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The Debt Ceiling Debate and the Tea Partiers

Posted by intelledgement on Thu, 28 Jul 11

Maybe I need to get out more. I am one of 3000+ fans of the semi-official Rick Santelli group on Facebook, but so far as I know, none of my actual friends—on Facebook or otherwise—is a tea partier. So the narrative I keep hearing about the debt ceiling debate from pretty much everyone I know is:

25 Jul 11 comic from (highly recommended) Slowpokecomics.com

There are variations on this theme. Some are focused on the supposed damage the tea partiers are doing to the GOP (shades of Newt and 1994) by refusing to compromise. Some are focused on the damage the GOP is doing to the nation (imperiling our credit rating) by refusing to compromise. Some are focused on the seeming unfairness of insisting on reducing the deficit via all cuts, with no tax increases. But the consensus is, it seems to me, well articulated by one of my Facebook friends:

WITH ALL DUE RESPECT to my Republican family and friends, I cannot abide what GOP politicians are trying to do in Congress right now. I think it’s reckless and irresponsible. It’s economic blackmail. It’s a mean-spirited attempt to undermine the sitting President for political reasons while causing immense human suffering both at home and abroad. This madness must be stopped.

My take on this situation is a bit different.

First of all, the whole concept of having a debt limit is kind of loony. I believe the only other nation that has anything similar is Denmark. It is loony because it makes possible a scenario we have now, where our elected leaders undertake obligations at our behest and then—habitually—potentially refuse to honor them, at our behest. This strikes me as a pretty irrational way to run our affairs.

Having said that, however, there is also something to be said for the unreasoning anger that drives the tea partiers: it beats apathy. Americans in general have been too preoccupied with reality TV, too busy collecting and organizing music on their iPods, too complacent, and too ignorant for the past decade. During that time, The-Powers-That-Be (“TPTB”) have:

  • Swindled us in a massive real estate fraud
  • Aided and abetted the development of emerging market countries via tax, accounting, and trading rules that provided economic incentives to move jobs and production offshore
  • Devalued the value of the dollar—and every American’s savings—by 21%
  • Dragged us into three (so far) costly wars of aggression that have left us fiscally and morally—if not militarily—weakened at the behest of Big Oil and the military-industrial complex
  • Constricted our liberty and ratcheted up government control over us in the name of “security”
  • Looted trillions of dollars of our wealth to prop up their bankrupt criminal financial “services” enterprises in the wake of the 2008 debacle
  • Foisted “reforms” on us—Dodd-Frank and Obamacare—that serve principally to make the rules more complex and—thus—deepening the moat protecting established corporate interests

The banksters and their political trained seals hoodwinked us into bailing out the “too big to fail” institutions in 2008 with their predictions of financial Armageddon and we are being treated to a repeat performance this time around. Thanks to this Big Lie, most Americans are confused about who their true friends are…and who their real enemies are. TPTB and their agents are driving the car, and we are headed straight for a cliff. If and when we go over it, the carnage will make the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling seem like an inconsequential food fight in comparison. Our currency, people’s lifetime savings, the future of our children, and possibly our very republic will have been sacrificed, all so that the banksters at Goldman Sachs, Citibank, National Commercial Bank, et al, and the corporate titans at Haliburton, Caterpillar, and Exxon, etcetera can (best case) keep their positions of power indefinitely and (worst case) squeeze a few more years of lining their safety deposit boxes with gold bars and silver coins before the metaphorical excrement hits the air velocity accelerator.

Actually, this is not a Republican-Democratic divide. Most of the so-called “Republican elite” are dancing to the banksters’ tune, and working assiduously for a “compromise” that will cut perhaps few hundreds of billions in spending over the next ten years…which is next-to-nothing for a debt that, when you count the money we owe the Social Security trust fund plus the projected Medicaid/Medicare obligations is in excess of $14 TRILLION…and once—as is inevitable—interest rates on the debt begin to rise from the artificially low rates the Fed has engineered for now, the total will balloon even higher.

The truth is that TPTB have both parties in their pocket. Under Bush, we started two wars, increased entitlements obligations, curtailed civil liberties in the name of security, cut taxes for the fat cats, and bailed out the banksters. Under Obama we escalated one of the existing wars and started a third one, increased entitlements obligations, curtailed civil liberties in the name of security, extended the tax cuts for the fat cats, and continued the bailouts…even blatantly using some of the same guys to implement them.

The ultimate objective of TPTB is not to “solve” the problem, because that would entail disassembling the broken and corrupt institutions that afford them their perks and privileges…which, of course, is a non-starter. Their objective is to kick the can down the road to provide them with another year or two (at least) to continue stealing your money. It is the Tea Party stalwarts plus a few courageous mavericks such as independent Senator Bernie Saunders who oppose doing business/thievery-as-usual​. They will lose this battle, and—as they have yet to raise the consciousness of enough Americans about the need to throw the moneychangers out of the Temple—they will remain marginalized and ridiculed by the mainstream…for now.

Throughout the 1930s, most folks in the UK considered Winston Churchill to be essentially a boring old crank, always carrying on tiresomely about the threat of the Nazis. But in 1940, when his worst predictions came true, he was there to save England’s bacon.

So insisting that we turn the car violently away from our present course even at the cost of some severe jostling may appear to be “madness” now. But when things really start to get bad here—the value of the dollar plummets, there are food shortages, power and water system reliability becomes dicey—it will be the then-validated tea partiers, with their unwavering commitment to the principles of the founding fathers—government should be protecting our liberties, providing for the national defense, and maintaining a strong currency—who are our best hope to steer away from some dystopian nightmare of corporate fascism.

I’m betting the opinion of my friends—and that of most Americans—will be different then.

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One Response to “The Debt Ceiling Debate and the Tea Partiers”

  1. Here is Ron Paul’s take on the Tea Party movement:

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