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Open Letter to Tea Party Protesters April 11, 2010

Posted by Mary W. Matthews in Politics.

Dear “proud Tea Party protester”:

You say you love freedom, but you never protested in 2006 when George W. Bush repealed habeas corpus and posse comitatus, rights first guaranteed by the Magna Carta in 1215.

You say you’re in favor of smaller government, but you never protested when George W. Bush expanded it. Or when George H.W. Bush expanded it. Or when Ronald Reagan expanded it. Or when Richard Nixon expanded it. Or when Dwight Eisenhower expanded it.

You say you’re in favor of democracy, but when Dubya was selected by the five members of the Supreme Court installed by Republican presidents, one of them Dick Cheney’s close personal friend, you never protested.

You say you’re in favor of openness in government, but you never protested when Dick Cheney set the nation’s energy policy in secret in collaboration with BP, Exxon/Mobil, Halliburton, and the nation’s wealthiest energy companies, or when Cheney and his friends engineered the energy crisis in California and profited hugely. You never protested when Dubya began governing by secret executive order, sidestepping YOUR lawfully elected representatives.

You say you’re patriots, but you never protested when Dick Cheney ordered the “outing” of a covert CIA agent during a time of war — which U.S. law considers treason. You never protested when the Bush administration tacitly admitted that George W. Bush was absent without leave during a time of war (Viet Nam), which U.S. law considers a felony; you only mocked CBS and Dan Rather for believing a forged document that supported true allegations.

You say you value your privacy, but you never protested when the PATRIOT Act took it away.

You never protested when Dubya let Osama escape (Dubya was already busy diverting resources for his long-planned invasion of Iraq), when the WMDs turned out to be nonexistent, when the link between Osama and Saddam turned out to be a lie, when the yellowcake uranium turned out to be a lie, or when it became obvious even to stupid people that Iraq was no threat to the United States and never had been.

You never protested when we spent more than $600 billion (2003-09) on that same illegal and unjustifiable war. You never protested when $10 billion just “disappeared” in Iraq. You never protested when competent U.S. soldiers were replaced by badly trained civilian employees of favored Republican donor corporations. You never protested when these civilians massacred innocent Iraqis. You never protested when these big-donor corporations inflated their bills to the U.S. government dramatically.

You say you believe in human dignity, but you never protested when you found out we were torturing people, some of whom were innocent of any crime.

You say you’re in favor of fiscal restraint, but you never protested when George W. Bush took a budget surplus and a national debt of $5.7 trillion to a gigantic deficit and a national debt of more than $12 trillion. You never protested when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were called “emergency spending” year after year so that the GOP could pretend its annual deficit was roughly one-third the size it was in reality. (Gotta defend those tax cuts for the wealthy, y’know!)

You say you share the values of the Founders, but you never protested when you found out the Republican government was illegally wiretapping American citizens.

You say you honor our military, but you never protested when the appalling conditions at Walter Reed were finally revealed. You have no problem with the families of many of our heroes needing food stamps to survive.

You never protested when you found out that on August 6, 2001, George W. Bush blew off an urgent warning about al Qaeda’s plans because he was on vacation. “All right, you’ve covered your ass,” he told the near-weeping-with-urgency briefer.

You never protested when we let a major American city drown because George W. Bush didn’t want preparing for an emergency to disturb his vacation. Frak New Orleans, he thought, they vote “Democrat.” Good work, you tea bigots; thanks to Republican deregulation and the coziness of two Republican Big Oil men with Big Oil, New Orleans has been well and truly frakked for all time, in 2005 and in 2010.

You never protested when the president of the United States took almost three years out of eight on vacation, or when he spent a large percentage of his working day biking, golfing, or indulging other pastimes. You thought he was cute, like drunken Uncle Bob at Thanksgiving.

You never protested when the GOP took $900 billion from the poor and the middle class — you and me — and gave it to their “have-more” donors. You never protested when YOUR income stayed flat or went down, while the income of the top 5 percent tripled.

No. None of this made you angry; none of this frightened you. You finally got angry when your lawfully elected representatives decided that all Americans deserve the right to see a doctor if they’re sick.

Illegal wars, lies, secrecy, corruption, lawlessness, cronyism, pork, torture, perverting the Constitution, stealing YOUR money to give to the rich — those are apparently all fine with you. But helping people less fortunate than you are? Oh, “HELL no!”

I need to get some of that health care you don’t want me to have: you make me sick.


1. Mario - April 20, 2010

No, no, no, no! You say:

[quote]You say you love freedom, but you never protested in 2006 when George W. Bush repealed habeas corpus and posse comitatus, rights first guaranteed by the Magna Carta.[/quote]

and then you call yourself extremely smart?!?!?! Do you really expect tea party members to understand it or continue reading after the first paragraph????? Oh please!

LLOYD - December 21, 2010

Suddenly the comments exposing the Teabaggers as convenience “protesters” … We are now reading Commentators are attacking the author of this blog.
Since the Tea Party were financed and pushed out there, the word Hypocrisy has been removed from the conscience of Conservatives.
They are chained up like toy monkeys, with desperation in their eyes , and anti black rhetoric on their lips….that suddenly gives their uneventful , economically poor lives, some worth.They are not inspired to demand a better, working and living opportunities, share of the society’s successes, for all the hard work they contributed.
Yet their country, America, produces one of the finest Presidents with World class appeal..and McCain and the sour GOP/Fleabaggers encourage them to find a reason to protest.
They should join the residents of South Carolina ..who like most of the Southern residents, are afraid to “protest” their annual income of $23,000 for females and only $25,000 annually for their hatefilled FOXNEWS bamboozled white male. This is the income..of their Masters in Congress and the Board rooms use to buy food for their sophisticated dogs…

2. Kelly - April 20, 2010

Dwelling on the past never solved anythign, learning from it and doing something about it is what’s important.

Its a shame people need to criticize the ideals of others, is there ever one true “correct” way live and think? I would say not.

3. Nell - April 21, 2010

There’s at least a certain percentage of people that came into adulthood during this time. You’re insulting that group for just not being aware or mature enough to form logical opinions. Your post is well written and i can even say that i agree with most of it. However, other people’s hypocrisy doesn’t accuse another group of people’s bad decisions. There are plenty of people that agree with tea party on certain issues but not others. Your post seems to me like nothing more than a diversion of blame.

