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Letter: The Tea Party Isn’t the Problem

To the Editor:

In his Sunday Valley News column, Steve Nelson offers comments about two liberal bogeymen that I’d like discuss.

The Tea Party movement did not “lurch the country to the right”; it is not the enemy. This country has a spending problem. It does not have a taxing problem. This country has a $16 trillion debt. Our credit rating has already been downgraded by one rating organization, and we’re in jeopardy with the others. The Tea Party brought to everyone’s attention the outrageous spending and taxing and said that the process had to stop. Its members believe that trillion-dollar deficits and continued runaway government spending are inherently detrimental to the economy. It supported candidates for office who agreed with its position, promised to stop the spending and support legislation that would reduce the deficit and reduce taxes. They have been called “obstructionists” or worse. However, if the Tea Party movement falters, our future will look like the current economies in many European countries.

Grover Norquist is not the issue. Candidates for office have pledged to their constituents, not to Norquist, that they will not vote to allow the government to have more money so it can spend more money. The candidates who signed this pledge shouldn’t have needed one. Belief in the benefits of lower taxation should have been part of their very being. Unfortunately, many candidates who appeared to favor not increasing taxes suddenly changed their mind after they were elected. That has been confirmed by several current congressmen who’ve suddenly decided that, “in the best interests of the country,” taxes rather than spending are a problem. Pledge or not, there are some politicians who apparently have no core set of principles.

John Boehner’s “Plan B” failed because conservatives believed that it was a “raise taxes” plan with offered little in the way of real spending cuts. This in spite of Norquist’s tortured approval of the plan. Republican Party conservatives must hold fast to their principles in what will be a mainstream media assault on them.

Alan Tanenbaum

Grantham

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