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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tea Party Problems – Why The Debt Ceiling Debate Isn’t A Debate

Tea Party Problems – Why The Debt Ceiling May Debate Isn’t A Debate
To preface, my political beliefs are right-centered, as you might determine from the article. Comments from both sides are appreciated.

When the Tea Party conservatives got elected in the last election, they ran on smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and an anti-Obama agenda. The public seemed to agree with their pitch. With their help and energy, Republicans gained a net of 6 Senate seats to a minority of 47. They won a net of 63 House seats to a majority of 242. The Republicans had their largest majority in the House since the 1947-1949 elections!

The Tea Party brought the Republicans back from the brink of irrelevancy. The all-knowing talking heads on cable news and the big-mouths on the radio dials had predicted that the Republicans were finished – most likely taking years, if not decades, from becoming a national player again.

With the Tea Party’s help, it took 730 days to once again have a force in DC.

And did I mention that the Republicans swept state elections too? 23/37 states went Red, and the vast majority of Blue winners were in the bastion of liberalism, New England and California.
But this is where America and the Tea Party’s honeymoon ended.

The Tea Party stuck by their guns and continued to demand smaller government spending and lower taxes.

But then came along the debt. It was the 800 pound gorilla in DC. No-one talked about it because it was politically necessary to continue governmental spending and keep taxes low, which is what kept the politicians in office.

And the American people in debt. Oh, did I say 800 pound gorilla? I meant a $14.3 pork monstrocity. That’s $14,300,000,000,000.00

So the Tea Party saw that the debt ceiling was about to reach its limit in August of 2011. They decided to fight to the death over this rather than raise it for the 103rd time since 1917 (and NO that’s not a typo).

Here’s the problem: we are still not out of a terrible recession. My article is not to try and play the blame game on whose fault it is that we’re in this (cough cough – every single president and congress since we decided to start spending more than we have the ability to pay for, coupled with unprecedented unregulated financial markets and Congress’ obsession that all Americans own a house without the ability to pay for it, in relation with the fact that American corporations have been off shoring jobs that can’t be downsized, such as producing materials necessary for the growth of the American economy which is needed to keep up our power and standard of living, and the 300,000,000 American citizens who stood back and didn’t demand that the Federal government act to try and prevent catastrophic consequences for their actions and to try and prevent their decedents form having to deal with a worse situation than they could have fixed during their time– cough cough)

As I said, we’re not out of the recession. Which means the American public and business sector need all the help they so that we can grow our way back to normalcy and prosperity. The biggest things they could use are:

Not raising taxes – we need taxes low so that the public and business can spend more of their incomes and therefore kick the economy back into gear. The more money that flows into the economy, the better it performs.

Keeping interest rates low – low interest rates allow people and businesses to borrow money from banks cheaply. Low rates encourage both these parties to borrow and spend, giving other businesses income and allowing people to stay employed. It also allows businesses to invest in new software, machinery, vehicles, etc that make their products better, cheaper, and more efficient. All of these are great ways to help the economy afloat. If the feds don’t pay their bills, interest rates go up because investors need more incentive to take a riskier move, lending to the government.

Keep paying federally promised checks – Federal Law dictates that millions of citizens receive money from the government monthly. (Not debating philosophy or morality here. Law dictates that this occurs so I’m going with it for now.) People who get these checks can spend them in the economy, which once again keeps people employed. Also, things like Medicare allow the medical industry to gain profits, which they can spend on investment to create more drugs or treatments as well.

Government Spending – (Once again, not arguing preference. I’m for small government but governmental spending is a factored part of GDP) spending by the government can act like grease on gears. This influx of capitol can help the machinery of the economy keep running when it otherwise may temporarily slow down. When the government helped create the problem, it should at least help keep businesses running if the government’s own mistakes would have shut down the company all on its own. This would also help keep people employed.

But if the Debt Ceiling doesn’t get raised for the 103rd freaking time, then all of those things would stop. Kinda like this:

Not raising the limit would not allow the government to pay its bills.

YAY Defaulting on our obligations!

This would stop the government from:
paying checks to citizens (strike one)
government spending (strike two)
keeping interest rates low (strike three)
and now that the US needs more money, they might raise taxes (strike four).

As I remember form my Little League days, you only three strikes to get out. But I digress.

Basically, here’s my opinion. The Tea Party might have good intentions, but with only roughly 72 hours until default, STOP. Just STOP. Raise the debt ceiling so the sky doesn’t fall on the economy. Give DC and the American public more time to hold a real debate on how to cut spending and raise more revenue so that the US can successfully prosper, reduce the deficit, and keep its obligations to senior and other groups protected by federal law.

Jeff on politics/world events

Photos from:


  1. Great article but there are better ways to deal with the "debt crisis" than to raise the debt ceiling so we can just dig ourselves deeper into debt as highlighted by this article from

  2. I agree with you on that point. Overall fiscal responcibility is the only long-term solution to reckless overspending.

    I was trying to convey that, in the short-run, with only hours to go before possible default, that our best solution looked like a short-term deal with a temporary increase in the debt ceiling just to get us to overall reform.

    Thanks for your comment, Ted! I'm glad some people are still able to talk about politics with civil tongues!