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Open Container: Mike Lee's Massive Budget Cuts

by Josh Loftin
- Posted // 2010-10-22 -

The Republican Senate candidate suggests a 40 percent cut to balance federal budget.

During a town hall meeting-cum-conservative rally in Orem last night, Mike Lee harped on a familiar theme—balancing the budget—but also threw out a number that he thinks would be required to make it happen in the first year.

Forty percent. That's right, 40 percent cuts to the federal budget, almost across the board. In fact, there are only a few areas that he would support being spared, most notably Social Security and the defense budget, which he would "economize." All other departments, however, would have to slash, burn or whatever else it would take to make the cuts.

The 40 percent estimate was part of an answer to a question about how Republicans will handle the expiring Bush tax cuts and the spiraling debt, should they take over Congress. The questioner, who Lee called "bishop," suggested that the current Congress was setting up the Republicans for failure by making them decide between the tax cuts and passing a budget.

Lee said he'd "call their bluff" by first passing the tax cuts and forcing President Obama to sign them or veto them. Then, pass a balanced budget, which "would require about a 40 percent cut," and force Obama to either sign it or shutdown the government. The prospect of such a showdown between Obama and Republicans, in fact, made Lee "giddy."

When asked about it Friday afternoon, Lee said that Thursday night was the first time he'd used the 40 percent figure. It also seems that it is the first time that number has been thrown around nationally, as well, although Matt Kibbe, with the conservative group Freedom Works, suggested in an Oct. 18 Wall Street Journal article that 20 percent cuts would be beneficial.

Lee said the 40 percent wasn't set in stone, but merely an estimate. Furthermore, it would depend on many shifting factors, especially the economy. But it's probably close to what would need to happen.

"It's an example of the kind of aggressive approach we'd have to take," he said.

During the Thursday night meeting, however, he said that he thought the new Congress would have the guts to take such drastic measures because of the influx of conservatives, especially in the Senate. That would happen, in large part, because the current moderate Republicans would shift to the right.

Significant cuts to the federal budget have become a discussion topic for voters in the past few days, Lee said, because of the planned cuts in Britain. But even those are "only" 19 percent, and include significant rollbacks in military spending.

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Posted // October 30,2010 at 23:12

Folks: We had better continue the Desfense or we'll be speaking another languge.

Our country is being invaded by the day, and we have a war going on right in Arizozna, only the invaders are the only ones killing anyone, and our weak kneed President isn't even concerened because we might offend someone -- BUNK!

Anyway, we must occupy some of the foreign countries to assist in keeping them free from unwanted invasion. I do agree that we ought to re-locate sosme of our "boots on the ground" tropps to our southern border to stop the invasion of this country.

I can't think of one social program that is more important than defense.


Posted // October 30,2010 at 22:58

Mike, I caught your bit on Channel Five tonight (the news segment). I am an old Reagan Republican and I remembered one thing he said when I heard you tonght.

President Reagan: "The most terrifying words in the English language are: I am from the Government and I am here to help you".

I have already voted for you, but you may want to re-think that thought.



Posted // October 23,2010 at 17:00

Washington spending and mounting deficits are off the charts. It is high time our leaders addressed this issue, and Mike Lee is to be commended for taking on this challenging subject.

Mike Lee believes in constitutionally limited government performing a limited number of responsibilities. Funding for government action should be scaled back commensurate with the limited powers prescribed by the Constitution.

This naturally entails hard choices that are nonetheless necessary. Current government spending is unsustainable, we just can't continue to borrow such vast sums from China, even if they were not opposed to further lending to the U.S.

Check out Mike Lee's website to read more about important issues. I think Mike makes a lot of sense. I'm voting for Mike Lee for Senate.


Posted // October 26,2010 at 13:21 - That's so easy, Crimson Red. When you can tell me what 50,000 troops are still doing in Germany, I'll let you keep your defense spending intact. Look at a friggin' budget pie chart someday and see that social entitlements are a sliver and defense is half the pie. And when you or anyone else can detail just how many jobs were created in 2001 and 2003 by Bush tax cut recipients, we can talk about the wisdom of letting tax cuts expire and the rich go from 36% back to Clinton-era levels of a whole 39%, resulting in billions of dollars gone from the treasury.


