News tagged as 'fiscal responsibility'

Why Young Americans Under 30 Should Look to the Tea Party as Their Answer for a Bright Future

By: JonWakefield

You have the most incentive of anyone to not only join the Tea Party movement, but become its most passionate leaders.

Stop laughing. Just hear me out.

I’m 35 years old. And though you make think I’m already old enough to draw Social Security, I can assure you that I’m not and can still clearly remember what it’s like to be young(er).

Because of that, I understand why the Tea Party isn’t exactly the coolest thing on campus. Though toga parties seem to remain a winner, I haven’t heard of any where people are sporting knee-length pants, tri-corner hats, and powdered wigs. I’m not really a partygoer myself, but even I would be creeped out by something like that.

But the Tea Party isn’t about being cool (obviously) or social networking or feeling good about oneself; it is primarily about one thing: saving some semblance of freedom for your generation.

I know, it sounds melodramatic—but it’s true. There are many examples of how your freedoms are being rapidly stripped from you in ways you likely don’t even see, but for the purposes of this article, I will focus on the one I believe to be the biggest.

The national debt.

While this topic may seem well suited for a crowded lecture hall where you normally catch up on sleep, believe me, it’s hard to overstate its impact on your future. Consider that the national debt is roughly $15.5 trillion. That is real money our nation owes to real people who expect us to pay it back. And the payments must come from the taxes we forfeit from our own wallets.

It may be difficult to conceptualize what the total debt means to you personally, but all you have to do is divide it by the 320 million people living in America, and you discover that your share of the load is $48,437. If that weren’t bad enough, America’s unfunded liabilities (future debt for which no money has been set aside) are estimated to be anywhere from $60 to $118 trillion. Let’s be conservative and take the low number, adding it to the $15.5 trillion, and round down what we collectively owe to an even $75 trillion. That increases your individual share to $234,375. And this doesn’t even include any student loans for those of you that have—or will have—them.

Is this getting real to you yet?

Now—answer this: Which demographic is suffering the highest employment in America?

You got it: young people. In fact, the Associated Press just reported that more than half of four-year college grads under 25 are either unemployed or underemployed.

The staggering national debt and high unemployment rate, especially among young people, are a direct result of the Big-Government policies our nation is advancing. It took America roughly 200 years to accumulate its first trillion in debt, but President Obama has accumulated five trillion in three years alone. We’re borrowing at a rate of 333 times as fast as we did over our first two centuries of existence. And this is done by the same person who when he was Senator Obama less than four years ago said, “The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents—number 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back—$30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic” (emphasis added).

I would add staggeringly immoral to that assessment, for he was exactly right: to fund our government’s reckless spending we were (are) borrowing from nations like China and foisting the debt on future generations (you) who had no say in the matter. In fact, most had no idea it was (is) even happening. Furthermore, we have also inflated our money supply at an unprecedented level, making our dollar worth far less than it used to be.

So to summarize: you have been saddled with an enormous debt without your permission, you face a terrible job market to try to make some money to actually pay off the debt, and the little money that you do have holds ever-diminishing purchasing power. Oh, and by the way, the $75 trillion America owes is more than the combined money supply of the entire world. There is simply no way to pay it off. Which means that your generation as inheritors of this debt is facing blinding taxes, resulting in far greater unemployment and a loss of freedom you probably can’t even imagine.

Okay, let me stop here and say that I’m not trying to depress you. Honestly. I’m simply illustrating the fruits of Big Government … and offering you a real solution.

The Tea Party.

Our support for limited government and fiscal responsibility are your best shot at hanging on to some semblance of freedom and not spending the rest of your life working for the government to pay off all the money they borrowed in your name. If you want to have any ability to provide a good living for yourself (and possibly a family someday), you will join with us in demanding an immediate and dramatic reduction in government spending across the board and a balanced budget to start getting our debt under control. And to jumpstart our dying economy, you will help us push for a simplification of the tax code and massive reductions in regulations and taxes on businesses, which would help them grow and create jobs and bring many back that have been shipped overseas.

Believe me, I know that declaring yourself a member of the Tea Party may treat you to some strange looks or snickering at your upcoming social gatherings, but in the long run that will seem like a small price to pay for preserving your freedom. So join with us in protecting your future by helping your local Tea Party—or starting one of your own, especially if you’re on a college campus—to find and support those political candidates who will advance the principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility. Plenty of them will be running. And if we elect enough of them this November (and beyond), your generation may help prevent an economic catastrophe for all of us, but especially for you.

What could be cooler than that?

Jonathan Wakefield is a leader of the Richmond, Virginia Tea Party. He is the author of Saving America: A Christian Perspective of the Tea Party Movement and the novel Fatal Reality (a thriller), both of which are available on Amazon.com. Visit his websites atwww.teapartyforchristians.com and www.jonathanwakefield.com.

 

Fiscal Responsibility is Good Stewardship

By: JonWakefield

This is the second post in my continuing series on the Tea Party from a Christian perspective. My goal is to convince my spiritual brethren who are skeptical of our movement that they actually belong on its front lines. I believe an e-book (or a series of them) with the same goal would make a valuable addition to Voices of the Tea Party. This is merely one Tea Partier’s view on how our core principles relate to my faith. 

Click here to read part I.