IcedGreenTea - April 24, 2010

Nell, you bring up a good point. There are young adults now who were still growing up under the Bush administration. Many of them also have received or are receiving inadequate schooling.

However, your sentence “However, other people’s hypocrisy doesn’t accuse another group of people’s bad decisions.” doesn’t make any sense to me. You must mean “excuse” rather than “accuse”?

4. Me - April 21, 2010

The author of this post needs shut up and get back in the kitchen and fix me a GD sandwich. =)

5. Snikkers - April 21, 2010

Feisty! I like that in progressives! Glad I stumbled across your blog.

6. Danielle - April 21, 2010

Great letter! I shared it on my Facebook page. I’m also going to print it out and give it to a teabagger at work. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us. Bravo!!!

7. Cindi Hodges - April 21, 2010

Amen! I am so sick of Republicans blaming ever thing on someone else!

8. God'swisedaughter - April 22, 2010

J-Do you know how incoherent you sound? I suggest you take some writing courses. I wish I could reply to that person directly.
You are very “misinformed.”

9. AwFarrier - April 22, 2010

A few of you people apparently don’t understand how the Republican and TeaBag noise machine works. They just keep repeating the same lies day after day, rally after rally, knowing that if you repeat something often enough people begin to believe it is true.
They don’t listen to rational arguments or discussions. That takes too long. If an argument can’t be posed as a black-is-black, white-is-white statement which is no longer than about five words, then the message doesn’t get across. It is intellectual laziness which drives their “sound-bites”.
For the author here to list citations supporting the facts she states would be an exercise in futility and would lose the attention of the “Tea Baggers” she is attempting to reach. As it is, pushes the attention span envelope of most of the target audience.
Rational discussion hasn’t gotten us very far with these people. We have to revise our approach and I believe she has done a very good job here.

10. Dan - April 22, 2010

Ok… This is absolutely ridiculous. I am not a teaparty protester, but the exact issues you voiced are many of the reasons they are protesting. They were protesting before the health care bill was even passed. You can’t believe what you see on T.V. about these protesters; they are not just protesting healthcare, they are not racist, they are people just like you and me and they are pissed off at the out of control growing government for taking the liberties, and our sovereignty. They are pissed off that we are a slave to the dollar that they print, and print, and print, and think that it has no effect on us. The keynsian policies, the totalitarian ideas, and everything you mentioned plus much, much more.

LLOYD - December 22, 2010

Dan..you actually said this…”they are not just protesting healthcare, they are not racist, they are people just like you and me and they are pissed off at the out of control growing government for taking the liberties, and our sovereignty. They are pissed off that we are a slave to the dollar that they print, and print, and print, and think that it has no effect on us”
You are saying the poor residents of SC..and other States..like Florida…especially Tampa counties..are making these comments these observations ??…that’s not true….They want to know how to get ahead..without living of Welfare..or food stamps…
New adult Americans…coming to help us build a beautiful country…But they refuse to be monkeys for the Republicans..and quickly create a life that makes them join the middle class…leaving tenants in the Trailer Parks..poor and desperate….
Republicans NEED millions of poor white folks..without education…without health care and listening to FOXNEWS..
New immigrant Americans from Korea..Europe..and the rest of the world…are leaving them behind..

11. BILL - April 22, 2010


mothermary44 - April 23, 2010

(Bill’s e-mail address would seem to indicate he’s Canadian.)

Another Canuck - October 16, 2010

Yeah, in a heartbeat.

12. Jim Robinson - April 22, 2010

I complement you, and facts do not lie! That is why the TEA PARTY can not ansure the questions that you are putting to them.
Most are average people that have the misfortune of watching and listening to Fox NEWS and others like them. They have been brain washed with all the lies and won’t watch or lisen to reason when grooped together.
If you get them one at a time and start talking to (not yelling at) them most, not all seam to change there minds to some degree.

13. Sean (The Metal Files) - April 22, 2010

For the record, anyone who puts their support behind someone like Sarah Palin will get exactly what they deserve. Same as the folks who voted for Obama.

14. Angela Bonet Fort - April 22, 2010

I’m not Bush proponent, but Clinton knew of the Osama threat before Bush even got to the oval office, and ignored it. Do I want to support everyone who cries wolf with their multitude of welfare babies to get some more of my money that I work 14 hours a day for? Hell no. Are there already healthcare programs in place to serve the indigent, handicapped, and mentally ill? You bet your ass there is. Is it my fault ALL of the administrtions, both Dems and Pubs have abused their power and pilfered away the money that I have ALREADY put into the ‘system’ but will likely never get any benefit from? Nope. Should I be fiscally penalized because I work hard and educate myself (on my own dollar) to succeed because someone else just wants to take what I have because they feel ‘i’m a fellow human being’ entitled? Are you effin kidding me? Why don’t you just kill free enterprise and capitalism altogether so we can all live in the same toilet. Take away our guns. Take away God. FORCE me to go green with your mercury laced light bulbs and unsafe green cars…Give rights to some that take the rights away from the masses. How about ‘forcing’ our teens to ‘volunteer’ for Americorps to get student loans. Little bit of an oxymoron there. With amnesty around the corner, make me pay for them too, while I’ve been paying into SS, etc for the last 25+ years. Erode the Constitution saying that it is outdated and in need of reform (which is EXACTLY the reason it was drafted in the first place…for people like this who want to FORCE you to think the way they do and judge you for being ingenious, productive, and yes…protective of my earnings. If I work my ass off for my money it needs to stay in my hands, minus an amount to contribute to our country without being expended abusively). Is that your solution? Get me some Tidy Bowl. The gov’t is a farce no matter which side you’re on.

mothermary44 - April 23, 2010

Actually, Clinton did NOT ignore Osama. Many members of the Clinton administration tried hard to warn the Bushies about Osama. But the Bushies were too busy undoing everything Clinton had ever done or tried to do. … Your rant is so angry, so divorced from reality, it just makes me sad for you. No one is trying to “pilfer” your money, nor is anyone trying to destroy capitalism in favor of the poor, sick, or discriminated-against … and incidentally, I’ve been paying into Social Security for more than 40 years.

