In recent weeks, Republicans have escalated their rhetoric on repealing legislative items passed by President Obama. Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) have called for not only repealing health reform, but repealing nearly everything passed in the last year. Newt Gingrich has suggested that Republicans, after taking back Congress, should engage in a budget standoff with Democrats that could result in a shutdown of the federal government.
At the Tax Day Tea Party at Freedom Plaza today, ThinkProgress asked Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) if he supported his colleagues’ stimulus repeal campaign. Kingston said that he did, and confirmed to us that he would repeal the stimulus by forcing businesses and state governments to give back the stimulus money. President Obama’s stimulus consisted of approximately one-third tax cuts to 95% of Americans, one-third support to state governments, and one-third direct investments to businesses for infrastructure and job programs. Kingston, however, said he would “gladly run on” repealing the bill and forcing stimulus recipients to pay back the funds:
TP: Are you going to say that all the stimulus money that has been doled out by businesses, should the businesses give back the money and give it back to the taxpayers?
KINGSTON: I think it would be something to consider when you think about none of this money has created jobs. So I think we should repeal the stimulus program. And I would gladly–
TP: And ask state governments to pay back the Federal government, and for businesses to pay back?
KINGSTON: I would gladly run on that, I would gladly say the stimulus hasn’t worked and we need to repeal it.
Ironically, Kingston — a longtime foe of the stimulus — has claimed credit for stimulus-funded jobs in his district. Last year, he fired off several press releases announcing the hiring of new police officers in his district. “This funding will provide tax relief by savings local tax dollars,” said Kingston in the release, adding that the funds “will go a long way to fight crime more effectively through community policing.” He did not reveal, however, that the funds came directly from the stimulus he has called a failure.
When Kingston fights to repeal the stimulus and demands a refund of the money, is he prepared to ask that the stimulus-funded cops in his district be fired?