Why the Tea Parties were a Major Success

By: Guest Authors

By Richard Geno

Pericles said in 430 BC, “Just because you do not take an interest in politics does not mean that politics will not take an interest in you.” No statement is more true today than that one.

It can no longer be “business as usual.” Both our national and state governments are out of control. There is no discipline regarding public spending. If it sounds good, just do it! The people across the country see this every day. When Rick Santelli ranted for 4 minutes and 57 seconds on CNBC Business News on February 19, 2009, the people heard him, and they responded on April 15th.

Some people have serious financial challenges. Many of our friends and families are having fiscal difficulties. Suppose you were under financial duress, and you hired a financial planner, and he or she told you to go out and buy that new Audi, Lexus or Mercedes. Just borrow the money.

Go ahead and remodel your kitchen or your bathrooms. Purchase that flat screen TV that you have had your eye on. Why not get two? You would FIRE that financial planner. You cannot get yourself out of financial trouble by spending more than what you earn.

But that is exactly what your federal and state governments are doing. And the media is cheering them on. Their attitude is that we can always tax the rich. Let’s take a look at that.

The top 3% of income earners in the state of California already pay 50% of the taxes in California, and small business owners are leaving the state by the tens of thousands. On the national level, if we taxed the top 5% at a 100% tax rate, we wouldn’t have enough revenue to cover the latest $3.5 Trillion budget approved.

William Boetcker wisely said, “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. How long are the rich going to take it?

Winston Churchill put it another way, “You don’t make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.”

Our federal government today is trying something new – just printing money. The current administration in Washington is planning to create as much national debt in the next 10 years as has been created cumulatively between 1789 when George Washington became president and 2009 when George W. Bush left office. Today’s Congress and President are matching the national debt created in America over the last 220 years.

Think about that! This history includes the War of 1812, the Civil War, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Marshall Plan, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, all recessions, the War on Poverty, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thomas Jefferson warned us 200 years ago, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.”

Government, at its best, is but a necessary evil. Government creates nothing. It manufactures nothing. Our governments in Washington and Sacramento are severely damaging our economy’s long-run potential to grow.

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. If both political parties are against deficits, why do we have deficits? If the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, why do we have inflation and high taxes?

Politicians are also the only people in the world who cause the problems, and then they are put in charge of fixing the problem they caused in the first place. People like Senator Christopher Dodd, Congressman Barney Frank and Congresswoman Maxine Waters were the defenders of the policies that caused the financial crisis in the first place; and now they are the ones who are charged with fixing the problem. The foxes are in control of the henhouses.

What is the record of massive government spending as a remedy for recession? Franklin Roosevelt used this approach back in the 1930’s. What were the results? This was a recession that could have ended in 18-20 months. Because of massive spending, it was extended into the Great Depression that lasted 15 years longer than it had to.

Many skeptics have said that it was World War II that ended the Depression when, in reality, the Depression did not end until Franklin Roosevelt died. For verification of this, I refer you to the great new book written by Dr. Burt Folsom, “New Deal or Raw Deal?”

In the 1990’s, Japan did just what the current administration is doing now. It launched a series of public works projects, costing hundreds of billions of dollars. Government spending jumped from 31.6% of the nation’s GDP in 1991 to nearly 38% today. Yet the Japanese economy grew at an annual rate of less than 1% between 1992 and 2007. This is referred to as the “lost decade” in Japan. Excessive government spending extended the Japanese stagnation to 15 years, the same period as FDR’s Great Depression. Does any of this sound familiar?

The Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman said, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years, there would be a shortage of sand.”

Where has socialism or communism ever worked? We watched 70 years of failure in Russia. We have seen 60 years of China functioning as a third-world economy where they could barely feed their people. Why? Because of their systems of Communism and Socialism. Look at the basket cases of Cuba and North Korea. Just compare North Korea with South Korea – same culture – one has communism, the other free enterprise and capitalism.

Winston Churchill summed it up nicely, “The main vice of capitalism is the uneven distribution of prosperity. The main vice of socialism is the even distribution of misery.”

As Ronald Reagan said, “The government is not the solution. The government is the problem.” We were promised the concept of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It doesn’t say “the guarantee of happiness;” it says the pursuit of happiness.

America was built on individual opportunity. All of the progress made by our society since the 18th Century is the result of individual effort and creativity. Government has produced nothing. Government can produce nothing. Government can only limit, restrict, redirect, and generally impede the progress of individuals. In human behavior, incentives matter. People are choosers, not robots. If the government takes away the rewards, no one will take the risks.

The American people are presented with a real choice. Which America do we want? An America in which citizens are free and hold the power? Or an America in which politicians and bureaucrats dominate and are in charge?

People from 2,000 cities and towns responded to these questions. This was the largest spontaneous grassroots outpouring in the history of the United States. We are learning that we must indeed all hang together, or we most assuredly will all hang separately.

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