Congressman Cassidy, Senator Vitter, Senator Landrieu,
The impetus behind the very formation of the Tea Party seems to be grossly misunderstood by both Democrat as well as Republican legislators. Our goal is not some utopian, unrealistic relationship between we the people and our government. Quite the contrary, we favor a return to the very basic foundation of our republic; a state of affairs in which we, the people, gave our consent to institute a government in order to secure our very basic and God-given rights. The principle is simple: WE came first, inseparable from our rights as granted to us by our Creator, and THEN we hired a government to secure those rights.
This concept has now been turned on its head. The federal government now grows in leaps & bounds, and with each growth spurt takes away a few more of our liberties. This is costly not only in freedom, but in treasure as well. This has occurred regardless of the administration in power. Finally, enough people, usually too busy living their lives to pay a lot of attention, awakened, and for the first time for the great majority of them, became politically active. This is the Tea Party. We are not anarchists; we are not marginalized; our numbers continue to grow, as does big government. We are America in the mainstream, and we have much more support across America than our membership rolls suggest.
Our formation coincided with the 2008-2009 economic debacle, which we directly attribute to wrong-headed government intervention into the economy. We are not about any particular political party. The previous administration spent us into oblivion, and then the current one upped the ante and has put big government on steroids. We, the American people, will stand for this no longer. We favor a constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets. The soaring annual deficits, insane national debt, and out-of-control spending has been our clarion call to action. These conditions provide a real and present danger to America as we have known it, and that idea is intolerable to us.
Specifically, we have asked for reductions in spending, deficits, debt, regulations, and a return to true federalism in which the federal government acts only on constitutionally enumerated powers, with the remainder accruing to the states, and the people. Not only have we been ignored, but the progression in the opposite direction has only accelerated. The Republicans promised to address these concerns, so they were given control of the “people’s house”, plus some seat gains in the “deliberative body”.
We were told that for starters, a minimum of $100 billion would be cut. Months passed; continuing resolutions were passed; a few billion here & there, mostly in the future, were supposedly cut, then we ended up with a few hundred million in actual cuts. We were told then that the real battle would be the debt ceiling fight, in which finally we could cut trillions from our enormous $14 trillion plus national debt. Well, here we are. Our position is that the debt ceiling should not be raised; we do make an exception which is spelled out in the cut/cap/balance pledge; but all components must be real, and not the usual DC doublespeak & chicanery. The Republican-controlled House has the opportunity to, unilaterally if necessary, stop this runaway locomotive to fiscal ruin. Just say NO to the debt ceiling increase, then sit down and work out the cuts that you keep promising to make. And please do not insult our intelligence with the default storyline; we’re onto it and recognize it for the nonsense that it is. We pay our debt obligations first, avoiding default, then make the cuts needed to live within our means. Welcome to fiscal reality; a reality practiced daily by families and businesses across this great country.
Please stand firm: No debt increase; no default; major spending cuts. The American people stand behind you, and are ready for this NOW. There’s talk of “deals”, maybe with some “revenue enhancements” (ie:tax increases) and “out-year savings” (ie: we’ll make BIG cuts…..later), and a promise to do a balanced budget amendment sometime later. None of this is even remotely acceptable. The time is NOW to address this very serious business of our nation. Also, as this is a spending problem, not a revenue problem, tax increases are not a solution, and quite frankly in this recession, are an absurd idea. Please also do not expect us to fall for the ruse of considering property not confiscated from the people in the form of new taxes as somehow being a “cost” to the government. This is Orwellian doublespeak, and we reject it.
This is not a “temper tantrum”, and this sentiment will not pass. We are in earnest; we will not equivocate. We sincerely expect, and hope, that you will do as you have promised, both last year, as well as when you took your oath of office and promised to uphold the Constitution. The time is NOW; you have the leverage NOW. Current and future Americans’ prosperity, living standards, and very freedom depends on getting this right. Please do not disappoint.
The Baton Rouge Tea Party