Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Parties: Do the politians get it?

I've been watching the reactions to the Tea Party Day celebrated across our country. Reactions to the event have been quite surprising to me.

I've made no secret that my biggest issue in the last election was the economy. I watched President Obama make promise after promise and all just seemed to add to our nations debt. To me, this isn't a partisan issue. George W. Bush wasn't afraid to run up a debt either. He spent plenty of money on some truly horrible ideas.

So, on my local newspaper's website today is an article covering the local Tea Party gathering at a local park. Our newspaper is usually pretty balanced in their coverage. It's a fairly tech savvy group of writers over there. Several of them are active twitterer's.

One thing that struck me in the article, in some of the comments and from other areas of the US, is how this issue can be so blindly political. Pretty soon, this issue needs to move from partisan bickering to just plain mathematics and economics. Regardless of your political views, eventually, you can only spend what you make. Period.

But Olmsted County DFL Chair Lynn Wilson said the tea party was clearly a partisan event for economic conservatives.

"I wish these people had shown so much interest back during the last eight years when our budget deficit skyrocketed," Wilson said.
From this quote pulled from the above mentioned local article, I gather that the DFL just doesn't get it. I don't think they realize that people were upset about the spending during the previous administration, but the resposne we were getting from their party was "Tax cuts for 95% of Americans and free healthcare!" What?

In physics, as well as accounting, one law that never changes is the idea of balance in the system. In physics it's the law of conservation of mass/matter. Matter is neither created nor destroyed in a controlled system. It's only converted from one state to another. 

In accounting, 
Assets = Liabilities + (Shareholders or Owners equity)
So, OhCaptain, what the hell are you talking about?

Hopefully soon, our nation realizes that we need to live within our means. From what I've read, this was what the Tea Party movement is all about. We are increasing dramatically the Liabilities part of the equation without regard for what this does to the equation.

I took this chart from the Tax Policy Center website to show you the number that we really need to be thinking about. Our national debt's annual interest payments are now at 9% of our total budget. For every dollar you pay in taxes, 9 cents goes to interest.

Let's remember what interest is, it's money down the toilet. We pay interest because we borrowed money we didn't have to buy things we didn't need.

Our government has become a spending machine. George W. spent like a crazy man on "The Global War on Terror". A valiant effort, except for the fact that they have no idea where billions of dollars went.

One the economy tanked late last year, The Department of the Treasure was given a $700,000,000,000 to help save the financial sector. The most amazing fact of this bill? It has almost no oversight. The Treasury Secretary has final authority over its disbursement. That's $2,303.96 for every man, woman and child currently a resident in the U.S. and this wasn't even the beginning of the spending.

The stimulus bill passed by Obama and the Democrats totaled $819,000,000,000 and change. Running the math again (damn math), that's another $2,695.63/person living, right now.

Anyone think it would be a good idea to just right a check to everyone for $5,000? A check to a family of 4 would be $20,000. Not too shabby but quite possibly the dumbest idea ever.

This process is like a college kid getting a couple of credit cards. Sure, they have $10,000 in available credit and they will spend it, but come the 15th of the month when the bill comes, they still don't have a job and can't pay the bill. Spending this kind of money is just hitting the ATM every month with your credit card and living outside your means.

We have to quit spending. Period. Tax cuts won't help this problem. Bailouts won't help this problem. Spending less will.

I just don't see how someone thinks that because I want the U.S. government to live within it's means, I'm a radical right-wing extremist. I'm not. I'm a guy that wants a future for his kids where they can afford to enjoy themselves and not be burdened with the bills of our generation. The waitress is coming with the check and some one's gonna need to pay it? Who should it be?


Kat said...

I actually am one of the people who think the Tea Parties were NOT ENOUGH. It was easy to market. However historically, the Boston Tea Party was the a spontaneous act of saying "NO!" they threw a commodity that was very important to their way of life into the harbor as a way to say "I WILL NOT PAY THESE EXORBITANT TAXES ON A PRODUCT WE USE EVERYDAY. I WILL NOT BE TAXED WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!" I think it is going to take another spontaneous act of last resort to get in through to the lawmakers now that we will not stand for this type of reckless spending and taxing. I am not saying revolution by any stretch of imagination. I am just saying sooner or later we as a people are going to have to say enough is enough.

WeaselMomma said...

Great post.

Rian said...

Thanks Cap'n.

I just got into a discussion with a coworker yesterday who basically thinks socialism is pretty ok.

Read a great example- Social Security is like a giant Ponzi scheme...taking money from people now to pay out what's owed, but eventually it will go bankrupt. I don't get how people don't see that.

The Tea Party isn't about saying All Taxes are was about saying 'this is out of control'
Thanks for getting it!

The Microblogologist said...

Oh come on, just join the vast right wing conspiracy already, we have cookies! I find it terrifying that there are people who follow the current president with such devotion that they are completely blind as to the damage he has already done and is working on continuing to do to this country. One in particular was upset because people were supposedly not giving Obama a chance and were criticizing him for what he has done so far. He claimed that they were bashing him and that in the 8 years Bush was in office they never bashed him as much...

First I asked what planet he was living on the past 8 years (like him or hate him, how can anyone say Bush wasn't criticized?) and second I informed him that questioning the job the president is doing is not "bashing" him and that he has to be held responsible for what he does and that is the whole point of having freedom of speech and press! Apparently if it is slightly negative about your guy it is bashing but if it is the other guy it is OK, sigh.

I'm with Kat and you, the gov't needs to be reigned in and schooled like the irresponsible college student who runs up the credit card and has to get a summer job to pay it off, or at least they had best start doing chores for me because I am sick of funding their crap and doubt my grandkids are going to appreciate doing so as well!