Calven McVetty - April 29, 2010

You said Clinton knew of bin Laden but did nothing and ignored terrorism;
According to two separate REPUBLICAN anti-terrorist czars (R.Clarke and Paul Bremer), both maintained that Clinton had terrorism as THE number one priority for that administration, and both of them said it was GW Bush who did NOTHING and ignored terrorism. In fact, that’s the very word used too: “ignored.”
NOTE the following two quotes:

“But frankly I find it outrageous that the president (Bush) is running for re-election on the grounds that he’s done such great things about terrorism. He ignored it. He ignored terrorism” R.Clarke, (R)
WASHINGTON (AP) – Republican L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, said in a speech six months before the Sept. 11 attacks that the Bush administration was “paying no attention” to terrorism. http://www.newsweekinteractive.net/id/4871819/

Do ANY of you conservatives EVER have the facts? Ever?


15. Angela Bonet Fort - April 22, 2010

and AwFarrier…maybe we’re learning from you leftist my-way-or-the-highway-force-my-views-down-your-throat-original-protesting-goons. You know…the one’s who touted free speech and this right or that right. We can go all the way back to the feminist movement which pretty much ruined our family unit in the first place. With those results, I’m deathly afraid of what else you have in store…a Godless, run amok chaotic Orwellian society. Can’t wait.

IcedGreenTea - April 24, 2010

I can’t think of anything more Orwellian than living in a society where the feminist movement had not occurred and improved things for women. Without the feminist movement, I would have seen my only choice in life to be a housewife to some jackass in the hopes that he would do right by me and our numerous children. I am so fortunate to live in a society where I could receive a college education, enter a profession, and support myself doing productive work that helps others without having to rely on another person with no options should he not hold up his end of the bargain.

16. Typical left wing thought process. - April 22, 2010

Lots of name calling and rhetoric.
Very intelligent indeed.
You disgust me.

17. Snikkers - April 23, 2010

“They don’t listen to rational arguments or discussions. That takes too long.”

Also makes brain go owie.

18. Snikkers - April 23, 2010

Dan writes: “they are people just like you and me”

In Mother’s own words: “Oh HELL no!!”

19. Christina - April 23, 2010

I didn’t protest becuz I didn’t know how and to be honest was a little scared. Thought I would be killed accidently or something.
I am glad that this nation has FINALLY had enough of Government in general and is finally starting to speak up and be heard.
There are alot of things that past presidents and government has done that was wrong and we are still paying for it today. But if we all stand together as a Nation and as We The People maybe just maybe some of those errors that once had no voice to vote against it will finally stand together and say NO…

20. YOU WANT TO GET MAD? (Author unknown) « Windows Toward the World - April 23, 2010

[…] This may be the original. If not, it’s goo anyway. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Prayers By the […]

21. Clance' - April 23, 2010

Oh! How I wish I had written this post…but you did. You channeled everything so many of us have to say, so eloquently and honestly. Best post I have read in a very long time!

22. Gerald Bosacker - April 23, 2010

Your comments are a succinct and accurate summation of Republican
foot-dragging, stream-poisoning and naysaying tactics and inane beliefs. I would love to copy and quote your wisdom accompanying my poetic diatribes against the grand old party.

mothermary44 - April 24, 2010

Be my guest! You could even link back to the post if you felt so inclined….

23. Scott - April 23, 2010

Typical Left wing thought process–you know…letting facts get in the way of opinions.
Mother, I appreciate you saving me the time of writing an article that would not have been half as good as yours.
I appreciate the anger of the tea-partiers. My mouth drops in awe at some of the nonsense spewed from Washington (both sides of the aisle). But “We The People” have the right to overthrow the government every two years. We have no one to blame but ourselves for the government we get. The sad truism is that “everybody hates Congress but loves their Congressman.” That’s why things don’t often change.

24. mona - April 23, 2010

This really is a slant to left… I should have figured…

25. Matt - April 24, 2010

This is less than half true. Please site your sources and evidence. The world is waiting.

mothermary44 - April 24, 2010

It is 100 percent true, and I don’t need to CITE my sources and evidence because all of it is readily available on the Web, and has been for many years. And what if I did? Partisan dupes like you can’t even believe that if Obama were NOT an American citizen, Hillary Clinton would have told the world in 2007, and John McCain in 2008.

Leslie - June 9, 2010

Clearly you do not understand the basics of citing your sources. “Readily available” does not count as a reason to not cite your sources. That would be an immediate “fail” grade in college if you used that kind of logic.

26. KSM - April 24, 2010

So much ignorance and misinformation in this post that it is hard to know where to start. Do yourself a favor – don’t just listen to Keith Olberman. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t make them a racist or stupid.

mothermary44 - April 24, 2010

I would certainly listen to Keith Olbermann, whom I enjoy, before I would listen to YOU. You don’t have to be a racist or stupid to disagree with me. You DO have to be racist or stupid if you believe the Tea Party movement has a better grasp on reality than any other organized or semi-organized group of people.

27. Rita-Eileen Glynn Smith - April 24, 2010

Wow… I’ve been profiled, or caricatured… not sure which. Let’s see, I started my environmental & animal advocacy and civic duty in the 70’s when housing was being converted into condominiums with no consideration of the elderly or (then) handicapped, or to get the town to provide the decommissioned housing for the military to residents, and former military families. We got legislation, in Rockland County, NY changed to grandfather in, thus protecting those who could not protect themselves. My environmental and animal advocacy precedes that, and includes leading the charge against development of land, by IBM, that included a heliport that would have cut across a fly ways of Canada Geese – working with the mayors of the hamlets and towns. We won. I protested, attending meetings, and took to advocacy when individual townships were culling populations and confronted local, state and federal authorities – routinely working to explore alternatives and eventually the prohibition of hunting in RC. After moving to California I went into the burn after the 2003 Firestorm in San Diego County to disperse food the the land animals that survived the fires… only to have the federal authorities go out of their way to interfere. My husband and I have grown, from saplings, 7 liquidamber trees and donated then (15′ tall and above) to the La Mesa Parks… and have another juvenile that should be ready next year…I have been a vocal advocate and activist for the environment, animals, the elderly, physically challenged, and abused for over 40 years. I am also a participant at the Tea Parties because I am exercising my rights. Oh, and as for protesting the Bush Administration – you bet. That included using social media (that I have been actively using since 2004…) to get my voice heard. I call into Talk Radio – on any issue that interests me… and engage in dialogue. I will continue to do that. You don’t know me… you don’t know what I represent or what am thinking.

