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Fred Barnes on the Republicans' Budget Battle

9:28 AM, Mar 28, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Fred Barnes writes in the Wall Street Journal:

Some of the most disgruntled folks in Washington these days are conservative Republicans in Congress. They believe their party has abandoned the cause of deep spending cuts that spurred the Republican landslide in the 2010 midterm election. They say their leaders are needlessly settling for small, incremental cuts.

Moreover, this demand for bigger cuts and defunding of liberal programs—immediately—comes from prominent members of the House, not just excitable freshmen. "This is our mice or men moment," according to Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Allowing Democrats more time to negotiate "will only delay a confrontation that must come," said Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, chairman of the House Study Committee, added: "We've made some solid first downs. Now it's time to look to the end zone."

The end zone is far away, however, and impatience won't get Republicans there. Impatience is not a strategy. It may lead to a government shutdown with unknown results. To enact the sweeping cuts they desire, Republicans must hold the House and capture the Senate and White House in the 2012 election. Then they'll control Washington. Now they don't.

In the meantime, the incremental strategy is working. Republicans have passed two short-term measures to keep the government in operation since early March while slashing $10 billion in spending. At this rate, they would achieve the target of GOP congressional leaders of lopping off $61 billion from President Obama's proposed budget in the final seven months of the 2011 fiscal year.

Whole thing here.

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