Tea Partiers Must Hang Tough|
December 17, 2012
Now, suddenly, the Tea Party is everybody’s whipping boy.
Liberals, in the wake of the election, gloat about what they see as liberalism’s
return to the mainstream and good riddance to the end of the Republican
And, despite the spin, which never stops in Washington, it is not accidental
that four prominent Tea Party congressmen have been purged from key committee
posts by Speaker John Boehner.
So as the Washington “establishment” cozies up to the mindset that America will
go on no matter what and that a bloated, debt-ridden America can go on just fine
as long as there is political compromise in Washington, here are a few things to
The Economist Intelligence Unit, a sister company of The Economist magazine,
publishes each year a “quality of life” index. They rank 50 countries around the
world according to which has the best prospects for the highest quality of life
in the upcoming year.
They look at eleven factors, including economic (GDP per capita, GDP growth,
inflation) and socio-political (life expectancy, literacy, human rights)
When the Index was first published in 1988, the United States was number one in
the world. This year, the United States has dropped to number 16.
Or consider the Economic Freedom of the World Index, published annually by a
consortium of free market think tanks from around the world.
According to this year’s report: “The United States, long considered the
standard bearer for economic freedom among large industrial nations, has
experienced a substantial decline in economic freedom during the past decade.
From 1980 to 2000, the United States was generally rated the third freest
economy in the world, ranked behind only Hong Kong and Singapore.”
In the latest rankings, the United States has now dropped to number 19 in the
world in economic freedom.
Why does this matter?
There is a direct correlation between how a nation ranks in economic freedom and
its per capita GDP, income, and general measures of quality of life, such as
life expectancy and civil liberties. More economic freedom means more prosperity
and a higher quality of life.
According to data just published by the United Nations, in 2011 China surpassed,
for the first time, the United States as the world’s leading manufacturer.
Walter Isaacson relates, in his 2011 biography of the late founder of Apple
Steve Jobs, how Jobs lectured President Obama about how “regulations and
unnecessary costs” in the United States drive firms to open plants in China.
We’ve got bad news and good news in our country today.
The bad news is that the country is unquestionably in decline.
The good news is that we remain sufficiently free to turn things around.
The compromisers tells us that we have no choice but resign ourselves to a
bloated, second class America. They point out the obvious – that Barack Obama
won the election – and conclude we should run up the white flag.
They also point to current polling that says the majority of Americans want
compromise. Raise taxes, cut spending here and there and move on. Disappearing
from the discussion is what is really needed - real unilateral spending cuts,
real tax reform, and real overhaul of entitlements.
We should conclude from this how deep-seated our problem is and how badly
America needs courageous leadership.
If the founders of America, upstarts against the British Empire, caved in the
face of early defeats, the American miracle would have never occurred.
Let’s recall two of Benjamin Franklin’s quotes:
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
Tea Partiers must hang together, hang tough, and continue the winnable fight to
restore American freedom.
Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal
and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based
public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle
Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do