Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers, says that lawmakers should be commended for doing nothing to prevent billions of dollars in across-the-board spending cuts, known as sequestration.
"With the sequester, Congress made a promise to the American people to cut spending. They deserve to be congratulated for actually keeping that promise," Levi Russell, a spokesman for Americans for Prosperity, wrote in an email to The Huffington Post Monday. "It definitely wasn't easy given the pressure from the White House."
"We feel absolutely that government overspending is the greatest threat to American prosperity," he added.
The conservative group funded by billionaires Charles and David Koch also sent its subscribers an email Saturday arguing its case.
Scroll down to read the full e-mail below.
Many economists disagree, instead arguing that sequestration, which took effect Friday, will hurt the U.S. economy. IHS Global Insight projects that the cuts will lower real annual GDP growth by 0.5 percentage points and cost the economy 400,000 jobs this year if it goes into full effect.
And economists ranging from Alan Blinder and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to Nobel Prize winners Paul Krugman and Robert Solow argue that austerity is holding the economy back. Bernanke said last week that sequestration will slow economic growth and have "adverse effects on jobs and incomes."
Still, some say that the sequestration's effects on the economy won't be as severe as some are predicting. Famed billionaire Warren Buffett told CNBC on Monday that while he doesn't like the cuts, they won't hurt the economy much. And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) said Sunday on CNN that the sequestration's cuts are "modest" and "we have a spending addiction in Washington."
And since the cuts just took place Friday, their full impact is unclear.
Americans for Prosperity sent the following email to its subscribers on Saturday:
We often criticize GOP leaders for not standing firm on limited government principles, but today Americans for Prosperity thanks Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans for standing up to President Obama and making sure the $85 billion in much-needed sequester spending cuts took effect.
Despite a relentlessly hysterical campaign from President Obama and the Left claiming that sequester cuts would end American civilization as we know it, the sun still rose this morning. For the first time in a long time, genuine substantive spending reductions actually took effect and the government is running just a bit leaner.
While Speaker Boehner and the GOP deserve credit and thanks for taking a gutsy stand, it’s important to realize what an incredible impact AFP activists like you are making in this fight. All across the country, folks like you have called their members of Congress, made visits in person to congressional district offices, sent emails, and kept the pressure on through Twitter and Facebook. These combined efforts helped spread a message across the country that enabled House Republicans to take heart and do the right thing knowing that conservatives back home had their back
As an example, I was out at a leadership event in Portland, Oregon this week where Beth, one of our dedicated AFP activists, told me how she had sent personal messages to each of her 243 Facebook friends asking them to contact their member of Congress to tell him to "keep the cuts" so we can "get our economy moving again." She had also personally visited her member's district office with her husband.
Even USA Today, the nation’s second largest newspaper after The Wall Street Journal, recognized the effectiveness of AFP activists and gave us the opportunity to articulate the importance of the sequester cuts. Here’s an excerpt:
“These modest cuts are an important step forward for economic growth. While perhaps painful at first, they will restore some balance to our fiscal system, allowing government to prioritize properly and function in line with the American people.” Click here to read more!
Our AFP Iowa state director Mark Lucas, who served combat tours in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger, went on FOX News pushing back against the Left's claims that sequester cuts should be stopped because of their impact on national defense. You can check out the video by CLICKING HERE.
We have big fights ahead of us to rein in government overspending. President Obama and his friends are going to continue their campaign of fear and intimidation against those of us who oppose their big government policies. But the $85 billion in cuts, while a modest start of just 2 cents on the dollar in federal spending, demonstrate that we can win.
Thank you again for all you’ve done in the fight for fiscal responsibility. We're proud to serve on the freedom team with you.
Much lies ahead,
PS: Growing up my mom taught me to promptly thank someone who stands up and does the right thing. I ask you to join me in dropping just a quick email to Speaker Boehner and other Republicans for standing up and forcing these $85 billion in genuine spending cuts.