter scrutiny, is bad enough. But it’s even worse that they are carrying on even after voters handed them the broadest, deepest electoral defeat for either of the major parties in decades: 63 lost seats in the U.S. House and more than 675 in state legislatures. The latter reflects a more decisive repudiation of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Democrats than Republicans suffered after Watergate.

It’s as if we caught the thieves in our house red-handed, and they’re trying to stuff a few more pieces of jewelry in their bags before they flee.

To be fair, it’s not just Democrats at fault here. The Dems can’t get this monstrosity through the Senate without at least a few GOP collaborators, and four Republicans reportedly are considering such a betrayal.

Two of them, Ohio’s George Voinovich and Missouri’s Kit Bond, are retiring. A third, Utah’s Bob Bennett, lost this spring in a GOP primary that was largely fought on fiscal issues. The fourth, Maine’s Susan Collins, is no stranger to siding with Senate Democrats rather than conservative principles. Whatever their motivation, they are flouting the will of the voters.

So, too, are a number of Republicans who have inserted earmarks into the bill. One examination of the bill found just eight of the Senate’s 42 current Republicans requested zero earmarks. The Senate’s top two earmarkers in this round of pork appear to be Mississippi Republicans Thad Cochran (230 earmarks) and Roger Wicker (199).

Another 42 earmarks were tied to Georgia’s Saxby Chambliss, with 24 more from our senior senator, Johnny Isakson. It’s small consolation that they and most Republicans say they won’t vote for the bill even though it contains money for their pet pork projects.

Should the bill pass, House Republicans could do much more when they take the reins in January than merely rescinding the earmarks. They also ought to pass a bill ending the practice of holding lame-duck sessions, in which politicians can thumb their collective nose at voters’ demands. And then they should dare the Senate and President Barack Obama not to go along with them.

But if we’re going to get such results, much less keep the Senate from spending another $1.1 trillion in the first place, we need to see and hear a strong protest from tea partiers. Now’s the time to show they wanted to do more than elect some more spendthrift Republicans.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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168 comments Add your comment

iRun

December 15th, 2010
7:44 pm

Kyle, the “Tea Party” is a fake group drummed up by organizations like FreedomWorks so that FreedomWorks could gain political power. So they could get money. Now that they’ve won you won’t hear from them on this.

I won’t be surprised if the “Tea Party” dies off now that things like FreedomWorks have what they wanted all along.

Michael H. Smith

December 15th, 2010
7:48 pm

Just keep the heat turned up Kyle. I’m still not in favor of extending the tax cuts for altogether different reasons than the SOCIALIST who demonize the EVIL RICH. My opposition remains the same. Without cuts in government spending to offset increasing taxes back to what they were before Bush lowered everyone’s taxes, Congress shouldn’t do the deal. I understand the timing is crucial, although at some time soon sobriety has to take place. They the Congress can’t have tax cuts and spend, spend and spend some more, too!

The Republican Congress should cut the non-enforcement federal workforce by 25% right off the bat. Privatize the postal service, get rid of several other federal agencies or departments and get down to serious work on the entitlements. We have to get our fiscal house in order no matter how much P’ moaning takes place. We either do it now or we will follow in the footsteps of the only other former world superpower, imploding as did the U.S.S.R.

I’m glad you mentioned our two Senators. They should know we are watching them and all other Republicans. If they don’t straighten up their act they risk giving birth to a third party and they will have no one to blame but themselves for their losses in 2012.

Tommy Maddox

December 15th, 2010
8:03 pm

iRun – wrong.

Media outlets are running items regarding the Tea Party’s failure in Congress – as if they have made it already to Congress.

We should soon be hearing about the failure of the Tea Party’s 2012 Presidential candidate.

iRun

December 15th, 2010
8:05 pm

Look, I don’t argue that there were real people with real feelings, albeit not very cohesive, regarding the government. But they were grassrooted by things like FreedomWorks, which just used those people for it’s own political gain for it’s own monetary benefit, which is looks like it’s getting.

So, no, I don’t expect to hear from the Tea Party, nor it’s tools, regarding this.