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With the ongoing debt ceiling debate, it seems appropriate to post about fiscal responsibility. This is an easy one from the Christian perspective. Every resource we have comes from God, and he demands wise stewardship of his gifts. Without my citing even a single statistic, would you say that our government has been a faithful or a poor steward of the money we have entrusted to them through our taxes that God first entrusted to us?

That’s what I thought.

Instead of carefully weighing every dollar they use to meet the needs of the nation as outlined in the U.S. Constitution, they spend, spend, spend–and tax, tax, tax–to grow their own power, while rewarding and punishing political allies and enemies. The quickest of glances at the more than 70,000-page federal tax code and $3.5 trillion dollar annual budget proves this many times over.

It took America 200 years to accumulate its first $1 trillion of debt, yet we’re facing a $1.6 trillion deficit in 2011 alone, adding to our already unfathomable $14.5 trillion debt. This is real money we owe to real people who expect us to honor our financial commitments. This burden will fall on us, but even more so on our children and their children, who had no say in the matter. But still, President Obama wants to raise the debt ceiling by another $2.4 trillion without accepting any real spending cuts. All those proposed–and promptly rejected—so far barely even nipped at the annual deficit.

Our leaders from both parties are not serious about cutting spending, and never have been. It is the duty of Christians to hold these poor stewards accountable and find a way to force them to stop abusing the resources God has lent us and them. Not raising the debt ceiling would be a good start. If we allow it to be raised again with no significant cuts, though, our government will further accelerate the fiscal shuttle toward an economic black hole from which there will soon be no turning back.

This (chillingly) reminds me of the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) in which Jesus teaches that poor stewards of his resources will have them taken away. (Weeping and gnashing of teeth are also involved—never a good thing in the Bible.) How much longer can our government pile trillion upon trillion in debt in the face of credit rating downgrades and expect to have a functional economy?

Not much.

And the weeping and gnashing of teeth will commence.

Jon Wakefield is the a leader of the Richmond, Virginia Tea Party.

One Tea Partier’s View on the Tea Party and Christianity

By: JonWakefield

After I got deeply involved in the Tea Party movement, I mentioned that to a leader in my church. He seemed surprised–and not in a good way. Some time later, he confirmed my suspicion by approaching my wife and asking something along the lines of, “Your husband’s not really serious about this whole Tea Party thing, is he?”

Yes, I am. And my friend should be too.

While the Tea Party isn’t a Christian movement—it welcomes members of all faiths and of no faith—many Christians have found a home and a purpose there. And for good reason. They understand that Big Government is the enemy of religious liberty.

Given the history of America’s founding, this should be obvious to every Christian who lives here. Sadly, though, many don’t see the Big-Government blob expanding in America at a staggering rate, absorbing everything it can in our society, including the church. At some point the blob will grow too big to stop.

We may be there already, but I don’t think so. That’s why I’ve devoted so much time to working through the Tea Party to advance the core principles of constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, free markets, and virtue and accountability. (Not all Tea Parties include the last one, but the Richmond Tea Party—where I volunteer—does. And because I believe it to be critical to the success of the other three, I feel compelled to address it.) A return to these principles is necessary to ensure our nation survives its current crises and ultimately thrives again.

These principles also all align with Biblical teachings; thus, it is now my passion and purpose to convince every Christian I can of this. In the coming weeks and months, I’ll be posting about each of the core principles–as well as the Tea Party movement in general–from a Christian perspective in hopes to convince my spiritual brethren who are skeptical of the Tea Party that they actually belong on its front lines. Also–this will come as no surprise–I think an e-book (or a series of them) devoted to this would make an excellent addition to Voices of the Tea Party.

And if I can get my friend to read any of this, maybe next April I’ll spot him waving a Gadsden flag at Richmond Tea Party’s annual Tax Day Rally.

Jon Wakefield is a leader of the Richmond, Virginia Tea Party

Low Ceilings and Tea Party Pragmatism

By: JonWallace

Earlier in this space, Jon Friesch and Scott Boston addressed the merits of a Tea Party alternative to the Paul Ryan budget as an appropriate topic for a Voices e-book. I would like to follow up on that theme, by suggesting that the broader topic of fiscal responsibility as it relates to debt ceilings is also a worthy e-book topic.

A striking aspect of 18th Century dwellings are the low ceilings found in most homes of the period. Why were they built this way?  In one word: pragmatism.  To build structures with wasted space overhead was impractical (i.e. they were harder to heat and keep warm).  This kind of pragmatism is seemingly absent in the lexicon of our contemporary legislatures.

In the coming weeks, the Congress will debate the merits of raising the debt ceiling. Those of us in the Tea Party movement can imagine the incredulity with which the Founders would have viewed our current circumstance–A $14 trillion national debt, a $1.7 trillion annual deficit, and no end in sight to the citizens and corporations with their hands out for more federal dollars.

George Washington exhibited his pragmatism when he told Congress “No pecuniary consideration is more urgent than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt; on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable.”

Today, our Congress is in need of guidance such as Washington’s to realize fiscal sobriety. It is up to the sovereign people of the Republic to remind Congress to lower the debt ceiling beyond what is being proposed. Visualizing the structures of the Founders may help keep this goal in view.  The ceilings in their homes were low; they also kept their debt ceiling low.

Jon Wallace is the founder of the Rutland, Vermont Tea Party.