It’s been 936 days since the Democrats passed a budget. The Debt Ceiling debacle back in August resulted in raising Congress’s “credit card” limit while coming up with less than $400 million in actual spending cuts. Inflation is cutting into family budgets across the nation, causing the cost of groceries, gas and other staples to skyrocket. Our “historic” President has made history for more than just the color of his skin by becoming the only President to ever preside over an S&P credit downgrade. Unemployment is still hovering around 9% (even more if you foolishly believe 2+2=4 and decide to forego the government math on this). America is in decline and it is directly related to our spending woes. A Super Committee was formed to come up with more cuts and find a way to balance the budget. No one in their right mind believed the Super Committee would work and so far they have proven everyone right. Congress seems to have employed no sense of irony whatsoever when naming their committee “Super”.
In response to the lack of urgency on Capitol Hill, Freedom Works convened what they called a “Tea Party Debt Commission” to come up with their own set of budget cuts and revisions that would balance the budget in just 4 years and reduce spending by 9.7 trillion in 10 years. The report was scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and also drew heavily on polling of average American citizens as to how to prioritize cuts. It was truly a proposal by the people, for the people.
With the support of Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Matt Kibbe and the rest of the Freedom Works TPDC headed to the Russell Building on Capital Hill on November 17th to present the proposal as a sort of simulated hearing. They were stymied by Senate staffers from the Rules committee, chaired by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and asked to immediately disband the hearing. Senator Lee informed the staffers that it was not a hearing but a policy discussion, but they were not swayed. You can view the confrontation here . Rather than close down the presentation altogether, Lee moved the proceedings down the street to a more welcoming Hillsdale college where they presented the proposal to a packed room and standing ovations.
As an American I find this incident completely outrageous. Our representatives have shown they do not have the will to make very necessary tough decisions. The American people decided to take matters into their own hands and propose cuts of their own but they were treated like foreigners and criminals and removed from the House that is by definition, the people’s House. This is unacceptable. Our representatives have all but told us that they could not care less what the American people think, fear or hope. They have their own agendas and are more then happy to carry on behind closed doors, away from the public eye. We must not let this stand. We cannot allow the elitists on Capitol Hill to dictate our futures by clinging to a broken process. The people must be heard now, before it is too late. The TPDC proposal is bold and even radical. Maybe there are better ideas out there, but no one is putting them forth. I applaud Matt Kibbe and Freedom Works for taking the initiative to do something, say something. This entire process is horrifically broken. Even if you don’t count yourself as a tea partier, it is in you interest to let Senator Schumer and the Republican establishment know that we are more than dissatisfied with their performance and if they can’t do their jobs then we have to find a way to do it for them. You can contact Schumer and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) through this link and tell him you are not pleased with the treatment the TPDC received.
Dean Clancy of Freedom Works told me, “Critics say the tea party has ‘no plan’. So we came up with one. But when we tried to present it on Capitol Hill, the Senate Democrats locked us out”. But Clancy adds that they are not giving up. “We’re reaching out to our 1,000,000-plus members across the country, asking them to demand the Democrats explain this outrage. We’re also calling on all tea party groups to enlist with us in a massive coalition to pass the Tea Party Budget. We will not stop pressuring Congress on this issue until we stop the debt and save our country.”
I encourage everyone to join this fight. We must refuse to let this outrageous incident drown in the sea of the daily news cycles. So far our representatives have steadfastly refused to come up with real solutions. Here is a group that has, finally. It’s at least worth a look, and a phone call in support of the future.
UPDATE: I called Senator Schumer’s office to voice my disappointment and his secretary politely but coldly explained, “According to senate standing rules, only leadership of senate committees are permitted to call hearings. If TPDC had just not used the word “hearings” it would have been fine. Schumer was allowed to call mock “hearings” in the past because he is on the Senate Rules Committee.” I responded “So if only the TPDC had simply dropped the word hearing there would have been no other issues with the process and they would have been allowed to proceed? All that ruckus was simply over one word?” Response…. “Yes”. Well, isn’t that comforting?