New Republican Study Committee chairman Jim Jordan spoke at the Heritage Foundation this morning in what possibly amounted to the shortest speech a politician ever delivered, coming in at under ten minutes. With his suit jacket off, the former wrestler looked the part of a legislator with no time to waste to get to the work of cutting spending.
Later today, Jordan will join Sen. Jim DeMint in announcing plans to cut $2.5 trillion over ten years. Whatcha gonna cut? has become a bit of a parlor game with reporters when talking to Republicans in Congress. The Spending Reduction Act of 2011 presents some answers.
The bill seeks to hold “FY 2011 non-security discretionary spending to FY 08 levels, hold non-defense discretionary spending to FY 06 levels thereafter for the rest of the ten-year budget window (the same level as in effect during the last year of GOP control of the Congress), and include more than 100 other program eliminations or savings proposals, consisting of proposals from the RSC Sunset Caucus, YouCut, or past RSC budgets.”
Cuts proposed include big ticket items like repealing “stimulus” and familiar conservative campaigns like subsidies for Amtrak, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Legal Services Corporation.
During his speech at Heritage, Jordan called the spending proposal a “good first step.” We are the greatest nation in history, he said, but “we’re now ninth when we look at indicators of economic freedom.” He said, “You can’t lead militarily when … you’re not the #1 economy in the world.”
He added: “I have never seen the American people more ready for the tough love measures necessary.”
Jordan cited a recent Tony Blankley column:
The American people feared the permanent loss of liberty more than they feared the temporary loss of their income or property.
The tea parties self-formed without leadership from above. But millions of people who didn’t join the tea parties nonetheless endorsed their sentiments and values — so that by last month, polls showed that the tea parties were more identified with than the Republican Party, which itself had just won the greatest election victory in well over half a century.
No other people in the world would have responded to economic danger by seeking more liberty and less government protection.
No other people would have thought to themselves, “If I have to suffer economically in order not to steal from my grandchildren, so be it.”
Jordan asked: “Will the political class rise to the standard of the American people?” He answered: “I think the answer is yes.”
Underscoring the rollback of welfare reform we’ve seen under the Obama administration, Jordan stressed the need to re-reform.
Jordan expressed a cautious confidence that “leadership gets it.” But, asserting independence, added that the Republican Study Committee exists to give them some “friendly persuasion to act like Republicans.”