Tea Party Gets Hosed

The GOP is no longer insisting that the payroll tax extension be offset with spending cuts is just the latest in what now has to be considered to be a series of failures by the tea party to exert any significant influence on a final spending or tax decision.

First, the continuing resolution approved last April for all of 2012 reduced spending by only millions of dollars when the tea party had been insisting on $100 billion.

Second, the debt ceiling deal increased the government’s borrowing limit when the tea party initially demanded that it not be increased at all. And at least some of the spending cuts it included, which were a fraction of what the tea party wanted, could be reduced further if the sequester is modified or canceled.

Third, the payroll tax cut was extended in December over the tea party’s objections.

And fourth is today’s announcement that offsetting spending cuts for extending the payroll tax cut again will no longer be required.

Is it really possible the tea partiers in the House don’t realize that they’re not as important as they say they are?

By Request: Why Eating A Cupcake is Like “Off-Budget” Federal Spending17 feb 2012

posted by stan collender

The managing editor of Roll Call — the guy who keeps me on as a weekly columnist for the great metropolitan newspaper about Congress — asked me to explain what it means when something is said to be “off-budget.”

Here’s the best way to think about it.

Supposed you’re on a 1300 calorie-a-day diet (I’m talking from personal experience here: I’ve been on a diet like this for the past 5 months) and to keep track of how much you’re eating you write down every morsel that goes in your mouth in a little book. Let’s call it “the budget.”
It’s going well. Combined with an exercise program, your diet is producing good results and you’re losing weight.