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August 4th, 2011
02:36 PM ET

Tea party's effect on the federal government?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The old saying is you can't fight city hall. The country's city hall is Washington, D.C.

And the frustration being felt by Americans with that city is palpable. We are lied to, pandered to, taken advantage of and taken for granted. And election after election, we watch the quality of our lives and our country continue to ebb away.

Most of us feel powerless to do anything about it.

Enter the tea party.

Love them or hate them, they are making a difference, changing the debate. When the conservative faction of the Republican Party was formed, it subscribed to a set of principles that, surprise, it continues to cling to today.

Tea party movement members said they would go to Washington and work for smaller government, lower taxes, less spending and a general disengagement of the federal government from our everyday lives.

Now granted, their recipe for success doesn't appeal to everyone.

But the point worth making here is this:

It is possible to fight Washington. They just finished doing it with the debt ceiling fiasco. The government was brought to its knees and made to look absolutely silly by a small group in the House of Representatives – just 60 out of 435 members.

They came to Washington and did exactly what they said they would do. That doesn't happen often in Washington.

But there is a lesson here for all of us:

Vote in enough numbers for the people you believe in and can trust, and who knows what might be possible.

Here’s my question to you: What's your impression of the effect the tea party has had on the federal government?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: Tea Party
soundoff (323 Responses)
  1. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    The actual effect? A minority holds majority hostage, until the next election. Tell me where does their leader get his financial power? show me the path of the money and I will show you a party that tumbles next year.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  2. Ruth M., (Samson, AL)

    Does Ringling Bros. mean anything to you?

    August 4, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  3. Balazs Schreil

    Tea Party has casued a stalemate in Congress. Anything that comes up between now and the elections will stall out in the House. Nothing will get done. I am highly interested in seeing how the FAA mess will not be quikly resolved because of the Tea Party.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  4. Tom in Desoto, TX

    They want to return to a time where everyone uses a horse drawn carriage, dig their own wells, get back to outhouses and reading by the light of the fire, all while having bubbles from an unknown source float across the sky dropping sweet treats.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  5. Loren

    None so far, but they've got it on the run.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  6. Bee

    They are no better than the terrorist that America has been fighting against. They can't be bargain with, they can't be negotiated with, they can't be encouraged to a middle point. You have to give them what they want or all bets are off. They also toy with what you hold dear and they don't care about consequences as long as they win. They are about as close to what I consider terrorist and their methods are no different.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  7. Dave - Phx, Az

    My view is their effect has been extremist and hurtful. They do not support the views of 80% of the American people. Hopefully all the seniors that put them in office will see this next election, as they continue to try and destroy the middle class and social security.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  8. Jayne

    Many of us thought our government couldn't become any more dysfunctional, then the Tea Party arrived. A small group of poorly informed, reactionary, childlike, stubborn individuals manage to hijack the important business of the House and Senate for weeks on end. In the end, after getting most of what they wanted, they all voted against the bill. My advice for future dealings with these characters: ignore them and then vote them out of office.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  9. Camillo Peracchia

    The tea party succeeded in giving us a double dip recession and increased unemployment. Then it will blame Obama for both of them.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  10. Jamie in St. Louis

    I think it's about time that a group was able to seriously make Washington rethink the way it does business. They finally did what the American people wanted by getting Government to start making a few cuts and liberals refer to them as terrorists. I'm not sure what it's going to take for Biden and his other buddies that have been in Washington for decades to get that we're tired of "business as usual". It's remarkable that liberals have self professed that the only way you can get them to make any cuts is to act like terrorists.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  11. sean 1

    Personally, I think they have had a negative effect on a lot of things such as legislation, the republican party, and our lives. but on another note they are a bunch of snot nosed little hypocrites who will be one term politician wannabes who just want to get lifetime medical health benefits at our expense. term limits need to be law.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  12. Madge from Saratoga Springs, NY

    Lousy, loathsome and responsible for barely solving the debt issue. They are more than happy to hold all Americans hostage, to further their own toxic agenda. Their effect on the federal government is deplorable.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  13. Joe

    At its very heart, the Tea Party is a bunch of bigoted Obama-haters. They misused the debt ceiling issue to give themselves the veneer of a legitimate political issue. Their hatred of President Obama runs so deep that they are willing to destroy the Federal government.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  14. Ronnie S.

