Obama May Be Out of Sync, But the Tea Party Is Out of Whack

The tea party GOP gears up for the next budget showdown.

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It's time to hold the bombs and pass the budget. On September 30th, the federal budget year ends and the fireworks begin.

If things weren't bad enough, we face not one but two budget deadlines. We'll be lucky to get through one. If we get through both of them, we truly should give thanks on November 28th.  If Congress doesn't act by the first of October to pass a new budget, the federal government will shut down. About two weeks later, the federal government will bump up against the debt limit, the United States of America won't be able to pay its bills and the federal government will go out of business.

Now let's face it, some people welcome a government shutdown. The tea party would rather have the federal government close and the national economy grind to a halt than do what is best for the country. The last time Republicans played chicken with the budget in 2011, the stock market crashed and Standard & Poor's lowered the rating for U.S. Treasury bonds.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the tea party.]

But people with IRAs aren't the only ones who will take it on the chin if the tea party gets its way. People who are supposed to get Medicare and Social Security checks the first of every month are scared to death that they won't survive. Tea partyers view the federal government as the Anti-Christ. The wing nuts want to starve the beast but they're only starving kids who rely on school lunches to survive.

Congress has the power of the purse. Tuesday was the 226th anniversary of the day in 1787 when the founding fathers approved the Constitution. Article I of the Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the responsibility to appropriate money. At the risk of a using a muddled sports metaphor, the ball is in Congress' court and it's time for House Republicans to step up to the plate.

I use the familiar term "Republican" only as a courtesy to readers. The GOP no longer exists as it was swallowed whole by the tea party in 2010. If you think I'm wrong about the ascension of the tea party and the demise of the Republican Party, I urge you to contact House speaker (@JohnBoehner) for confirmation.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]

The Obama administration, consistent with its policy of not negotiating with terrorists, has refused to meet the tea party demands to defund and kill the Affordable Care Act. The death of the Affordable Care Act would among other things allow health insurance companies to return to the bad old days and treat their customers like excrement. And not that anyone cares but the demise of ACA would leave about 50 million Americans out in the cold without any health insurance at all.

The irony of the situation is that the Tea Party is taking a hard red line on the deficit as U.S. deficit subsides. According to a new study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the deficit is at its lowest level since 2008. The CBO attributes the reduction of the budget deficit to growth in the economy, higher tax revenues and budget cuts, all of which have occurred on President Obama's watch.

The tea party is unpopular with the public because the group has no idea what people want. Americans want the GOP to make the federal government work well, not put it out of work. Barack Obama may be out of synch but the Tea Party is whacked out.

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