Posted // October 25,2010 at 10:41 - Up front I will state that I consider myself a conservative Republican. I think it only fair that you know up front that my views are certainly slanted toward the right. BlackMamba you rant and rave as if President Obama has handled the economy perfectly. It is true that President Bush made mistakes during his presidency concerning the economy and those mistakes have been compounded under Obama's leadership. Do you really think the 2nd stimulus package passed once Obama assumed leadership helped our economy? What did all the banks do with the monies they received? They were supposed to have used it to "ease up the credit crunch." Do you think that happened? Try and obtain a significant loan today and you will discover the true story. Do you really think it financially wise and prudent to pass the MASSIVE health care overall at the price of increased taxes during our current economic state? How does that help the economy? Do you really think allowing current tax breaks to expire will help the economy? If you believe that allowing tax breaks to expire, essentially granting a tax increase, will help the economy then you obviously do not own a business. Increased taxes very simply means increased prices to cover the taxes OR downsizing in order to have funds to pay the tax. Do you really think that appointing 40 czsars has helped our economy? If true then show me and others the economic success of these appointments? How do businesses survive in a down economy? They cut expenses and very carefully control spending. Immediate freeze in ALL government salaries and benefits. Freeze the military the world we live in today we can't afford to cut back in our miliary funding BUT we can't afford to increase it. Hold steady on Social Security and Medicare funds. Eliminate newly created czar positions and related staff. Even though I actually believe NASA is a huge benefit to our society I think it is time to cut its funding. All other non-essential government spending will need to cut back their budgets. Why should the Federal Government be allowed to increase spending during this economic trial? Next you complain about the State of Utah and our finances and as you imply our "lack" of education funding. I guess you would much rather be like California. Oh yea, let me think about it their government is basically bankrupt...good idea. Let's increase spending and move a very fiscally strong Utah government to one that is now controlled by bankers because of our loans and eventually poor credit. Come on BlackMamba be brave and share your ideas for controlling our federal government. It just dawned on me that there is a flaw in my thinking. You and obviously others just might believe that bigger government is the key to success. You and others just might believe that someone sitting behind a desk in Washington D.C. can make better choices for you than you can do for yourself. You and others just might be happy to eventually grow our government to the point that 60% of all you earn goes right into taxes. Good luck with that thought process. I for one want to have a little more control of my life instead of handing it over to the government bit by bit. What would you do to control spending? Tell us your cuts and controls because your political party certainly doesn't have display any fiscal spending controls.


Posted // October 25,2010 at 09:00 - Ok, screw the banal, beige talking points, uvbogden. Just EXACTLY what "hard choices" are you talking about having to make? None of you plastic-fantastic conservatives want to talk details in an election final week. Not that you explained your cardboard-sign philsophy all along. "Gee, we just have to cut the size of government, but if we actually tell you precisely what it is we're talking about, you won't elect us, so it's a secret...for now." Ok, uvbogden, go for it. Tell us what programs you're wanting to cut. I'll just bet that none of them sound like "defense," do they? Let me see, oh, wait, I know! With America ranked 22 or 23 worldwide in student science and math scores, let's cut the Dept of Education and grant programs for student tuition!The states can handle it like we do in Utah, DEAD LAST in the nation!Herbert cuts $10 million for education and pays out $13 million for a highly-suspect failed 1-15 road building bid. Or, let's do away with "entitlement programs"! It's mostly poor, evil, illegal immigrants that use them, right? Just don't explain to most of our elderly base that it really means them, too. They haven't figured out that entitlements mean their scared Social Security and Medicare. Oh, and that unfunded prescription Medicare benefit that Bush foisted on us and it contributed to the "size" and expense of big, bad government. Enjoy the elections, uvbogden. The Republicans and their ugly cousins, the Tea Party, are going to be center stage now. I'm going to enjoy the next two years before Obama is re-elected in a landslide in 2012.