28. John Riccio - April 26, 2010

I have not read anything so moving and true since chapters in Cindy Sheehan’s book Peace Mom.I will be sending this to all 300+ on my mailing list.

29. Proud Tea Party Protester - April 29, 2010

Dear Mother Mary,
First, you are assuming that we didn’t disagree with some things Bush did to our economy. If you feel that way about our deficit, then you should also be upset that Obama is taking us in the same direction at 10X the speed. Don’t make assumptions about me and what I believe based on my right to disagree with this administration. My brother is one of those soldiers who is protecting that right. You’re welcome!
PS good luck getting that Obama care – do some more research! Our individual insurance policy will soon become unaffordable due to gov’t mandates. So much for keeping our health insurance if we like it.

mothermary44 - April 29, 2010

Your assertion that Obama is spending money ten times faster than Bush/43 did is not merely false, it is appallingly ignorant. Carter reduced both deficit and national debt. Reagan and Bush/41 TRIPLED it. Clinton both reduced the national debt AND handed Bush/43 a surplus. Dubya cashed in the surplus with tax-reduction gifts to his wealthy, “have-more” friends and MORE THAN DOUBLED the national debt. Please explain to me how Obama’s efforts to reduce our national debt are evidence that Obama is spending more than $80 TRillion per year.

I honor your brother’s service to his country. Does your brother’s family need food stamps and Medicaid to survive, as so many military families do? Does your brother enjoy the many Bush/43 policies that have made Walter Reed and the Veterans Administration a national disgrace?

MY health insurance has tripled in cost since 2000 because, hey, why shouldn’t the company raise my rates? Who’s going to stop Blue Cross? Government mandates have little to do with it, beyond the BUSH mandate that I pay top dollar for my pharmaceuticals because the government is not ALLOWED to negotiate a fair price.

TexasJoe - December 23, 2010

“Your assertion that Obama is spending money ten times faster than Bush/43 did is not merely false, it is appallingly ignorant”

Well since you like the web so much as a source of data, check out the ACTUAL government website:


As you can see, your information is completely inaccurate, according to the US Treasury.

During the Carter Years, the national debt increased from $620bn to $820bn.

Not only did Clinton NOT reduce the national debt, it increased from $4tr to $5.6 tr.

In Obamas first two years, the national debt has gone from $10tr to $13tr.

So Carter increased the national debt by 20%, Clinton by 20% and Obama so far, 33%.

30. Calven McVetty - April 29, 2010

In regards to the above comment by number 64. Angela Bonet Fort – dated April 22, 2010 :

You said Clinton knew of bin Laden but did nothing and ignored terrorism;
According to two separate REPUBLICAN anti-terrorist czars (R.Clarke and Paul Bremer), both maintained that Clinton had terrorism as THE number one priority for that administration, and both of them said it was GW Bush who did NOTHING and ignored terrorism. In fact, that’s the very word used too: “ignored.”
NOTE the following two quotes:

“But frankly I find it outrageous that the president (Bush) is running for re-election on the grounds that he’s done such great things about terrorism. He ignored it. He ignored terrorism” R.Clarke, (R)
WASHINGTON (AP) – Republican L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, said in a speech six months before the Sept. 11 attacks that the Bush administration was “paying no attention” to terrorism. http://www.newsweekinteractive.net/id/4871819/

Do ANY of you conservatives EVER have the facts? Ever?


