Reason fails; Tea Party does nothing

Published 10:24 am Friday, July 29, 2011

A few months ago a Christian pastor and his supporters purchased billboard advertisements across the country proclaiming the end of the world was about to occur.

Because of the prominence of the billboards along major highway traffic routes the claims drew national media attention.

As you know by now, the purported Biblical prediction was false. The world did not end. The pastor, when confronted with the failure of his prediction was nonplussed … he simply missed the exact date and would work harder to pick the real date next time.

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While the pastor may not understand it, his creditability has been irreparably damaged, and his next prediction will most likely be ignored or greeted with outright derision, deservedly so.

In precisely the same fashion stands the Tea Party prediction that allowing the financial default of the United States does not really matter all that much.

In fact, should the nation default next week, the damage will be many-faceted.

Besides an almost promised reduced credit rating that would increase the national debt, consumer’s credit would be significantly more expensive, housing interests rates would rise and the nation would most likely experience yet another deep recession.

Of course those who advance the suggestion that default is no big deal are not economists — they are America’s political radicals with expertise in nothing and a willingness to allow their ignorance to damage the nation.

While Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann suggest the default crisis was somehow created by the Obama administration, they argue that default will not really happen.

Though the nation will not have the financial means to meet all its obligations in August, it will pay the interest on its debt.

Indeed, the interest payments would be made, but other required payments could not be met.

Whether Medicare, or Medicaid, or veterans checks, or military families, or retirees, some Americans would face devastating consequences from default.

And all Americans would suffer from the more far-reaching consequences of the first ever failure of this nation to meet its obligations.

Unfortunately, the irrational Right of America now has occupied the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

There is genuine concern in Washington that the House Republicans cannot pass any bill on the debt ceiling because the Tea Party members may actually prefer default and its very real consequences to any solution.

Nor can the Tea Party Republicans demonstrate any capabilities beyond destruction of the very system they propose to “save” from the failures of those who came before them.

There is no pro-active Tea Party agenda of accomplishments, only a blind ambition to diminish the nation.

The Tea Party representatives want less: Less Social Security. Less Medicare and Medicaid. Less national defense. Less protection from pollution. Less support for education and the professionals teach our children.

In fact they want, as far as can be determined by their actions and rhetoric, nothing but a loss of an American vision for the future beyond spending cuts.

Default is now, at the 11th hour, a foreseeable possibility. And given its incredibly damaging consequences, should be avoided at any cost.

Yet, as you read this the Tea Party representatives seek to harm the nation by embracing default.

While the pastor failed to predict the end of the world correctly, perhaps he could predict the end of the Tea Party forever, should their ignorance or intent throw the nation into default.

Jim Crawford is retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.