"Unwise from a budget perspective." — Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)After years of doing nothing but talk about the need to cut spending, Republicans have finally started to get what they want—and it turns out they don't like it. But instead of doing the obvious thing, which would be to change their position on austerity, they're simply issuing press releases and statements about how they don't like the cuts that are taking place in their own back yard.
"A troubling lack of priories." — Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
"A negative economic impact." — Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX)
"The FAA must re-evaluate its decision." — Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
"There are other things they can do to cut their budget." — Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
The problem is that their solution—to make the cuts in somebody else's back yard—isn't really a solution. It's just political spin. There is no magic wand to make spending cuts be painless and for Republicans to pretend otherwise is transparently dishonest and defies common sense.
If these guys wanted to do something about the sequester, they'd be serious about getting rid of it. Instead, each of the five names listed above (and all but 10 of their colleagues) voted for the Ryan budget last week. Not only would the Ryan budget make the sequester spending cuts permanent, but it would cut spending by an additional 10 percent.
So while these guys are decrying spending cuts from one side of their mouth, from the other side they are demanding even more cuts. And Democrats who want to beat Republican incumbents in 2014 can't let the GOP have it both ways: They need hold Republicans accountable for the consequences of austerity.