Jeff Jacoby takes aim at Senator John Kerry in "Tea Party sounds a needed alarm."
But he [Kerry] ought to have the intellectual honesty to acknowledge that the Tea Partiers are not “absurd’’ to focus on budget cuts and entitlement reform - not when federal outlays have more than doubled (from $1.8 trillion to $3.8 trillion) in a decade. Not when entitlement payments are eating up two-thirds of the federal budget. Not when Washington has to borrow about 40 cents for every dollar it spends. And not when, as a result, the US debt burden has ballooned from 40.3 percent of GDP in 2008 to an alarming 72 percent this year - and growing.In explaining its downgrade, S&P did not call for the higher taxes that Kerry and many Democrats seek. Instead it said that the debt deal “fell well short’’ of the deficit reductions needed, that it provided only “modest savings’’ in discretionary spending, and that Congress was unwilling to curb Medicare and other entitlements, which is the “key to long-term fiscal sustainability.’’ That sounds an awful lot like what the Tea Party has been saying - except that the Tea Partiers were raising the alarm well before S&P got involved.