News tagged as 'Jon Wakefield'

One Hundred More Years?

By: JonWakefield

This past Friday, Team Obama stepped on to the court in my backyard and at my alma mater, the University of Richmond. I’m happy to report that the home team, the Richmond Tea Party, showed up to defend our fine city, peacefully demonstrating outside the Robbins Center where President Obama spoke. Some of his cheerleaders—the college students who haven’t yet figured out that they’re about to enter a workforce in which their demographic suffers from the highest unemployment rate—trotted out the old standby chant of, “Four more years!”

I thought, Four more years of what? Big-Government policies that squash freedom and eventually topple economies?

While President Obama has certainly slammed the accelerator to the mat on those types of policies since 2009*, he simply is serving the same economic ideology that has increasingly governed both major political parties for a hundred years. The ideological degrees vary, the faces and the rhetoric change, but it’s the same message we’ve heard in America for far too long.

In 1910, the progressive Theodore Roosevelt (a Republican) said

“We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably attained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had [emphasis mine], but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary.”

And so began the century-long (and counting) war among the classes, the purpose of which is to expand governmental control over our lives.

There was no need to watch President Obama’s big speech before Congress on Thursday, because we’ve already heard it from him consistently since he stepped onto the campaign trail in 2007 (which he has never left). The only things that change are some of the numbers behind the policies and the focus group tested phrases used to describe those policies. But when you fan away all the smoke, you find nothing but old fashioned class warfare. This drives much of what our President does.

Instinctively, he knows this, because in his speech he insisted, “This isn’t class warfare,” after earlier advocating making “the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share.” Audible laughter from Congress ensued, as it did around America because the majority finally sees through this President. They know the only tactic he has left to convince us to support a stimulus package of $447,000,000,000 after the abysmal failure of the last one is to convince us that greedy rich people who don’t want to “pay their fair share” must be forced to open their wallets for the “good of society.”

President Obama is merely the latest in a long line of Big-Government politicians to play class warfare politics, pitting classes of Americans against each other, teaching many contempt for the rich while coveting what they have earned. This is how we end up with redistributive policies, such as a 70,000-page tax code, much of which is meant to reward and punish political allies and opponents; the Community Reinvestment Act that was involved in helping blow the housing bubble that burst, leading to the financial crisis of 2008 (which hasn’t yet been solved); and Obamacare, which is loaded with new taxes and regulations, further hammering an already crippled economy. These examples, along with many others, collectively are why America is now speeding toward an economic black hole that we soon may not be able to pull back from.

Those University of Richmond students who want “Four more years!” should take a few moments to realize that they’re actually riding a shuttle that was launched a hundred years ago. It has accelerated and decelerated in varying degrees over that century, but the ultimate destination is clear, as they’ll soon learn when they attempt to enter the over-regulated workforce full time.

I believe a valuable addition to the Voices of the Tea Party series would be an e-book explaining to college students the fruits of the policies many of them support. Then when they graduate into firsthand experience in a managed economy, maybe instead of wanting “A hundred more years!” they’ll open their eyes and will join the Tea Party’s efforts to immediately turn the shuttle around and speed in the opposite direction, treating all Americans equally and fostering cooperation rather than contempt, throwing out our entire tax code and replacing it with a uniform tax rate, removing government from the housing and health care industries—and many others—and allowing the free market to naturally produce more prosperity for all our people. If we choose this over class warfare for the next hundred years—or even ten—we may not only survive this fiscal crisis but thrive again and restore America to her basic founding principles that made it the greatest nation the world has ever known.

*I believe the Obama presidency has always been a race against time. His goal was to transfer as much power as possible from the people to the government and that by the time the American public woke up to his game it would be too late for them to stop the power grab. But what he—and no one else—anticipated was the birth and rapid development of an enormous non-partisan movement dedicated to restoring America to the founding principles of a limited government and an empowered citizenry. We the People have put our lives on hold to ensure that we preserve some form of freedom for our children and teach them to expand it when they take our place.

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

A Moral Movement

By: JonWakefield

Last week, I outlined a continuing series I would be writing on this blog about 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.

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As a Christian in the Tea Party, sometimes other Christians express concern to me that our movement doesn’t address moral issues. While they generally agree on the constitutional and economic stances we take, some are hesitant to join our cause because we don’t take a stance on some of the traditional issues the church is passionate about.

My response goes something like this:

-          Advancing constitutionally limited government—a defense against tyranny and oppression by a power-hungry government—is a moral issue.

-          Standing for fiscal responsibility (i.e., good stewardship) and against a government that spends money we do not have on programs that do not work, piling up an unfathomable debt that our children—who had no say in the matter—will have to repay is a moral issue.

-          Keeping markets free and fair so that government can’t reward and punish political allies and enemies through over-taxation and regulation is a moral issue.

-          Demanding virtue and accountability in our representatives (and in ourselves) so that they (and we) are trustworthy stewards of our God-given freedoms is a moral issue.

-          Because every person is created in God’s image and, therefore, possesses inherent value, protecting individual rights as outlined in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution is a moral issue.

