Mike Needham

“We’re eager to work with Republicans to cut spending and reduce our debt,” Sen. Reid said. But “the House Republicans’ proposal isn’t responsible.” Earlier in the week, we learned Sen. Reid thought the $58 billion proposal was “draconian.”

If Harry Reid thinks trimming our spending by 1.5% is draconian, that’s fine, but he should put his cards on the table. If he wants to “cut spending and reduce our debt” then he has a duty to tell voters by how much. If he thinks 1.5% is too much then he is acknowledging that he has nothing substantive to offer our national debate on spending because the choices only get more difficult.

In attacking the Republicans’ substantive spending cuts, Harry Reid is telling voters everything they need to know. In the big picture, he is fundamentally unserious. In the details, he just wants to continue failed Washington programs – like TAA – which are the reason America is on the verge of a fiscal crisis.

Reid specifically criticizes Republican plans to reduce spending on the COPS program. This is a poster child for failed Washington programs, as Heritage Foundation scholar David Muhlhausen has argued for years. In 2001, Heritage found COPS grants had no statistically significant effect on reducing the rates of violent crimes. A 2006 follow-up study confirmed this result and found additional evidence that the federal money was merely replacing local spending.

Ronald Reagan once observed “a government bureau is the closest thing to eternal life we’ll ever seen on this earth.” TAA and COPS are perfect examples of this observation. Yet, if America wishes to remain eternally strong, we need to have the courage to take on these failed programs and the establishment politicians who protect them.

Mike Needham

Mike Needham is the Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Action for America, a grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to advancing legislation that promotes freedom, opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.