Joe Marchione

December 15th, 2010
8:07 pm

I am glad people finally are beginning to NOTICE things of this monetary magnitude. I have 2 comments after an in depth and equally informative article. Number 1: When will this Country realize that 1% of the people control 99% of the money (PERFECT EXAMPLE; THIS HORRIFIC RECESSION MOST SENATORS ARE WORTH MORE NOW THAN BEFORE, while my parents lost 50% of their life savings…#2 As with the DEFICIT task force (WHICH I HAVE MONEY ON WILL BE LARGELY IGNORED) which I would like to say after reading was an incredibly well built and thought out piece of literature. THIS COUNTRY MUST LEARN THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON IN ITS HISTORY. The one our soldiers have died for, The one that is this Country’s VERY FOUNDATION! One day we must LEARN the word WE and forget about the word ME. Until that day, we will all be pawns and used with those above us laughing as we slave to KEEP OUR rights and OUR jobs (in this country). Til that Day comes we shall ACCOMPLISH NOTHING.. If only the Blacks, Women, Latino(a)s, Oriental, Gays, and any other ethnic diversity out there, would all come together, we would TRULY MAKE progress. That is MY DREAM, regretfully, The last man I Revered and Honored also had a DREAM, yet there were those who KNEW his POWER would crumble them, and so they disposed of him LIKE TRASH … Dr. Martin Luther KING Jr. should have been made a SAINT!!! Instead his messages was silenced with the tiniest piece of metal, and son after, as they KNEW IT WOULD BE, there empires were restored. Only needing ONE BULLET to do so.

Michael H. Smith

December 15th, 2010
8:18 pm

Yeah and this country too, before it became a country, began by an albeit not very cohesive group with many forces that were out for their own political and monetary gain by disingenuously fomenting a revolution.

iRun

December 15th, 2010
8:32 pm

Delusions of grandeur much?

Political Mongrel

December 15th, 2010
8:33 pm

“Defying the will of the voters”—like the GOP did for the two years when they were voted out of the majority in congress and out of the white house. Two years of solid obstructionism that hasn’t ended yet. Sorry, Kyle, but the “will of the voters” is one of those phrases like “given a mandate” that can be twisted way beyond its original meaning for the service of anyone’s viewpoint.

Duh

December 15th, 2010
8:34 pm

What? Politicians not listening to the people and only acting on behalf of themselves? Promises made to get elected and then not followed through? Politicians posturing themselves as the savior of all but mostly concerned with their money donors?

Say it isn’t so! If only we could have seen this coming! If only there were warning signs! If only there were some way we could have been informed of their true motives!

If only people would wake up and use their heads for more than holding up their hat, maybe they will FINALLY realize that all politicians whether Left, Right, Blue, Red, DEM or GOP are exactly the same! Stop listening to the soundbytes, Fox News, MSNBC, etc… and THINK, RESEARCH, QUESTION, INVESTIGATE. Only then will there be the slightest chance that this country will ever get back on track!

Michael H. Smith

December 15th, 2010
8:38 pm

Historical dementia got you?

Liberal Pariah

December 15th, 2010
8:49 pm

Obama’s election was not a mandate for Liberalism, it was a rejection of George Bush’s liberal policies while he masqueraded as a Conservative. Voters wanted hope and change and got doped and shamed. I believe both election cycles, one won by a Democrat and the other by Republicans, shows that America wants to go in a totally different direction than the one we are headed in now.

iRun

December 15th, 2010
8:51 pm

Mike, you know that old-fashioned pejorative “tool”? Know how it originated? Don’t be one, buddy, because it’s not about you. I’m not out to get you but you’re kidding yourself if you think the “Tea Party” is anything like the Revolutionaries. Sorry, those glory days are behind this country. We’re like Ye Olde England now.

JDW

December 15th, 2010
8:54 pm

@Kyle

“It’s as if we caught the thieves in our house red-handed, and they’re trying to stuff a few more pieces of jewelry in their bags before they flee.”

I don’t get it Kyle…a business as usual spending bill that you knew was coming and even has a measure of support from Republicans and you get your panties in a wad…a tax cut that adds $860 BILLION to the deficit and you think that is ok….hypocrite.

Michael H. Smith

December 15th, 2010
9:05 pm

Ol’ pal don’t fool yourself into being one. No its’ not about me or you. It is about American. Now and in the future. It may take some time before it becomes personal to enough American’s wallets for them to rise up but when it does… All bets are off. Oh now that you mentioned, how’s things across the pond these days? Hear there are a few riots in the streets, as of late. In fact, rioting in the streets seems to be in vogue on the European continent. I mean, it could go viral, might become contagious?

