Ten Core Beliefs of the Modern-Day Tea Party Movement
Preamble: The Tea Party Movement is an all-inclusive American grassroots movement with the belief that everyone is created equal and deserves an equal opportunity to thrive in these United States where they may “pursue life, liberty and happiness” as stated in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.
No one is excluded from participation in the Tea Party Movement. Everyone is welcomed to join in seeking to achieve the Tea Party Movement goals, which are as follows:
1. Eliminate Excessive Taxes - Excessively high taxes are a burden for those exercising their personal liberty to work hard and prosper as afforded by the Constitution. A fiscally responsible government protects the freedom of its citizens to enjoy the fruits of their own labor without interference from a government that has exceeded its necessary size, scope and reach into the lives of its citizens.
“Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.” --Calvin Coolidge
“A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.” --Thomas Jefferson
2. Eliminate the National Debt - By implementing fiscally conservative policies at all levels of government, progress can be made toward eliminating the U.S. National Debt. Massive increases in the National Debt have created and continue to create a huge burden for the next generation of Americans, thus imperiling the country’s short-term and long-term economic health and prosperity.
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” --Abraham Lincoln
3. Eliminate Deficit Spending - All deficit spending must be eliminated immediately. We insist that government representatives at all levels maintain a fiscally responsible budget and balance the books as would be expected of any American business.
4. Protect Free Markets - America’s free enterprise system allows businesses to thrive as they compete in the open marketplace and strive toward ever better services and products. Allowing free markets to prosper unfettered by government interference is what propelled this country to greatness with an enduring belief in the industriousness and innovations of the populace.
“That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” Abraham Lincoln
“You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence.” --Abraham Lincoln
“The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” --Ronald Reagan
5. Abide by the Constitution of the United States - The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land and must be adhered to without exception at all levels of government. This includes the Bill of Rights and other Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and their provisions designed to protect states’ rights and individual liberties.
“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” --Abraham Lincoln
6. Promote Civic Responsibility - Citizen involvement at the grassroots level allows the voice of the American people to be heard and directs the political behaviors of our representatives at both the local and national level so they, in turn, may be most effective in working to preserve the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of this country’s citizens.
“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” --Abraham Lincoln
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” --Thomas Jefferson
7. Reduce the Overall Size of Government - A bloated bureaucracy creates wasteful spending that plagues our government. Reducing the overall size, scope and reach of government at both local and national levels will help to eliminate inefficiencies that result in deficit spending which adds to our country’s debt.
8. Believe in the People - The American people, given their guaranteed freedoms, will thrive in a democratic, capitalist environment which allows individuals to strive toward ever greater achievements, innovations and the efficient production of needed and valued goods and services.
“Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” --Abraham Lincoln
9. Avoid the Pitfalls of Politics - American politics is burdened by big money from lobbyists and special interests with an undue influence on the peoples’ representatives. The Tea Party movement is seen as a threat to the entrenched political parties and thus is the continual target of smear campaigns and misrepresentation of its ideals. We choose not to respond to these attacks except to strongly and explicitly disavow any and all hate speech, any and all violence as well as insinuations of violence, and any and all extreme and fringe elements that bring discredit to the Tea Party Movement. We are a peaceful movement and respect other's opinions and views even though they do not agree with our own. We stand by the Tea Party beliefs and goals and choose to focus our energies on ensuring that our government representatives do the same.
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” --Abraham Lincoln
“Honesty is the best policy.” --Benjamin Franklin
10. Maintain Local Independence - The strength and resilience of a grassroots movement is the ability of citizens at the local level to determine their own platforms, agendas and priorities free of an overriding central leadership. Exercising the clearly stated message of the Tea Party movement by its nature involves discourse about which policies and candidates best hold to our stated principles, and these various opinions should flourish and evolve at the local level.
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it.” --Abraham Lincoln
Our Core Principles
Fiscal Responsibility means not overspending, and not burdening our children and grandchildren with our bills. In the words of Thomas Jefferson: “the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity [is] swindling futurity on a large scale.” A more fiscally responsible government will take fewer taxes from our paychecks.
Constitutionally Limited Government means power resides with the people and not with the government. Governing should be done at the most local level possible where it can be held accountable. America’s founders believed: that government power should be limited, enumerated, and constrained by our Constitution. Tea Party Patriots agree. The American people make this country great, not our government.
Free Market Economics made America an economic superpower that for at least two centuries subsequent generations of Americans more opportunities and higher standards of living. An erosion of our free markets though government intervention is at the heart of America’s current economic decline, stagnating jobs, and spiraling debt and deficits. Failures in government programs and government-controlled financial markets helped spark the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Further government interventions and takeovers have made this Great Recession longer and deeper. A renewed focus on free markets will lead to a more vibrant economy creating jobs and higher standards of living for future generations.