Black Activists: Tea Party Not Responsible for Credit Downgrade
Washington, D.C. - Black activists with the Project 21 black leadership network are rebutting assertions made by rabid supporters of President Barack Obama that the recent downgrade of the nation's credit rating is the fault of the tea party movement.
"Our country is at a crossroads, and I'm proud to stand with patriotic tea party activists who are concerned about the future of our nation," said Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli, a frequent speaker at tea party events across the country. "The tea party movement burst on the national scene as a spontaneous reaction to government gone wild -- outrageous spending, growing deficit and exploding debt. Since its inception, the tea party movement has been a positive force for reducing the size and scope of government."
In the wake of Standard and Poor's downgrade of America's credit rating from AAA to AA+ -- a historic first downgrade of its kind in American history -- defenders of the Obama Administration are seeking to pin the blame on tea party activists for holding politicians' feet to the fire against excessive spending. Such pressure helped force a compromise by the White House in the recent elevation of the nation's allowable debt ceiling.
"The credit downgrade is just another example of this president and his administration's failure to lead," said Project 21 spokesman Cherylyn Harley LeBon (LeBon will be guest-hosting the syndicated G. Gordon Liddy show on August 9). "One can hardly point to the tea party for the credit downgrade. The debt problem could have been addressed when it arose in the fall of 2010 when the liberals still had a majority in Congress. Instead, Obama took a pass -- as he has done with so many issues -- and lays blame with others."
Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Obama campaign operative David Axelrod and Fox News commentator Jehmu Greene, among others, call the nation's lowered credit rating "the tea party downgrade." Former presidential candidate and Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean claimed "right-wing splinter groups" kept Republican lawmakers from offering a debt compromise more to the White House's liking that Dean implies would have averted a downgrade. On "Fox News Sunday," however, David Beers, the head of Standard and Poor's government debt-rating unit, said: "[T]his is not really about either political party... [T]he underlying debt burden of the U.S. government is rising and will continue to do so..."
Tea party activists -- represented by many different groups and affiliated with no political party -- have been almost uniformly consistent in calling for less government spending and not raising the debt ceiling without significant spending cuts and a framework to cap and control future spending. Obama, who has not offered a comprehensive plan for easing debt or controlling spending, said in his August 8 statement on the downgrade: "No matter what the credit agencies say, we will always be a AAA country."
"The credit downgrade is a consequence forced upon the American people by a president who has consistently demonstrated no regard to the fact the Constitution grants no right to Congress to subsidize private interests," said Project 21 spokesman Stacy Swimp, a tea party organizer in Michigan. "Corporate welfare, record spending and contempt towards the Constitution from liberals created the condition which ultimately has led to the downgrade. Tea party activists have consistently and correctly condemned the aforementioned fiscal irresponsibility."
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives since 1992, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).