Skip to comments.Tea Partiers split over debt strategy
Posted on 07/05/2011 4:11:23 AM PDT by Libloather
Tea Partiers split over debt strategy
By Erik Wasson - 07/04/11 05:24 AM ET
Tea Party activists are split between opposing any new increase to the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling and tying an increase to spending cuts, caps and a balanced budget amendment.
On one side is the Tea Party Patriots group, which is urging its supporters to sign a no debt increase pledge. On the other side are Tea Party-related groups with significant GOP establishment backing such as FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity. Tea Party Express has joined this side.
These groups have joined a coalition calling for Cut, Cap and Balance to be the condition for a raising of the debt ceiling.
This approach, developed by the Republican Study Committee, calls for substantial cuts in spending that will reduce the deficit next year and thereafter, enforceable spending caps that will put federal spending on a path to a balanced budget, and congressional passage of a balanced budget amendment.
Six months ago many freshmen House GOP members were calling for no debt ceiling increase while the White House position was a clean raising.
Both of these positions have moved toward some compromise in a sense. The White House in April convened the Biden debt talks as an acknowledgment that some deficit controls would be needed to get a debt ceiling increase. On the right, most groups and member of Congress have moved toward exchanging spending cuts for a debt ceiling increase.
FreedomWorks this week established its own Tea Party Debt Commission to come up with a plan to meet the cut, cap and balance framework.
The commission is to propose a way to balance the budget within no more than 10 years without raising taxes. Its 18 members will come from key electoral states and will make a proposal by the end of 2012.
FreedomWorks spokesperson Adam Brandon said that even if the cut, cap and balance framework is adopted by Aug. 2, the long term debt problem will still need to be addressed with specific policies. This is the reason for the debt commission.
He said there is no unified Tea Party debt ceiling position although the activists agree in prioritizing shrinking the deficit. Brandon said the Tea Party Patriots position of just say no is flawed. I just dont think it is very realistic, he said.
He noted that breaching the debt ceiling would mean an overnight cut in federal spending of 40 percent. Using the debt ceiling to get items like a balanced budget amendment would be a sea change in public policy, however, he added.
He said during a recent conference with grassroots leaders, activist were enthusiastic about "Cut, Cap and Balance" and the Tea Party Debt Commission. FreedomWorks was instrumental in formulating the cut, cap and balance approach along with the Republican Study Committee, he noted.
The group has its own proposal such as eliminating the departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development but wants to use its commission hearings to feel out its members for which specific cuts are most popular.
This carefully developed plan will be highly useful in the 2012 elections, Brandon said. It needs about six months to complete thorough field hearings, he explained. Tea Party-related group Americans for Prosperity signed onto the "Cut, Cap and Balance" pledge a few weeks ago.
Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity said that most Tea Party activists have abandoned the just say no approach.
We think this should be viewed as an opportunity. We think the 'Just Say No' approach doesnt give you as much leverage, he said.
Kerpen said the only big group in the other camp is the Tea Party Patriots. Tea Party Express and hundreds of other local groups favor Cut, Cap and Balance, he said. He added that few lawmakers are now demanding no lifting of the debt ceiling but acknowledged that straight refusal is popular with the public.
Americans for Prosperity has its own recommendations for the debt ceiling increase, and Kerpen spells those out in a National Review essay this week.
They want the cuts in "Cut, Cap and Balance" to focus on specific program terminations and agencies budgets slashed and to include the end of the Medicare Independent Payments Advisory Board set up by the Obama health reform. The group also argues that Medicaid block granting can be accomplished now as a condition for a debt ceiling increase.
The approaches contrast with that of the Tea Party Patriots. In a flurry of emails to supporters, the Patriots are urging a no debt ceiling increase stance by linking to www.Nodebtincrease.com.
The politicians try to scare the American people by using rhetoric like "draconian cuts," but imagine how "draconian" the cuts will be when our creditors decide suddenly to stop lending us money. Forty cents of every federal dollar is borrowed. Either we cut spending our way, or our creditors will force us to do it their way. Which way do you prefer? one email stated.
Therefore, if we raise the debt ceiling by $2 trillion, as they want to do, all we can say for sure is that we will be $16.3 trillion in debt instead of $14.3 trillion. How exactly does that remove us from the unsustainable path? another asked.
