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A Tea Party member gives inside viewpoint

I am a supporter of the South Atlanta Tea Party Patriots and felt obliged to respond to some of the statements made by Timothy Parker in the June 9 issue of The Citizen.

Mr. Parker’s overall complaint is that Tea Partiers are nothing but sloganeers that distribute pamphlets that don’t give detailed explanations of their views to get you to join and help vote out Democrats.

This has not been my experience. It is very costly to print and distribute literature, so it must be kept to a reasonable minimum to reach the greatest amount of people. That literature will hopefully convince you to come to a meeting, participate in the discussion and hopefully join or contribute to the cause. The meetings cost nothing to you and you may come and go as you please.

I found the main point of the party is to help educate people on our Founders, the Constitution and about how we are losing our liberty each and every day regardless of which party is in power.

It helps to look at each candidate for each office and see if they are really interested in protecting our individual liberty, the real purpose of a representative or senator, or are they just looking to increase government control of our lives and have themselves a sweet job. Also, the focus is not just on federal candidates, but state and local as well.

Now a few words concerning the three Tea Party precepts that Mr. Parker spoke of.

1. Free markets: I think that we would agree on many concepts of what a free market would look like, but there would probably be some differences.

Bureaucracy is a big hindrance to the economy, but the biggest problem is that the majority of politicians making the laws have no idea how any business works and has never had a job, nor could probably get one, outside of government.

Besides true safety and fraud issues, the government should stay out. Why should companies be forced to put nutritional information on food products? Is it nice to have? Yes. Is it a good marketing idea for some products? Maybe, but that should be the choice of the company.

The federal government is not solely to blame. The state has its own high-mindedness and revenue needs. Why does a hair stylist or massage therapist need a state certification? I can look at someone coming out of a hair salon and tell if the person inside is qualified enough.

2. Limited government: I won’t go into the validity of some of Mr. Parker’s statements about the Constitutional Convention, but I suggest doing some research on your own for a more accurate and comprehensive description of the event.

Mr. Parker says that the Tea Party implies that the Constitution has been violated. There is no implication. It has been violated.

The healthcare bill is one of the most recent, but not the only one. Two huge violations were during WWI and WWII. In WWI, President Woodrow Wilson placed German-American citizens in detention camps and President Franklin Roosevelt did the same thing with Japanese-American citizens in WWII. Also, just because a liberal/activist court says that a law is constitutional, doesn’t mean that it is. The Court has been wrong before (“Dred Scott”) and it can be wrong again.

I supported TARP for its original purpose, which it was not used for, but would have had no problem if no bailouts were given. TARP has just become a slush fund for the administration and Obama has used its premise to seize more government control of businesses and spend more money we do not have.

All of Obama’s “stimulus” packages have been a complete waste of taxpayers’ money, saddling us with enormous debt and doing nothing for the economy. 25 percent unemployment would have been a temporary bottom we would be climbing out of, instead of the 10-15 percent unemployment we will see for 5-10 years.

There are things that government should do, preemptively organizing resources to prevent/reduce the impact of the oil spill on the coastline/environment, not get in the way of the people trying to stop the leak by telling them the government is coming after them with lawsuits.

The Constitution is a contract that “limits” what the government can do to you.

3. Fiscal responsibility: I don’t know if all Tea Party members agree with the following, but those that I have spoken with do.

If you’re 55 or older, Social Security will not change for you. If you’re the rest of us, you can either choose to remain in the system as is or you can give up what you’ve put in and drop completely out of the system. I would choose the latter because at least if I started putting money in a jar, dug a hole and put it there, I could pull that amount out when I needed it. Social Security money for me and others like me will be long gone by the time I reach retirement.

Medicare must be changed so that you receive a voucher for medical benefits that you choose to spend it on. If you’re too stupid to do that, then use that money for an economics lesson.

The military should have its wages increased and its retirement/benefits fully funded. Our soldiers should be paid before anyone else in the government. Welfare should be limited to 1-year increments separated by 3-5 years. There should be healthy WIC specific foods for purchase with WIC money, no exceptions.

Concerning money in politics, it takes two people to complete a bribe. A constitutional amendment saying corporations aren’t people is, in the words of Mike Tyson, ludicrous. If corporations can’t contribute money or have free speech, then neither can unions or PACs.

I have no problems with contributions only coming from individuals, but they should be unlimited and posted on the Internet for all to see. Congressmen are more at fault for giving favors for money because they represent the people and not themselves (at least that’s the way it’s supposed to be).

Positions in government have been shown to corrupt even the most honorable of men, so term limits is the best answer to help remedy that. There should be five terms for a representative and two terms for a senator.

And while we’re at it, let’s repeal the 17th Amendment and give the states back their voice in Washington. Let’s also pass the Fair Tax and solve most of our economic problems and gain some of our liberty back.

These are only a few of the ideas of a Tea Party Patriot, but I would be glad to give more if Mr. Parker has any request. It is great to live in the greatest country God gave man to be able to have this open and respectful debate on what might be best for all Americans. Let’s all keep freedom free.

Matt O’Neal

Peachtree City, Ga.



Reply to Matt: Well, said. My hat is off to the Tea Party Movement. It is America's best hope to turn this country around. America is in the grasp of an oligarchy, and these dispicable people are pushing full steam ahead all under the guise of "saving us." What fools they take us for! Those citizens who have finally awakened are seeking out the truth, are standing up to the traitors in Congress, and are trying to keep our republic. And, I hope we can get rid of all the liberal judges that are legislating from the bench! They're a problem too. America, keep demanding that our government adhere to the Constitution.

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