Some Thoughts On The Tea Party

by Chuck on April 14, 2010 · 0 comments

I ran into a friend at the market last night, who also happens to be my CPA. Brian was picking up groceries for dinner with his 84 year old father, a Tuesday night ritual for them. Brian invited me to join them for some liquid refreshment, snacks and conversation. Even though I had already dined (my wife is off visiting my daughter for a few days), I really enjoy sitting down with him and solving the world’s problems over a glass or 3 of wine (or a fine Scotch) so I agreed to join them.

The conversation eventually turned to the current State of the U.S., as it usually does.

We were discussing the National Debt

, when I made mention that “a little debt is healthy”.  Brian was quick to remind me of my many comments that the Government needs to be run like a non-profit corporation, asking “How can a non-profit corporation ever hope to pay off any debt when its goal is to have no profits with which to pay it?”  This was an excellent point, and one which bears more discussion at another time.

By now you’re probably asking “What does this have to do with the Tea Party?”.  Well,  I have been thinking a lot about the Tea Party

of late… mostly about where they’re headed in terms of influencing our political process.  Brian and I also discussed where they fit in the overall political spectrum, and how they could be most effective… and how they might self-destruct.  I spent some time floating around their web site, and came across their Mission Statement:

The impetus for the Tea Party movement is excessive government spending and taxation. Our mission is to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets.

While their Mission is laudable, I think those who are highly active in the movement need to reach a consensus on how they plan on making their mission successful.  That said, here are some of my thoughts… which will probably prove highly unpopular to a LOT of people:

  1. Do NOT engage in putting any candidate on any ballot as a “Tea Party Candidate”… ever!  This will only result in pulling votes from any viable Conservative on the ballot.  This applies to State and Federal elections.  There is no reason the Party can’t also be involved at the State and Local levels.  Fiscal responsibility needs to trickle all the way down.
  2. DO use your numbers to influence the campaigns of those candidates that agree with the Party’s Mission, regardless of the candidate’s party affiliation.  This means they need to get to know the candidates of both parties and grill them incessantly on their positions in terms of the Mission.  It also means Tea Party support for Republican candidates isn’t a slam dunk.  GOP… take notice.
  3. Develop a sound fiscal plan that will allow our nation to pay off our existing debt, and not incur anymore.  Clearly this will involve some serious sacrifice on the part of the general populace, and will be a difficult sell.  However, if we’re ever going to avoid the eventual financial train wreck of a ruined Bond Rating and runaway inflation, it must be done.
  4. Put together a clearly worded Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, and make sure any candidates they choose to endorse guarantees in writing to support it.
  5. Put together a realistic Fair Tax initiative, working toward the eventual elimination of the Internal Revenue Service and repeal of the 13th Amendment.  Once again, make sure any candidates they choose to endorse guarantees in writing to support it.  There is absolutely NO REASON 50% of America’s citizens shouldn’t be paying any income taxes.  EVERYBODY SHOULD PAY, and the Fair Tax is the best way to ensure that happens.  The Treasury Department is the third largest expense (including interest on the Debt) in the Federal Budget, behind DoD and HHS and it’s time to reign them in.  Reign them all in.
  6. Develop a Constitutional Amendment setting term limits for both houses of Congress.  I advocate three 2-year terms in the House and two 6-year terms in the Senate.  A member of one House cannot immediately run for office in the other after expiration of their maximum term in the first.  They must sit out for a 2-year “cooling off” period.  The goal here is to eliminate career politicians.  If we can amend the Constitution to limit Presidential terms, we can do it for Congress, too.
  7. Develop and promote legislation making it illegal for members of both Houses of Congress to meet privately with any Lobbyist.  Any meetings with Lobbyists must be held in an open forum (even if held in the Member’s offices) and be recorded in audio and video.  The goal here is to significantly reduce the influence of special interests in our legislative process and help eliminate Earmark/Porkbarrel  Spending.
  8. Make former AK Governor Sarah Palin the Party’s Spokeswoman.  She is more effective in that role than she would ever be in another elected office.  Governor, if you ever happen to read this, please heed my advice.  Don’t run for office… you don’t need to.  You have an opportunity right here to reach out to millions of Americans and bring them into the fold.

A lot to chew on?  Absolutely!  However, if the Tea Party can reach a general, national consensus on the 8 items I listed above, they will be a force to be reckoned with forevermore.  Of course, these 8 items aren’t all that need to be done to fix what’s wrong with our political processes today… but they’ll go a long way toward it.

Of course, this is just One Man’s View.  As always, your comments are most welcome.

, Deficit Spending , Fiscal Responsibility , government intervention , limited government , national Debt , Taxes , Tea Party

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