Tea Party Patriots Co-Founder Speaks Out Critically on John Boehner and Debt-Ceiling Debate
Mark Meckler, Co-Founder of the Tea Party Patriots, answers some questions from Patricia Murphy of The Daily Beast on John Boehner and the GOP, the debt-ceiling debate, and the August 2nd default on our debt obligations meme.
In the president’s speech Monday night, he blamed the breakdown in the debt negotiations on House members, who were obviously people who have been supported by various Tea Party groups. Should the Tea Party groups get the blame for all of this?
I think the Tea Party movement should get the credit for elevating the debate about the debt limit to the national stage. We’ve raised the debt limit 10 times in the last nine years. In the last five years, we’ve almost tripled the amount of debt this country is holding. This has all been done relatively quietly while politicians have mortgaged our futures. So the fact that we’re having a spirited debate about this now is good for the nation and I think the Tea Party can take credit for it.
Do you think that the most recent election is the reason Congress is not just quietly raising the debt ceiling, as has happened scores of times before?
Yes, the fundamental difference is that the entire political dynamic has been changed by the Tea Party movement. The core values of the Tea Party Patriots—fiscal responsibility, the Constitution, limited government and free-market capitalism—are now defining the debate around virtually every issue in the nation.
What do you think is the ideal solution to this impasse right now?
The ideal solution is to cut spending so that we stop spending beyond our means. The ideal solution is what you would have to do if you were in the same situation personally that the country is in. The ideal solution is what each of us as citizens have to do when we get in financial trouble personally or what companies have to do, or what states have to do or what cities have to do. Frankly, the only entity in our nation that continues to defy reality is the federal government. It’s just time to pay the piper.
Is there any scenario where you think it would be OK to raise the debt ceiling?
What do you think about the proposal that Speaker Boehner has put out?
It’s an embarrassment. He proposes $1.4 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years. Legally, no Congress can bind a future Congress. Anything he promises about what future Congresses will do, they simply can’t make that promise. In the real world, we call that a lie. If you promise something that you have no control over, that’s called a lie. In Congress, it’s called a promise. We don’t understand how the American people don’t get that. Number two, no Congress has ever been able, by wish or by promise, to bind future Congresses to spending cuts. When past Congresses cut spending under their own budgets, those spending cuts will never and have never materialized. It’s smoke and mirrors and the American people understand this.