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Business as usual without TEA Party

November 9, 2011
Mike House

I find it quite amusing that the likes of John Kerry and claim the actions of the S&P were a "TEA Party downgrade." I quite honestly have no problem in taking at least a little credit. Obviously if it were not for the TEA Party, all would be business as usual in Washington.

Wall Street plunged and the S&P downgraded our credit, not because of the TEA Party, but rather because they saw the debt deal for what it actually was: business as usual in Washington.

As President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner came from the debt deal patting themselves on the back, and the House and the Senate were congratulating themselves on the "best deal" they could hope for, Wall Street and S&P saw it for what it was: business as usual in Washington. So now the blame game begins. Blame the TEA Party, blame the Bush administration, blame the economy in Europe, blame everyone except themselves.

The truth and reality of the cure for the nations' debt crisis and the financial downgrade is that everyone in America must be willing to sacrifice. This is a moral issue which requires a change in our worldview. The simple fact is, the government cannot fix everything.

As the late President Ronald Reagan stated, "government cannot fix the problem, government is the problem." This basic mindset must change from Main Street America to Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.

No debt commission, no president, no political party, and most certainly not the Federal Reserve will be able to change the course of financial disaster America is headed for. Everyone in America must be willing to sacrifice.

The $2.5 trillion in spending cuts agreed to in the debt deal is really meaningless. First of all these are cuts over 10 years, not immediate cuts. At the current level of debt, we are paying $600 billion in interest a year; that is before the $2.4 trillion raise in the debt ceiling. If you do the math on this deal, you quickly realize the cuts in spending do not even cover the interest over the next 10 years. Are the President and Congress serious about getting our financial house in order? Obviously S&P doesn't think so.

I would like to suggest that this sacrifice begin with Congress and the president. Will the debt commission be brave and remove all former congressman and presidents from the retirement payroll, including all of their perks such as health insurance? Currently, if a person serves in Congress just one term, they receive Congressional pay and perks for the rest of their lives. Ask Mr. Manchin, Mrs. Capito, and the debt commission how brave they are?

In the recent debates for the debt deal, the president and Congressional Democrats pushed hard to raise taxes on the wealthy (anyone making over $250,000), who already pay better than 50 percent of the taxes collected. I certainly have no issue with closing loopholes in the tax codes. I say do away with the current tax codes and go to a fair or flat tax code; that would almost eliminate the need and cost of the IRS. In all the talk of taxes never once did I hear from Democrats or Republicans any suggestion of closing the loopholes for the other end of the tax spectrum, the low income. The current system pays out $36 billion to millions of low-income Americans through the Earned Income Tax Credit. These households pay virtually no taxes and they receive thousand of dollars in refunds. A complete restructuring of the tax codes must be done; every American must be willing to sacrifice.

Apparently no one in Washington is willing to make the hard choices. Where to cut spending is not difficult to find. Cut the $180-plus billion in farm subsidies and then farmers will actually farm (families are paid up to $80,000 not to grow crops) and government controlled prices of food will go down.

The Department of Agriculture has more employees than there are farmers in America. Or perhaps lawmakers could take a look at the Department of Education, which has more than 5,000 employees and a budget of $77 billion. Why send our tax dollars to Washington for them just to return a portion of that money back to our schools with strings attached?

With a Federal payroll of more than 14 million employees, I should think cuts would not be too hard to find. Freddie Mac lost $4.69 billion from April to June and have asked for $1.5 billion in more aid. The Postal Service has asked the government to raise its debt limit so it can borrow more money.

Most Americans do not realize that the Social Security trust fund has nothing in it except $2 trillion in IOU's; the government has stolen from the fund since the 1940s and has not paid one red cent back. Every congressman and president since the 1940s could be convicted of running a Ponzi scheme and have a cell next to Bernie Madoff.

Until every American and every branch of the government is truly willing to sacrifice, we will continue down this financial road to destruction. Take time to read Romans 13: 1-7. The only God given responsibility our government should concern itself with is protecting its citizens from evil doers. All else is left to the family and the church.



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