Well, what a political year we’re having, huh? We are obviously at a serious crossroads in our country. This is one of those times when the decisions we make are going to change the direction of our country for a long long time.
For many years, we have been living above our means. Year after year, president after president, congress after congress, we’ve borrowed and spent, spent and borrowed. By my count, the continuous spending and borrowing has caused our debt to reach statutory limits, leading to increases in the debt limit, 72 times since 1940 (see table 7.3, Statutory Limits on Federal Debt: 1940 – current, produced by the Office of Management and Budget).
As you know, we’ve just raised the debt ceiling again. Already the fourth time under the Obama administration.
This time, there was a new element to the argument. A little group called the TEA Party has joined the conversation. It’s not a political party, but rather a group of concerned citizens who recognize that this pattern of ever increasing spending and debt increases has gone on long enough. And in the spirit on which this great nation was founded, we are speaking out.
Try as they might, the political enemies of the TEA Party can not distract us. They can not divert us. They can not keep us quiet. Why? Because we are not just a radical collection of extreme Americans. We are everybody. We are Republicans, we are Democrats, we are Independents, and we are Libertarians.
We are common everyday people that know our heritage. We know our responsibility. We are the people. We are the government. And our country is going to be run the way the people say, not the way establishment politicians in Washington want it to be run.
With the voice of the TEA Party in this debate, the establishment politicians at every level of government see their sphere of control an influence wavering. That’s because we don’t care about party, we don’t care about who’s to blame. We care about fixing this problem, now!
Our presence has made for some very loud, very angry, and very bitter debates. Typical when the status quo is disrupted. In this latest debt ceiling debate, the TEA Party has been called terrorists, vampires, and zombies. We’ve been called radical stupid idiots. We’ve been labeled addicts with a pathological addition to getting our own way (sounds kind of American to me). We’ve even been called cannibals.
And in the end, among all the name calling, malice, and hate speech, the conversation has become about cutting spending, not about raising taxes. The conversation is now about limiting the debt, not extending it.
But our work is obviously only beginning. It may be true that the conversation has changed. But that is not enough. In the end, the deal that was reached still resulted in an increase in the debt ceiling. It still increases spending. It still weakens us and leaves behind the real problems we face. It basically did nothing!
We require real change in the way our government operates. We require real spending cuts. Not just reductions in the spending increases. We require real tax reform, not just soak the rich tax increases. We require private sector job growth, and public sector (i.e. government) job reductions (i.e. smaller government).
If they think we think we won… … then they don’t know TEA!