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The Great American Awakening: Two Years that Changed America, Washington, and Me Paperback – July 4, 2011
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About the Author
Jim DeMint was elected senator of South Carolina in 2004 and then chairman of the Senate Steering Committee in 2006. For standing up against wasteful spending in Congress and saving Americans about $17 billion, Wall Street Journal editor Steve Moore called DeMint the "taxpayers' greatest ally." DeMint was also ranked as the Senate's most conservative member by National Journal and as the # 1 senator voting for responsible tax and spending policies by the National Taxpayers Union. The senator and his wife, Debbie, have four grown children, are doting new grandparents, and live in Greenville, South Carolina.
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While my personal economic beliefs are more liberal, It's nice to see a Republican who walks his walk as well as talk his talk. Consider this: conservatives praise Ronald Reagan despite the fact that he ran (at the time) record deficits, and tripled our debt: he inherited a debt of 900 billion dollars and turned it into 2.6 trillion dollars from fiscal years 1980 to 1988. Conservatives also love to demonize Bill Clinton, even though Clinton lowered our deficits and balanced the budget. Seems contradictory to me. Jim DeMint, however, gives fair criticism to George W. Bush for the bailout and his incessant spending spree. He also gives well-deserved criticism to Barack Obama and his spending. While Bush was the first president to experience trillion dollar deficits, the fact that Obama increased this by 50% after only one year is cause for alarm.
While DeMint's partisanship in this book can get obnoxious (as conservatives and liberals do alike) he presents an honest account of what's wrong with Washington's checkbook. Here's hoping more people listen to what he has to say. From what I've researched he takes his issues seriously, working on many committees with an impact on our nation's financial priorities.
On one final note: The Tea Party. While they seem like a substantial peoples' movement, the question is how much pull do they really have on this country, and how long will they be around before folding back into the GOP? While I enjoy their talk of fiscal restraint, I'm disengaged by their simplistic, black-and-white view of national policy. And as noted above, will they still argue for fiscal sanity when a spend-happy Republican is back in the White House? Or maybe it's only when Democrats are in power that they care about these issues.
I have watched in dismay as government has grown and become less and less responsive to the people. When I read The Great American Awakening..., I was outraged at some of the practices of our government, as well as both parties. At the same time, as I read what Jim DeMint had done, and will keep doing, I felt encouraged as he wrote about how many Americans encouraged him to "keep on keepin' on." Everyone, unless they have been a US Senator, should read this book. I learned a great deal about what needs to be done.