Sounds like the “go along to get along” party (Republicans) has some progress in hijacking the Tea Party movement.
Giving the government an increase in their “credit card” limit is certainly the “go ahead” to spend like a drunken sailor without regard to how you are going to pay for it.
Anyone who tells me that they are backing the principles of the Tea Party and then tells me that we ought to raise the debt limit is certainly not qualified to even be near the Tea Party.
I believe this article is simply a propaganda attempt from the GOP.
Sorry... The tea Party is united... NO MORE SPENDING... CUT SPENDING OR WE CUT POLS JOBS!
Because Tea Partiers tend to have a penchant for independent thought and don’t subscribe to a mass, collective mindset, any disagreement is magnified as a “split,” or “division,”... even a “chasm.”
I am not in favor of any balanced budget amendment because when push comes to shove it is an excuse to raise taxes. STOP THE FRIGGIN SPENDING!!!
TEA=Taxed Enough Already (Rush Limbaugh)
DEFUND socialist collectives, foreign and domestic. We live as very low-taxed, prosperous, responsible citizens in a country which acts as a beacon for individual liberty.
Legislatures (states & fed) can be part-time with 1/10th the pay, NO benefits, NO retirement, NO perks.
From “The Law”
Here I encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual, and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and morality throughout the nation.
This is the seductive lure of socialism. And I repeat again: These two uses of the law are in direct contradiction to each other. We must choose between them. A citizen cannot at the same time be free and not free.
Frederic Bastiat 1801-1850
It’s the SOCIALISM, stupid. Look what it has done the The United States of America.
“Giving the government an increase in their credit card limit is certainly the go ahead to spend like a drunken sailor without regard to how you are going to pay for it.”
I’d love to see the debt limit frozen where it is no, but you couldn’t even get a majority of FReepers, much less Tea Partiers, much less Republicans, much less Americans, to go along.
You would HAVE TO be talking about things like turning Social Security and Medicare into welfare programs, eliminating Ag subsidies, the Dept. of Education, VA affairs, etc. (and no, ALL OF IT, not pick and choose)...and believe me, I’d love to see it all
Instead, even the most conservative Republicans are talking about things like limiting the increase in the school lunch program to 5% instead of 10%.
We will NEVER get there as to holding to this spending cap - even Ryan’s budget doesn’t come close to getting there.
It’s OVER...we’re toast.
....gee, I thought we all were cookie cutter one-minded zombies, LAMESTREAM media! Make up your mind.
Raising the dcebt limit in order to make bond payments is like you or I calling the credit card company and demanding a credit limit increase so that we don’t default on credit card payments for previously incurred debt.
No debt limit increase, and no deal. Period! Any Republican who votes to raise the debt limit, no matter what bogus deal is offered, should face a tea party challenger in the next primary election.
Here was number two thousnad, three hundred and seventy eight to split the Tea Party, which doesn’t exist as a political party.
Here was attempt number two thousand, three hundred and seventy eight to split the Tea Party, which doesn’t exist as a political party.
U.S. debt from 1940 to 2010. Red lines indicate the Debt Held by the Public (net public debt) and black lines indicate the Total Public Debt Outstanding (gross public debt), the difference being that the gross debt includes funds held by the government (e.g. the Social Security Trust Fund). The second panel shows the two debt figures as a percentage of U.S. GDP (dollar value of U.S. economic production for that year). Data from the President's proposed budget (Historical Tables) and other tables listed when you click on the figure. The top panel is deflated so every year is in 2010 dollars.
The RinoCrats are trying to give the TEA Party a wedgie...
Correct, wouldn't they "hope" we would "divide" (as in "divide and conquer" ... I never talked to a Tea Partier who was for anything OTHER than cutting spending. That person would be laughed and boo'd out of the local group. This is a bunch of pundit talk. They thought we were all just a scam before the last election, talked about it right up till the moment the levers were pulled ... then OMG, something "unexpected" happened ... the conservatives took the House. Hmmm .. let 'em talk ... it's all hot air. We know what we stand for and we'll pull the lever accordingly in 2012.
It seems to me that not raising the debt ceiling would effectively cut spending more than raising it, no matter what spending cuts went along with that.