Jamie Radtke Fires Back 

Peter Galuszka entitled his recent post and article about me and the tea arty, “Drunk on Tea”. He posted it on WashingtonPost.com, and at Bacon’s Rebellion, and got it into Style Weekly — now that’s initiative, if not exclusivity.

As evidence of our impairment, Mr. Galuszka offered that the tea party movement (and I) “cheered on freshmen Republicans in the House of Representatives to do everything they could to thwart a compromise.”

Well, we got a compromise and ended up with the worst of three worlds: trillions more in debt, no real spending cuts in the near future, and a downgrade of our credit rating. If one option is steering clear of an iceberg and the other option is running straight into the iceberg, a compromise that crashes half of the ship into the iceberg is still not a good plan.

Within days of Washington politicians making it clear that they were not committed to serious spending cuts and long-term structural spending reform, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 1,100 points, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the United States to AA+, and we added $250 billion to the debt, bringing total U.S. debt to more than the entire gross domestic product of the country.

Furthermore, our largest foreign creditor, China, demanded “international supervision over the issue of U.S. dollars ... and a new, stable and secured global reserve currency may also be an option to avert a catastrophe caused by any single country.”

In other words, half the ship hit the iceberg.

The bond-rating agencies and investors in our markets say we must cut spending. Foreign countries say we must cut spending. Tea party advocates say we must cut spending. A majority of Americans say we must cut spending. Only Washington politicians, along with Mr. Galuszka, could have the audacity to claim that the majority view is stubborn and that we should submit to their business-as-usual destructive ways. To better understand their minority worldview, perhaps we should all remember these are the same politicians and pundits who define spending cuts as reducing the rate of spending increases.

It seems to me that the left’s disagreement with the tea party comes down to two things: 1) They want to spend more. We don’t. 2) They want to see more career politicians like Tim Kaine elected. We don’t.

But perhaps he’s right on one point. Perhaps there is something in our tea (versus whatever it is the Washington crowd is drinking). Unlike the Washington establishment, Americans can see the world logically. We can do simple math and understand that spending $1.5 trillion of money we don’t have every year (and borrowing money from China to feed that spending addiction) cannot continue without severe consequences.

I wonder how much of that tea we’d need to get all of Congress into that state of mind?

Jamie Radtke
Candidate for U.S. Senate
Chesterfield

Editor’s note: Besides Style, the Washington Post and Bacon’s Rebellion, Galuszka recently shared his views on the Virginia Tea Party with the Voice of Russia radio network.

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