I left work at 5:30 and thought that I would swing by the Polson Tea Party that was scheduled from 4-6. As I neared the intersection, I saw three people holding signs supporting the Tea Party, and I was disappointed, thinking that they were all that cared. I honked and waved, and started to drive by, when I looked down on the park and saw close to 200 people there. In Polson. On a Wednesday afternoon. With the wind howling off the lake. So I parked when I found a spot and went to join in. Old, young, middle aged, and the future inheritors of our unbelievable debt were there.
Rick Jore was speaking when I got there, and I have to hand it to him, that he knows his Constitutional history. His comments about what is happening to our country were very inspiring, and right in line with my own musings on the subject.
I know that many on the Left are working overtime to try and lessen the significance of the Tea Parties. This is both disappointing, and predictable. The Left, (yes, I know this is a generalization, but it has enough anecdotal evidence to make some hard data) are quite pleased with themselves and their government. The Right is of course in opposition, although it could be argued that the politicians are Johnny Come Latelys to the idea of fiscal responsibility. What is interesting, and important, are the uncommitted middle. This middle is starting to realize that there is going to be a cost to the outrageous spending/borrowing/taxing binge that our "leaders" have embarked upon.
So, why now, why this issue especially after George Bush ran up the debt with Medicare Part D and the TARP I bailouts and their effect on the debt? I was thinking about what the source is and I think that it started last Spring, with the stimulus rebate checks, which may have alleviated the recession somewhat, but only delayed what was coming. Combining the downturn with the unexplained jump in oil prices which triggered the housing finance crisis (a house of cards that was waiting on the puff of wind to destroy it) which was tied to the Credit Default Swaps and the economy was doomed.
Then came Hank Paulson with his emergency that required the TARP funds, with no plan or idea except to throw the equivalent of the deficit at the banks. There still is no real accounting of where the money went to for those funds, and if I remember right, they haven't even spent it all. Then TARP II came along, and the 1000 page pork laden, municipal park buillding, and a mag lev train to take Harry Reid to LA "stimulus" that none of the people who voted for it had even read. Banks were sued under the aegis of community organizers to force them to loan to unqualified borrowers, and then the banks got greedy because some smart people figured out a formula that said they could never lose money. Throw in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, with their incestuous relationship with the Democrat Party and Bernie Madoff, and what little trust in our institutions has evaporated.
The cure, according to our friends on the Left, is more of the same. Banks were regulated when they failed, so we need more regulations. Bernie Madoff was supervised by the SEC, but we need more regulations. Medicare loses approximately 15-20% to fraud, and we will solve it by creating a single payer system. And let us not forget about wealth disparity. The Left relies on the mythology that the richest people all unjustly inherited their wealth or stole it from the hard working people below them. Sure, they may find an example or two, just look at where Bill Gates jr. would be if his dad hadn't given him all of his wealth. Or all those people who worked 80-100 hours a week instead of the minimum amounts. They must have been stealing the wealth of those who only put in 40 hours a week when they were off.
What the Tea Party represents more than taxes or spending, is the complete loss of faith in the institutions of this country. What the cure is, I am not sure, but I do know that the government is not going to be the source of the solution. The only thing that is going to restore trust is to remove those who have violated that trust.
We need to return to shaming people when they need it. And there are a whole lot of people who need it right now.