The Tea Party’s “blue deal” for America
AUG 12, 2011 12:29 EDT
By John F. Wasik
Imagine being elected to government even though you’re openly hostile to it.
Such is the perverse arrangement the Tea Party has with the electorate, which is foisting a “Blue Deal” on Americans. As opposed to a “New” deal or even “Square” deal, the Blue Deal and its prolonged pain will hurt most middle-class Americans through higher costs in retirement, health care and public health.
Tea Party affiliates’ nonchalant posturing on the potential debt default influenced the Standard and Poor’s decision to downgrade U.S. debt and the ensuing turmoil.
Now that the Congressional super-committee has been named to begin
cutting more government spending — and hopefully raising revenues — it’s time to craft a balanced agenda that will preserve social programs while cutting government waste.
The Tea Party’s brash intrusion into U.S. politics was a needed wake-up call, although the movement will be more destructive than productive if it doesn’t create a tide that lifts all boats. Here are the major stumbling blocks that need to be addressed head-on by the committee:
Being the World’s Cop. If Congress is truly interested in the kind of debt reduction the ratings agencies and markets will take seriously, it has to end its role as gendarme to the world’s hotspots. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said as much on Tuesday in a National Public Radio interview in which he was cut off before he had a chance to fully explain why. Frank said overspending on needless military expenses is one reason U.S. debt was downgraded by Standard & Poor’s. Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz estimated in 2008 that the Iraq and Afghan wars will cost the U.S. at least $3 trillion — double the cost of the Korean War and outpacing the 12-year Viet Nam war. Pull out of these countries and reduce spending on forces in Europe and Asia and Congress will not have to touch social programs.