At the core of conservative dogma about government is that if the national debt gets too big it will soak up all the capital in the world and thus drive up interest rates to some apocalyptic level. Catastrophically high interest rates will kill economic growth and multiply the debt burden through higher interest and falling tax revenues. This, of course, is 19th century nostalgia from a time when such a thing might actually have been possible. In the 21st century and for much of the 20th century, there has been more accumulated capital in the hands of the wealthy than the entire world could possibly use in its governments. It's absurd, but whips on the Tea Party to prophesy the greatest of economic calamities if the deficit is not eliminated and the debt reduced. Granted if our debt payments begin to exceed our income then we might get a credit downgrade, but as we a re operating right now, that's not within sight. It took the Tea Party to get our first downgrade ever in 2011, from AAA to AA+.
The bald-faced irony of how the Tea Party wants to exorcise debt from government is that in the way they are choosing to do it they are causing the exact same economic carnage that they ostensibly fear. The Tea Party is deliberately attempting to cause the U.S. to default on its current debt. This, unlike continued growth in the debt, will actually cause an economic apocalypse, sooner rather than later. Their fear mongering over debt, of skyrocketing interest rates and the collapse of economic activity, will come to pass deliberately, at their hands, for no reason than that they fear it might happen if they don't cause it to happen. In the future there will be a common expression: that's not just crazy, it's Tea Party crazy.
The GOP has never really cared about the debt. Reagan and Bush 43 both ran it up like a college kid with his first credit card. Clinton fixed Reagan's mess and Obama is fixing Bush's mess. Bush took Clintons surplus and gave it away rather than paying down the debt with it on the voodoo economic principle that the tax cuts would stimulate the economy. It didn't. It takes Democrats to be fiscally responsible.
But the GOP campaigned on fiscal conservatism in 2010, arguing that only, although they never have, private sector tax breaks can create jobs. This emphasis created a philosophical opening for the fiscal hawks we now call the Tea Party. After all, if fiscal conservatism is good, then villainous conservatism must be better. How many jobs can we create through tax breaks per child allowed to starve? Villainous enough, but even that doesn't plumb the venal depths of the Tea Party GOP. The fact is they don't care if a job is created by any austerity measure they proffer. All they care about is the cash in their pocket and getting more of it in their pocket the easiest ways possible, through tax cuts, deregulation, environmental degradation, collapse of food safety and the starving of children. That's not just self centered, that's Tea Party self centered.
How long will it take the American people to figure out that the Tea Party philosophy is morally challenged, fiscally irresponsible and as useless for problem solving as committee of mental patients? After all, who in their right mind breaks a thing in order to keep it from breaking?
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