Allen West on NPR: Do We Really Need the Justice Department?

How important is the Justice Department, really?
Yesterday, NPR host Robert Siegel interviewed U.S. Rep. Allen West about the federal debt fight. West, a member of the House Tea Party caucus, is adamantly opposed to raising the debt limit. He doesn't want the U.S. government to borrow any more money, even if that means the feds will be unable to pay basic bills.

From the moment Siegel introduced him, West was his usual blunt, confrontational self, immediately defensive about being called "uncompromising" on the debt issue.

"Well, thanks Robert. But 'uncompromising,' that kind of me makes sound like an
intransigent kind of fellow," West began. 

"No, I was saying staunch, is how I meant it," Siegel clarified.

"Oh, OK. Staunch sounds much more academic," West said.
 
Siegel, a generally reserved fellow, had trouble wrapping his mind around West's brand of Tea Party economics. President Obama has warned that if the debt crisis isn't resolved, seniors might not get their social security checks next month. West disagreed, saying U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner just needs to "prioritize."

Siegel pressed him for specifics, and West, in typical fashion, went from reasonable to crazy in record time.

Seigel: "You're saying that even if the debt ceiling isn't raised, that Secretary Geithner can pay seniors their Medicare, pay social security, Medicaid, the interest on the debt, and there's enough money to do all that?

Rep. WEST: Yeah. As a matter of fact, I'm just looking at a chart that was sent out from the U.S. Treasury, as well as Goldman Sachs, that alludes to that point, that there's revenue that will be there, about $250 billion, that will allow us to prioritize and then take care of that debt interest payment, take care of our seniors, and take care of our military as well.

SIEGEL: But, actually, the Bipartisan Policy Center did a day-by-day analysis of income and obligations, and they concluded that if you paid the entitlements and the interest, you would not actually have enough money right there for military active-duty pay, veterans programs, federal salaries, benefits, food nutrition programs, and several other Cabinet departments.
 
Rep. WEST: Well, you just threw in several other Cabinet departments; maybe those aren't essential functions that we need to prioritize. 

SIEGEL: The Justice Department? 

Rep. WEST: As I said, I'm looking at this chart. It starts the first of August. It goes to the 29th of August. And this chart shows very well that when you look at the receipts line that those priorities, such as Medicare, social security, interest, and essential defense fall under that revenue line.

That's right. Apparently West believes the Justice Department is not an "essential function" of government. Wonder how he feels about the Department of Education?

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21 comments
Observer
Observer

Pathetic piece of journalism.  Looks more like a piece of fiction.  Allen West on NPR:  "Do we really need the Justice Department?"  Read the article and quotes over and over . . . where does West say that?  Pathetic.  But of course I suppose there are enough mindless libs out there that will take the article as Gospel.  

Taxcurmudgeon
Taxcurmudgeon

Well, the way the jusitce department oiperates under Obama, i think he may be right! 

Think for yourself
Think for yourself

It's hard to believe anyone would bother to comment on such an obviously biased article.  Whatever you think of West, hero or villain, nowhere here does he say, "Do we really need the Justice Department," (the headline) or, "How important is the Justice Department, really?" (the photo caption). In fact, nowhere here does he even mention or hint at the Justice Department.

Siegel - you say we'll be able to pay for these certain things

West - yes

Siegel - but the numbers say you can't pay for those certain things as well as these other things

West - I didn't say those other things, too.  They may be less essential than the first things.

Siegel - The Justice Department?

West - All I'm saying is that we'll have enough money to pay for the first things.

Author - West thinks the Justice Department is unessential, and probably the Dept of Education, too.

Allen West may (or may not) be crazy, but the only thing crazy about this article is that anyone would take it or it's author seriously.

Boycryingwolf
Boycryingwolf

I agree. I'm not a supporter of the congressman or most of the policies that he's espoused so far, but nowhere in the that interview did he even come close to saying the things  intimated in this article. It appears that occassionally the writers at New Times take a "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" approach to Allen West (i.e. the non-story underwater flag story).This man is damaging enough on his own, but when you attempt to twist every single statement and action of his into a damning condemnation, you run the risk of being taken as seriously as the little boy who kept crying "wolf". When Mr. West DOES do or say something egregious, many readers may just chalk it up to your anti-West bias without exploring to see if its a legitimate issue or not.

JRD1
JRD1

You Øppressives are T.Ø.A.S.T. We are going to get rid of plenty of unnecessary government jobs. This bloated government is useless, unnecessary, and Øppressive beyond belief.

You guys shot your wad. You're done. The American people don't want your Øppressive social programs. Move out of the way or get run over, we are taking our country back from the takers and giving it to the job creators, the producers who create flippin' wealth..Move to that European socialist utopia you like so much. See ya, Ciao, Adios, and all that stuff!

Time for you takers to learn a new language.

nanook5
nanook5

quite right, eliminating the justice dep't would lead to an even larger amount of fully employed white collar criminals...you tea baggers are fucking geniuses!

Bonzodog
Bonzodog

actually, if you unemployed all the people at the Justice dept., there would be a large new pot of unemployed white collar criminals....

SMDrPepper
SMDrPepper

As I wrote in a comment to a friend, the tea baggers wan to bring us back to the days of the founders, but they overshot and went straight to the Salem Witch Trials.  In this day and age you are guilty until proven innocent, then labeled as guilty anyway.  Doing away with the Justice Department only makes this worse.They do not want a free country at all, they want a theocratic oligarchy.

Lifelong Dem
Lifelong Dem

OK, for the one millionth time, I'll ask yet again: Why do you people continue to write news articles about this human-impersonating chimpanzee? No one with a brain would ever vote for this Cro-Magnon Man.

Deuce Prez
Deuce Prez

Lifelong Dem:

Careful there, my friend.  While I absolutely detest much of what Allen West represents, for too long, Black people have been mischaracterized as monkeys.  I can't support you on that one word alone! 

And yes, I'm a Black man. No, no one should vote for Allen West....EVER AGAIN!!

kate33324
kate33324

Wow, Dem, that was quite profound (NOT)  but predictable since you are a lifelong democrat.    Question:   Would you say the same about Obama and his family and other blacks, or do  you reserve those egregious, racist comments for conservative blacks only?

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

Allen West's world is quite simplistic.........  and dysfunctional.

Sherry Olsen
Sherry Olsen

We talk about cutting spending in the US. Well what about the $800 Million we are holding back from Pakistan or any other country?  Why aren't we cutting these countries that kill our soldiers, hate the US, and more.  We need to take care of the US First and not cut the elderly care benefits, education, child care and America should come first. Thanks

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

It is actually bribe money that is paid to those countries, that you characterize, so that the U S covert operations can continue in that sphere of influence.

nanook5
nanook5

 how about the real bulk of the money we spend in pakistan, used to bomb them, fund cia & military intelligence operations, and for who knows what all else security, building, and IT contractors?

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