31. Proud Tea Party Protester - May 2, 2010

The Obama Budget: Spending, Taxes, and Doubling the National Debt
Published on March 16, 2009 by Brian Riedl
During his presidential campaign, President Barack Obama promised the American people a “net spending cut.”1 Instead, he signed a “stimulus” bill that spends $800 billion, and he has proposed a budget that would:
Increase spending by $1 trillion over the next decade;
Include an additional $250 billion placeholder for another financial bailout;
Likely lead to a 12 percent increase in discretionary spending;
Permanently expand the federal government by nearly 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) over pre-recession levels;
Raise taxes on all Americans by $1.4 trillion over the next decade;
Raise taxes for 3.2 million taxpayers by an average of $300,000 over the next decade;
Call for a pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) law despite offering a budget that would violate it by $3.4 trillion;
Assume a rosy economic scenario that few economists anticipate;
Leave permanent deficits averaging $600 billion even after the economy recovers; and
Double the publicly held national debt to over $15 trillion ($12.5 trillion after inflation).2
Before the recession, federal spending totaled $24,000 per U.S. household. President Obama would hike it to $32,000 per household by 2019- an inflation-adjusted $8,000-per-household expansion of government. Even the steep tax increases planned for all taxpayers would not finance all of this spending: The President’s budget would add trillions of dollars in new debt.[1][2]
Yet, the President’s budget may even understate future spending and deficits. It assumes that the temporary stimulus spending provisions will be allowed to expire and that the $634 billion down payment on universal health care will not be expanded. It proposes destructive income tax increases and a new cap-and-trade energy tax that could devastate the manufacturing sector. Yet, somehow, the budget assumes much faster economic growth than forecast by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Blue Chip Consensus.
Overall, the President’s budget represents a sharp break from the policies that created the most prosperous 25-year period in American economic history. Instead, it puts politicians in charge of an increasing portion of the economy. Congress should discard this tax-and-spend budget and start from scratch.
Doubling Down on President Bush’s Economic Policies
President Obama has framed his budget as a break from the “failed policies” of the Bush Administration. Actually, his budget doubles down on President George W. Bush’s borrow, spend, and bailout policies. For example:
President Bush expanded the federal budget by a historic $700 billion through 2008. President Obama would add another $1 trillion.[3]
President Bush began a string of expensive financial bailouts. President Obama is accelerating that course.[4]
President Bush created a Medicare drug entitlement that will cost an estimated $800 billion in its first decade. President Obama has proposed a $634 billion down payment on a new government health care fund.
President Bush increased federal education spending 58 percent faster than inflation. President Obama would double it.[5]
President Bush became the first President to spend 3 percent of GDP on federal antipoverty programs. President Obama has already increased this spending by 20 percent.[6]
President Bush tilted the income tax burden more toward upper-income taxpayers. President Obama would continue that trend.[7]
President Bush ran budget deficits averaging $300 billion annually. After harshly criticizing Bush’s budget deficits, President Obama proposed a budget that would run deficits averaging $600 billion even after the economy recovers and the troops return home from Iraq.
The President’s tax policy is the only sharp break in economic policy. President Bush reduced taxes by approximately $2 trillion; President Obama has proposed raising taxes by $1.4 trillion. In doing so, President Obama has rejected the most successful Bush fiscal policy. In the 18 months following the 2003 tax rate cuts, economic growth rates doubled, the stock market surged 32 percent, and the economy created 1.8 million jobs, followed by 5.2 million more jobs in the next 27 months.[8] Not until the housing bubble burst several years later did the economy finally lose steam. Pro-growth lawmakers should embrace tax relief policies that have proven successful, while rejecting the runaway spending that has been business as usual in Washington.
The Mythical “$2 Trillion in Savings”
During his recent address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama previewed his budget by asserting that the Administration has “already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade.”[9] This is simply not true. His budget increases spending by $1 trillion over the next decade, which he attempts to offset by reclassifying as “savings” $1.4 trillion in tax increases and $1.5 trillion in reduced spending in Iraq. However, government savings have always referred to spending cuts that save taxpayer dollars, not tax increases that feed the government. Furthermore, the Iraq “savings” are measured against an implausible spending baseline that assumes a permanent $180 billion budget for the global war on terrorism, without any troop withdrawals through 2019. This is the equivalent of a family deciding to “save” $10,000 by first assuming an expensive vacation and then not taking it. Without these false savings, only the $1 trillion spending hike remains, and that does not account for the extra $250 billion proposed for another round of financial bailouts in the current fiscal year.
Despite the claimed savings, this budget undeniably expands government. Before the recession, revenues were 18 percent of GDP and spending was 20 percent. After the recession, President Obama would maintain revenues slightly above 19 percent of GDP and spending at over 22 percent.[10] Thus, new tax revenues would finance new spending, rather than deficit reduction. President Obama’s structural budget deficit would exceed President Bush’s.
The President also calls for bringing back the PAYGO statute, which existed from 1991 through 2002. Under this law, if the sum of a given year’s entitlement or tax legislation expanded the budget deficit, an automatic across-the-board cut (“sequestration”) in entitlement spending would be triggered at the end of the year. The President’s PAYGO proposal lacks credibility because his own budget blueprint would violate PAYGO by $3.4 trillion over 10 years.[11]
This disconnect between PAYGO rhetoric and reality is nothing new: Congress violated the 1991- 2002 PAYGO law by more than $700 billion and then enacted legislation cancelling every single sequestration that would have enforced the law.[12] Although Congress created its own PAYGO rule in 2007, it has waived it several times at a cost of $600 billion. Consequently, the President’s PAYGO proposal should be considered a hollow gimmick that will be bypassed any time it proves inconvenient.
Doubling the National Debt
President Obama’s pledge to halve the budget deficit by 2013 is hardly ambitious. The budget deficit will quadruple in 2009 to $1.75 trillion, and cutting that level in half would still leave deficits twice as high as under President Bush. Furthermore, three expected developments-the end of the recession, withdrawal of troops from Iraq, and phaseout of temporary stimulus spending- would halve the budget deficit by 2013. The President’s budget shows deficits averaging $600 billion even after the economy recovers and the troops return home from Iraq.[13] That is not good enough.
President Bush presided over a $2.5 trillion increase in the public debt through 2008. Setting aside 2009 (for which Presidents Bush and Obama share responsibility for an additional $2.6 trillion in public debt), President Obama’s budget would add $4.9 trillion in public debt from the beginning of 2010 through 2016- nearly double the amount accumulated under President Bush over the same number of years. Overall, the public debt level would double over the next decade to $15.4 trillion ($12.5 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars). (See Chart 1.) At 67 percent of GDP, this would constitute America’s largest debt burden since immediately following World War II.[14]

In the short run, this surge of debt would increase interest rates. The United States government would find itself competing with other deficit-ridden nations to borrow massive amounts of money from a shrinking pool of global savings. Although U.S. Treasury bills are a popular investment for domestic and international investors in these uncertain economic times, investors will shift out of them when the economy recovers, thereby raising interest rates. The steeply higher government debt levels will likely accelerate that increase in interest rates. These will slow down the economic recovery by making it more costly for businesses to invest and more difficult for families to afford home and auto loans.
In the long run, Washington is dumping a colossal amount of debt into the laps of our children and grandchildren. Between 2008 and 2013, the budget will add $5.7 trillion ($48,000 per U.S. household) in new government debt. The annual interest on this debt would nearly equal the entire U.S. defense budget by 2019. Moreover, given the unsustainable costs of paying Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits to 77 million retiring baby boomers, the federal debt will continue expanding after 2019.[15] Without real reforms, the result may be devastating tax increases for decades to come.
A Historic Expansion of Government
The 2009 federal spending surge is nothing short of historic. The 25 percent spending increase represents the largest non-war government expansion since the New Deal. Domestic discretionary spending (including stimulus funds) has been hiked over 80 percent over 2008 levels.[16] As a result, Washington will run a budget deficit of 12.3 percent of GDP, by far the largest since World War II.
Some justify this spending as a necessary, temporary response to a recession. Setting aside the flaws in that argument, excluding the recessionary period does not improve the fiscal picture. In 2007, before the recession, Washington spent $24,172 per household. By 2019, the President’s budget would spend $32,463 per household-an inflation-adjusted $8,000 per household expansion of government.[17] (See Chart 2.) In 2007, Washington spent 20 percent of GDP. President Obama would permanently elevate federal spending to nearly 23 percent of GDP by 2019-a level reached only three times since the end of World War II.[18]

