What I would have said...

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By Bill Adkins

On April 15, 2009 I, unintentionally, attended a Tea Party event at the Grant County Courthouse

‘Unintentionally’ because it was held on the same day as the circuit court met (and that was probably why others happened to attend) I simply walked into it. I was offended by the lack of fact in the fiction presented by the speakers. It was dishonest and shameful.

I listened to such a ludicrous mix of disinformation, misinformation and, well, lies, that when asked if anyone else wanted to speak, I was inspired to raise my hand.

I suppose the speaker thought everyone there was a member of the Tea Party choir. The event is falsely billed as ‘non-partisan,’ but the ‘non-partisan’ aspect immediately dissipated when I corrected the speakers as to the history of deficits and the national debt.

Undaunted, on July 4, 2009, I appeared at the Grant County Courthouse to attend yet another of the Tea Party events. This time, however, I was informed by one of the organizers of the event, all of whom are republicans, that only scheduled speakers would be permitted to speak – at the Grant County Courthouse, no less, a public place – because there had been ‘disruptions’ at the first one.

Oh, I was invited to hang around and have a hotdog and drink, but since there wasn’t all that large a crowd, I chose not to stay. I felt my presence gave the event unmerited credibility.

I would have provided the following information, my intent being to inject fact into the fiction imparted by the speakers if it were a repeat of the previous event. This is what I would have said:

This economic disaster approaching Great Depression II proportions didn’t just happen in the first days and weeks of the Obama administration, regardless of what the Tea Party crowd and organizers would have you believe.

On January 20, 2001, the day George W. Bush took office, the national debt, after over 200 years, more than two centuries, was $5.2 trillion. Eight years later, when George W. Bush left office on January 20, 2009, he had done a heckuva job and managed to double that national debt to almost $11 trillion. Through bad policy, poor decisions, blunders foreign and domestic, failed projects and catering to special interests Bush increased the national debt by 100 percent.

George W. Bush delivered record deficits each year of his failed administration, over $1 trillion in 2008. In the first four months of FY 2009, that began in September 2008, Bush produced a $1.3 trillion deficit he handed off to Obama on 1/20/09 with nine months of that fiscal year yet to go. The damage didn’t end simply because Bush left the building. The interest alone on the national debt is $452 billion per year.

To put it simply for those who attended the Tea Party, Bush and the Congressional Republicans spent every penny the nation realized over eight years and borrowed another almost $6 trillion.

Consider this - Bush received a booming economy and surplus from President Bill Clinton in 2001; the stock market was at about 11,000 points. Eight years later when Bush left office it was at about 6,600 points. Since Obama took office, it’s up to about 8,500. If Bush had received those conditions at his inauguration, or if Bush’s third term in the form of John McCain had come about, I firmly believe we’d be holed up at home, stock piling food and ammunition and holding off starving hordes from Cincinnati.

To those who would blame Democrats who’ve controlled Congress since January 2007, I point out Bush only used the veto pen 12 times in his two terms, all of those vetoes issued between January 2007 when democrats took control of Congress and his departure from office in January 2009. There was no need for veto in the prior six years as the Republican Congresses were a rubber stamp for the failed Bush Administration.

President Barack Obama is aggressively taking action to address the negative results of the failed administration of George W. Bush and those republicans who controlled congress for six of his eight years in office. Our nation’s greatest president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, said, “ … the only thing we have to fear is fear itself ...” Many know that quote, but that’s not the entire sentence. The sentence is completed with, “-- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” That’s the kind of reaction the republicans, nationally, and in our Commonwealth, are showing, the paralysis of fear, deer in the headlights fear.

President Obama is dealing with a catastrophe delivered by republicans, to Americans, and now republicans want America to fail.

Democrats are taking action, republicans need to be part of the solution or get out of the way. They would prefer he do nothing for their greatest fear is Obama will succeed in making America powerful, strong, economically vibrant and thereby prove the republicans unfit to lead.

Finally, to those who were present on July 4th and, in light of the facts, and they are facts, presented here, still buy into the republican sponsored and organized Tea Party con game, be advised I still have the Kool Aid packet I was going to use as a prop on July 4th and pour out on the steps of the Grant County Courthouse. It represents the sour grape flavor served at the Tea Parties by republicans.