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The Tea Party's Alternate Universe

If you want to know why the country is hurtling towards a self-inflicted economic catastrophe, look no further than the op-ed pages of this morning's Washington Post which features a column from Judson Phillips, founder and chief executive of Tea Party nation.

Phillips writes, "Unfortunately, Boehner is not listening to those who elected him and is now pushing a plan with almost nonexistent budget cuts." Actually, the Boehner plan includes cuts of nearly $1 trillion, and demands more cuts in advance of a second vote to raise the debt ceiling early next year.

Phillips writes, "There is only one way you get a debt crisis - you spend too much money." Huh? We have a debt crisis in large part because of the Bush tax cuts. If we returned tax rates to where they were the day Bill Clinton left office, or even better, where they were the day Ronald Reagan left office, there would be no crisis.

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Phillips writes, "Where this country is headed under the Obama-Reid-Pelosi axis of fiscal evil is not unchartered terriroty. Greece has been there and done that." Of course, in most other countries, the government takes in far more revenue, and has a far more expansive view of the role of government in the economy than that found in the U.S. Phillips is comparing an apple and an orange. But, the U.S. has the further distinction that our debt is denominated in our own currency. Phillips is comparing an apple and an orangutan.

Listen to some of the Tea Party members of Congress and it is clear that they fail to grasp the enormity of the risks they are running. If they do not see it now, after the Dow dropped 200 points yesterday, they will never see it. Their blinders are comprehensive. They are living in an alternate universe. Mr. Boehner needs to recalibrate his approach to governance because a significant part of his caucus is not interested in governance.

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July 4-17, 2014

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