John Franklin (JF) McNamara

December 15th, 2010
9:10 pm

Yeah, lets be angry over this but not the $860B dollars they just gave away on tax cuts and unemployment…Why weren’t you with me then?

I’m sure all of the junk in this bill will spur the economy just like tax cuts. Most of it will probably directly provide jobs which is all we need to focus on. I’m sure there’s the usual pork, bridges to nowhere which supply construction jobs, libraries for placating politicians which need to built and staffed, and there’s probably even some tax breaks for some special interest (which I know you’re for!).

Put that way, it sound pretty good. I’m now a firm supporter of Porkomania 2010!

Liberal Pariah

December 15th, 2010
9:11 pm

Somebody get some talking points from some place other than MSNBC or CNN. Unbridled spending, two expensive wars and a downturn in the economy produced the vast majority of the deficit we have now. Tax cuts don’t increase the deficit if the spending is under control and this bill does not cut spending….it increases it. When will Congress as a whole get the picture we Americans are painting?

Duh

December 15th, 2010
9:16 pm

Liberal Pariah – ” When will Congress as a whole get the picture we Americans are painting?”

When we stop electing millionaires to represent us.

Liberal Pariah

December 15th, 2010
9:19 pm

Amen brother!!!!!! How can the uncommon represent us commoners? :-)

Michael H. Smith

December 15th, 2010
9:20 pm

When will Congress as a whole get the picture we Americans are painting?

Perhaps it is We the People as a whole who don’t get the picture They the Congress have painted?

iRun

December 15th, 2010
9:22 pm

Mike, you want to be part of nation building? You’re on the wrong continent for that. Gotta go to the southern hemisphere if you want to re-America.

The Tea Party will not say much about this bit of news, Kyle, and I think you probably know that.

Left wing management

December 15th, 2010
9:31 pm

Kyle: Maybe you’re right about the cowardice of the elected officials, but why do you pour such vitriol on them without looking with equal scorn at the feckless voters themselves? So I don’t buy the onesidedness of your attack here. If the voters have a Congress that’s loathsome in its cravenness, then that’s partly the fault of the voters themselves. And the thing is, we’ve been at this since at least 1994 when they supposedly dealt the hated Democratic president a devastating setback only to have the wheels of government grind to a halt. And they sure didn’t like that now did they. The only positive sign I see here this time around is that poll show equal disgust on the part of the voters towards both parties – so maybe there’s some justice in that. But maybe the voters ought to vote themselves out – what do you think? Let’s do ourselves one better and vote ourselves a new public. Yeah ..

Michael H. Smith

December 15th, 2010
9:36 pm

“42 earmarks were tied to Georgia’s Saxby Chambliss, with 24 more from our senior senator, Johnny Isakson.”

Where’s that old drive by talk radio when we really need them? HUH!

Boortz should be on this all day tomorrow, like stink on crap. Last time he raised “H” with Chambliss over immigration, Saxby changed his tune.

What do you have to say Neal? Are you up to the task of ringing two Senators bell? I mean, we on this blog and you on that old drive by talk radio should shame these two Georgia Senators into withdrawing those earmarks.

‘Cuse please back after sending two emails

Okay, I’m back.

John Franklin (JF) McNamara

December 15th, 2010
9:40 pm

Liberal Pariah
“Tax cuts don’t increase the deficit if the spending is under control and this bill does not cut spending….it increases it. ”

Agreed, the problem is that spending isn’t under control and we’re already in a massive deficit due to the things you noted. If we had a surplus, I’d want a tax cut to get my money back. We’re a long, long way from that, so more tax cuts are just more money that I’ll get to pay back in 20 years. Thanks.

Michael H. Smith

December 15th, 2010
9:42 pm

More like nation saving. This continent will do just fine should the people on it decide to keep the Republic in lieu of becoming an Internationalist puppet state.

