In a little bit more than 48 hours, 2010 will be a thing of the past. The New Year will be upon us and President Obama is hopefully about halfway through his presidency. We have the future to look forward to as both Conservatives, Republicans and Americans. Whether you like it or not, the era of the Tea Party has officially begun. It is one of the most optimistic political times in this country in a long while.
In fact, the last time I felt this optimistic about politics was in the beginning of the Reagan Era in 1981. Back then, we had a charismatic leader with a vision of and for America. It was a vision of the “Shining City on the Hill.” It was a vision that contained all of the good that America had become and could become. By the end of the Reagan era, people were proud to be Americans again.
Unfortunately, this was not the attitude when Reagan took office eight years earlier. As many of you are too young to remember, the Carter Administration was a disaster for the United States. During the Carter Administration we had worse economic conditions than anything in the present regardless of what President Obama might say now. We had double digit interest rates, double digit inflation and very high unemployment. A new phrase was coined which has not been heard since: Stagflation. As a result of the Iran Hostage Situation and Carter’s generic foreign policy, America was losing its respect in the world. Things were bad and getting worse.
Then came the Gipper. Ronnie came into power and reminded everyone of what was good about America. He reminded the whole world why we were a super power and why America was the country that everyone in the world wanted to live. He reminded us that our glory days were not only in the past, but were in the future as well. He had both a strong domestic and foreign policy. And, he succeeded on almost all fronts during his time in office.
However, he did have a few domestic policies he could not get enacted; the ever elusive balanced budget amendment; and, the line item veto. Both of these items are just as necessary today as they were in the 1980’s. I supported them then and I support them now. But, what is more important than my support is that the Tea Party supports them now as well.
Reagan’s inability to get these two items enacted were two of his biggest disappointments while in the White House. Later, the Republican Congress under the leadership of Speaker Gingrich could not get them enacted even though they tried as well. Will incoming House Speaker Boehner even try? Will the Tea Party caucus even try? Those are questions that remain to be answered.
A while ago, I wrote an article entitled, “What is Missing in the Pledge?” In that article, I analyzed the Republican Pledge for the 2010 election. At that time, I said the pledge was meaningless without these two items. It was obvious these items were not high on the list of the Republican leadership in the coming election. I felt it was a mistake then and I still feel the same way today.
It is my opinion the incoming Republican House must take up debate on these items and eventually pass them. Maybe the Tea Party will be able to use their influence to get the Republican leadership motivated. But, these items must be done; especially, the balanced budget amendment. Without this amendment, we will never be able to get our financial house in order. And if the incoming Republican leadership is serious about the elimination of earmarks as they say they are, then the line item veto must also be enacted. This is true whether you trust President Obama with it or not. It is a necessity.
As you all know, if we do not get our financial house in order soon, the economy will never fully recover. We will eventually bankrupt the country and its future. This fear is what led the Tea Party to prominence. It was started as a grass roots movement, in response to the Pelosi Congress’ and Obama Administration’s socialist ways, to promote less spending, smaller deficits, and smaller government. Well, the only way to any of this is the balanced budget amendment and line item veto.
I am sure there are many of you who will argue that the economy is in a mess and it is the only thing Congress should concentrate on until things improve. I agree to a certain extent. But, I also know that without these two legislative items, the economy will never get any better and Congress will just spend, spend and spend. Any economic packages they pass will only be a band-aid on the problem. They will eventually spend us into bankruptcy. These two legislative items will put the proper checks on our government to save the economy and the future of this great country for coming generations.
Again, I say, the time has come and it is now. Call up your Congressmen. Call up members of the Tea Party Caucus. Get them all to support this. We cannot afford to wait any longer.
© 2010 by Frank T. DeMartini. Permission to copy will be granted freely upon request.