We The People: Tea Party Speech

Posted By Elgin Hushbeck

I finally got around to posting the full text of my July 4th Tea Party speech in here in Wausau.

I want to thank Pat for that wonderful introduction,  and Meg Ellefson and the Wausau Tea Party for inviting me to speak.  Most of all I want to thank all of you for coming out. Thank you for celebrating the founding of our Great country. Thank you for taking such an interest in its future. 

On this day 233 years ago the Continental Congress adoption of the Declaration of Independence. It concluded by saying,  “for the support of this Declaration,  with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”   With a great deal of effort and sacrifice, and Divine Providence,  they won the Independence we are celebrating today.

Eight-five years later the country was facing its most sever crisis when Lincoln said, “Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history… We – even we here – hold the power and bear the responsibility…  We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.”

Today we face a new and different kinds of crisis, yet those words still ring true.  As much as we might like, we cannot escape history.  We cannot abdicate our responsibilities to others.  Major questions before us today are

Will America remain the America created by the founding fathers?

Will it be the America that people for 233 years have fought and died?

Will America be based on Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum?

Or will it be replaced with a new and so called improved America, based on Equality, Secularism and Multiculturalism?

These are not words of trivial or unimportant differences.  The goals of Liberty and Equality are mutually exclusive. At one time this was well understood, but for many today, it is unknown and a foreign concept. 

So will America be transformed? Will it be transformed into a country with ever-increasing government? A government with an insatiable thirst for taxes? A government that demands more and more of the fruits of your labor to feed it? Where government is so large that is controls most aspects of your life, and where your freedom is increasingly limited; where people are ruled by an elite few, career politicians and judges who think only they have the wisdom, that only they have the knowledge to understand how you should live.

Take, the speaker of the California Assembly, Karen Bass, who said about those who would dare tell a legislator,  “if you increase taxes, we will vote you out.”  Are you ready?  She called them “terrorists”. She went on to say “I don’t know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist.”   Think about the arrogance and sense of privilege that statement implies.   Think about the danger in her words. She is effectively saying, “I don’t know why we allow citizens to demand a say in how government is run.”  

While some money is needed by Government to operate, Madison said, “there is perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominate party to trample on the rules of justice.”

Our founding fathers knew that taxes while necessary are an infringement on liberty. For every dollar taxed by Government is a dollar you are no longer free to spend.  Government, not you will determine how the money is spend.  It is one of the reasons they wanted limited government, It was the reason for the Boston Tea Party.

For almost 150 years the checks and balances worked. The US was a low tax country.  At the start of the twentieth century, Americans had to work about 20 days to pay all their Federal, state, and local taxes for the year.

But then things began to change.   The checks and balances were undermined.  Government began to grow and demand more. People had to work longer to pay for Government leaving less for themselves. By the beginning of the 21st century people had to work, not 20 days as they did in 1900, or 30, or 50, even 100 days. We passed that in 1966.   By the beginning of the 21st century government had grown such that we have to work 123 days just to pay for it.    

If anything shows that government is broken, it is this.  It is like a car with the gas pedal stuck.  If government continues to grow as it has over the last 100 years, by 2200 all of an American’s time will be spend working to pay for government.  But this is impossible, the system will collapse long before this.

Yet politicians continue to promise more and more programs, that require even higher taxes. And when they can’t get the money they need from taxes, they borrow it, burdening future generations. 

Times are tough and likely to get worse.  How many of you are having to do with less?  Our Governor says that the state budget just passed. Has the largest cuts in state history. Maybe that is true, but in the end, the state is increasing spending and the taxes to pay for it.

This budget will be spending $3.6 billion more than the last budget.  That is more than a 6% increase.  I don’t know about you, but I call a 6% increase a raise.

In these tough times, you are asked to do with even less. And why?  So that government can have even more.  This is not a partisan attack on the current administration.  It is an sober analysis of the last century.

And taxes are just one small piece of the problem we face.  Government is broken almost everywhere you look.   And yet they want to do even more. 

The house just passed a sweeping Cap and Trade bill.  Do you know what is in it?   If you do you are one of the extreme few.

Despite the president’s promise of open government, to post all legislation online in time for people to read before a vote, the bill was not even available for lawmakers to read. They voted on a legislative blank check. 

How many of you are in the habit of handing out blank checks?  When a representative votes to pass a bill like this when they don’t know what is in it, they are voting for a blank check payable in your liberties.  Any representative so cavalier with your liberty should be voted out at the next election. 

About the only thing everyone can agree on, including the supporters of the bill, is that Cap and Trade will result in higher cost for energy.  How many of you currently think energy costs are too low? How many of you think you should be paying more?  The government estimates that it will only cost you an additional $175 a year. But they are not being completely honest,  for that is only in the initial phase before the all the provisions of the bill kicks in. 

In addition, Government estimates are also notoriously unreliable.  The Heritage foundation estimate that it would be $1800 a year to start and $6800 a year  when fully in force; Oh, but not to worry, it is not really a tax increase. You will just have to pay more money.

Cap and Trade could devastate our economy, which is already in trouble. Because of this an amendment was offer to suspend the bill if gas hit $5.00 a gallon. It was defeated. When an amendment was offer to suspend the bill if electricity cost rose 10% this year, it too was defeated. When an amendment was offer to suspend the bill if unemployment reached 15%, again, it was defeated.  This is not putting people first.

But if this were not enough, Obama now wants to rush through a bill on health care.  Why all the rush on these bills?   Why are they in a hurry? Simple, if you don’t know what is in there, how can you oppose it?  

I could go on and on with example after example.  

Some see this as hopeless, a lost cause.  We have already gone too far. Too much damage has already been done. It is a good thing the founding father did not have such an attitude. America would not have made it through 1776. When the new government was having problems, because the Articles of Confederation proved inadequate, they created the Constitution.  Its first words resounded with the core of what makes this country so great:  We the people.

Notice those words. They are not we the politicians.  We the ruling class.  We the privileged few. We the intellectual elite, or even We the Judges. Despite what some judges may believe, the Constitution does not belong to the Supreme Court, where we must wait for them to divine penumbras, or examine foreign law so they can tell us what it means. It belongs to us.  It is “We the People.” 

In Lincolns words: We – even we here – hold the power and bear the responsibility…

So just what can “We the people” do.   First, you have to become informed.

Read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  It takes just a few minutes to read each. Is your country worth that? 
Learn about what the Founding Fathers did to create this country.
Learn about how our country is supposed to work.
Educate yourselves of the what is happening.

Second you have to become involved.

That you are here demonstrates that you already are.
Learn  to communicate your concerns effectively to others.
This is why the Tea Party movement is so important, but don’t wait to be asked,  ask what you can do.

Finally you have to vote and vote wisely.

Don’t wait till election day and then decide you don’t like any of the candidates.
Get involved much earlier in the process.
Encourage and support candidates early on, so you can enthusiastically vote for them on election day.  

If “We the People” do this then in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

 Thank you and God Bless America!

(Note: this is the speech as written,  it was edited during delivery because of a change time limits)

Jul 27th, 2009

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