POINT/COUNTERPOINT: Tea Party: Pillage or prosperity?

By Joe Rutherford

The August point is by James Hull:
Back in the 1980s, I wrote a magazine piece, which appears here in abridged version:
John had waited for generations to become the engineer on the America Train, which was headed to Bright City.
Unlike previous engineers who only picked up the rich and powerful, John stopped for anybody who wanted to get to Bright City, including people who didn’t want John to engineer the train in the first place: old, young, sick, elderly, rich, poor, black, white and brown.
Previous engineers had callously left untold numbers waiting in the cold.
When everybody was finally on board, John throttled up the America Train and let it head full steam toward Bright City.
Suddenly, one of the people who hadn’t wanted John to engineer the train in the first place, appeared in the cabin, put a gun to John’s head and said, “Stop this train, right now.”
John explained that the train was at full throttle and the only way to stop the train now would be to derail it and hurt everybody on board, including this angry man. The man cocked the trigger and said “Stop the train. NOW!”
Surely this man wasn’t angry enough to jeopardize his own life.
Surely he wouldn’t derail the America Train …. Or would he?
In my mind, judging from what we saw with the Debt Ceiling debate, the national Tea Party’s answer is “yes,” which doesn’t bode well for Mississippians who have to contend with the increasing influence of the Tea Party in our state.
They can’t use the balanced budget as an issue here.
State law already mandates it.
But they will demonize and attack education budgets, teacher salaries, public employees’ pay, Medicaid, CHIPs and state pensions.
Their intransigent, rape and pillage policies will cause higher unemployment, slower infrastructure development, larger classrooms, a shrinking middle class and an overall unhealthier Mississippi.
They have hijacked the Republican Party pushing ideology above good public policy. Their policies benefit the rich – class warfare at its worse – and the rich will spend millions to keep the Tea Party propped up.
It’s a frightening future for Mississippi.
The August counterpoint by Ed Holliday:
Gesundheit! James you just sneezed political truth. In a Clintonian way I feel your pain. In 2008 many Americans voted for hope and change. Where’s the hope? Is this the change you voted for?
Many liberals are copying Sen. John Kerry who shot the messenger when he called America’s debt downgrade the “Tea Party downgrade.” Liberals fear that their policies are not working. Their fears are being transferred to blame the Tea Party.
For almost two years the far-left used no brakes on spending as they controlled the White House and both houses of Congress with a filibuster-proof senate.
Not one elected Republican could stop any legislation coming out of Washington. In our first column together I told why the $800 billion stimulus would fail.
Reagan gave us a proven way to get out of a recession with unemployment over 10 percent.
Reagan won re-election carrying 49 states. Regulations, mandates and tax increases (already built into the healthcare law) are like sand in our economic engine. It’s like asking Michael Jordan to play basketball with 50-pound weights on his ankles.
Unleash our hard-working “Michael Jordans” and let them soar! That is how we increase tax revenues!
America’s national debt is like a fire burning.
All the programs you mentioned are in jeopardy not because of the Tea Party but because politicians have made promises taxpayers cannot keep.
The Tea Party is like the colonial bucket brigades. When a neighbor’s house or business was on fire, citizens came running with their buckets.
Together citizens used a source of water and passed buckets down the line to quench the fire.
More people in the bucket brigade made success more likely. The Tea Party is sounding the alarm.
America is on fire and in danger of burning down.
Don’t transfer your fears to the Tea Party, learn about it, embrace it, make it better and stronger.
The Tea Party is calling for patriots to grab their buckets and run to the fire. Simply put, the Tea Party is ringing the liberty bell! And for whom does the bell toll? It tolls for thee.
Dr. Ed Holliday is a Tupelo dentist who has written two successful books. Contact him at ed@teaparty.ms. James Hull is an award-wining journalist and a political consultant. You may contact him at hullmultimediams@aol.com.