REFLECTIONS

Posted on August 28, 2011

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TEA PARTY BLOCKS COMPROMISE

Call the Congressional Tea Party members hostage-takers, heroes, pariahs or terrorists, they have joined the Republican Party of “No” to take their country back. If it has done nothing else, the Tea Party movement has developed strong opposition from the right and the left.

The movement is credited with the GOP takeover of the House last year,  and it is cheered/jeered for turning a routine increase in the nation’s debt limit into a long three week debate about debt and deficits. This was followed by Standard & Poors downgrading our credit rating from AAA to AA+.

The Tea Party power is evident in the Republican presidential primary race. Mitt Romney is trying to balance praise in such a way as not to turn off moderate and independent voters. Texas Gov.  Rick Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann give flattering support to the Tea Party.

“The great thing about the Tea Party movement is that Republicans of all backgrounds and interests have all coalesced around a few common themes, which is government is too big and spending too much,” Romney said in New Hampshire.

“Everybody in the Tea Party, we love ya,” Perry said while campaigning in Iowa.

And Bachmann offered this assessment of the movement in an interview with CNN: “Let me say what the Tea Party stands for: It stands for the fact that we’ re taxed enough already. We shouldn’t spend more money than we’re already taking in. And, third, we should act within the Constitution.”

Most people agree with some of the Tea Party themes, but to block needed legislation in Congress is wrong. There has to be compromise between both political parties in order to conduct the people’s business.

Friday Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said that the government wrangling over the economy,  as played out in the debt ceiling battle, risked damaging the the economy even more.

He said it is time for Congress to act to stimulate the economy in the short-term to deal with  high unemployment in combination with deficit reduction, and the Federal Reserve had made its moves in the past to help the economy.

He agreed with Standard & Poor’s notion that Republicans in Congress had played a dangerous game holding the debt ceiling hostage.

Now the question is: will the Tea Party compromise or will they drive the economy into a double dip recession?

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