ORLANDO – The Florida Tea Party is calling on Congress and the Obama administration to put a halt to spending increases and to instead heed the message of change from last November’s election.
“Stop the automatic spending now,” said Peg Dunmire, chairman of the Florida Tea Party. “Bring our country’s house in order now.”
Dunmire recorded a response to President Obama’s State of the Union message on Tuesday, saying the president – who called for higher spending on education and roads – failed to get the message the brought the Republicans 63 new seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and six new seats in the U.S. Senate.
“The president called for investments in our infrastructure and education, but this is not responsible,” Dunmire said. “The president is not changing course.”
Instead, Dunmire praised U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, who gave the Republican Party’s official response to the president’s address. Ryan called for budget cuts that reduce the nation’s record-shattering debt and help bring the nation’s fiscal house into order.
“We in the Florida Tea Party are 100 percent supportive of this goal,” Dunmire said. “The Tea Party calls on Rep. Paul Ryan to lead now. Start with passing a one page piece of legislation: repeal all mandates, all automatic expenditures and all automatic increases to spending. Everything must be on the table to be reviewed, reprioritized and changed so we are living within our means.”
Politicians, she added, need to “do your job now. Americans will do theirs. They will dream their American dream.”
Dunmire said it was becoming harder for Americans to do that if Washington refuses to understand how excessive spending has hurt the overall economy.
“What is your American dream?” she asked. “You may want to start your own business, invent new products, or move to take a new job. You may want to own your own home. We all want our children to have a better life than we have. And we want our parents to age with dignity and grace.
“So I ask you, is your government helping you reach your American dream?” she added. “Let’s review the facts.”
Today, 14.5 million Americans are unemployed and $1.5 trillion was spent by the federal government last year – money, she added, “that we don’t have.”
Gasoline prices are up 55 percent since the president took office in January 2009, Dunmire noted.
“Our choices for where we travel, when we travel and how we travel are integral to how we live our American dream,” she said. “But the Obama administration has not shared that dream.”
That’s particularly problematic for Florida, she said, which relies on tourists who visit the state.
“As Floridians, we must have a society where travel is easy and inexpensive,” Dunmire said. “We must have an economy where people want to vacation in Florida. We want businesses to relocate here and hire our work force. The state of the union is the state of Florida. So I ask you: what is the state of the union?”
High unemployment, high debt and a controversial health care law, Dunmire said, show Washington is out of touch and ineffective. A better solution, she said, would be to shrink the role of the government and rely instead on the free market system to heal itself.
“I lay the state of the union,” she said, “right at the feet of our politicians.”
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