Martin Williams

December 15th, 2010
9:53 pm

Why are some of you people so blind to see that Dems and GOPs are the same people. All hundred Senators are millionaires and you think they going to vote against a tax cut for those making $250,000 and above. For the Tea Party folks, they are just a bunch of idiots and they will history as soon as Obama is out. Talking about tax cuts do not add to the deficit if spending is cut, well, get out of WARS. As a nation we are spending billions every week fighting wars that are unwinable.

Martin Williams

December 15th, 2010
9:56 pm

The Republicans and with little help from the Democrats are killing this great nation slowly and eventually they will succeed.

Michael H. Smith

December 15th, 2010
9:58 pm

Remember one thing iRun, every time history, the odds and even sound reason and logic said America and the Americans should not and cannot win… We won.

Never bet against America, weRun faster.

iRun

December 15th, 2010
10:04 pm

I don’t believe in American Exceptionalism. We’re human, just like the people in other countries. There is nothing about us that is better than them. America grew to power because of it’s enormous natural resources, including it’s people. But not because of it’s people alone.

Michael H. Smith

December 15th, 2010
10:11 pm

What is history determines what is the future long after those who are history and made it, have all gone.

they listen now

December 15th, 2010
10:16 pm

This reminds me of the listening to the public skills exhibited by the folks that renamed Joe Robbie stadium in Miami to ” Pro Player Park.” They heard the people and renamed it “Pro Player Stadium” as a sign of compromise.

Michael H. Smith

December 15th, 2010
10:21 pm

Others nations had or have enormous natural resources, the American people alone have uniquely used them exceptionally better. I’m sure dear leader Obumer agrees with your dim belittling view of an unexceptional America.

I don’t.

snarf

December 15th, 2010
10:21 pm

Pretty please would the last frothing at the mouth tea-partier who screams they haven’t read the bill please be so kind to turn out the lights…

just plain bill

December 15th, 2010
10:34 pm

iRun, your blog names are so telling. Your last remark about not believing in American Exceptionalism is understandable coming from the left. We have so much in this country that is exceptional; constitution,freedoms of religion and speech.Try saying something controversial in another country,even in Canada, and the morality police take you to court. This country was founded by great thinkers and achievers with enough forethought to make this country great what it is today. Do not see why you and the left are so afraid of the Tea Party, they just want to keep this country exceptional and not let it become a Euroweenie II. A movement has to start from somewhere,if not,the government will not be afraid of its people and you will have tyranny.

@@

December 15th, 2010
10:35 pm

This on top of the tax bill!!??!! There’s talk the tax bill could go down.

I would love to see them both scrapped.

When the American people say enough is enough, our representatives would do well to listen.

get out much?

December 15th, 2010
10:40 pm

Wow, 6500 earmarks sounds like a lot. Then again, when you realize that out of a $1.1 trillion budget those earmarks account for about $8.3 billion or less than one percent of the total budget you begin to realize that this is just another tempest in a teapot.

Bill

December 15th, 2010
10:43 pm

Kyle—putting the 1.1 trillion on the Demos is bogus–virtually all Reps wanted all the tax breaks, and while the Reps get to oppose unemployment extensions, they would have voted for it (if a separate Bill) if they knew the benefits were not being extended otherwise and they would have been blamed. As with the stimulus and TARP2, they got the benefit of voting against it, and later criticising it. Had they been in power at the time, they would have supported it-a Depression would have hurt them more in the long-run–as the slow economy is now hurting Obama.

Let’s never forget that W’s medicare drug bill boondoggle will cost more than the stimulus, TARP, and Obama’s healthcare bill combined. Always such a joke to see Reps only serious about the national debt when they are in power.

hsr0601

December 15th, 2010
10:59 pm

Back when Bush was pushing his tax cut packages through Congress in 2001 and 2003, supporters said the cuts (which weren’t balanced with spending reductions) would initiate an era in which the American economy would grow so robustly the nation would be running a surplus of more than $5 trillion at the scheduled expiration date. U.S.  now runs a deficit of about $1.3 trillion

In sharp contrast, Former President Bill Clinton left a record surplus, despite the warning of potential economic disaster over tax increase for the wealthiest. 

Cutty

December 15th, 2010
11:01 pm

Saxby is just like a repub- Insert an earmark, vote against the bill, but hope it passes. Kyle, how can you be so justified in your disgust of this bill when “Obama’s Tax Cuts” will add $850B to the deficit?