Yet even that may be an underestimate. The President’s budget unrealistically assumes that:
All temporary stimulus spending, such as higher spending on Pell Grants and health care, will be allowed to expire;
Discretionary spending growth will be held to 2 percent annually after 2012, compared to the 8 percent annual growth of the past two years; and
The $634 billion down payment on universal health care will not be expanded.
Fixing these assumptions brings spending to 25 percent of GDP by 2019-with annual $1.2 trillion deficits.
Taxpayers already cannot afford today’s federal programs. Over the next decade, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid costs are projected to increase automatically by nearly 7 percent annually. Much of the $800 billion of “stimulus” spending will likely be made permanent. The seemingly endless string of financial bailouts will also likely continue. Despite all of these existing commitments that taxpayers cannot afford, President Obama would pile on another $1 trillion over the decade for:
$429 billion in new domestic discretionary spending;
$326 billion as the spending portion of new or expanded tax credits, such as the Make Work Pay credit;
$318 billion[19] as a down payment on universal health care; and
$117 billion to convert Pell Grants into an entitlement and put its budget on autopilot, preventing Congress from easily controlling its growth.
Some of this spending would be offset by eliminating the guaranteed student loan program and forcing all students into the government-run direct loan program, and by reducing one type of subsidy to large agribusinesses. However, even with these offsets, the President would expand government by $1 trillion above the automatic mandatory spending increases. Despite the President’s calls for tackling Social Security’s long-term unfunded obligation, his budget proposes no fix.
The President’s budget proposes $1,133 billion in regular discretionary spending in 2010-a 12 percent increase over $1,012 billion in appropriations in 2009. The President claims this is a 7 percent increase because his proposal reclassifies most transportation budget authority (currently classified as mandatory) as discretionary spending, inflating the 2010 figure by $50 billion. However, Congress may be tempted to reject the transportation shift and instead spend the entire $1,133 billion on regular discretionary programs, thus creating a 12 percent discretionary spending hike, one of the largest non-war increases ever.
The $1.4 Trillion Tax Increase
In his recent address to Congress, President Obama promised that “if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.”[20] Yet even before the budget was released, he signed into law a 62-cent tobacco tax increase that does not exempt lower-income smokers. His budget proposes a $646 billion cap-and-trade tax that energy companies would immediately pass on to all consumers, including those earning less than $250,000. Consequently, President Obama’s budget would raise everyone’s taxes. (See Table 1.)

The budget would offset some of these tax increases by making permanent the Make Work Pay and the American Opportunity Tax Credits, which were originally part of the “temporary” economic stimulus bill. Because tax credits do not reduce marginal tax rates for most taxpayers, they do not encourage the working, saving, and investing that are vital for productivity and growth.
A nearly $1 trillion tax increase is reserved for couples earning over $250,000 and individuals earning over $200,000. Beginning in 2011, the President’s budget will increase their taxes by:
Raising the top two income tax brackets to 36 percent and 39.6 percent ($339 billion);
Raising capital gains and dividends tax rates to 20 percent ($118 billion);
Phasing out personal exemptions and limiting itemized deductions ($180 billion); and
Reducing the value of their tax deductions by approximately one-fourth ($318 billion).[21]
This $1 trillion tax hike on “the rich” would fall on the backs of only 3.2 million tax filers-an average tax hike of more than $300,000 per filer over 10 years on a group that is already shouldering an increasing portion of the income tax burden.[22]
Such tax increases would significantly reduce economic growth rates by reducing incentives to work, save, and invest. Specifically, higher investment taxes may prevent the economy from receiving the investment capital that it needs to recover. Because most small businesses pay the individual income tax, they would face new barriers to expanding, investing, hiring, and even staying in business. Wealthier individuals would be more likely to allocate their wealth wherever it avoids these new taxes, rather than where it would be most productive for the economy.
While there is never a good time to raise taxes, President Obama’s proposal to raise taxes during a recession is especially problematic. Even if the tax increases are not implemented until 2011, many businesses planning long-term investment and hiring will likely begin scaling back their plans in anticipation of the coming tax hikes. Nor is an economic expansion by 2011 guaranteed.
In return for causing this economic damage, these tax increases would raise revenues by just 1 percent of GDP, which would finance only a fraction of the spending increase (nearly 3 percent of GDP over pre-recession levels). The tax increases would not reduce the budget deficit, but merely slow its growth.
Rosy Economic Assumptions
To President Obama’s credit, his budget realistically accounts for the assumed costs of annually extending the Alternative Minimum Tax patch, the Medicare physician payment fix, and certain tax cut extensions. However, in addition to the Iraq baseline savings gimmick, the President bases much of his deficit reduction on a rosy economic forecast that significantly differs from mainstream forecasts. He assumes a shallow recession with the economy recovering one year earlier than others project. While both the CBO and Blue Chip Consensus assume that the economy will contract by 2 percent this year and grow by 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent in 2010, the President’s budget assumes only a 1 percent reduction this year followed by a healthy 3.2 percent growth next year. By 2012, President Obama’s budget assumes 4.6 percent growth, compared to the 2.9 percent growth forecast by the Blue Chip Consensus.
By assuming faster economic growth, the President can assume faster tax revenue growth and smaller budget deficits. If the CBO and Blue Chip Consensus are correct, then the President’s budget understates future budget deficits by approximately $100 billion annually.[23]
The President’s rosy economic assumptions are especially dubious given that his proposed tax increases on working, saving, and investing would certainly reduce economic growth. Additionally, even most proponents of the proposed cap-and-trade energy tax concede that it would reduce economic growth and destroy jobs-they debate only the magnitude of the losses.[24] To propose these tax increases and still assume substantially faster economic growth than the Blue Chip Consensus is simply not credible.
Conclusion: That ’70s Show
Analysts have described President Obama’s budget as a repudiation of the past 25 years of economic policy. In doing so, the President has rejected the most prosperous economic period in American history.
Between 1953 and 1982-a period of high tax rates, spending growth, and applied Keynesian economics-the economy was in recession 21 percent of the time, inflation reached 13 percent, interest rates hit 19 percent, and the stock market grew only 5.4 percent annually.
However, beginning around 1982, tax rates were dramatically reduced, and federal spending began decreasing as a share of the economy. In the 26 years following this major policy shift, the economy has been in recession only 10 percent of the time (including the current recession), inflation has never topped 5 percent, interest rates have never exceeded 12 percent, and the stock market (despite increased volatility) has soared 7.0 percent annually, even including the recent 50 percent drop.[25]
The United States has created enormous wealth over the past 25 years. For President Obama to propose returning to economic policies of the Carter Administration, which brought stagflation and malaise, is unfathomable. Lawmakers should reject this budget and instead reduce tax rates for families and entrepreneurs, restrain runaway government, and reform unaffordable entitlements.
Brian M. Riedl is Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

