Tue, 14 Apr 2009 20:42:41 +0000 – By Leonard JacobsWriter/Political Commentator/Editor, "The Clyde Fitch Report"
Tomorrow there will be anti-tax tea parties held all across the country. These events should be intended to express concern not just over President Obama's stimulus package, which I support, but more broadly our government's bipartisan addiction to spending. As we all know, in just eight years President Bush managed to more than double our national debt. Given that, I think it's fair to ask how much debt will ultimately be too much debt -- more than our nation can handle. In the wake of our fiscal mess and while we're still in the early stages of President Obama's audacious prime-the-pump plan to fix it, doesn't there -- couldn't there -- come a moment when in a non-partisan, look-at-the-statistics way, we can inquire when this debt will reach beyond our government's ability to fund it? Why couldn't that moment come tomorrow and in a non-partisan way?
When I read the mission statement for the New York tax-day tea party, it gave me hope:
Thank you for supporting the national Tea Party movement and the New York City Tea Party.all
The NYC Tea Party is a non-partisan group that strictly supports fiscal responsibility at all goverment levels.
Like you, we are fed up. Our government spending is out of control and is bankrupting America's future generations. We cannot sit by idly and accept this reckless behavior. And we won't.
I will attend the tea party in Manhattan tomorrow night not because I'm a Democrat or a Republican, but because I'm an American. My nation comes first.both all
Let me just be clear. I do believe the stimulus package is necessary to save the nation. And yes, I think things are that dire and to suggest they're not is unrealistic. At the same time, I'm concerned -- I'm unsure to what degree the Obama administration has been drilling down (as it promised us it would) line by line, to eliminate waste. Isn't government waste -- let alone government spending -- the crack cocaine of politics?
Democrats don't win by ignoring tomorrow's tea parties -- indeed, they would win if they supported the idea and lent their best and brightest speakers to some of the Tea Party events. Because, let's face it, fiscal responsibility is an Americanissue. Does this mean we will inevitably define certain aspects of fiscal restraint differently? Sure we will -- but that doesn't mean fiscal restraint cannot also be the shared American ideal. I will attend the tea party in Manhattan tomorrow night not because I'm a Democrat or a Republican, but because I'm an American. My nation comes first.