Debt Ceiling

Raise or Not?


National Debt


Debt Ceiling - Ask Not What You Can Do For Your Country
by Larry Davis

Debt Ceiling - How much is enough?
Debt Ceiling - Raise It? Seriously?

Indulge me as I call to mind some of the changes that I’ve observed since I was a burr headed teenager who knew everything.  I couldn’t have cared less about what was happening in Washington DC; after all, it had no effect on what I was doing or planning to do in life.

My first memory of politics was the Kennedy vs. Nixon Presidential race of 1960.  There are a couple of things I believe are worth mentioning.  Kennedy’s religion was a major factor mentioned in many of the adult conversations I overheard.  I’m sure I can even recall hearing it discussed on the evening news.  Not much has changed.  I still hear folks deciding who they will vote for based on their own prejudices and without concern for whether the candidate can actually provide the needed leadership.

My most vivid political memory of the time was Kennedy’s inaugural address as he stated,” Ask not what your country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country.”  I always thought it was a little out of place for the time; most folks I knew were very independent.  Dads were going to work and Moms were taking care of the home front.  I didn't know anyone receiving or requesting help from the government.  I also find it curious that in the same speech he said, “the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe - the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.”   With a declaration like that, can you image him getting the nomination of either major political party today?

A year or so later, as I was waiting for mom to finish her hair appointment; a Life magazine with soldiers on the cover caught my attention.  I opened it to read about how these warriors were helping train the military in some third world country called Vietnam.  I thought, “Good for them.  What’s that got to do with me?”  I didn't have to wait long for the answer!  That’s when I began to realize that actions in Washington have major influences on my life and personal decisions.

At that time, I observed two issues that came together to create a severe mistrust of government by the people: The manner in which the Vietnam conflict was managed by the Federal Government and the way it was reported on by the American Press.  The press was obsessed to discover dire or oppressive behavior by the government and put it in print or on the air.  Was Vietnam a mistake?  Did the press take the only action available to them?  I’m not sure; all I know is that enormous damage was done to the country and I don’t believe it has since recovered.  I deem this to be the commencement of the national press ignoring its’ Constitutional responsibility of policing government to keep it open and honest and when it began its’ attempt to maneuver government toward specific behaviors.  It is ironic to me that the press which attempted to crucify the liberal government during this period, now propagandizes that I need government oversight when deciding what to have for lunch.

In order to continue with this march down memory lane, I need to incorporate a morsel of history that will help define a couple of terms.  John Locke who is often credited as the Father of Liberalism, believed in individual liberty, free markets, civil liberties and that in order to resolve human conflicts it is necessary to establish a social society (government).  His beliefs had a profound influence on our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  This Classical Liberalism began to morph into Social Liberalism during the later 19th century as, believe it or not, Christian movements began to focus on the perceived inequities of society.  If we look back to President Kennedy’s inaugural address, it would be difficult to imagine the Democratic Party was embracing Social Liberalism but Johnson’s is a different story.

I can not enlighten you as to whether the Democratic Party and the American Press took up the cause of Social Liberalism or if the Modern Liberal movement absorbed them.  But I can certainly provide proof to non-believers by reviewing the coverage of political cycles during the past 40 odd years.  For example, when the Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives in 2006 and the Presidency in 2008, Washington had received a “mandate from the voters”.  However, as the Republicans take control of the House, headlines speak of how we’re all in this boat together and we can only proceed if we all row in the same direction.  This would be an acceptable premise if we were rowing to safer waters and not headed over Niagara Falls.

I do not recall an election that did not incorporate debates about how government spending was out of control and the country/state/county/local school district was on the verge of bankruptcy and ruin unless I cast my vote for candidate X.  I heard this argument so many times I became insensitive to the rhetoric.  It is not difficult to recognize how the public became so lethargic and apathetic to the fact that we are now on the verge of this long predicted fate.

Bear with me if you’re aware the Federal Government (we) are now over 14 Trillion dollars in debt.  According to documentation found at, deficit spending for 2009 and 2010 was 1.41 Trillion and 1.56 Trillion dollars respectively.  Each of these deficits is over 300% greater than the deficit of any previous year in the history of this nation.  Let me repeat that so you will pause and think about it; OVER 300% GREATER than ANY deficit of ANY previous year in the HISTORY of this nation.  Using the most conservative numbers I can discover, the budget increased nearly 20% in 2009 (535 billion dollars over 2008) and grew even larger in 2010.

This increase in spending was signed into law by a President who promised, “I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely”.  This same President voted against increasing the federal debt limit in 2006 when deficit spending was ‘only’ 248 billion and argued, “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure….  Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.  America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.  Americans deserve better.  I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”  I agree with everything Senator Obama said in the previous statements.

The White House just projected the 2011 deficit to be 1.65 trillion dollars.  That’s 3 successive record setting deficits since he has been President!

Now the Republicans are in contention over cutting 61 Billion from the 2011 budget after an increase of over 600 billion from the 2008 budget. Are they serious?

While we have had periods of great leadership during my life time, every administration has had serious failures of fiscal responsibility.  The two that came close was the last term of the Clinton and the beginning of the G. W. Bush’s first term.  This was not brought about by politicians changing their beliefs but by the voters awaking in the mid 1990s and demanding reform.  Remember the “Contract with America”?  We received what we required and almost immediately, apathy began its weary double-cross on a complacent citizenry.

In November the voters again sent a message to Washington.  We are now at a crossroad where we must make a choice to characterize our place in history.  We can either be vigilant against the actions of our elected representatives or pray for forgiveness from our descendants and ask “What can my country do for me? “.

Related Information

Tea Party Articles Directory





Submit Articles

Our Tea Party Articles and Op-Ed pieces are written by a variety of writers with varying styles and viewpoints. We invite writers from all walks of life to write Tea Party related articles for possible publication on our site.

Submit Your Group

We invite you to submit your grassroots organization to our groups listing. For inclusion, your group must be a conservative grassroots organization.

Read the Constitution

Read the Constitution

Everyone should read the US Constitution to know the founding principles and guidelines for the government of America. If you understand the Constitution, you will see more clearly how the politicians are ignoring what they have sworn an oath to uphold.

Read the Federalist Papers

The Federalist, or more commonly known as The Federalist Papers, is a series of essays written between October 1787 and May 1788 for the purpose of convincing New York residents to ratify the proposed Constitution of the United States.



If you have questions about the Tea Party, please check out our frequently asked questions to find your answers.

Group Bio Pages

Send us a bio on your group (500 to 750 words) and we will add a complete page about your group. Our bio pages include links to your website, Facebook page, and even your YouTube channel if you have one. Your group must be a grassroots organization.