32. Proud Tea Party Protester - May 2, 2010

Mother Mary,
I hope the above article gives you enough facts to check, keep an open mind and don’t be so angry and judgmental. The truth might not be what you expect. I used to be a media sheep like yourself, until I listened to both sides with an open mind and did some fact checking. That would be a way to honor my brother (who is not on food stamps).

33. Proud Tea Party Protester - May 3, 2010

Dear Mother Mary,
One more item regarding health care costs and our tripling premiums, which we have in common. My first job out of college involved analyzing reimbursement practices on every procedure performed by the physicians at the Medical College faculty in our state. For example, if a procedure should cost around $200.00 based on cost, time, specialty, etc. Our government would most likely reimburse around $75.00 for Medicaid, maybe around $100.00 for Medicare leaving the physician needing to charge around $300.00 for the procedure in order to cover costs by the insurance companies. It is a direct result of government programs not paying the fair amount that has raised the cost of medical care. I’m sure you have also heard the argument that excessive costs of malpractice insurance and the government’s refusal to open cross state insurance markets has kept the costs of our insurance too high. The free market in health care would work to lower costs for all and keep the quality we all enjoy. Believe me, also, when I say that I would love to supplement premiums for those who are struggling. Believe it or not, but Tea Party Protesters want health care for everybody, too! The cost of this type of program would be a fraction of what our government currently proposes.
I appreciate your passion and hope your goal is finding the truth and not just being “right” or politically correct. Encourage your readers to listen to liberal and conservative talk shows even if seems offensive at first. I have been listening to liberal talk shows even as they openly mock and ridicule my Christian faith. (I’m not sure that would be tolerated by the politically correct if they were mocking any other faith). Ask your readers to be critical thinkers. You don’t need to agree with me, but I do think we need to be informed. Good luck to you and God bless you!

34. Will - May 4, 2010

I live in MA where we have had mandatory health insurance for the past few years and I must say the arguments about doctors’ incentives going downhill are ridiculous. I know many doctors that don’t consider themselves overworked, and still are extremely well off. Furthermore, the cost has remained within the bounds predicted by Mitt Romney. If a state as fiscally irresponsible and dysfunctional as MA can pull it off then the entire country can.

35. sillycita - May 6, 2010

Thank you for posting this – I have shared it on my facebook page. Everything you say is true, and that’s why being a republican makes no sense to me. Your post is articulate and thoughtful.

Thanks again

36. Chartuese - May 12, 2010

I’m an Independent and from looking at both sides the major difference I see is that most Republicans use logic and common sense to formulate thinking and most Democrats use HATE and demeaning remarks to try to get their points across. But their hateful comments only confirm that what the Republicans are saying actually needs to be considered!

mothermary44 - May 13, 2010

You must be high, Chartuese! “Obama is a racist” is logic? “Obama is a Muslim Kenyan” is common sense? When taxes are lower than they’ve been since 1950, “taxes are too high” actually needs to be considered? … The nicknames “Faux News” and “hate radio” are NOT in common use because DEMOCRATS use hate and demeaning remarks to get their points across. You’re thinking about Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and all the other crew of hateful liars — every one of them Republican.

37. TEINLV - May 23, 2010

I never there were so many misguided liberals out there! G-D HELP US…

38. jaydee - May 31, 2010

You are citing the heritage foundation as a reliable source for accurate, unbiased information? Wow, this is their mission statement directly from their website, right underneath that Brian Reidl article.

Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institution—a think tank—whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

We believe the principles and ideas of the American Founding are worth conserving and renewing. As policy entrepreneurs, we believe the most effective solutions are consistent with those ideas and principles. Our vision is to build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.

Heritage’s staff pursues this mission by performing timely, accurate research on key policy issues and effectively marketing these findings to our primary audiences: members of Congress, key congressional staff members, policymakers in the executive branch, the nation’s news media, and the academic and policy communities.

Governed by an independent Board of Trustees, The Heritage Foundation is an independent, tax-exempt institution. Heritage relies on the private financial support of the general public—individuals, foundations, and corporations—for its income, and accepts no government funds and performs no contract work. Heritage is one of the nation’s largest public policy research organizations. More than 650,000 individual members make it the most broadly supported think tank in America.

They are a conservative think tank used for lobbying purposes to further the far right/corporate agenda. Next time use a non partisan analysis if you are going to claim not to be a sheep.

Give me your fact check on that one, because his source information is hypothetical in many cases, leaves out income, and misrepresents many of the numbers.

take care.

