Much of the press in the last month has been about the challenges for John Boehner in trying to craft legislation that would “satisfy the radical TEA Party Freshmen.” Conventional wisdom among the mainstream press, Democrats, and much of the establishment Republicans seems to be that the TEA Party is made up of a bunch of naïve rookies that don’t know anything about governance.
These establishment types have a point. After all, many of the TEA Party Freshman are not career politicians. Sure, some of them have held lower office, but for most of them, that was in addition to a full-time job in the private sector. So, these folks have no experience in spending other people’s money. They have no experience in developing a set of rules that others have to live under. They have no experience when it comes to creating legislation that has huge unintended consequences that their children and grandchildren will have to deal with.
Yes, these folks are not experts on governing. Something to consider though, we’ve had professional politicians running Washington for many, many years now. They are the experts on governance. How has that worked out for us? No honest person will tell you that Washington works. The professional politicians fight back and forth, but nothing significantly good has come out of Washington in generations.
Let’s take a look at the legacy of professional politicians in Washington. As of April 10, 2011, the federal debt is nearly $14.3 trillion. This amounts to $46,000 for every man, woman and child in the US. For a family of four, the share of the debt is roughly the same as the value of the average house. How many of us can really afford two houses? With professional politicians in charge, we’ve killed 50 million children. That is nearly one baby killed for every six living in the United States today. Even if you don’t believe life begins at conception, those 50 million babies and their offspring would have gone a long way toward solving our looming Social Security and Medicare deficits.
Speaking of Medicare and SSI, these professional politicians have set up the most predictable financial disaster this country has ever faced. Just a little intellectual honesty over the years by these professionals might have resulted in actually creating a sustainable social safety net. Instead, they’ve created a pyramid scheme that makes Bernie Madoff look absolutely qualified to be a professional politician.
Professional politicians have given us so much more though. They’ve given us a tax code that is tens of thousands of pages. The result is the average person pays someone else to complete their taxes. This same tax code attempts to socially engineer our lives, but does it in a contradictory fashion. For example, the tax code encourages the subjects to buy the biggest house possible, maximizing their carbon footprint. Then, the code encourages the purchase of electric vehicles to reduce carbon. These same experts legislate on all aspects of our lives, telling us what kind of toilet to buy, and taking away our basic choice in light bulbs. I suppose, maybe the light bulb fiasco is a jobs program for hazmat teams. I could go on for days on all the glorious things professional politicians have done for us.
So now we’ve sent all these neophytes to Washington who simply don’t understand professional governance. But, they do understand that professional governance has brought this country to its knees. This “unreasonable” or “extreme” new crop of politicians who only know how to run their own lives and businesses, but are unschooled in governance just pushed the professional politicians into actually cutting spending in a modestly meaningful way. I say modestly, because it is far less than necessary, yet is still the largest spending cut in history.
If it were not for the TEA Party, it is a pretty good bet that Congress would have passed a continuing resolution with spending frozen at current levels and all the professional politicians would have patted themselves on the back for their fiscal discipline. It is the TEA Party that is fully acknowledging the calamity facing our country and is willing to actually do something to solve it. Professional politicians care most about the next election. They are comfortable knowing that they can kick the can down the road to a future generation. They are professionals, and they will do anything to ensure they remain in their profession.
The TEA Party is made up of patriots. They understand that our founders did not intend for a system that protected politicians at the expense of future generations. They are willing to make the hard decisions, and will gladly give up their jobs in the fight if that is what it takes. The TEA Party Freshmen are THE adults in Washington DC. While the Republican establishment will hedge its bets when it comes to Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, it will be the TEA Party that will provide the steel in the spine for the Republican Party.
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