To say tea party Republicans, particularly in the House, are driving the congressional agenda is not accurate. But this faction of conservative, small-government Republicans have been able to significantly influence congressional leaders’ actions.
And few other factions can say that.
Defense firms, in placing their sequester bets, might consider that before dismissing what Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said during the tea party’s response to President Obama’s State of the Union address.
“It is time Democrats admit that not every dollar spent on domestic programs is sacred,” Paul said. “And it is time Republicans realize that military spending is not immune to waste and fraud.”
Waste and fraud don’t necessarily mean profits are going to take a hit, we know that.
Wait. What’s that, Sen. Paul? “The President could begin by stopping the F-16s and Abrams tanks being given to the radical Islamic government of Egypt,” the tea party darling said.
Well, that certainly would dent profits.
Sorry, senator, didn’t mean to interrupt you. What were you saying about spending cuts?
“Not only should the sequester stand, many pundits say the sequester really needs to be at least $4 trillion to avoid another downgrade of America’s credit rating,” said Paul, seeming to call for MORE defense cuts than the $500 billion, 10-year cut set to be carried out through sequestration unless a $1.2 trillion deficit-reduction pact is enacted by March 1.
“Both parties have been guilty of spending too much, of protecting their sacred cows, of backroom deals in which everyone up here wins, but every taxpayer loses,” Paul said.
The defense sector has been a big winner since 9/11. Can Paul and his tea party mates influence the coming sequester talks enough to change that?
(Video from CBS News)