Conservative media pundits and some in the Republican congress like Michelle Bachmann expressed their outraged yesterday at the use of the metaphor “terrorists” to describe the reckless antics of the Tea Party Republicans during the debt ceiling debate. The White House yesterday even put out a statement calling it “inappropriate”. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but this writer believes that not only is the metaphor appropriate but accurate. Is blowing up the economy in a figurative sense because you are being forced to default on your debt obligations not economic terrorism? Is it not terrifying for Americans to be subjected to weeks of uncertainty over raising the debt ceiling because of a group of right-wing ideologues unwilling to compromise and not at the least bit concerned with a first ever U.S. default. I’m sure that most Americans if not terrified were at a minimum unappreciative of Tea Party members taking foolish pledges and then willing to destroy the economy to live up to those pledges. Moreover, is it not hypocritical for the same bunch to complain about name-calling when on a regular basis they refer to the the President of the United States as a Marxist, Socialist, Communist, extremist radical?
This writer asks that you consider the following and then make up your own mind on whether or not the Tea Party is engaged in “economic terrorism”:
- The Tea Party leaders insisted that the newly brokered deal absolutely contain no tax revenue increases but only deep spending cuts (including the lifeblood of the poor and middle class Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security). During a weak economic period instead of deep spending cuts the government should be “INVESTING” in jobs, jobs, jobs.
- The Tea Party leaders insisted on deep spending cuts that included controls, caps, and restrictions making it that much more difficult to have any real economic boost.
- The Tea Party leaders ignored warnings from many economists that taking money out of the economy now is reckless. A report from the Economic Policy Institute that estimates that this deal will cost the economy 323,000 jobs next year.
- The Tea Party leaders are totally opposed in any investment in infrastructure jobs in the form of additional stimulus even as our schools, roads, and bridges continue to crumble and need maintenance (the first stimulus program succeeded in saving millions of public service jobs but fell short of what was really needed for infrastructure programs yet they say “no’.) .
The Tea Party is right about one thing and only one thing – over the long term it’s prudent to get started on deficit reduction for fiscal sustainability. However, you don’t completely and recklessly put ALL your focus on spending cuts during a weak economy. Anyone who balances a budget knows that you have to look at both the revenue and expense side. You cannot only look at cutting expenses but completely ignores revenues. The Tea Party wants to continue tax giveaways to the rich and to corporations that are experiencing record profits while the poor and middle class need jobs. When you give away your tax base to the rich and to the corporations you do nothing to grow your revenues for investment in education, and infrastructure, the things that are the very basic elements of economic development.
Deep spending cuts during a weak economy will only make it worse. It’s like adding gas to a fire. Nothing could be further from the truth then the Tea Party’s belief that shrinking the government over the near term will generate a better, stronger economy and create jobs. It’s a huge lie. President Obama and the democrats will have to reverse this lie. So for all out there who were not happy with the president being forced to compromise with the Republicans get him a Democrat controlled senate/house in 2012. Otherwise Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid may “blow up” too.