GOP Discards Logic To Woo Tea Party
The Core Of The Tea Party Are Being Manipulated By Those Who Do Not Care About Them
An anti-tea party protestor holding a sign with "Reality" and "Tea Party Meeting" pointing in opposite directions near the Wisconsin 2011 Tax Day Tea Party Rally. Image by WisPolitics.com and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
By John Guzzon
Modern Times Magazine .com
July 27, 2011 — Republicans and democrats were creeping eerily near to a budget deal over the past week as both sides seemed eager and accepting of the need to give a little and make a compromise.
Then, the tea party advocates who won their seats in Congress during the last mid-term elections — and the misguided patriots that elected them — lashed out and any idea of compromise were smashed to bits. The deal that was on the table last week was to create some new revenue by either raising taxes on those that make more than $250,000 per year or eliminating loopholes in the tax code and agreeing to several trillions of dollars in cuts. But democrats wanted a greater emphasis on military cuts while republicans sought heavy cuts cuts to Medicare and maybe Social Security.
But the devil wasn’t in the details this time.
This time, the deal was killed because the core of the tea party are the biggest, loudest and most misguided electoral bloc this country has ever seen. It is the tea party within the republican party that will not accept any deal but slashing the U.S. budget to levels not seen since the great depression.
No retreat, no surrender.
They want a balanced budget NOW and they want a congressional amendment that mandates a balanced budget — with standard outs for wars and economic catastrophes like what got us into this mess in the first place. If they don’t get it, they won’t allow the government to borrow any more money.
Some of the most outspoken on the right — like Rush Limbaugh and U.S. Rep Jim DeMint — say that even if the debt limit is not increased, nothing bad will happen.
The saddest part of the whole affair is that the vast majority of people who support the tea party and their tax reduction baloney are those who do not make more than $250,000 a year. A mere 2 percent of the U.S. population makes more than that. But that 2 percent makes 24.1 percent of all income. And yes, they pay 43.6 percent of all personal income taxes, according to The Tax Policy Center.
But those that make under $250,000 pay 56.4 percent of all personal income taxes.
How can a tax on only 2 percent of households drive so many to come out against it? Republicans have been able to accomplish this task somehow and it is amazingly scary.
One option might be that the republican base has been replaced with pod people from some strange alien world in order to bring the end of civilization as we know it.
Although that somehow seems like it might be possible in these totally weirded out times, the real truth is that the patriotic base is uneducated with virtually no sense of history and they have been told that Obama is to blame and that is the way they can hate him without being called a racist.
The rich and powerful that want their taxes to go down — or at least remain the same — tell the patriotic middle class that the government is “like a business” and if you “spend more than you take in” it is bad. Well, that is so overly simplistic, it is laughable.
Except for a brief period during the presidency of Pres. Andrew Jackson, the U.S. government has ALWAYS been in debt.
That’s right, always.
Wrong, right? Who knows. But it didn’t stop us from growing into the pre-eminent power in the world.
It is true that debt has risen amazingly in the last 10 years — even after three straight years of surpluses from 1998 to 2000. But that is due to 9/11, two simultaneous wars and then a recession thanks to the housing bubble and other factors.
The bank bailout and increase in government spending on primarily infrastructure were a result of modern economic thought, not the simplistic idea of simply balancing the federal checkbook like regular Americans do.
If the U.S. government was a individual, it would have declared bankruptcy a long time ago.
It is just not that simple.
The debt is there, it is real, it is more massive than is easily fathomed and it is old debt added to a boatload of new debt. The only real question is how were are going to start paying down the debt. Will Medicare be cut or will the highest 2 percent of households pay more?
Gutting Medicare as we know it is simply not fair for anyone who has paid into the system already. The republican plan to alter Medicare would change the system just as Gen Y will be at full earning potential and as Baby Boomers begin dying off. Besides, Medicare was passed for good reason — older people were chronically indigent, ill and were overly dependent on their family.
If republicans would get their way on Medicare, 98 percent of the people will have paid into a system for 30 to 1 year and receive less benefits. That means saving more for retirement — at least $6,000 per year.
How can republicans that make less than $250,000 per year not see that the plan brought forth by democrats keeps more money in their pockets? It is like they don’t really understand what they are supporting except for the flag waving of their leaders.
Ironically, most of the tea party hold Thomas Jefferson in high esteem, as they should. He was a great man who helped give democracy back to the world after a more than 2,000 year absence.
But he fought for the people, not the rich and powerful.
When it was necessary, he would compromise. He changed his mind quite often. He knew that sometimes, debt was not just OK, it was necessary, but that it had to be paid off as soon as possible.
What he also knew is that the rich and powerful would try to use the political system to dominate the people.
"Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves,” Jefferson said in a letter to Henry Lee in 1824.
And the beat goes on.
John Guzzon is editor of Modern Times Magazine.