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Tea Party Patriots: The Second American Revolution Hardcover – February 14, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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The Best Worst President: What the Right Gets Wrong About Barack Obama by Mark Hannah
"The Best 'Worst President'" by Mark Hannah and Bob Staake
A noted political commentator and renowned New Yorker illustrator team up to give Barack Obama the victory lap he deserves. Learn more
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin are the co-founders and national organizers of the Tea Party Patriots, Inc. They have appeared as commentators and have been interviewed on ABC, CBS, PBS, BBC, NPR, Fox News, and CNN. Most recently, Time magazine named Martin the fifteenth most influential world leader of 2010.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 3

The Economic Pathway to Liberty

If industry and labor are left to take their own course, they will generally be directed to those objects which are the most productive, and this in a more certain and direct manner than the wisdom of the most enlightened legislature could point out.
—James Madison

As we look ahead and plan for the next forty years, we must never lose sight of the fact that America is a nation that was built on fundamentally correct principles. These principles have been proven to work in practice, and when they’re ignored, failure is the result.

Glenn C. Graber’s cut-flower thesis of morality states that morality cannot endure when it is cut from its roots. So too will America’s prosperity wither when cut from the roots that nourish it. Not immediately, of course. As we all know, flowers look vibrant after they have been cut. But eventually, without the nourishment that comes through its roots, every cut flower will die.

In America today, the foundational roots of our economic prosperity are being cut by the very people who swore oaths to nurture and protect them.

Politicians think short term, like someone picking a flower to enjoy for the moment. We must think long term, like farmers who plan beyond the next harvest. For the long run, the only way to ensure economic growth is to study and guard the principles that have graced America with the greatest prosperity in world history. We must guard against those who work to destroy our economic roots, either intentionally or through well-intentioned ineptitude.

In the previous chapter we discussed the imminent economic challenges facing our nation. We saw that the greatest threats to our way of life come from our fellow Americans, from those who are elected to represent us.

Despite proclamations from politicians and the media on the left that America is in recovery and we can all relax, we in the Tea Party movement know the truth. The Great Recession is upon us. Things are bad, and they are not getting better. In fact, it appears they are getting worse.

What is holding America back? Why is its economy suffering? Why are so many people still unemployed? As of August 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 9.1 percent unemployment rate. That statistic does not include the underemployed and the hundreds of thousands of people who have simply lost hope and given up looking. In reality, almost one in five Americans who would like to work simply cannot find a good job. With unemployment historically averaging less than 6 percent, something is definitely wrong.

The government has pumped billions of dollars of “stimulus” spending into the economy, with President Obama promising that doing so would keep unemployment under 8.5 percent. And yet unemployment is still far higher, inflation is on the rise, food and fuel prices are skyrocketing, and it seems there is no end of trouble ahead for the average American family.

Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., is booming. As of summer 2011, the average sale price for a home in our nation’s capital was $415,000. This represented an increase of 7.8 percent, or $30,000, in just three months, and 18.6 percent compared to the prior year. Home prices have appreciated 3.8 percent over the last five years in Washington, D.C., while property values in the rest of the country have plummeted. While the center of government thrives, the rest of the nation is suffering. No surprise there.

So what must we do to return America to the free-market greatness that took us from the Jamestown settlement to the great pioneer migrations to the West, through the industrial revolution, to the moon, and now into the modern era of mobile communications and social media? We have to unlock the spirit of entrepreneurship that has always driven Americans to economic greatness. Men and women invest their time, their smarts, and their money into the economy—not to feed a bloated government or to “spread the wealth around”—because they are motivated by the desire for economic gain. They are motivated by the idea that, through their own hard work and ingenuity, they can improve their lot in life. They are motivated by the American dream. But that dream is now gasping for life in this country, and our government is largely to blame.

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.
—Adam Smith

We need to get government off our backs and free the people to do what Americans do best: create wealth, jobs, and prosperity.

Historically, the government has been most involved in the American economy in four ways:

• Taxation
• Regulation
• Monetary policy
• Direct spending

Each of these is a lever used by politicians to control and manipulate what was intended by the Founders to operate as a primarily free economy based on private property rights. Yet each of these levers is now intended to replace the wisdom of the market with the wisdom of a “ruling elite” that believes it knows better.

The results speak for themselves. We could take this moment to remind everyone of the repeated and predictable failures of government intervention these past years. But instead, let’s ask the following questions. If Stimulus 1 was such a good idea, why did we need a Stimulus 2 or all those other rounds of stimulus under different names? If Quantitative Easing 1 (QE1) was such a good idea, then why QE2—or, even worse, a proposed QE3? If propping up mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was the right thing to do, why did Fannie Mae report a net loss of $6.5 billion in the first quarter of 2011 and have to come back to the taxpayers for yet another multibillion-dollar bailout? Why are people’s homes still being foreclosed upon? Why is the housing market still in collapse? And where are all those jobs we were promised?

The onus is on government to prove the merits of its anticonstitutional, interventionist, never-worked-any-time-they’ve-ever-been-tried policies. We offer, as a counterpoint, the entire arc of American history, which proves that when we adhere to America’s free-market founding principles we succeed. Period. Works every time it is tried.

Right now, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people in Washington, D.C., and in departments of economics at universities around the country who are trying to come up with new programs to help the economy. They truly believe that getting our country back on its feet is a matter of developing a new government program, or figuring out which new infrastructure projects to spend your money on, or which new technologies to subsidize.

The truth is that the American economy is like a muscle car, revving its engines and ready to go, but trapped at a government stoplight. Instead of getting out of the way, and letting the economy roar and speed back to life, the government would rather tax those cars to extinction and waste billions of dollars on high-speed trains that are a drag on the economy, not a driver.