    The Mad Tea Party has inflicted more damage to America than another Hurricane Katrina on steroids.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  15. Nate NC

    It remings me of that kid you see on aisle 7 in the store whining and screaming about something he wants his mom to acquiesce and give him. Bigotry is now the leading factor in decision making for extreme right-wing conservatives, which also condones remaining oblivious to actually trying to co-exist by using rational thought. By the way, MY mom would have just left me in the aisle like an idiot until I realized how meaningless my actions were.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  16. Ed from Md

    The tea party had a huge impact on the federal government to reign in spending and lower exposure to debt. Eh, Well it's kind of fun to say it...

    August 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  17. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    total disruption, total gridlock, total DISGRACE, Jack.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  18. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    I heard on FIX NEWS a talking head speaking about the need of the contrasting views of the Tea Party in building a strong democracy. I couldn't help think that is like saying Al Qaeda is needed to contrast true freedom.

    We all live our lives in paradox; sad and happy, light and dark, good and evil, etc. psychologically we need that paradoxical symbolism.

    However, when one small group of people led by narrow visioned extremists try and control others through fear and threat in order to virtually imprison others to adhere to their extreme one sided beliefs, to lock all people in their small suffocating box of absolute ideology no matter the harm to the greater majority, is something I thought was extinguished in 1945 and today is called terrorism.

    How sad the rest of us have become when we allow any group to dictate the intellectual, emotional, and living freedoms of the majority.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  19. Kevin SD, Ca

    Very positive! The only clear thinking reasoning being done in this Country now!

    August 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  20. Russ in PA

    If the Tea Party had held to the original Ron Paul precepts of non-aggression as well as limited government, the effect would have been much better. In any event we need a true third party made up of libertarians such as Paul to bring true change and improvements to our government.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    August 4, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  21. Tim in Castle Rock, CO

    They are a tremendous positive influence! After years of massive out-of-control growth in government spending under both Republican and Democrat leadership, we finally have people in DC who want to stop that growth. Long live the Tea Party Revolution!

    August 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  22. Jim Laubler

    The Tea Party was a fringe group. Now, it is a well known fiscal conservative group. Since Mr. Obama hasn't met one goal that is findable (not ObamaCare), they've become larger than a political party. Either Americans will concede the group might have been right to want government cuts OR the ship will go down with everybody on board. It's about over-sight Jack. It's the "Economy Stupid". Let's tear down these walls.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  23. Matt

    The problem is unemployment, it increases the burden on the Federal Government social security etc, and reduces revenue taxes. The US economy was on a razors edge, what the Tea Party did was kill consumer confidence (generates jobs) and killed business confidence (generates jobs), harm the US global economic standing.

    So they have pushed the US back into recession, QE 1 and 2 are now redundant so there will have to be a 3rd QE, but if there is no confidence in the economy then QE is not as effective and at some point in the future after pumping all that stimulus into the economy we will face inflation and that will force up interest rates, because QE 1 and 2 are still in play and then we add 3 on top of it.

    The whole point regardless of the debt ceiling deal it was passed, so why could it not be passed weeks ago, why all the threats to default, why at the last minute. What did they achieve only ruining the economy.

    Their policies will force up unemployment to 20 to 25% how does that make the economy better, so they get harsh and fast spending cuts and we get 25% unemployment. That is a depression.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  24. Sugi36

    In theory the Tea Party is good for the fiscal management of the country, but in practice they have shown that they are less financially competent than the wall street guys who got us into this recession.

    How is threatening a default or allowing the FAA to shutdown financially responsible? I hope we re-elect Obama.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  25. Dan K

    The evolution of this faction like many terrorist factions grew out of dissatisfaction with our last congress and leadership! This faction is one of the worse chioces the voters have ever made! It has held the American people hostage ever since they became viable!!
    Just like people in D.C. say, be careful which side you take, it may come back to bite you on the backside! It did!
    Wonder who's approval rating will fall the furthest, Obama'a or the "Tea Party". So far the Tea Party is winning, that's if you don't listen to Fox!! LOL
    Dan K
    OCR Alabama

    August 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  26. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl mostly a good voice for us fed up taxpayers tired of our politicians frivolous spending and lining their own pockets. Unfortunately a lot of Republicans are playing like a wolf in sheep's clothing, just to keep their jobs and hide in plain site. until our politicians are made to tow the line, they will continue to spend this nation into bankruptcy. we will be heard in 2012, or the continental congress which ever comes first.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  27. johnny

    Still to much special interest for them to over throw corruption on own..to bad the black congressional caucus is controlled by the non elected board controlled by InBev,cocoa cola and pepsi,which is controlled by 3rd world country executives