-          Stopping government from destroying the value of the U. S. dollar—and countless lives—is a moral issue.

-          Allowing productive citizens to keep the fruits of their labor is a moral issue.

-          Insisting that government officials enforce and personally adhere to the laws we all operate under is a moral issue.

-          Opposing bailouts of massive corporations while you and I struggle to feed our families is a moral issue.

-          Fighting against forced redistribution of wealth (also known as “stealing”) and the promotion of envy by a corrupt, secular government is a moral issue.

-          Holding elected representatives accountable to their oaths of office by expecting them to act transparently, with integrity, and at least read and understand the bills they pass is a moral issue.

-          Simplifying the entire tax code so that it is comprehensible and fair to all citizens, favoring no special interest group over another, is a moral issue.

-          Becoming energy independent by using America’s own natural resources so that we no longer rely on tyrannical nations that seek our demise is a moral issue.

-          Protecting religious liberty is a moral issue.

I could go on, but you get the point. While these certainly aren’t the traditional moral issues that the church addresses, numerous Christian organizations are already doing excellent work on the others. Few, though—if any—address the issues related to constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, free markets, and virtue and accountability—all of which contain strong moral components and align with biblical teachings. And the Tea Party, though not a religious movement, succeeds in advancing these founding principles that the Christian community often ignores to its own—and America’s—peril.

Jon Wakefield is a leader of the Richmond, Virgina tea party.

Government vs. Business

By: JonWakefield

I’m not an economist. But I did score well in 5th grade math, which is all that’s required to understand the horror show of our national debt situation.

On oftwominds.com, a guy named Charles Hugh Smith performed a simple calculation that cuts through all the government and media spin, putting the last four years of Federal spending in chilling perspective. He found that despite borrowing $6.1 trillion (keep in mind that it took America two hundred years to accumulate our first trillion dollars of debt), the cumulative growth of our GDP is a paltry $700 billion. This means that for every $1 of growth, we have borrowed $8.70.

Imagine trying to run a business on those numbers. It would quickly collapse. And the same will eventually be true of the United States, if we don’t reverse course. Fast.

Yet, President Obama—our nation’s CEO—is seeking a $2.4 trillion increase to the debt ceiling. (We have already raised the debt ceiling 74 times since 1962, by the way.) He wants to borrow (and spend) more. And more. And more — despite the fact that all we have to show for our reckless borrowing are a gargantuan deficit and debt, high unemployment, and skyrocketing food and gas prices.

You will not find a better example of the fruits of Keynesian economics than this. It’s time we abandon the openly silly notion that we can spend our way to prosperity, that the United States of America is somehow immune to the basic laws of economics, and start slashing our budget as if we are a business.

I’d like to see an e-book from Voices of the Tea Party comparing how the Federal Government operates to how a successful business operates. The contrast will be staggering. No matter which way you slice the numbers, it paints a dismal picture of the federal government’s handling of the economy and would make a bulletproof case that it’s time to fire our CEO. 

 

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

Who’s Mainstream and Who’s Fringe?

By: JonWakefield

America is a highly polarized nation.

We hear that all the time, but is it accurate? Last week, The Daily Caller reported on a Sachs/Mason-Dixon poll that showed 65% of America supports a balanced budget amendment, while only 27% oppose it.

That’s not highly polarized.

The Hill conducted a poll on raising the debt ceiling (which just suffered a massive defeat in the U.S. House), and found a nearly identical split at 62-27% opposed the measure, including 64% of independents and a plurality of Democrats. Want more? Gallup conducted a similar poll and found the split to be 47-19% against raising the debt ceiling.

That’s not highly polarized.

CBS News conducted a poll on cutting spending vs. raising taxes to reduce the federal deficit and found that 77% of Americans prefer cutting spending, while only 9% want taxes raised.*

That’s not only not highly polarized, it’s almost totally unified.

What do all these issues—a balanced budget, a frozen debt ceiling, reduced spending, and low taxes—have in common? They are straightforward applications of the core Tea Party principles of constitutionally limited government and fiscal responsibility.

These polls aren’t anomalies and they aren’t the only issues that the American public agrees with us on. I continue to be struck by just how much they are with us on issue after issue. Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising, though, considering that conservatives outnumber liberals in America by a 2-1 margin (according to Gallup). And this has been the case for a long time. An e-book that catalogs the broad support across all political demographics for basic Tea Party policies would make an excellent addition to the Voices of the Tea Party series.

President Obama and his allies often call Tea Partiers fringe (when they’re feeling magnanimous enough to refrain from calling us by a sexual slur), but when even significant numbers of regular Democrats are supporting basic Tea Party ideology—whether they know it or not—it’s hard to argue that our movement isn’t mainstream. It is President Obama and his allies—who support a severely unbalanced budget, hiking the debt ceiling by well over $2 trillion, raising taxes, and blowing up record spending even more—who are on the fringe of every major issue facing the nation today.

*The specifics of what to cut is where Americans disagree. We will ultimately need to find common ground and work together, but for now the Tea Party can confidently claim that we have handily won the argument that Federal Government is too big and needs substantial cuts.

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



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