The new Congress has barely been in session, and the Tea Party darlings have been hard at work… betraying the people who voted them in.
On the list of turncoats for the Tea Party is Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT). Lee was quoted during the midterm campaign as being against “big government” and government spending (from KSL.com):
On the campaign trail, Lee pushed for it prominently: “I have come to believe that our federal government is too big and too expensive,” he said last October.
But when December floods in southern Utah caused millions of dollars in damage, Lee was making sure that they got their “big federal government” money.
Now a U.S. senator, Lee says Utah should accept that money.
“That money is there,” Lee told KSL News Thursday. “It’s been appropriated for disaster relief, and I see no reason why Utah ought not be entitled to receive such federal funds.”
Which is fairly typical of these guys. Government spending and assistance is bad, until you need it.
If Lee really intended to walk the walk, then he should have insisted that the state can take care of its own, and would not request federal funds. But, like many of the Tea Party elected, he’s finding that the rhetoric of small government is a lot easier to spew than it is to follow.
Anyone who follows politics – or has any common sense – saw this coming ages ago. These guys got themselves elected on promises of austerity, of cutting budgets, of reducing the size of government. Then they start running into reality. You can’t cut budgets and make up the whole shortfall. You can’t cut taxes, and therefore revenue, without running short eventually. And there are some things that the federal government can do better – if they are funded. But they won’t convince the Tea Party faithful of that.
So, will the Tea Party vote these guys out as well. That remains to be seen. As for Sen. Lee? Welcome to the real world.