Why the Tea Party Movement exists 3


One simple chart from the Congressional Budget Office explains why a Tea Party Movement exists.

Look at the last bar on the right.  Deficit spending hasn’t inched up, it hasn’t even exploded.  The operative verb is hemorrhaging.  Our budget is hemorrhaging because of spending imposed on America by the Democratic Party.

These are partisan deficits.

Democrats were justly (if insincerely) critical of excessive government spending during the Bush years.  Heck, rank and file Republicans were critical.  Why do you think so many stayed home in 2006 and ceded Congress to the Democrats?

Republicans got what they deserved.

And now America is getting what it deserves turning over the keys to the treasury to a party that believes that the government that governs the best spends the most.  The late, great Thomas Jefferson is surely turning over in his grave.

The depth of the fiscal carnage is so utterly breathtaking, it could easily lead one to despair and cynicism.

Don’t fall for it.  After all, this IS America.  We are the most resourceful country in the history of humanity.  The ballot box gives us power, and don’t think otherwise.

The damage done by our elected officials can be mitigated by a strong response at the ballot box this November.

To be fair to my Democratic friends, Republicans have colluded in the expansion of the Federal Government.  They deserve much blame, but Democrats deserve more in light of the explosion in spending that began when they retook Congress in 2006, and in light of the hemorrhaging since President Obama took over last year.

To put things in perspective, in 1980 the Federal government spent an average of $2498 per citizen.

This year, the estimated numbers are $11,640 per citizen (or $4470 in 1980 inflation-adjusted numbers).

My liberal friends contend that the root cause of the deficits are “Bush’s tax cuts for the rich.”  But that doesn’t square with my analysis of the data.  For the decade of the 80’s, the government collected an average of $22,688 in taxes per citizen.  In the 2000’s, they collected an average of $29,427 per citizen.  (2009 receipts are estimated.  Numbers are inflation-adjusted in 1980 dollars.)

In other words, receipts have skyrocketed.  They are not the root cause of our deficit hemorrhaging.

Spending is the problem.

The Tea Party Movement exists largely because they know we can’t afford the spending imposed on our nation by both parties.  Rank and file Republicans tend to be fiscally frugal.  Elected Republicans aren’t so consistent.

The Tea Party Movement is a mechanism to keep elected Republicans accountable to the taxpayers.

Look at the chart above again.  We’ve got a big spending problem.  Let’s elect the women and men who can fix the problem.

To my Republican friends, if you regain Congress this Fall, don’t blow it.  You’ve got one more shot.  We’re counting on you.

My Tea Party Introduction 2


I attended the Tea Party rally at the State Capital in Des Moines last Friday, my first.  I had three specific things I was looking for:

  1. What is the single biggest issue of concern to this movement?
  2. How many people would show up?
  3. Are the people in this movement normal?

Let me answer these questions in reverse order.  Yes, the people in attendance were normal.  I wanted to see for myself, because Speaker Pelosi and President Obama suggest otherwise.

It is true that they recited the Pledge of Allegiance without flinching.  And they belted out a heartfelt rendition of the National Anthem.  Are those normal occurrences at rallies attended by liberals?  Perhaps.

One fellow had a small American flag protruding from his hat.  The overall sense that I had from the crowd is that they love America.

The Des Moines Register reported that about 1200 people attended the rally.  Sounds good.  It’s hard to estimate large crowds for me.   The group was energized by the speakers, passionate about the message.

So what is the message?  Is there a single theme?  Yes.

The Tea Party Movement is all about independence.

The speakers talked about the size of government, about runaway government spending, about government intrusion into our lives in ways never intended by the Founding Fathers.  To quote Ronald Reagan, they want big government off their backs.

Ultimately, they agree with the first Democratic President, Thomas Jefferson, who said the government that governs least governs best.

Ultimately, they believe a government governs best when it makes people stronger by breeding independence.

Ultimately, they believe that the current direction of the country is exactly wrong, that we are weakening the very fiber of America by breeding government dependence.

I saw several Republican candidates at the rally.  However, Republicans would be sadly mistaken if they think this is a Republican crowd.  The Tea Party exists partly because Republicans didn’t act like Republicans when they controlled the Congress and the White House.

A reminder to Republicans:  President Obama is still more popular than you according to the RealClearPolitics polling averages (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/).

Republicans can pick up a lot of Tea Party votes if they act like Republicans.  If they regain power, will they exhibit the same political resolve that Mr. Obama and Ms. Pelosi have demonstrated in advancing their big government agenda?