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Fiscal responsibility. Constitutionally limited government. Free markets.

About the North Iowa Tea Party

by Bob Johnson

Before I tell you about the North Iowa Tea Party, I should probably answer the question, "What is the Tea Party"?

Some in the news media seem to think it's a political party. I can tell you first hand, the Tea Party is not a political party.

The term was first used by Rick Santelli, a CNBC financial reporter, comparing the situation today with that of our Founders and the Boston Tea Party (they dumped a shipload of tea into the harbor rather than accept Britain's tax on it).

The Tea Party of today is a grass roots movement of concerned citizens of all political stripes - Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Independents - who share a few common concerns:

  1. The rapid growth of top-down, big government Socialist programs is destroying our country as we know it,
  2. The profligate big government spending, tax hikes, and debt required to implement those programs threatens our survival as a nation, and
  3. The arrogant disregard our politicians have for the Constitution and the limits it imposes on them puts the freedom of little guys, big guys and every one else in grave danger.

What do Tea Party People stand for?

Tea Party People stand for fiscal responsibility, Constitutionally limited government, and free markets. We believe that's the best way to enable the most people to prosper in a free society. We know nothing's perfect but we know from history Socialism doesn’t work. We're disappointed Americans aren't taught history accurately so voted to try Socialism anyway. They're about to learn free stuff isn’t really free in a hurry.

But the Tea Party isn’t the first group to express these views. I helped start a Conservative Coffee group during the Bush 43 administration. We started with five or six members and grew to fifteen, then thirty or more. We didn’t agree on everything but we all shared a few specific complaints:

  • » When George Bush and Republicans led the push for a Medicare drug benefit adding another entitlement to an already bloated bureaucracy, Conservative Republicans felt betrayed;
  • » When George Bush, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham, et al, disregarded the will of the people and tried to ram amnesty through in the summer of 2008, Conservative Republicans felt betrayed;
  • » When the Fed under George Bush proposed the bailout of AIG, Conservative Republicans felt betrayed.

So our Conservative Coffee group formed around disaffected Republican Conservatives who wanted to return the Party to its roots of smaller government, individual responsibility and less government intrusion in our lives.

Then, when the Obama administration took office and started spending all of us and our children's children into debt three times faster than the Republicans did, we, along with many commonsense Americans, became outraged -- anyone could see Wall Street bail-outs, Socialist health care reform, and the take over of private sector industries could only be done by robbing ordinary, hard working citizens of their money, printing more money, or both.

As the Federal government ran amok and arrogant politicians kept claiming they knew what’s good for us more than we did, our frustration demanded action.

And so the North Iowa Tea Party was born. We started with about thirty people. Our first event was last year’s Tax Day gathering at Central Park.

This year, the North Iowa Tea Party and the Conservative Coffee group jointly formed a "Constitution Study Group".

The aim is to study the Constitution of the United States and focus people's attention on the abominations being perpetrated on us by the “entitlement people” and the politicians that benefit from their votes. Tea Party speakers explain the rights our Federal Government is trampling and educate us about the "invented rights" the left and our current government are using to steal our freedom and "redistribute" our money.

There were fifty folks at our first Constitution Awareness meeting at the Rose Bowl in January. There were over a hundred at the second session February 27th.

Tea Party Rally 2009
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