The Tea Party Movement was born out of a reaction to an abuse of power. The Obama Administration pushed a piece of legislation that quickly became known as Obamacare and in one overwhelming unconstitutional sweep the alarm clock went off for many Americans. It was too much, too fast. While the birth of the Tea Party came at this moment in time, its conception was accomplished long before.
For years they had been slowly moving in our midst: nudging, then nudging a little more. We knew it was wrong, we knew the things they were doing was beyond the scope of Constitutional powers but we were busy with our lives; too busy to care enough to do something about it. It wasn’t like they didn’t make great leaps in the past but those leaps were always associated with a crisis: Wars, depressions, national emergencies. During those times the government moved and pushed and we all too willingly stepped aside thinking the government had our best interest at heart yet at the same time there was something deep in the pit of our stomach that just didn’t seem right.
Obamacare was something different. The Administration had no crisis to respond to, they simply had an agenda. Obamacare would pass. They would climb any wall ”If we can’t climb the wall, we will jump over it. If we can’t jump over it, we will pole vault over it. If we can’t pole vault over it, we will parachute over it, but whatever it takes to pass the Health Care Legislation, we will do it!” or so Nancy Pelosi claimed to America.
Abuses of this sort of power are becoming more commonplace, or perhaps we are just more aware; more alert to the abuses. We have moved from the protests, the sharpies and the poster board with witty expressions of our frustration. The voice of a million people gathered on the steps and lawn of the capital building was a voice of a million our elected representatives chose to ignore. We have moved from protest towards holding our individual legislatures feet to the fire. They will hear us now or they will fear us in the only arena that every politician fears; in the voting booths of every municipality across this country. They will be held accountable because the future of this country depends on it.
Throughout the Tea Party movement we have realized that substantive and truly sustainable reform begins locally. Every dollar that we send to Washington, every dollar sent to Harrisburg eventually winds up funneling a portion of its value back to our local municipalities. I say a portion because a large piece of that dollar goes towards funding huge bureaucracies and agencies sent up by our Federal and State governments. These Bureaucracies and agencies have so expanded under this administration that in less than three years they have managed to catapult our national debt by 4.5 trillion dollars to sustain them. Under this administration’s expansion of these bureaucracies and agencies, mandates and regulations that are punishing job creating factors in our societies have also rapidly increased. Environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations place burdens on business that result in higher prices for everything we buy including food, clothing and energy. According to Walter Olson in a report to the Cato Institute regulations will cost $1.75 trillion in compliance costs as observed by estimates established by the Small Business Bureau. That’s greater than the record federal budget deficit — projected at $1.48 trillion for the fiscal year of 2011 — and greater even than all corporate pretax profits. While the liberal media and this administration lauds numbers like 117,000 jobs created in a month, what they do not say is that 200,000 jobs must be created each month to sustain the current population of the United States. Each month that number isn’t met, the need for more jobs increases because the previous month’s job requirements were not met.
Since only a portion of what we send to State and Federal Government actually makes its way back to us, our municipalities are faced with difficult choices. This has resulted in school boards and municipalities constantly increasing the tax burden on the citizens. Regardless of how much you are paying in local taxes, NO MUNICIPALITY IS SELF-SUSTAINING ANYMORE. They are all dependent on grants from the federal and state level for their very survival. As high as our taxes are, it isn’t enough to fund local government anymore. Much of the cost is directly connected to the amount of money your local municipality and school board must spend to comply with new rules and regulations coming from the Federal and State levels.
If all that wasn’t enough, the push by the Federal government to force local municipalities to comply with the U.N’s Agenda 21 results in ordinance plans like Harry Roth’s major intrusion into personal property rights. As we stand and allow this to happen we deserve to be punished for our inaction. While we might deserve it, what about our children? Do they deserve what we are allowing to happen to them?
Our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will still be paying for the excesses of the governments of OUR generation and this is unconscionable. This is generational theft. Before a child of this generation enters kindergarten the price on their head to the government is already more than $40,000 just to sustain the current debt. As should be obvious to all of us after the last round of budget debates, this shows no signs of decreasing. We can blame the government, but we must bear a large part of this burden. Our silence, our unwillingness to stand in the gap and be counted is also to blame. We are saddling future generations with the debt that we are running up now. Unless we start demanding hard choices about what our collective obligations are to each other and to our children, how we will meet these obligations, and what we must do to begin to remove this burden from future generations, the financial security of those future generations is at risk.
We are robbing from the cradle and if we do not turn this around future generations will basically be holding the cost of a mortgage to a house before they own the property; a property they will NEVER own. This isn’t the American dream that we grew up on. This isn’t the vision of brighter tomorrow. If we do not stand, if we do not speak, we must bear some of this burden.
Your involvement at the local level to turn this around is essential. Over the past 8 months The Lebanon 9-12 Project has worked to provide you with information about local candidates. We will continue to do this. Over the past 8 months we have worked to provide you with information on legislation and to raise the alarm when local municipalities were abusing grants. We will continue to do so. We aren’t going to stop there. We will be expanding our efforts through our meetings, through our literature, through our newsletter and through our website. This still isn’t enough.
In the upcoming months we will be assembling municipality information and sending out email notifications of public meetings to our membership. The groundwork to accomplish this has already been put into place. By the time your municipality announces in a public notice that your municipality is voting on a proposal, the discussion on that proposal has already taken place in previous meetings. It is often too late to turn the opinions of elected representatives around at this point in time. The time for that is before the vote, when the discussions begin.
If necessary, the current volunteers on the board will do this but we really could use your help. If you would like to represent your municipality by being the notifier of these meetings to other members who live in your municipality, let us know. The more we become involved, the more we are informed and the more informed we are, the better citizens we become. It isn’t just for the future of the Lebanon 9-12 Project that we ask this, it is for your children, your grand-children and all the generations that will follow that we ask this. We need to stop stealing from them and start sacrificing for them.
We strive to be here to help in any way we can possibly help but consider – while liberal ideology might make us squirm – it does take a village. The Lebanon 9-12 Project is just one community of the greater County of Lebanon. The more help you are willing to offer, the more potential we have in making a difference where we live. Each of you possesses skills, talents and abilities. Never undersell yourself. Together we can accomplish greater things than we have realized in the past several months. The future is not yet set and we can turn this around. The key to that course of action is one simple word. WE! WE can turn this around. You, me, all of us working together for the common goals of smaller government, fiscal accountability and a restoration of this country to the principles of Constitutional governance as intended by our founding fathers.
Thomas Paine’s words are just as real today as they were when he wrote them encouraging a weary army in the winter of 1776. “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
We truly are standing on the precipice. Time, however, is running out. We can not wait for our elected representatives to fix our problems. We must join together to work towards solutions. We must become the change we are expecting from others.
We have gathered and we pledge ourselves to the cause of Liberty. That struggle for Liberty is not just a struggle for our individual Liberties. The Statue of Liberty stands in the harbor of New York as a beacon of Liberty to the world. Her crown is unlike any other crown in that the points of her crown do not point upward, they point outward. Like the beams of light from a noble halo the light of Liberty was not to remain within the context of my Liberty, but in the context of our Liberty: from within us and then reaching out to all corners of the world.
The time to stand is now and so we make this appeal. The alarm clock that woke you was not just any alarm clock; it was the bell of Liberty calling out to you. It’s ringing was a voice that said will you stand with her, will you defend her, will you join with others locking arms is support and say what needs to be said. The choice is yours. If you choose to remain silent, you speak; and the silence of your voice is shattering.