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Armstrong Williams' Advice For The Tea Party: Cut It Out

Williams makes a good point here:
[T]he Republican Party is taking a lot of cheap shots for its Pledge to America by activists who claim it’s a hollow shell of recycled initiatives, weak on any policy with teeth. Conservative skeptics point to "serious" proposals that would gut entire federal agencies such as the Department of Education, the Department of Commerce and even the National Endowment for the Arts.

But let’s be honest, this last one is not really a serious example of federal largesse. By the agency’s own fiscal 2010 budget submission, it only asked for $161 million. Now, that’s hardly change one would find in between sofa cushions, but in real values, it’s a drop in the ocean of red ink this government is swimming in.

My point is simple. If Tea Party activists want to send an unequivocal statement that the federal government has grown too large, and only by making bold and sometimes “to the bone” cuts will we return to fiscal balance, then leaders are better off leaving NEA funding off the policy table. It only complicates the larger picture of entitlement spending new lawmakers should focus on.
Jon Stewart had a tremendous take-down of the Pledge to America last week on The Daily Show:



Damn.

But, getting back to what Armstrong Williams is saying, I completely agree.

Those conservative activists who continually claim that cutting taxes, or cutting funding for the Department of Education or National Endowment for the Arts are smoking some really bad fiscal crack (as opposed to the good stuff?). Look at this chart. NEA doesn't even make the list and DoE accounts for just under five percent of the budget.

Look folks, I'm all for fiscal responsibility. But, if you really want to put a dent into the Federal Budget (i.e. save some real money), the you have to do something drastic. Something radical. It may sound crazy, and be woefully unpopular, but to really make a difference the government needs to make some cuts in areas like the Department of Defense.

Thoughts?