Posted on 12 August 2011.
Everything you need to know about career polititicans, the media, and the Tea Party was illustrated in the recent debt ceiling debacle.
It had it all: the Big-Government advocates demanding compromise, yet clearly having no intention of doing anything remotely fiscally responsible; the so-called conservative Republicans passing and then undermining their own bill (Cut, Cap, and Balance), only to ultimately (and predictably) compromise everything away, agreeing to another kick-the-can-down-the-road bill; the American people ending up worse off than they were before, as S&P downgraded our AAA credit rating for the first time in American history; and everyone in the political class, including the media, blaming the Tea Party. They’ve gone so far as to dub S&P’s action the “Tea Party downgrade.”
Sometimes all you can do is marvel at the Big-Government advocates’ total disregard for reality and the intelligence of the American people. They’ll say whatever they want, regardless of its open absurdity, and assume people will believe it.
Slicing through all the rhetoric, though, you get to this simple and undeniable fact: many, if not most, in the Tea Party compromised and reluctantly supported the only legislation that could have prevented the downgrade by increasing the debt ceiling the full amount President Obama requested while implementing real spending cuts. S&P sovereign-rating chief John Chambers said that the two criteria for maintaining our AAA rating were (a) $4 trillion in cuts, and (b) bi-partisan support. The Tea Party largely endorsed the Cut, Cap, and Balance approach, which cut spending by the appropriate level and was passed in the House with support from both Republicans and Democrats. Both criteria were met.
So the Tea Party was the only chance this nation had at maintaining its AAA rating.
But the political establishment, knowing they look silly and are losing ground daily in the eyes of ordinary Americans, are desperate to shift the blame to the only organization that deserves none. They are terrified of us, because we represent an enormous group of engaged and principled Americans actively pushing for real fiscal responsibility, regardless of the political ramifications. They know their only chance at continuing to grow government and spend America into an economic black hole is to discredit the powerful nationwide movement fully committed to stopping them.
This entire story is screaming for a Voices of the Tea Party e-book. Simply describing the events from start to finish of how the debt ceiling was raised in 2011 will illustrate everything wrong with Washington and everything right with the Tea Party movement—a movement convincing the nation it’s finally time to return to America’s founding principles and shift the power from We the Government back to We the People.
Jon Wakefield is a leader of the Richmond, Virginia Tea Party