Left wing management

December 15th, 2010
11:24 pm

I believe in American Exceptionalism.

We’re exceptional in the way that we – a nation consisting of cast-offs from an older and vastly more sophisticated European civilization, thus forgetting our debt to our forbears – have a certain distorted perspective rooted in our tendency to overestimate our self-reliance as a nation, as well as our virtue as a nation, the predestined outcome of the American experiment, and our ability to use our own will to move history to our own ends.

Jefferson

December 15th, 2010
11:28 pm

The GOP has NO credibility. Their supporters become fools to belive them.

Liberal Pariah

December 15th, 2010
11:34 pm

Let’s not forget that the deficit started in the last year of Clinton’s presidency and continued under Bush. Clinton benefitted from the dotcom bubble which unexpectedly increased revenues from taxes on capital gains and rising salaries and a tax increase in his first year in office. Clinton also coat-tailed on the economic boom brought about by the Reagan tax cuts.

Linda Schrenko

December 16th, 2010
6:51 am

To be fair…. This guy is a riot!

JD

December 16th, 2010
6:55 am

Lessee — you cut all earmarks (8.5 billion) from 1.1 trillion and you get (rounding) 1.1 trillion! So, what’s the real reason Republicans are looking not to pay our military (DOD funding is part of this pkg)

Ayn Rant

December 16th, 2010
7:02 am

Much ado about nothing, just another piece of voluminous legislation too detailed to comprehend and too tedious to be read even by the congressmen who vote on it and the President who will sign it.

The bill would squander thousands of dollars on petty earmarks and untold millions on extravagant military projects, but all attention is focused on the petty not the substantial.

Any difference between Democrat and Republican versions of a spending bill disappears in the round off, but the squabbling and squandering proceeds unabated as the infrastructure crumbles and the economy stumbles.

That’s politics, folks! You voted for it.

El Kabong

December 16th, 2010
7:05 am

The Tea party, most closely aligned with the GOP, is in the process of being co-opted and corrupted by the GOP. Heres the best statement I have seen on this blog:

“If only people would wake up and use their heads for more than holding up their hat, maybe they will FINALLY realize that all politicians whether Left, Right, Blue, Red, DEM or GOP are exactly the same!”

The US has two bankrupt parties bankrupting the US. The politicians and the media are just the handmaidens of the banks that are sucking the country dry. To quote Teddy Roosevelt “The US never learns from experience; only from desperation”.

Jimmy62

December 16th, 2010
7:15 am

I’m not happy about it, and I plan to protest every bit as much as I have already.

But to be fair, the Congress elected by the Tea Party is not yet in office. They swung the election, so wait till that Congress makes moronic decisions before busting on the Tea Party. Hardly fair to do it already.

Chris Sanchez

December 16th, 2010
7:40 am

Kyle,

Friendly reminder: successful Tea Party-backed candidates have not yet been sworn into office. Whether or not they are silent on this bill is irrelevant, they aren’t in office yet!

jconservative

December 16th, 2010
7:48 am

Kyle, “…flouting the will of the voters…” is like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder.

Will of the voters: 65 million voters (the most in the history of the Republic) voted Obama as President, yet within days Republicans began a campaign to “defy the will of the voters”. And they have done so for 22 months.

For 30 years the “will of the voters” has been to cut taxes and let spending increase out of sight. The “will of the voters” is the reason we have a $13.8 trillion National Debt.

So if a few congressmen are slow to note that a very small majority of eligible voters just voted for a change, it is understandable. They were elected for 30 years to raid the treasury on behalf of their constituents. And they have been real good at this little chore.

The Tea Party types will get their opportunity with the 2012 budget which the President will send to them in March.

If the White House has any brains they will send a perfectly balanced budget to Congress in March. Then we will find out who is serious about reining in government and who are just conversationalist.

carlosgvv

December 16th, 2010
7:49 am

This is a very good acid test to see which of our politicians truly care about the American people and which are only interested in their own re-elections. It won’t be any supprise that many from both parties will prove to be the latter.

dcb

December 16th, 2010
7:49 am

Hey Kyle, why direct only the tea-partiers to show their disgust and disgruntlement? Why not ask all Dems, Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, and voters by whatever self-classification to rise up and protest in their own way. This is ridiculous! I mean it must be – the news media says it is so.