Jack Kelly's column today does nothing to convince me that he is not wooing the Tea Party. But Kelly does do a good job of trying to be reasonable. He notes that Robert Gates is cutting American defense spending (to have his department do its part to help address a growing deficit). Kelly admits (ruefully) this is a necessary step, but thinks that the rest of the government should do its part as well. Kelly's suggestion, return government spending to 2007 levels. Along the way he takes the opportunity to take a shot at the stimulus, calling it failed, and commenting that it cost more than the Iraq war.
Turns out, as far as I can see, Kelly is correct in at least one way (official congressional outlays for the war). But while looking around, some websites suggested that the final cost of war might be in the neighborhood of two and a half trillion. At the very least there is the issue of paying the long term medical costs for tens of thousands of wounded (some very seriously) soldiers.
Kelly's version of reasonable is to suggest that the government walk it's non-defense spending back to it's 2007 levels. That was, Kelly says, the year the Democrats took over, and "They were exactly starving then". Except that the issue is not Democratic politicians starving, it is the poor starving, the environment going undefended, workers unprotected from dangerous working conditions (and so on). Not that Democrats have (likely) gotten that much done in the last three years (something like three filibusters a week by Republicans), but the poor, the environment and business regulations are not really Kelly's target anyway (just an added bonus).
Kelly (and his Tea Party buddies) want to gut the stimulus and, of course, the health care reform. Just as Kelly (probably deliberately) ignored the cost of caring for wounded soldiers, he complains that some farmers in California were forced to curb irrigation to protect a fish, and in so doing ignores the larger amount of support farmers receive (and please note, I myself am ignoring what farmers, and agribusiness in general, give us to eat; that's a different fight).
All of which is to say one person's reasonable is another person's continued oppression of the poor.