Tea Party

Following Europe Will Lead To Collapse

In the Eurozone Spain is bracing for yet another round of painful austerity as a result of its unsustainable debt. These cuts will cripple entitlement programs that people built lives around, they will cause a spike in unemployment, and put the national security of its people at risk. This is the path big government takes you down; ballooning debt, then a crash where the bottom is not discernable.

Then why does this administration feel that the best way to fix our problems at home is to follow the same path that Europe has? Our budget deficit continues to balloon with no signs of stopping or slowing down. Historically when a nation’s debt reaches 90% as a share of GDP, economies will stagnate. Currently we are at 70% and will hit 90% in under 10 years.

This is unacceptable and can be avoided by adopting the Contract for America’s terms to pass a balanced budget amendment. This amendment will ensure spending does not accelerate at the rate it currently is and spending growth will be capped as a percentage of GDP.

Until this amendment is passed, politicians will continue to tax and spend faster and faster. When money is not coming physically out of their pockets they see no reason they can’t spend it. American government deficit spending needs to stop immediately.

POLITICO: Debt Ceiling Talks have Tea Party Ready for Disappointment – and Retribution

By Kenneth P. Vogel and Marin Cogan

Tea party activists braced for disappointment as negotiations on the debt ceiling finally resulted in a deal Sunday, but sent a clear signal to congressional Republicans that they are in no mood to tolerate compromise and will seek retribution against anyone who has not fully supported their agenda.

They are focused in particular on the fate of the concession they extracted from House Speaker John Boehner in order to get his debt ceiling bill through the House last week – a provision making a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution a prerequisite for raising the debt ceiling again that they regarded as a huge victory.

“If the final bill is passed by establishment Republicans and House Democrats and does not include a balanced budget amendment as a requirement, it will be completely unacceptable and will be seen as a violation of the mandate that the tea party and like-minded people gave Republicans in 2010,” said Ryan Hecker, the leader of a crowd-sourced tea party effort called the Contract from America.

“The tea party didn’t help elect Republicans because they liked Republicans. They elected Republicans to give them a second chance. And if they go moderate on this, then they have ruined their second chance, and there will be a real effort to replace them with those who will stand up for economic conservative values,” said Hecker, who helped conservative House Republicans rally support for the amendment.

Continue reading at Politico.com

HUMAN EVENTS: Adam Hasner Signs the Contract From America

By John Hayward

Adam Hasner, one of the candidates striving to join Marco Rubio as a United States senator from Florida, signed the “Contract From America” today. This is a sequel of sorts to the “Contract With America,” a package of policies and principles that helped Republicans nationalize congressional elections back in 1994. Hasner is the first of the Florida Senate candidates to sign it.

“I’m proud to sign the Contract from America without hesitation,” said Hasner in a press release. “The foundational values represented in the Contract are the same pillars of liberty, economic freedom, and limited government that are the foundation of our campaign in Florida. With America facing generational challenges on spending, the debt, and entitlement reforms, values like the ones contained within the Contract are needed now more than ever.”

The importance of a document like the Contract From America extends beyond elevating a House or Senate race into a part of the national narrative. It is a sign of big-picture thinking, attractive to voters who want some idea of a candidate’s core principles, and his grand strategy for addressing the challenges facing the nation. Detailed policy should flow from big ideas.

“The purpose of our government,” the Contract declares, “is to exercise only those limited powers that have been relinquished to it by the people, chief among these being the protection of our liberties by administering justice and ensuring our safety from threats arising inside or outside our country’s sovereign borders. When our government ventures beyond these functions and attempts to increase its power over the marketplace and the economic decisions of individuals, our liberties are diminished and the probability of corruption, internal strife, economic depression, and poverty increases.”

Continue reading at Human Events

The Contract from America

We, the citizens of the United States of America, call upon those seeking to represent us in public office to sign the Contract from America and by doing so commit to support each of its agenda items and advocate on behalf of individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom.

  1. Protect the Constitution
  2. Reject Cap & Trade
  3. Demand a Balanced Budget
  4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
  5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government
  6. End Runaway Government Spending
  7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
  8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy
  9. Stop the Pork
  10. Stop the Tax Hikes

——————–

Click here for the full text version.

CASE STUDY: Tea Time in America?

