The perfect economic storm is brewing, it would seem, for a third political party – the Tea Party perhaps? -- to take control of Capitol Hill in 2012.
“As the federal government rapidly approaches the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, 96 percent of Americans say it is important to reduce the national debt,” according to a new poll posted at Reason Foundation. “Of those surveyed, 69 percent believe reducing the national debt is very important.”
Ninety-six percent -- that’s a significant majority. When’s the last time that many Americans agreed on anything?
The poll goes on: “With the debt piling up, it is also clear that taxpayers do not trust the federal government to live within its means. In fact, the Reason-Rupe survey finds 74 percent of Americans support implementing a spending cap that would prohibit the government from spending more money than it takes in during a fiscal year.”
In other words, nearly three-quarters of America thinks government should live within its means – just as individual household earners do. But this same three-quarters doesn’t believe the government has enough discipline to live within its means, and instead needs a new law. As Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, said way back in March, the “public’s tired of [the] false promises” of politicians who say they’ll trim spending and slash deficits.
Mistrust, meet money: New managers are needed.
And coincidentally, there is a voice with significant influence that has been campaigning steadily for lower taxes, lower deficits and less government spending – a voice that hasn’t strayed from these principles even as months passed, and elections came and went, and political pressures mounted. Taxed Enough Already – members believe so strongly in the cause they put it in the title.
“With the 2012 election season ramping up, frustrated voters appear ready to look beyond Democratic and Republican candidates,” according to the Reason survey. “Eighty percent say they will or may consider voting for a third-party or independent presidential candidate in 2012. And an even higher number of independents (89 percent) and GOP voters (86 percent) say they will or may consider candidates outside of the two major political parties.”
Will 2012 prove the year of Tea Party takeover of government? Just sayin’. It’s hard to dismiss the opinion of 96 percent.
(Cheryl Chumley is the online editor of Tea Party Review Magazine)