Tea Party Leader: GOP Budget Cut Goal An 'Absolute Joke'

Tea Party Leader: GOP's Budget Cut Goal An 'Absolute Joke,' Should Reduce Spending To 2000 Levels

Tea Party Patriots leader Mark Meckler expressed disgust Wednesday in response to the news that congressional Republicans plan to reduce their goal of $100 billion in budget cuts, saying the GOP needed to cut more, not less.

According to CBS News, Meckler called the move an "absolute joke," and didn't find Republican excuses of time constraints acceptable.

The New York Times reports on the GOP's decision to adjust the previous $100-billion benchmark:

As they prepare to take power on Wednesday, Republican leaders are scaling back that number by as much as half, aides say, because the current fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, will be nearly half over before spending cuts could become law.

Despite Republican promises to significantly roll back even in the face of these limitations, CBS News reports that the tea party leader isn't satisfied:

But Meckler said that explanation was akin to saying, "I have a $2,000 mortgage payment, so I'm going to put 50 cents in the bank."

Meckler said that the American people were no longer ignorant about government spending, so if the GOP stops at the $100 billion figure, he predicts they'll "get an earful from the American people."

The tea party leader said Republicans should aim to reduce spending to the levels seen in 2000, not 2008. He suggested that Congress reach this number by putting everything, including defense spending, on the table for cuts. As CBS News pointed out, defense spending would certainly need to be addressed, as the wars in Afghanistan in Iraq, which have cost taxpayers more than $1 trillion since 2001, weren't yet on the budget in 2000.

"These guys need to get serious," Meckler said recently of incoming representatives. "We are in serious trouble."

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