Hat tip to Vanderleun.
Federal Debt Limit, Federal Deficit, Federal Spending, Government Shutdown, Obamacare, The Tea Party
Jeffrey T. Kuhner observes that the left may be celebrating now, but reality is on the side of the Tea Party.
The conventional wisdom is wrong. The mainstream media â€” and their parrots in the Republican establishment â€” are claiming that President Obama decisively won the government shutdown battle. In fact, the narrative being peddled is that the GOP brand has been badly damaged, paving the way for a possible Democratic Party takeover of the House of Representatives in the 2014 elections. This is puerile nonsense. Tea Party Republicans, led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, may have lost the battle, but they are poised for a major victory in the larger Obamacare war. …
This is myth and propaganda masquerading as analysis. The legislative deal simply does one thing: kick the can down the road. Yet the same, enduring problems remain â€” the very problems identified by Mr. Cruz and Tea Party Republicans. America is sitting on a ticking debt bomb, Obamacare â€” the most destructive law in modern memory â€” is a disaster, and our ruling elites are incapable of reining in out-of-control public spending.
America is increasingly dominated by one seminal reality: We are the most indebted nation in history. The national debt is approaching $17 trillion. By 2016, the debt is expected to hit $20 trillion. That will be Greece-like levels, a debt load so crippling that Washington will have trouble simply paying the interest on the debt payments. Our creditors will realize we are sliding toward the United States of Argentina â€” a fiscal basket case unable to live within our means. The value of the dollar will plunge. Interest rates will soar. Taxes will have to be increased. The social safety net will be shredded. Unless Congress immediately confronts the reckless spending and near-record trillion-dollar deficits, the United States will go bankrupt. The question is no longer if, but when.
Mr. Obamaâ€™s massive health care overhaul is precipitating the impending economic collapse. Nearly every aspect of Obamacare has turned out to be a lie. The real price tag is not less than a $1 trillion; rather, it is a multitrillion-dollar entitlement program that America cannot afford. Rather than lowering premium costs for the average family, it dramatically raises them â€” sometimes by thousands of dollars a year. Millions of citizens have lost their health benefits or are unable to keep their doctor. People seeking to enroll in Obamacareâ€™s marketplace exchanges are stunned at the high costs of the health insurance plans. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office acknowledges that the law will not achieve its stated goal: universal coverage. Instead, about 30 million Americans will still not have health care. Hence, one-sixth of the U.S. economy will have been revolutionized essentially to put only 17 million new recipients on the Obamacare rolls. The complex law also undermines economic growth and job creation, compelling employers to either slash employeesâ€™ hours or not hire new workers. In short, Obamacare is a cancer, slowly devouring our economic dynamism, individual liberties and medical care.
As the law is implemented, its devastating effects will be increasingly felt. By next year, the government shutdown will be a fading memory. What the public will remember, though, is that a band of Tea Party patriots sought to thwart the oncoming disaster. Mr. Cruz, along with Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah, represent the future. The question is no longer ideological â€” small government versus big government, free-market-based health care versus nationalized health care, or capitalism versus socialism. Rather, it is about something more simple â€” and profound: basic arithmetic.
The United States is a giant bus that is rushing toward an economic precipice. A few more years of Mr. Obamaâ€™s borrow-and-spend policies and America will crash upon the rocks of fiscal reality and national insolvency. The Democrats are keeping their foot on the gas pedal, full speed ahead. The Republican establishment thinks we may need to slow down â€” at least a little. The bus, however, will still go off the cliff. Only the Tea Party is saying â€” in fact, yelling â€” to hit the brakes. Theyâ€™re right, and they will be vindicated. The only question is this: Will Americans wake up before itâ€™s too late?
William Galston, in the Wall Street Journal, sees the recent shutdown struggle as evidence of a crucial internal struggle for the soul of the Republican Party.
More than a decade ago, before the post-9/11 national fervor set in, Walter Russell Mead published an insightful essay on the persistent “Jacksonian tradition” in American society. Jacksonians, he argued, embrace a distinctive code, whose key tenets include self-reliance, individualism, loyalty and courage.
Jacksonians care as passionately about the Second Amendment as Jeffersonians do about the First. They are suspicious of federal power, skeptical about do-gooding at home and abroad; they oppose federal taxes but favor benefits such as Social Security and Medicare that they regard as earned. Jacksonians are anti-elitist; they believe that the political and moral instincts of ordinary people are usually wiser than those of the experts and that, as Mr. Mead wrote, “while problems are complicated, solutions are simple.”
That is why the Jacksonian hero defies the experts and entrenched elites and “dares to say what the people feel” without caring in the least what the liberal media will say about him. (Think Ted Cruz. )
The tea party is Jacksonian America, aroused, angry and above all fearful, in full revolt against a new eliteâ€”backed by the new American demographyâ€”that threatens its interests and scorns its values. …
Supporters of the tea party… see President Obama as anti-Christian, and the president’s expansive use of executive authority evokes charges of “tyranny.” Mr. Obama, they believe, is pursuing a conscious strategy of building political support by increasing Americans’ dependence on government. A vast expansion of food stamps and disability programs and the push for immigration reform are key steps down that road.
But ObamaCare is the tipping point, the tea party believes. Unless the law is defunded, the land of limited government, individual liberty and personal responsibility will be gone forever, and the new America, dominated by dependent minorities who assert their “rights” without accepting their responsibilities, will have no place for people like them.
For the tea party, ObamaCare is much more than a policy dispute; it is an existential struggle. …
Many tea-party supporters are small businessmen who see taxes and regulations as direct threats to their livelihood. Unlike establishment Republicans who see potential gains from government programs such as infrastructure funding, these tea partiers regard most government spending as a deadweight loss. Because many of them run low-wage businesses on narrow margins, they believe that they have no choice but to fight measures, such as ObamaCare, that reduce their flexibility and raise their costsâ€”measures to which large corporations with deeper pockets can adjust.
It’s no coincidence that the strengthening influence of the tea party is driving a wedge between corporate America and the Republican Party. It’s hard to see how the U.S. can govern itself unless corporate America pushes the Republican establishment to fight back against the tea partyâ€”or switches sides.