Christopher F. Karpowitz, Brigham Young University
J. Quin Monson, Brigham Young University
Kelly D. Patterson, Brigham Young University
Jeremy C. Pope, Brigham Young University

The Impact of the Tea Party Movement on the 2010 Midterm Elections
Given the extensive media attention that Tea Party rallies and other aspects of the movement have received, a key question is: How have Tea Party efforts translated into votes? Specifically, in the 2010 midterm elections, did a Tea Party endorsement lead to an increase in vote share for Republican candidates?1 One of the challenges of studying this movement is that by philosophy and design, it lacks a central leadership structure that coordinates nationwide efforts. Instead, the Tea Party is a far-flung patchwork of organizations, some local and some national, with a related set of issue concerns and positions. Some of these organizations—the Tea Party Patriots, the Campaign for Liberty, or Glenn Beck’s 9/12 Project, for example—choose not to endorse candidates. Other Tea Party–affiliated groups do offer official or public endorsements, although their efforts do not appear to be coordinated, and, as will become evident, patterns of endorsement vary widely across the different groups.

We identified several organizations or political leaders that either explicitly adopt the Tea Party label or are often identified by news organizations as affiliates of the movement. Groups that endorsed numerous candidates in numerous states and thus seemed to acquire a national presence included the Tea Party Express, the Independence Caucus, the Boston Tea Party, and Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks. Based on information from Tea Party organizations themselves and local and national press accounts, we compiled a dataset of variables charting whether each of these organizations endorsed the Republican candidate in every congressional district in the country.2 Because of her high profile within the movement and the fact that her candidate endorsements were heavily publicized,we also included a measure of whether Sarah Palin endorsed the Republican candidate. In addition to these national organizations and individuals,we searched the major newspapers within every state for any evidence of endorsement of congressional candidates by local Tea Party groups.

However, affiliation with the Tea Party also mattered in other important ways. Candidates endorsed by the Tea Party Express and Sarah Palin garnered approximately 8 to 9 percentage points more than candidates who did not receive an endorsement. Candidates who adopted the Tea Party label themselves by signing the Contract from America did even better, with their vote shares increasing by more than 20 points.11 In the 2010 Republican primaries, either bearing a Tea Party stamp of approval or showing a willingness to affiliate with Tea Party principles clearly improved a candidate’s electoral prospects.

Read the whole study here

NATIONAL REVIEW: Gingrich Weighs in on GOP ‘Pledge to America”

The former speaker comments on the Pledge:

Like with the Contract with America in 1994, a new generation of reform Republicans is offering the American people a clear choice about America’s future. Reconnecting Congress to the Constitution and based on listening to citizens in every part of the country — especially the 2010 Contract FROM America — the reform Republicans offer a choice between the job killing, big government, high tax agenda of the Democratic Party and a Republican Party agenda to reverse out-of-control spending, restore fiscal accountability leading to a balanced budget, create confidence in the private sector to spur new job creation, and strengthen the family.

Be sure to visit the National Review’s ‘The Corner’ for frequent updates on Washington politics.

POLITICS DAILY: Republicans Officially Unveil ‘Pledge to America’

By Patricia Murphy

STERLING, Va.– Far from the steps of the U.S. Capitol, 13 Republican members of Congress gathered Thursday at Tart Lumber Co. to unveil “Pledge to America,” a 45-page booklet they promise will guide their efforts to reform the government Americans say they no longer trust.

House Minority Leader John Boehner stood in shirt-sleeves between rows of raw lumber to explain that the pledge was drafted by listening to the American people and reflected their number one priority — jump-starting the American economy.

“Our pledge to America is that Republicans stand ready to get it done, beginning today,” Boehner said.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Cali.), the man who led the effort to draft the Pledge, said he blamed the Obama administration’s “disastrous policies” for the country’s current economic struggles.

Pledge to America”The land of opportunity has become the land of shrinking prosperity,” he said. “From the bill to bailout the banks to the stimulus that failed to stimulate anything but the deficit to the government takeover over health care, [the American people] said stop. Well, we heard you, we heard you loud and clear.”

Unlike Republicans’ 1994 Contract With America, no candidates or members of Congress will sign the Pledge and no group will march up the Capitol steps to support it. And while the 1994 Contract aggressively promised to enact term limits, amend the Constitution to require a balanced budget and cut off welfare payments to teen moms, the 2010 document softens the tone and broadens the focus to include familiar GOP proposals on health care, national security and shrinking the size of federal government.

Boehner explained that the Pledge covered five areas — jobs and the economy, lowering government spending and reducing the size of government, repealing the recently passed health care law, reforming Congress, and strengthening national security.