39. Jeremiah - June 3, 2010

Facts maybe opinions mostly. Obama is no better than GW was or Clinton or G H W was. The fact of the matter is some people do not like what is going on and they are now standing up and speaking their mind on the matter. Just like the people did when they did not approve of GW. What it all boils down to is the dems are in charge right now. eventually the repubs will be back in power and the bickering will continue. Mothermarry, you come off as pretty self righteous with your post and it kind of angers me. One point of contention I have is that those poorly trained civilians you speak of that replaced the Military, probably like 99% are former service members who left active duty to take a better paying job doing the same thing they did in the military. Another thing is where you protesting when Clinton promised that our boys would be home by Christmas? Talking about when Clinton sent American troops to Bosnia on a peace keeping mission that actually lasted twelve years hardly the return date first promised. Were you protesting when Clinton bombed Serbia? Were you protesting when Clinton did little to nothing to stop the genocide in Rwanda? Or how about 1998 when Clinton let Saddam get away with violating UN sanctions by expelling the weapons inspectors. This bickering could go back and forth all day and night.
It seems real easy for you to lash out and spew hate toward your fellow American. Reading your responses to the tea party protesters that have responded to your original post have been very revealing of your true character. You are nothing more than a left wing nut job bent on demonizing your fellow Americans because they do not blindly follow someone they do not agree with. Just because someone does not share your opinion doesn’t make them any less of a person. I’d be willing to bet a lot of these people you are criticizing have educational resumes that far surpass your own. The funny thing about an education is it does you no good if you don’t use it. It seems to me that you have not put your own education to any good use. You spout hate and discontent but you do not offer up any form of legitimate solution to our countries problems. Just more of the same old BS rhetoric.
It is most likely a waste of my time even writing this comment as you are surely going to dismiss me as a “right wing nut job” even though I’m registered as neither democrat or republican or any political party for that matter. I believe that the two major parties have collectively done more harm than good over the last half century.
I’m an American who proudly served my country as a US Marine for thirteen years including two tours of duty in Iraq. Is that war unjust? maybe it was but it was not illegal by any stretch of the imagination. The senate and congress both gave unanimous approval to GW to use force against Iraq. They had access to the same intel he did. one of them could have raised their hands and said ” hey are we really really sure about this stuff?” but none did. Not to mention there is video evidence of speeches mad by both Pelosi and Kerry of them begging Clinton to invade Iraq following the ousting of UN weapons inspectors.
Way to be a hatemonger mothermarry. You have re-enforced my opinions of the political party sheeple running around in my Country. I hope you enjoy your government mandated health care insurance. I hope you can afford to pay out of your pocket for it cause it’s not coming out of your taxes.

Cheri - August 10, 2011

Well said Jeremiah! Spoken like a TRUE American!!

40. maggiemae656 - June 15, 2010

Many people DID protest, mothermary44…but they didn’t get the media coverage. My question for you is, how many times did YOU protest the previous administrations? Did CNN dis you, too?

mothermary44 - June 15, 2010

I protested often, Maggie, and people who NOW claim they’re mad as hell about incipient fascism told me I was a traitor for not supporting the Bush junta.

41. macho s. - June 15, 2010

Ok I am not going to argue your points although there are holes in everything you wrote I am going to put it to you this way…

If something is wrong and people at first look at it and think for a bit….then it gets even more wrong…even larger mistakes and double and triple the problems…so finally you step in to fix what is wrong…But instead of all the people that also saw it was wrong jumping on the band wagon to fix it, instead they do like you and say why didn’t you do something when…??????

People like you are the problem…you are what is rotten with our politics…and really you should go to your room and when you are ready to apologize then come out, not any sooner….

To look back instead and BITCH instead of fix what’s wrong…that’s the problem…

The Tea Party people have knocked republicans as much as democrats…I have…including the new supposed republicans like Brown…trust me he won’t be in office but one term if he keeps siding with spending…

You are so wrapped up in party politics it is easy for me to say shame on you …you are what is killing America…but we are awake and will make a difference …we will not sit by and watch this happen any more…..

Again SHAME ON YOU for being the PROBLEM instead of the SOLUTION…just step aside and let the real Americans do their duty…and we will

42. Bill Gast - July 9, 2010

First, I think “ZAK” hit the nail square when he stated;
“umm… i hate to tell you this but, just because they didn’t protest then, isn’t a valid argument for why they are wrong for protesting now…

seriously,”……back at the opening replies.
Burt my $.002 is,….back in 2006 there were not the proactive groups that want to see this administration make “changes” that will be positive. Most that are proactive today were just reading the retoric and thinking that they disagreed. today, individuals, especially us veterans are becoming much more proactive and I can tell you that you can take this to the bank,…we will be more active in this coming year than ever before. Hear us roar!!!
also, some good wisdom and provocative thought is now on veteransteaparty.worpress.com take a look at it.

43. billy bob - July 15, 2010

ehh?? all the Tea Party Prostesters? a large number of them have not been, in fact, protesting the growth of government for many years? Because golly, I know quite a few of them personally! If you are going to base an argument on the lumping of the whole of them together like that, then you really should back up the lumping first! As is this is almost pure rhetoric.

44. I love this woman. - Religious Education Forum - September 26, 2010

[…] […]

45. jim sadler - September 30, 2010

Although those tea bag jerks are ignorant nut jobs we need to use caution in dealing with them. If i don’t miss my guess we will see something very similar to the Nazi Party springing out of the Tea Party. It may not be obvious at first. They won’t be wearing tall black boots with swastikas on their arms. But once they gain a bit of power you can bet that their evil intentions will come out. Those people are dangerous.

mothermary44 - October 2, 2010

I tend to agree with you. Which is to say, Nazism seems to me to have been an artificial religion, while either the Tea Bigots or some group like them wants the U.S. to be a theocracy ruled by the religion of the C Street “Family” — fundamentalist, misogynistic, hypocritical. Very much Robert A. Heinlein’s Revolt in 2100, except Nehemiah Scudder would be replaced by Glenn Beck. Or, God help us, Terry Jones or one of his ilk. It frightens the hell out of me!

46. Jeff Freeland - October 3, 2010

Brilliantly said.

47. ;arry - October 27, 2010

And I dont see Obama supporters protesting the wars like they did during the bush administration.

48. Thanks - December 22, 2010

The Tea Party is a movement labeled by mainstream media. The media bottled up the discontent from an old, dying racist generation. What a perfect time to do it (first black president). The corrupt system manipulated/labeled the discontent into a movement that will ensure its own survival. How long will it last? Only time will tell.

49. Up Yours - December 23, 2010

Half Wisdom, Half Wit? Well, you’re half right — you do seem to be a half-wit. You and your libtard ilk call people like me teabaggers, yet you’re the ones *getting* teabagged. How do my nuts taste?

50. Rick Alaska - August 11, 2011

First of all, it’s the TEA (Taxed Excessively Already) Party. Teabaggers is a middle-school mentality pejorative. Secondly, the debt has reached critical mass by comparison to our GDP. It was getting seriously out of hand by the end of Bush 2. Just look at Europe and decide if that’s the direction you want Obama, Reid, etc. to take us in. If you do, well then a dialogue isn’t going to help. For the record, being critical of Obama does not mean you approved of Bush. One was bad, the second worse.

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