Those who run businesses in America, and who don’t depend on huge government subsidies, just want to be left alone. They know where growth comes from. It’s not from Washington. The chief economist of the National Federation of Independent Business, William Dunkelberg, put it clearly: small business owners in particular “do not trust the economic policies in place or proposed . . . The U.S. economy faces hurricane force headwinds and the government is at the center of the storm, making an economic recovery very difficult.”

Or as Ronald Reagan stated, “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.”

So what can we do right now to take the shackles off the American economy? Let’s start with our tax system.

Taxation

The American tax system, both individual and corporate, is incomprehensibly complex and growing worse every day. As a simple measurement of this fact, it is worth noting that the number of pages of federal tax rules increased from an absurd 26,300 in 1984 to an astounding 71,684 in 2011. That’s thirty-five times longer than the King James Bible.1 And while the average corporate tax rate in the thirty largest industrialized countries has declined from 38 to 25.5 percent between 1992 and 2011, our comparable rate is now 39.2 percent.

Canada’s corporate tax rate is 16 percent. And its economy is doing better, its unemployment rate is lower, and its dollar is now worth more than ours—none of which was true just three years ago.2

At the individual level, few taxpayers are even capable of figuring out or filing their own income taxes. When America’s treasury secretary can’t even figure out how to file his own income taxes, as was revealed in January 2009, something is radically wrong.

Individual taxpayers spent an estimated 2.43 billion hours in 2010 complying with America’s income tax laws. That is an incredible amount of wasted productivity at the national level. According to the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), “Using the most recently reported average employer cost for civilian workers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of $29.37 per hour, this time is worth an incredible $71.4 billion!”

And the cost is not just in lost productivity. It’s also money directly out of pocket for American taxpayers. Again, according to the NTU, “Individual taxpayers will spend a lot of money too: an estimated $31.5 billion this year [2010] for tax software, tax preparers, postage, and other out-of-pocket costs, according to the most recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulatory filing.”3

There are serious moral considerations with our tax system as well. Today, more than half of American households pay no income tax at all.4 That means there are now more ... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805094377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805094374
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #920,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
For the Citizens of this great country to have the most positive impact, it will take Liberals and Conservatives alike to force change in the actions of our elected officials. Activists on both sides of the ideology can find plenty of common ground in this book. Simply stated, this book is a compelling argument for a return to self-governance. (Self-Governence: bringing decisions made by government as close to the people they affect as practical).

Regardless of your ideology, you will appreciate the well documented, unemotional, intellectually rich development of each chapter. It is a compelling and quick read. I have dog-eared many pages so I can go back and browse the many interesting links.

This book is not filled with an ego-centric belief that one person, organization or even large groups of people speak for the Tea Party Movement. Meckler and Martin are simply the ears and mouth of the many people they interact with. They have captured the thoughts of so many Americans and illustrated them eloquently in this book.

Chapter 6 is my favorite. "The Educational Tea Party". It is shocking to me that with the skyrocketing federal spending on education in our public schools, test scores have not increased in over 40 years. The graph is very compelling. The point that increased federal spending does not improve the learning taking place in our nations public schools is a great example of the underlying message of the Tea Party Movement. It speaks to the waste and inefficiency taking place at the federal level.

The book is rich with examples of why the Federal Government has reached far beyond what is practical in almost every area of our lives. The examples Meckler and Matin use are compelling and easy to remember.
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Much has been written and said about the Tea Party. It's often presented in the media as a bunch of radical extremist; knuckle dragging Right-wingnuts; or backwards thinking racists. The Tea Party is none of that. The image of the Tea Party has generally been shaped by those who have the most to lose by their success---namely a media controlled a small clique of corporate owners and a political system completely satisifed with the status quo and providing the American People with the illusion of choice.

The Tea Party is, in fact, a movement. It's not a political party. It isn't an offsoot or wing of any political party. It takes no stand on social issues. It's focus is on fiscal matters. As such, it's just as critical of the Republicans as it is of the Democrats. It's sole concern is restoring to America the principles of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, which have served as the foundation of this nation since the Revolutionary War. In fact, as you may not know, the name itself is short for "Taxed Enough Already".

The authors, Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin, have been credited with bringing together like minded people who are sick and tired of being sick and tired of a government dominated by corporate interests; where the working class takes it on the chin, to be polite, time and again.
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Format: Hardcover
To say that the Tea Party movement has been controversial is a definite understatement. Our biased media (some left, some right) have only fueled the fire. In Tea Party Patriots: The Second American Revolution Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin have laid out a concise, well written, and well documented book on what the Tea Party stands for and where they are headed. Perhaps it will tame some of the flames.

This is not a right verses left book. Meckler and Martin take to task politicians from both sides of the aisle that violate the core values of the movement.

The Tea Party values and beliefs grew out of an open forum where people could (and still can) post and comment on the Tea Party website what they felt was the true role of government.

The first chapter briefly describes how the movement grew without any real direction or plan. Citizens concerned about the health of our country from across the nation began to communicate through the use of technology, mostly facebook and twitter. Meckler and Martin then started working to bring about some organization and coordination. The 1st Chapter then offers a brief overview of the core beliefs and values of the Tea Party.

The bulk of the reminder of the book addresses the following areas: economics, politics, education, judiciary and culture. Each chapter not only discusses the current problems and weakness in each area, but Meckler and Martin also put forth possible solutions that would bring about reform.

In the final chapter the authors realize that the state of our nation did not happen overnight, so they are proposing the creation of a 40 year plan. The plan will focus on the five areas of economics, politics, education, judiciary and culture.
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