Tea Party applauded for activism, but it should avoid social issues


There has been quite a debate going on recently regarding the Tea Party Agenda and government spending. As a result of irresponsible spending our country is so deep in debt that no one seems to know how to deal with it.

Our elected officials in Congress have been spending our (the taxpayers’) money as if there was an unlimited supply of it. All the while they are taking money under the table from corporate special interests to do their bidding. This must stop immediately.

If not they will spend everything we have, our children have and our grandchildren will have. Both political parties are guilty and we all know it.

The Tea Party has formulated a list of ten items that it believes will significantly affect the national budget in a positive way. Any one with a computer can go online to Wikipedia to find out what these items are.

I believe some of the ten items would be beneficial to the fiscal well-being of our country and so I support them. They are not draconian at all and can serve as a platform from which meaningful bipartisan budgetary negotiations can begin.

Any one with a computer can also go to Wikipedia to see where the government spends our money. There is a really nifty pie-shaped presentation that graphically illustrates this.

The budget is broken up into two parts: Mandatory spending (about $2.2 trillion) and discretionary spending (about $1.4 trillion).

There are two really big budget areas: Entitlements (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, national debt interest, and other mandatory programs) and discretionary spending (government agencies and defense spending).

I did not see an item for the war spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it may be included in defense spending, who knows? Entitlements and defense spending are huge.

I notice that entitlement spending is under attack from all quarters while defense spending seems to be immune. Any one who thinks that we will cut entitlement spending and leave the rest of the budget intact is insane.

Every single item in the budget must be scrutinized and cut. The budget must be balanced, and soon. Congress must do the detail work in a nonpartisan way for a change. Earmarks and all other forms of “pork barrel spending” must be eliminated. Corporate influence on elected officials must be eliminated.

Congress is responsible to the people and any money sent to them by any special interest group trying to buy favorable legislation must be against the law. Corporate welfare in any form must be stopped.

This Wall Street bailout has everyone on edge. Why should the taxpayer pay for the abusive, and probably illegal, practices of the financial industry? Every corporation that received taxpayer money should be required to repay it, with interest. These people take taxpayer money and then foreclose on their homes. This is an abomination.

A significant part of our fiscal problems result from the reduction of tax revenue. Naturally during a recession government revenues fall. There is a huge partisan fight going on about whether or not to extend the Bush tax cuts. This is really not the issue.

Tax policy has developed into a convoluted jumble that looks like a wad of night crawlers on a fish hook. No one, not even the IRS, can understand it. The tax code is badly in need of reform.

It should be simplified to the point that the average taxpayer does not have to seek professional help to fill out his tax return. There are too many loopholes and exceptions that favor one group or another. If the taxpayer thought for a minute that the tax code was fair and equitable, maybe he wouldn’t try so hard to dodge paying.

For example, the solution to funding Social Security and other entitlement programs is to eliminate the cap on withholding. Why should the wealthy get a break here?

Let businesses operating as nonprofits pay taxes just like everyone else. Constitutionally the government has no business favoring the church. Why then does it do it?

Finally there should be a cap on how much taxes are paid. This is one way we can limit irresponsible Congressional spending.

Very clearly the Constitution needs to be amended to limit government’s power to tax the people. It needs to be amended so that the budget is balanced and the deficit paid off. It needs to be amended to stop undue influence on government by corporations and other special interest groups. They are not citizens and should not be afforded the same rights as citizens. Finally, the Supreme Court should never again be allowed to decide an election. What a great abuse of power that was.

I would like to say this about the Tea Party. I agree with much of its fiscal agenda, but its social perspective is pathetic. Tea partiers need to back off with respect to social, moral and religious issues.

Our country is better off for our cultural diversity and it is shameful for WASP society to try to use government to deny any non-WASP his civil rights.

I applaud the Tea Party for its activism. Many of its ideas are great, but it will be remembered for its political activism. It has demonstrated the power of the body politic and shown us how to take our government back. Honor is due.

David Browning

Peachtree City, Ga.