"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

McConnell To Dems On Their Tea Party Attacks: Reducing Spending and Debt Isn’t ‘Extreme’‏

March 31st, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

Politico writes this morning, “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell welcomed tea party members protesting in Washington in a Thursday morning floor speech in which he called the movement’s aim to cut federal spending ‘pretty reasonable.’ Just a day after Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) lambasted the tea party for pulling the GOP away from deal-making efforts in Congress, the top Senate Republican pushed back with a jab against the other side.”

It was just yesterday that Reid declared on the Senate floor, “The country doesn’t care much about the tea party.” And today he said, “We can’t have what’s going on here with the tea party demonstrating, all these very harsh cuts with unrealistic riders, punishing innocent folks just for political ideology.”

In his speech this morning, Leader McConnell pushed back against Democrats’ political attacks on tea partiers saying, “Anybody who follows national politics knows that when it comes to a lot of the issues Americans care about most, Democrat leaders in Washington are pretty far outside the mainstream. That’s why we’ve got one Democrat leader coaching his colleagues to describe any Republican idea as ‘extreme.’ And that’s why other Democrats are attempting to marginalize an entire group of people in this country whose concerns about the growth of the nation’s debt, the overreach of the federal government, and last year’s health care bill are about as mainstream as it gets. . . . I’m referring of course to the Tea Party . . . Despite the Democrat leadership’s talking points, these folks are not radicals. They’re our next-door neighbors and our friends. . . .These are everyday men and women who love their country and who don’t want to see it collapse as a result of irresponsible attitudes and policies that somehow persist around here despite the warning signs we see all around us about the consequences of fiscal recklessness. And they’re being vilified because, in an effort to preserve what’s good about our country, they’re politely asking lawmakers here in Washington to change the way things are done around here.

Indeed, both Politico and MSNBC’s First Read featured headlines this week, “Dems budget strategy: Blame the tea party,” and “Dems say Tea Party is tying Boehner’s hands,” respectively. And Fox News reported, “Democrats have put out the message that ‘extreme’ Tea Party-aligned lawmakers are preventing Republican leaders from making any headway. Though Tea Party groups indeed clamor for significant spending cuts, GOP leaders called it ridiculous to blame the Tea Party for the stalemate.”

Leader McConnell took Democrats to task for these attacks today, saying, “At a time when the national debt has reached crisis levels, members of the Tea Party are asking that we stop spending more than we take in. In other words, they’re asking that lawmakers in Washington do what any household in America already does: they want us to balance our budget. And they do this because they know their history, and that the road to decline is paved with debt. Is that extreme?

They want us to be able to explain how any law that we pass is consistent with the Constitution. This means that as we write new laws they want us to be guided by the document that every single senator in this chamber has sworn to uphold. Is that extreme?

They want us to cut down on the amount of money the government spends. Well, this year the federal government in Washington is projected to spend about $1.6 trillion dollars more than it has. That means we’ll have to borrow it from somewhere else, driving the national debt even higher than it already is. What’s more, the Obama Administration plans to continue spending like this for years. So that within five years, the debt will exceed $20 trillion. Given these facts, you tell me: is it extreme to propose that we cut spending?

Leader McConnell said, “In fact, if you ask me, the goals of the Tea Party sound pretty reasonable. These folks recognize the gravity of the problems we face as a nation, and they’re doing something about it for the sake of our future. They’re engaged in the debate about spending and debt — which is a lot more than we can say about the President and many Democrats in Congress.”

He concluded, “So what’s extreme is the thought that government can just continue on this reckless path without consequence. What’s extreme is thinking we can just blithely watch the nation’s debt get bigger and pretend it doesn’t matter. What’s extreme is spending more than a trillion and a half dollars than we have in a single year. This is the Democrats’ approach. This is what’s extreme.”

Related:

Rasmussen Reports:

50% Say Tax Cuts Help the Economy

25% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

FactReel.com: Democrat Sen. Schumer Caught on Tape Urging Dems to call Tea Party “extreme” (Audio)

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