Continue reading at Politic Daily

Statement on the Republican “Pledge To America”

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A HARDCOPY OF THIS STATEMENT

The Contract from America Foundation made the following announcement today regarding the newly released Republican “Pledge to America”:

We are pleased that the Republicans were so heavily influenced by the message of the grassroots Contract from America that their “Pledge to America” includes many of our Contract’s planks, including the top-voted idea to “Protect the Constitution” by requiring every bill to cite Constitutional authority, rejection of Cap and Trade, the imposition of meaningful spending limits, repeal of government-run health care, and extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. We are also pleased that they so admired the Contract’s model of allowing for real citizen input that they created their own website, America Speaking Out, to approximate the same function. This is evidence that Republicans are beginning to listen to the millions of ordinary Americans that are fed up with Washington’s ways.

Republican Congressmen, Senators, and candidates should still sign the Contract from America, which boldly tackles the challenges of fundamental tax reform, passage of a balanced budget amendment with a supermajority requirement for any tax hike, and real earmark reform.

The Contract from America is handed up from the true grassroots in this country. After garnering nearly half a million votes in less than two months, the Contract from America is a blueprint that reflects what the people want for their future. If Republicans sign the Contract, they will prove that they are listening to the will of millions of grassroots activists that have protested the unconscionable expansion of government.

Over 300 candidates have signed the Contract from America, including Senators DeMint and Coburn, Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Representative Michele Bachmann, and Senate candidates Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, Jerry Moran, Dino Rossi, Ron Johnson, John Boozman, Kelly Ayotte, and John Raese.

UK’s MAIL ONLINE: ‘Tea Party’ Rebels Score Stunning Poll Victories

By Tom Leonard

They want to purify their party and their country, returning America to the honest, founding traditions of thrift, small government and self-reliance from which, they say, it has strayed.

And, like the protesters from whom they take their name (the Bostonians who demonstrated against British taxation by dumping tea into the city’s harbour in 1773), the Tea Party rebels are – by their own account – as ‘mad as hell’.

But whether they are a bunch of dotty extremists or not, the Tea Party phenomenon suddenly poses a serious threat.

On Tuesday night, the upsurge in anger among grassroots American conservatives, with both Barack Obama and the Republican Party, made itself spectacularly felt in the tiny, affluent state of Delaware.

In one of the least expected results of the primary season – in which candidates are chosen for November’s mid-term elections – Christine O’Donnell, a Tea Party-backed dissident Republican, beat a moderate and establishment favourite to win the party’s nomination for vice-president Joe Biden’s old seat in the U.S. Senate.

O’Donnell is a perennial candidate and former abstinence counsellor, who promotes complete celibacy before marriage and has a fierce stance on guns (pro), government spending (anti), abortion (anti) and masturbation (anti – it’s a sin, she says).

Her strong beliefs had prompted many – especially local Republican leaders – to write her off as unelectable.

But then Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice-presidential candidate and a poster girl of the Tea Party movement, endorsed O’Donnell.

In a move that has proved electorally successful across the U.S., Mrs Palin described her as one of her ‘mama grizzlies’ – a term she has coined to describe her uncompromising conservative allies.

Grizzly bears may be common in the rough and ready Palin home state of Alaska, but in the more sophisticated environs of Delaware they are unheard of outside the zoo.

As the significance of O’Donnell’s victory (accompanied by similar Tea Party success in New York, where its multi-millionaire candidate, Carl Paladino, won a Republican primary for state governor) sank in yesterday, there was a feeling across America that if it can happen in Delaware, it can happen anywhere.

O’Donnell trilled from the podium to huge cheers: ‘Don’t ever underestimate the power of we the people.’ There is fat chance of that now.

Carl Paladino has won a Republican primary for state governor in New York

‘Nightmare’ was a common verdict among political commentators — not for Mr Obama’s Democrats, who are chuckling at the idea of a divided opposition, but for the Republican Party.

It sees its hopes of grabbing power in Congress and crushing key Obama immigration and global warming legislation dashed by the election of Tea Partiers who have little hope of attracting the crucial independent floating voters when it comes to the election in November.

That is why the Tea Party movement is such a mixed blessing for the Republicans.

Yes, its energy has galvanised the party as Obamania once electrified the Democrats. But it also has the potential to frighten away moderate, mainstream voters, disillusioned with the Obama regime.

Republicans shouted themselves hoarse insisting that O’Donnell, who has a history of financial problems and dubious claims about her education, would be unelectable in November — but the Tea Partiers still backed her.

For them, keeping the Democrats out of power matters less than ideological purity.

But then commentators admit to being baffled by the Tea Party movement. Much of the problem is that it is hardly a party at all — in fact, it is more a network of like-minds than an organisation.