    August 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  28. Ken in NC

    100% Destructive which appears to be their objective.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  29. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Not much jack. First off there is not enough of them to sway a vote one way or the other unless a large group of other people are willing to vote like they do. The Tea Party is a movement with less then a hundred thousand registered members. A hundred thousand members is a drop in the bucket of the voting pool. The worst thing about the Tea party is that no mater how pure at heart they are or how much they want to change the way things are done in government they are the children in the political cesspool. They are kept in the kiddy end of the pool while the older parental congressional members teach them how it is in Washington. This way nothing can ever change because the children grow up to be just like their parents.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  30. Marsha McClelland

    If Bush took us to illegal war in Iraq, based on lies, with executive order, the current, puppet, president now in office could pull rank & do the right thing. He could tax the wealthiest as is fair which would only put those greedy, (pretending to create jobs like the trickle down effect is reallly working), people back to the same tax Führer Puppet Bush, unjustly, removed. The tea partiers, unwittingly, represent this atrocity & act against all of our best interests. Yes, so far this bogus base is effecting Obama & he needs to make it right.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  31. Don McPhail

    I think they must be nice people. After all they showed the decency to replace those lapel pin US flags everyone was wearing with a little round pin. I don’t know what it stands for but my guess it signifies the hole their driving the US economy into.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  32. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    The buck stops here right now. The Tea Party is the political reaction to years of government throwing money at problems and then borrowing money to throw at problems. Now before becoming like Greece, Spain and Italy the U.S.must better manage the budget to debt ratio. The trouble with the Tea Party is that they want to reform long standing policies with little or no consideration of the consequences. Pol Pot tried to do that in Cambodia. Didn't work out well for him.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  33. Dave

    The Tea Party has only been positive. America needs a Third Party.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  34. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    The tea party might have started out on right foot but ended up filled with right wing extremist. Their game plan was and still is, don't give an inch, win at all cost without negotiating. Germans had the same philosophy in WWII on the Russian front and we all know how that turned out. This is the main reason why nothing can get done. The sad part of all of this, I don't think they even realize it or they do not care. All you have to do is look at us through the eye of the rest of the world. Then maybe you can understand why the stock markets are falling and we look like idiots. The tea party is in until the next election I just hope we can survive until then.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  35. Rusty Soots

    Cutting spending is certainly a necessity and one strongly supported by the TP. However, their slash-and-burn style to the detriment of critically important programs for the elderly, disabled, poor as well for such things as the environment and total resistance to exploring new revenue streams while chalking up such items as examples of "big government" is ultimately destructive to the American people.

    Rusty S.
    Raleigh, NC

    August 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  36. Ken Victoria BC

    Another good question to .allow reasonable viewers to comment. However, I am really interested in how the few supporters will spin their response. My comment is that the policy has a negative effect on world opinion.The most ridiculous comment has been the birth question. It is just racial.PS I am still laughing from yesterday's comment regarding MS Pain And Mr Rump.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  37. Ed from Harrisburg

    The Tea Party's effect on the country can be seen in recent day's stock markets around the world.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  38. Jenna Roseville CA

    What's your impression of the effect the Tea Party has had on the federal government?

    Jack,

    These people have RUINED our government.

    They have made it more polarized.

    They have refused to compromise.

    They have taken the GOP hostage.

    And for what?

    To me the perfect name for these folks is TEAHADIST because they act like domestic terrorists.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    August 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  39. Jk from Minnesota

    More gridlock and less compromise than there was before. Look at what the stock market thinks today. It's not a good thing at all in my opinion, Jack.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  40. Joan

    My impression of the effect the tea party has had on the federal government is...........DISASTEROUS!

    August 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  41. Bobby Lahmon MS

    The tea party's having an awful effect on the federal government l for one they are protesting the wrong administration for all the wrong reasons but without Obama they wouldn't exist anyway they are nothing more than a bunch of crazies with nothing to loose doing the dirty work for the GOP and they will be thrown under the bus as soon as the GOP gets back enough power to do without them so tea bangers enjoy it while it last

    August 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  42. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    The Tea Party drove the recent debt debate! Although congressional leaders said that they wanted to avoid default, the Tea Party was willing to drive the nation off a cliff! The Tea Party is scary but they came to power legitimately. They got organized and got their candidates elected in 2010 while the vaguely disaffected Democratic voters stayed home.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  43. Mr. D

    The Tea Party has just enough caffeine to make us nervous and irritable but not enough to gives us the jolt we need.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  44. Anne Marie

    Who needs Al Qaeda, when we have the Tea Party to destroy our economy! Look at the DOW!

