(Lori Piotrowski) – Earlier this year, FreedomWorks, a grassroots organizational group, began to recruit tea party leaders throughout the country. In late June, that effort paid off as tea party leaders met inWashington,D.C. to form the Tea Party Debt Commission. These grassroots leaders wanted to give Americans a platform through which to propose specific cuts in the federal budget and to put to rest the argument that tea party supporters weren’t serious about specific spending cuts and “have no plan.”
The goal of the group is to develop a detailed, serious budget plan in response toWashington’s chronic inability to control spending. Recognizing that theU.S.is facing a debt crisis, they are determined to get the national addiction to big government under control. They are stepping up to the plate because they believe thatWashingtonpoliticians can’t seem to agree on real, practical solutions.
The committee is looking for solutions to:
- Balance the budget within 10 years without tax hikes;
- Cut at least $9 trillion in spending over 10 years;
- Reduce federal spending to 18 percent of GDP; and
- Reduce the national debt to under 66 percent of GDP.
The Commission consists of 12 members, paralleling the structure of the new “deficit reduction super committee” created by Congress as part of the recent debt ceiling compromise. Committee members are volunteer tea party activists and leaders from a variety of states across the country, includingColorado,Connecticut,Indiana,New Hampshire,New York,Ohio,Pennsylvania,Utah, andVirginia.Nevadais represented byPhil Henry, from Ely.
The Commission has a three-pronged approach:
1. On-line Crowd-Sourcing Survey. The Tea Party Debt Commission began its grassroots outreach with an online poll (www.TeaPartyDebtCommission.com) allowing voters to prioritize spending cuts. Each vote cuts a program, and projects the one-year and 10-year savings that cut would generate. This poll is still available for comments.
2. Field Hearings. The commission has scheduled three hearings throughout the country where activists may participate:
- September 1 -Salt Lake City,UT
- September 23 -Orlando,FL
- September 29 -Philadelphia,PA
3. Presentation to Congress. The Commission will deliver its findings to Congress in November, about the same time the Congressional Super Committee will complete its own findings.
The first field hearing, in Salt Lake City, will be the only meeting to be held in the Western U.S.The meeting will take place from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. MT and will be held at Noah’s Meeting and ConferenceCenter, 322 West 11000 South, South Jordan, UT, 84095. Local activists are expected to attend, and encouraged to bring their own proposals for specific cuts to the federal budget. FreedomWorks will also present initial findings from its online poll (www.TeaPartyDebtCommission.com) that allows voters to prioritize spending cuts.
Nevada residents who would like to submit other ideas, may contact Phil Henry, White Pines Tea Party, at firstname.lastname@example.org with their comments.