Undoubtedly due to his post-election tea party stardom, Rep.-elect Allen West, R-Fort Lauderdale, was a guest on Meet the Press Sunday with regulars like MSNBC commentator Richard Wolffe and Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot. The panel discussed TSA pat-downs and the Bush tax cuts.
West did not endorse the idea of pat-downs:
I think, once again, it comes back to marketing. I mean, we should have put out some type of feelers and talked to the American people about this before we go and implement this type of plan. And also, when you go back, you look at after September 11th, we had the opportunity with Israel coming and talking to us about improving our security screening procedures, and we turned them down. I traveled to Israel, and I tell you what, they have very good procedures, and you don’t have to go through all of these very Draconian practices.
The kind of security that Israel has out of one small international airport — extensive behavioral interviews, multiple checkpoints for cars and people entering the airport, and other measures — would be difficult and expensive to implement at much larger international airports in the U.S.
West also talked about the deficit, but did not offer many specifics, only giving the “put everything on the table” line many Republicans have taken to repeating:
I, I think everything has to be on the table. I think that we need to have an honest conversation with the American people. And I think that when you look at some of the things up here with the, the public sector compensation —you know, we could find about $47 billion if we aligned government compensation with private sector. We need to look at our Defense Department. We need to look at, you know, how do we, you know, reform — not reform, but how do we repair Social Security? How do we get Social Security back into that independent trust fund account? We need to look at how do we set the conditions economically so maybe we have less people that have to be on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?
The one cut he mentioned would not trim that much out of the $1.3 trillion deficit in fiscal year 2010.
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Luke Johnson reports on Florida for The American Independent.