House Republicans promised to get even with the U.S. Senate for rejecting House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) debt-ceiling bill that tacked on a balanced budget amendment. Eighty-seven Tea Party members of the 112th Congress, largely Reagan-styled Republicans, hold the remaining 348 Democrats, Republicans and Independents, hostage, threatening to send the U.S. economy into a tailspin, refusing to raise the nation’s debt-ceiling. This angry gang of largely white 40-somethings accept Reagan’s Supply-Side, Trickle-Down theory with biblical fervor, believing without any real proof, that only slashing taxes and government spending can the economy ever get out of its current doldrums. Those same Tea Party zealots refuse to accept Reagan’s indisputable record of quadrupling U.S. budget deficit to $260 billion before handed the reins Jan. 20, 1989 to former President George W H. Bush.
President Barack Obama needs a $2.4 billion increase in the debt-ceiling to keep the government running until 2013. Tea Party zealots want $6 trillion cuts in the federal budget, citing the current $1.4 trillion deficit, threatening to raise interest rates and borrowing costs. While it’s true, as Reagan liked to say, that “the government is too big and it spends too much,” it’s also true that winding down Iraq and Afghan wars should save the country nearly $ 1 trillion in the next two years. No one would be talking of slashing government spending if tax revenue were sufficient to pay U.S. debt. Instead of bickering about the debt-ceiling, the White House and Congress should figure out a way to generate more jobs. Reaganomics’ plan of cutting taxes to the rich did not balance the budget or generate more jobs. Tea Party zealots are treasonous threatening to default the U.S. government.
Reagan once said, “I have not take the oath I have taken to preside over the dissolution of the world’s biggest economy.” Yet the angry Tea Party mob thinks nothing to defaulting the U.S. economy for the good of the country. Acts of treason come in different packages. But there’s little doubt that the oath to “protect and defend” the Constitution extends to the U.S. economy. House Speaker Boehner has done back-flips trying to placate his Party’s right wing. They’ve even talked about impeaching the House Speaker for not acquiescing to their destructive policies. Tea Party folks know full well the damaging the economy helps their cause in next year’s presidential elections. Boehner has been beaten into submission, no longer able to prevail on common sense. There’s not one reputable economist who believes that defaulting on U.S. debt is good for the economy.
Before the nation goes over the edge, what’s left of responsible Republicans, Democrats and Indpendents must rescue the country from the angry white mob that thinks they know what’s best for the country. “The time for compromise on behalf of the American people is now,” said Obama, not realizing that they won’t compromise on what’s best to get him out of office, including tanking the economy. “This Harry Reid plan offers no real solutions to the out-of-control spending problems,” said Freshman Tea Party Rep. Alan Nunnele (R-Miss.), demonstrating how little the Tea Party knows about the economy. Slashing the budget and tossing public sector employees out of work further damages the economy. U.S. Gross Domestic Product is wholly dependent on consumer spending, something that doesn’t happen with rising unemployment. Private sector job growth can’t possibly handle the expected loss of government jobs in the House Republican plan.
If the Tea Party were really interested in helping the U.S. economy, they wouldn’t slash government payrolls. Private sector job growth will only improve when the White House and Congress get on the same page on ways to build a stronger U.S. manufacturing base. White House and Congress must pass legislation that protects domestic jobs and prevents multinational corporations from outsourcing. U.S. officials must continue what they’ve done in the auto industry to assemble or manufacturer big screen TVs and other big-ticket consumer electronics inside the U.S. With the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq ending soon, the U.S. treasury could reclaim nearly a trillion of the $1.4 trillion now projected in fiscal 2011. When Barack’s health care bill kicks in 2014, the county expected to add millions of new jobs to accommodate a massive expansion of the health care industry.
White House and responsible Congressional leaders must stop at nothing to coral the angry mob of Tea Party zealots threatening to harm the U.S. economy. Elected officials have a responsibility, as Reagan once said, to do no harm to the U.S. economy. Defaulting the government would have disastrous consequences on Wall Street and Main Street, sacrificing more public and private sector jobs. Tea Party zealots must put their country first before their need to damage Obama politically. Elected officials that knowingly damage the economy for political reasons should be charged of breaching Congressional duties. There’s nothing patriotic about adhering to a failed Supply-Side theory, pushing unemployment and budget deficits higher. “The clock is ticking and Republicans are continuing to play political games,” said Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), hoping for a deal.
About the Author
John M. Curtis writes politically neutral commentary analyzing spin in national and global news. He’s editor of OnlineColumnist.com and author of Dodging The Bullet and Operation Charisma.