Completely decentralised, true to its libertarian principles, it has no real leader (every Tea Partier is his or her own spokesman) and no formal membership structure.

If you call yourself a Tea Partier, then, hey, you are one.

More than 200 leaders of local tea parties, in an umbrella group called Tea Party Patriots, discuss developments every week in a conference call, but that is as far as any party hierarchy goes.

Jonathan Rauch, an academic who has studied the movement, describes the average member as ‘white, bright and right’ – a well-educated conservative who is now an independent, even if he or she generally supports Republican policies.

Accusations of racial exclusivity have dogged the movement, but Rauch says members are largely white as few blacks and Hispanics are conservatives.

Membership numbers are vague, but there are estimated to be tens of thousands of activists.

The movement itself claims to have 17million supporters, but that could include anyone who has ever expressed sympathy with the Tea Party philosophy.

As for that philosophy, congressional candidates are expected to follow a ten-point Contract From America agenda aimed at making Washington more accountable.

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WSJ: A Tea Party Manifesto

The movement is not seeking a junior partnership with the Republican Party. It is aiming for a hostile takeover.

By DICK ARMEY AND MATT KIBBE

On Feb. 9, 2009, Mary Rakovich, a recently laid-off automotive engineer, set out for a convention center in Fort Myers, Fla. with protest signs, a cooler of water and the courage of her convictions. She felt compelled to act, having grown increasingly alarmed at the explosion of earmarks, bailouts and government spending in the waning years of the Bush administration. President Barack Obama, joined by then-Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, was in town promoting his plan to spend a trillion dollars in borrowed money to “stimulate” the economy.

Mary didn’t know it, but she was on the front lines of a grass-roots revolution that was brewing across the nation. More than 3,000 miles away, Keli Carender, a young Seattle school teacher and a member of a local comedy improv troupe, was feeling equally frustrated. She started to organize like-minded citizens. “Our nation’s fiscal path is just not sustainable,” she said. “You can’t continue to spend money you don’t have indefinitely.”

Today the ranks of this citizen rebellion can be counted in the millions. The rebellion’s name derives from the glorious rant of CNBC commentator Rick Santelli, who in February 2009 called for a new “tea party” from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. By doing so he reminded all of us that America was founded on the revolutionary principle of citizen participation, citizen activism and the primacy of the individual over the government. That’s the tea party ethos.

The tea party movement has blossomed into a powerful social phenomenon because it is leaderless—not directed by any one mind, political party or parochial agenda.

The criteria for membership are straightforward: Stay true to principle even when it proves inconvenient, be assertive but respectful, add value and don’t taking credit for other people’s work. Our community is built on the Trader Principle: We associate by mutual consent, to further shared goals of restoring fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limited government. These were the principles that enabled the Sept. 12, 2009 taxpayer march on Washington to be one of the largest political protests in the history of our nation’s capital.

The many branches of the tea party movement have created a virtual marketplace for new ideas, effective innovations and creative tactics. Best practices come from the ground up, around kitchen tables, from Facebook friends, at weekly book clubs, or on Twitter feeds. This is beautiful chaos—or, as the Nobel Prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek put it, “spontaneous order.”

Decentralization, not top-down hierarchy, is the best way to maximize the contributions of people and their personal knowledge. Let the leaders be the activists who have the best knowledge of local personalities and issues. In the real world, this is common sense. In Washington, D.C., this is considered radical.

The big-government crowd is drawn to the compulsory nature of centralized authority. They can’t imagine an undirected social order. Someone needs to be in charge—someone who knows better. Big government is audacious and conceited.

By definition, government is the means by which citizens are forced to do that which they would not do voluntarily. Like pay high taxes. Or redistribute tax dollars to bail out the broken, bloated pension systems of state government employees. Or purchase, by federal mandate, a government-defined health-insurance plan that is unaffordable, unnecessary or unwanted.

For the left, and for today’s Democratic Party, every solution to every perceived problem involves more government—top-down dictates from bureaucrats presumed to know better what you need. Tea partiers reject this nanny state philosophy of redistribution and control because it is bankrupting our country.

While the tea party is not a formal political party, local networks across the nation have moved beyond protests and turned to more practical matters of political accountability. Already, particularly in Republican primaries, fed-up Americans are turning out at the polls to vote out the big spenders. They are supporting candidates who have signed the Contract From America, a statement of policy principles generated online by hundreds of thousands of grass-roots activists.

Continue reading at the Wall Street Journal