If not the Tea Party, then Who? By John Palmer

The attacks against the ordinary concerned citizens who call themselves "the Tea Party," are coming fast and furious. It would seem the Tea Party is responsible for the debt crisis, the credit downgrading, and removing the brakes from granny's wheelchair .

It is hard to believe that only a year ago, I was recalling how the Canadian newspapers were advising their people not to get involved in the running of the government like their neighbors to the South. They advised leaving that to the "experts." Judging from the congressional approval ratings, one wonders whether that term could be used for our senators and representatives.

If not for the Tea Party, who would sound the warning that our future economic viability is vulnerable without drastic spending cuts? We Tea Party citizens become informed about the government and those elected to represent us. I believe we gave many conservative representatives a backbone to stand up for what they believed in, but didn't have the outspoken support of the people before. They were not sent to Washington to mark time while their elder colleagues continued to dole more out of the treasury than was in it or coming into it.

These freshman representatives and the few new senators were sent to do something now, as in immediate, to reign in the irresponsible and unsustainable spending or else we would be exactly where we are now - the same predicament. Due to our baseline budgeting schemes, the agreed upon cuts are not really cuts. There is only a slower increase to the spending.

Standard and Poors downgraded our credit rating not because of the Tea Party. It was downgraded despite the Tea Party's best effort to cut spending. It was downgraded because real spending wasn't cut and there was an impasse to cut it.

President Obama vowed to veto a bill with more spending cuts. Republicans got the best they could with some significant cuts (really smaller increased spending,) but not enough to make the Tea Party and the rest of the world happy about the U.S. economic future. The world regards our debt as being riskier now.

If you want to be upset with the Tea Party, be upset that we couldn't shake enough sense into Harry Reid and President Obama to rescue our economy. Be upset that we couldn't take full advantage of the opportunity to force our leaders to be responsible.

One final word about taxation. The majority of the so-called "rich" are just those a little better off than you, and are paying the brunt of the tax burden. Expanding that burden isn't balance. During this economic downturn, removing more dollars from the private sector will only hurt economic expansion and job growth. This hurts all, but especially will hurt those struggling to get or keep a job. It is irresponsible to put up more obstacles to a real recovery.

John Palmer

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