By Greg Smith
Independent voters in America have overwhelmingly negative opinions of the Tea Party. Considering the general beliefs of these two groups this view is caused to a large extent by poor presentation and communication by Tea Party members. If the Tea Party wants to remain relevant in elections it needs to begin giving basic, dispassionate explanations of why smaller government matters.
Their phone went to voicemail so let me take a crack at it.
For me, there is now one overriding domestic policy issue, the deficit and debt. Governments must carry debt, but in 2008 the ratio of the national debt to gross domestic product was 64.8%, which was already too high. This is a basic measurement of how far we are in hock compared to annual income. By 2013 that ratio had shot up to 101.6%. Here’s a hint: When this ratio could be a station on the FM dial, the country is being quite irresponsible.
There are many who will start to lay the blame at the feet of Barack Obama or George Bush. Save it, those arguments are not going to put my kid through college. In politics, when spending priorities are debated there is considerable talk about ‘fairness.’ Where is the fairness in elected officials in the White House and Congress borrowing trillions of dollars, which they then hand out to groups based on whose support they need to get re-elected, then hand the bill to the next generation? They obviously have no plan to pay it back.
A wonderful little boy is in taking a nap on his bed. His biggest concerns are his sippy cup, access to as many cars – toy and real — as possible and when he’ll see another school bus. Buses are his big thing now. Cute. Little does that boy realize most of the political establishment is okay with borrowing as much as they need to keep their jobs and stick that little boy and the rest of his generation with the bill.
Open a credit card account in Tennessee Democrat Rep. Steve Cohen’s name – according to Townhall.com the biggest Congressional spender of 2013 – buy a plasma TV and a Playstation, and get locked up. He can try to spend about $70 billion in borrowed money, and probably get re-elected. Fairness?
Someone may argue we’re spending that borrowed money to shore up the economy and create jobs, which will then benefit the next generation. Save your breath, I’m not stupid, and isn’t that the despised ‘trickle-down’ economics? Apparently it doesn’t work from rich to poor but it works from generation to generation. If that argument held water we would not, considering the trillions borrowed and spent, be facing a true unemployment rate of 13%.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and his colleagues may come off poorly. He certainly should have known better than to amateurishly read Green Eggs and Ham during his Senate filibuster last year because news outlets are going to seize on what’s interesting rather than what is important. But I don’t see anyone else telling Americans the hard truth: Actually living within our means would help the economy, but the better reason is it’s the right thing to do. If you disagree, just try explaining the fairness involved to a child.
Winston Churchill famously said, “Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others.” The same can be extrapolated to the Tea Party. ©
Greg Smith is not a member of the Tea Party, but is a freelance writer and political consultant who lives in Bantam, CT. His blog is found at www.betterfatthanfascist.com.