The tea party movement expects to make another big splash on April 15. With turnout anticipated to be in the millions, tea party supporters will take to the streets in an effort to revive the long-forgotten concept of fiscal conservatism.
While left-leaning adherents and news outlets will likely mock and ridicule the events, the tax day festivities will be heavily promoted by Fox News and other right-leaning media. And though the movement's personalities (like Sarah Palin) and partisan diatribes are sure to generate a tremendous amount of controversy, its core principles bear strong consideration by a nation that is running $1.6 trillion budget deficits and mired under $13 trillion of debt.
In the past, I've been critical of the Tea Party movement for its hyper-partisanship and lack of credibility on fiscal conservatism. Except for the Ron Paul faction, the Tea Party was conveniently silent during the Bush years when deficits exploded, $5 trillion of new debt was added, the US Dollar lost about 20% of its value, the size of the Federal Government grew by leaps and bounds, and the Wall St bailouts were launched. Then, when Obama, combined with a Democratic House and Senate, took the reins, suddenly deficits, debt, states' rights, and the bailouts began to matter.
But, as they say, better late than never.
While the Tea Party is perhaps too motivated by partisan antagonism, the current deficits are undoubtedly too big, the national debt is frighteningly high, Wall St has hijacked Washington DC, and the Federal Government has become a behemoth of monumental proportions.
America borrows too much, prints too much, and spends too much, both at home and abroad. As we discovered with the credit, housing, and stock market collapse in late '08/early '09, there are severe consequences to financial profligacy. If we don't change course soon, America may face a more catastrophic financial collapse in the not too distant future.
So, while most media outlets will present the the Tax Day Tea Parties in a polarized, politically charged light, try and focus on the actual ideas, issues, and potential solutions the movement's leaders and supporters are putting forth. After all, the movement's platform has drawn the support of at least 13% of Democrats and 28% of Independents, according to a right-leaning polling firm.
If these numbers are accurate, then perhaps the Tea Party is beginning to develop more independent-minded, multi-partisan roots.
Wouldn't that be a welcome change in American politics?