Carroll County Times

Letter: Tea party has positive impact

I often read that tea party Republicans are the reason President Barack Obama can't pass any significant legislation. It's almost like the first two years of his administration never happened. But they did.

He was able to pass the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Financial Stability Improvement Act. There was Cash for Clunkers and the similar program for appliances. Hillary Clinton was confirmed by the Senate 94-2, Tim Geithner 60-34, Sonia Sotomayor 68-31 and Elana Kagan 63-37.

Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or stimulus spending. It increased the omnibus budget bill by $410 billion, nicknamed the "porkulus" bill because of all the pork barrel spending added to it. The Federal Reserve has implemented "quantitative easing" where the Fed buys mortgage backed securities and Treasury bills on the open market. The first round of quantitative easing, or QE1, was $2.1 trillion. QE2 was a little cheaper at only $850 billion. Who knows what QE3 will cost us?

Amazingly, the success Obama chooses to tout should really be credited to the Bush Administration. The only reason we are leaving Iraq is because Vice President Joe Biden was not able to renegotiate the Status of Forces Agreement left in place by Bush.

Even after the 2010 elections there are examples of tea party Republicans agreeing with Democrats. There was the unanimous confirmation of Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense and the unanimous rejection (97-0) of the budget submitted by Obama. In fact, none of Obama's budgets have passed, we've been operating the government under continuing resolutions his entire term.

So apparently since Congress is so gridlocked the president thinks he's allowed to either make policies without them, or ignore them altogether. He refused to allow the Keystone pipeline to be built under the pretense of concern for the environment, but used the State Department to make the decision. He decided that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional and directed the Attorney General to stop enforcing it. Finally, he directed Homeland Security to stop deporting illegal immigrants that met his criteria.

Tea party Republicans ran for office, and were elected to office, partially to restore fiscal responsibility. Now they are expected to not govern as they promised they would, but they should compromise, move to the center, and get things done. In other words, turn into politicians?

Mike Blackson