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Challenging even the most rudimentary forms of logic, I have watched jaw agape as Democrats (and to a more limited but even more embarrassing level, Republicans) try to shift blame for the recent U.S. credit downgrade from AAA to AA+ by the Standard and Poors credit agency onto congressional Tea Party members. In some of the best examples of Orwellian double talk since Goebbels, Democrats have called Tea Party members “terrorists.” “We have negotiated with terrorists,” an angry Mike Doyle (D-Pa) said, according to sources in a closed door Democratic Caucus meeting. “This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.” http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/60421.html#ixzz1Ue7eFem4 Not wanting to miss out on the witch hunt, Vice President Joe Biden, driven by his Democratic allies’ misgivings about the debt-limit deal, responded: “They have acted like terrorists.” http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/60421.html#ixzz1UeBefenA
To understand how hatefully misguided these statements are, let’s take a very brief stroll down not to distant history lane. Other than brief periods following wars, the United States did not practice overspending until Franklin Roosevelt unnecessarily extended the Great Depression with dramatically increased federal government spending. http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/2011/02/franklin-roosevelt-and-his-new-deal-prolonged-the-great-depression/ This abusive program of misuse of public money continued and accelerated through administrations led by Democrats and Republicans alike culminating with President Obama’s useless burning of the American Dollar through the terribly misguided “stimulus” programs that even in his words “weren’t as shovel ready as we would have liked.” Well, whats a trillion dollars or two between friends.
All of this overspending means that an ever increasing amount of our country’s “revenue” (this means tax dollars) goes to pay the interest on that overwhelming debt. Given that somewhere between 45 to 49% of the people in the United States pay no federal income tax at all an ever DECREASING number of people is having to pay an ever INCREASING amount of federal income taxes. The top 50 percent of wage earners in the United States pay nearly all income taxes (97 percent), according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). With such a disparity between the people who pay and how much they pay, it should not be surprising that a growing number of people pay no taxes at all or get money back from the government. Who Does Not Pay Federal Income Tax? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5417525_not-pay-federal-income-tax.html#ixzz1UeGC1f3X This increased debt (measured as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product ['GDP']) puts continually more pressure on the debt worthiness of the United States. It is this decades long problem exacerbated by huge recent OVERSPENDING that created the credit downgrade environment – recent debt ceiling discussions are a tiny footnote of the problem.
Seeing the kidnapping of our children’s economic well being as a bad thing, the Tea Party movement swept large numbers into congress with a single command, “stop spending more money than we take in. Treat American finances responsibly.” What a horrible and undemocratic command, to be careful and frugal with tax payer dollars. Ironically, the mainline electeds on both sides of the aisle giggled at the naivete of these new fiscally conservative troops, not taking them seriously until the contrived “debt ceiling” debate began. I say contrived because normally debt ceiling increase debates (and there have been dozens of them) allow the Republicans to pound their fists on the table about taxes and spending and the Democrats to talk about the “rich” paying their fair share with ever more taxes so that we don’t starve children and the elderly and then both groups figure out ways to funnel ever more money to their favorite causes.
The process started out normally this time around with each side taking their traditional positions and then something funny (to me, not to them) happened. These dange Tea Party members actually meant what they said – no more spending. When the “Boehner Bill” compromise was introduced, Mr. Boehner was shocked to find that these Tea Party members actually meant what they said – balance the budget and stop overspending. Both sides stared in terror as their sacred cows were placed at risk. The “usual” political games where hands were slammed on desks while nothing really changed, was being threatened. The Democrats might have to stop pouring government money over their captured group of government dependent voters. The Republicans might have to ignore special interest lobbyists and their demands for corporate welfare or government subsidies. Both parties might actually have to act in the best interest of America rather than simply acting in their own best interest of reelection. The Tea Party members actions had NOTHING to do with the credit downgrade – we can all thank the previous inaction of both parties for that.
What the Tea Party did this summer is for the first time make all Americans realize our national mortality – we can no longer say that we can do everything for everyone. America will actually have to live within its means. We must actually make choices about how we spend government money and admit that it is not a magically replenishing well. The Tea Party made us look in the mirror and ask “what are our national priorities?” I think that is a good thing.