Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Tea Party - What it is REALLY All About

The following is a note written to a Democrat who referred to those in the Tea Party as racist "tea baggers": 

You misunderstand the Tea Party movement probably because you have listened to others who have described it, rather than finding out for yourself. The traditional media is very hostile to the Tea Party movement and for that reason you should not rely on it in forming your opinion, since what it says about the Tea Party is not true. When the traditional media looks at the Tea Party, it describes members on the fringe and claims that the entire movement is in agreement with, and stands for, the causes that these fringe people believe in. It is an attempt to claim that the movement is extremist and not worthy of serious consideration. However, I will tell you what the movement is about and you can make up your mind about it.

Here is what the Tea Party movement is about: government spending. The people in the Tea Party movement believe that too much government spending is the most important issue facing our country today. Why? Among other things, because our government is borrowing one out of every three dollars it spends. The interest on the deficit costs the government about $200 billion a year. That's a relatively low number. But, the reason it is low is that interest rates are low because of the recession. If interest rates go back to historic levels, then the interest payment could easily go up to a trillion dollars a year or more - exceeding all other obligations of our government other than social security. Right now our government is adding over a trillion dollars a year to the deficit - so that interest payments go up by 8 - 10% a year.

In response to the problem, President Obama said to wait until the Deficit Commission completed its work. Well, it has and none of what it said made any difference. The deficit is going up day by day, month by month, year by year.

The rate of borrowing by our government is unsustainable - no amount of taxes or growth will allow it to continue. It's a national security issue since we much of the deficit is funded by China, our world competitor, which is manipulating its currency to change the rules of the game in its favor. Our government can't do anything about that because to do so could lead to China to stop loaning money, which would be a disaster, since no one else has enough money or would be willing to loan it, since they know that our rate of borrowing will ultimately lead to the collapse of the currency. making the borrowed dollars worthless.

The relationship between our government and China is roughly akin to that of junkie and pusher - our government needs China to lend money, and China is happy to do so since with every dollars it loans our government becomes more weak and China gets stronger.

Our huge rate of borrowing is even threatening the role of the dollar as the word reserve currency. Being the reserve currency is a tremendous advantage to United States citizens for reasons that I will not go into here, but this will be lost if the rate of borrowing goes on for much longer. China knows this and does whatever it can to hurt the dollar, even though to do so threatens the dollars China holds. However, China understands this and has made the determination that it is worth it, because it weakens us, its prime world competitor, and it can make up its losses at some future date.

Even with China loaning money to our government the rate of of borrowing is unsustainable - I know it, Obama knows it, the Republicans know it, the Democrats know it, China knows it. However, the public doesn't quite understand it, because the traditional media thinks that if this becomes common knowledge it will make the Democrats look bad, and the traditional media by and large wants the Democrats to win elections and be in charge. That's why it advocates simple solutions like taxing the rich even though it knows that that will not come close to solving the problem.

People in the Tea Party believe that the only way to address the issue is by taking immediate steps to decrease government spending, and get the deficit under control. People in the Tea Party movement understand that this will affect people dependent on government. However, they also understand that failure to address this issue will result in the government being forced to decrease spending anyway, since at some point, the worst point most likely, China will stop lending us money, as will the rest of the world. When that happens our government will be forced to cut spending, but by that it will be much harder since the currency will be ruined, and so much money will be owed that it will be impossible to pay it back. People in the tea party movement believe it is better to address government spending now, rather than at some later time when it will be much more difficult, and the suffering will be much worse.

Do Bush and the Republicans share some of the blame for the current situation? Yes, of course. what? Does that mean that the problem doesn't have to be addressed? And, the rate of spending under President Obama dwarfs what was incurred under prior administrations. In other words, the day of reckoning is coming much faster under President Obama than it need have been if our government had made this more of a priority.

Are most tea party members on the right of the political spectrum, with all that this implies? Yes, but that's because Republicans have traditionally been more concerned than Democrats with government spending. However, people in the tea party movement do not entirely trust the Republican party, since the Republicans failed miserably at controlling spending when they were in charge under President Bush. But between Democrats and Republicans, people in the tea party believe that Republicans are more likely to take this issue seriously than Democrats. But, people in the tea party movement also understand that the issue is not a right-left problem, since all Americans will suffer if it is not addressed.

Also, the political bias of most Tea Party members means that they see the solution in less government spending, as opposed to raising taxes. But, all of the people in the movement I have spoken to or heard from have open minds, and would listen to any proposal that would help solve the problem. And, although the traditional media has tried to portray the movement as being closed to all those but white conservatives, this isn't true - anyone can join, and everyone is welcomed - even Democrats.   Despite what you have heard, the Tea Party is a true grass roots movement where people have come together to address this issue.  The Tea Party is not funded by anyone, and it has no true 'leaders' to speak of.  This infuriates the traditional media since it simply cannot accept that a true grass roots movement can be about anything except those issues Democrats care about, and in general Democrats do not think that government spending is a priority.   So, the traditional media paints the Tea Party movement as something that it isn't. Ironically, this has made the movement far stronger than it otherwise would have been, proving once again that publicity, even negative publicity, can be a good thing.

Finally, the people in the the Tea Party movement are not in agreement on the solution to the problem. Part of this is their fear that if they say something about reducing governmental entitlements that the traditional media will exaggerate it in an attempt to prove that the Tea Party movement doesn't care about poor people or people with health problems. But, in the long run people in the Tea Party movement understand that failure to address these issues will result in those less fortunate members of society suffering much much more than if the problem is addressed now. This is also one of the reasons that the issue is not addressed by our government, since the traditional media is ready to pounce on anyone who makes a suggestion that benefits should be reduced. This tyranny of the traditional media is another reason why there is much hostility between that media and the Tea Party movement.

I hope that this clears up any misunderstanding you have about the Tea Party. As I said, you should find out for yourself, rather than relying on the traditional media to describe what the movement is about. Go to a meeting, and see if you agree with what is said. Good luck!