Barack Obama encouraged the American people to share their feelings with their members of Congress with regard to the debt ceiling and it turns out that many of them are doing so with gusto, and it isn’t quite the response the White House had in mind-at least not where many of Tennessee’s members of Congress are concerned. Here are a few comments from Tennesseans to their Members of Congress with regards to how to treat the argument about the federal debt ceiling:
“I don’t care if you have to shut the whole thing down. DO NOT BORROW ANOTHER DIME!!!” -A comment on U.S. Rep. Scott Desjarlais’ (R-Jasper) Facebook page.
“NO COMPROMISE!! We are taxed plenty; problem is over-spending. All Americans, myself included, must be willing to sacrifice part of our benefits to preserve the future of our Great Nation. I’m willing, are you?”
“Stand up to Obama…we are behind you all the way.”
“Dr Roe – thanks again for ‘holding the line’ for all of us here in east Tennessee. Once again, the Democrat Party has proven it has no leadership beyond threats, nor any plans for budget changes that are reasonable. We have needed adults making these decisions; thank you for being one of them, even if you are in that hot DC swamp!”
Tell the President that we won’t back down, cut spending.
-comments on Congressman Phil Roe’s (R-Johnson City) Facebook page.
“Obama has created this mess … $14 Trillion is enough! Do not raise the Debt Ceiling … CUT, CAP, Balance … hold firm!”
“Congressman, all “compromises” are insignificant if there is no balanced budget, …it is key, and a must regarding my assessment of this subject.”
“Hang tough Chuck! Just say No to taxes. We are taxed enough!”
“If my family has to cut some things out to adjust out of our budget to this Obama economy, why shouldn’t the government also have to adjust?”
-comments on Congressman Chuck Fleischmann’s (R-Chattanooga) Facebook page.
To believe President Obama, one would think that most Republicans on Capitol Hill are engaging in “partisan rhetoric” and are turning the entire debate over the debt ceiling into one of political opportunism. Since this column is about State and local politics, it is not our place here to discuss or discern what members of Congress from other States are doing, but it should be noted that East Tennessee’s Congressmen regularly take the pulses of their districts, and they would not be so willing to take on the Administration to the point of technical default if they weren’t so certain that such stubborn resistance is exactly what the majority of people in East Tennessee elected these folks to do. There is, after all, a reason that East Tennesseans do not historically vote Democratic. Sure, we’ve elected the odd Democrat here and there-Eddie Yokley or Jon Litz, for example-but the occasional Democrat here is a blip on the radar. More of the country came around to our way of thinking in 2010, and now more Republicans are demanding that it should be the Obama Administration that abandons its reckless spending plans.
East Tennesseans are not blind to the reality of the possibility of both technical and real default, but we know that any “soft compromise” now will put off the inevitable later. If the debt ceiling must be raised, East Tennesseans are saying that in return they do not want a plan for a temporary fix, but a plan to save the country from the national debt and the problems for our State governments that is associated with it.