    August 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  45. KKirdes

    Their effect will be short lived. They have played their card so now their destructive ways without concern for safety of America and "we have just begun" is going to produce negative opinion of them. If the GOP doesn't get them in line the electrit will punish them.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  46. Minesh Baxi

    Jack, I am a Tea Party activist in Troy, MI. We want to see transparency and accountability in federal government.

    No more backroom deals! Every bill should be posted for at least 3 days with full debate. Every politician is accountable for the out of control spending in Washington. If we don't limit spending in government, we will be Greece in 3 years.

    Minesh Baxi, Troy, MI

    August 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  47. Dennis in Los Angeles

    The Tea Party represents what used to be the silent majority. The ramming through of congress of another huge entitlement program, an ineffective stimulas bill and now the explosion of the U.S. debt has finally awoken what was once the sleeping giant. Congress and this President better heed or suffer the consequences.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  48. Annie, Atlanta

    They obviously believe government should not get in the way of unmitigated greed, even at the expense of us lesser humans, our economy and our right to live in a safe and clean environment. And is this a surprise considering the movement and the politicians involved are wholly owned and funded by the oil guys David & Charles Koch? Taking our country back from corporate control should be our #1 goal. Sadly we're being programmed, thanks in part to our worthless media, to follow the "breaking news" shiny objects as well as hate each other, so we don't notice what's really going on.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  49. pad

    Jack I can see this has been a positive thing. The Congress men are on a month long vacation and one resigned last night. The country is still barrowing 40% of the money the fed. is spending. Bankruptcy is just around the corner the Dow is down 400 points.
    LOOKS GOOD!!
    Paul
    Ames,Ia

    August 4, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  50. John Fay

    The Tea Party has said nothing about closing loopholes, tax brakes for corporations & big oil. They started with good intentions but have fallen in with the rest of the politicians taking a free ride on the tax payers taxes. Tucson, AZ.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  51. barbara in nc

    If you've always wanted to live in a Fascist (Corporatist) State, you're gonna LOVE IT.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  52. Greg in Arkansas

    Tea Party......they are kind of like a group of hornets attacking a bus driver during rush hour traffic on a rainy day.....they know how to make their "point" but don't seem to care what happens to anyone else in the process.

    If these past few weeks are any indication of what's to come, we need to break out the Raid for the 2012 elections and elect people that are willing to compromise because NEITHER SIDE WINS IF THE OTHER SIDE LOSES.......

    August 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  53. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    These non-Americans should be sent back to their country of origin. They are demanding changes and winning the battle because no one has the courage to put a stop to this madness. I wonder how the people feel that voted these idiots into office. In other words Jack, they really are terrorists of a different kind.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  54. John in Alabama

    Jack: The Tea Party has a negative effect on the federal government. Today, 4000 FAA employees have been laid off, and 70,000 construction employees on 200 airport projects around the United States have been laidoff, because a small Tea Party group of senators will not approve funds for the FAA. Secretary Ray LaHood is a Republican and the Tea Party is a faction of the Republican Party. Oh I get it, Secretary LaHood has common sense, and the Tea Party are just a bunch of spoiled brats.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  55. Pete in Georgia

    The measly effect they have made to date is NOTHING compared to what lies ahead in 2012 when the serious stuff starts.
    The Tea Party has awakened a sleeping giant......................you know the one, the 300lb. guy who used to sit hypnotized in front of the TV surrounded by beer cans and his mighty remote control.
    He's now come off the couch, starting to pay attention of this country's demise at the hands of a lunatic socialist administration.
    The Tea Party is a wake up call like no other in our history.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  56. Jack Guthrie

    During down economic times for the nation, the government needs to spend a large amount of money to build roads, bridges and spend on other public works projects and also should give money directly to employers to put people back to work, through state workforce agencies. The same amount of effort to save jobs should be given as was given to the banks. The Tea Party with the recent debt deal, has effectively taken the government out of the picture. Can't spend more money, no help for the unemployed and no new revenue. This could mean a second very deep recession very soon. Todays stock market down turn certainly does not look good.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  57. sam ballard rowlett, tx

    its still the party of no no no. kill the county i mean then middle class give to the rich we will rember in 2012. we all see the way the GOP has done this president from day one an we wont forget.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  58. Bob / Minnesota

    In my opinion the Tea Party hasn't done anything to help our country get back on the right path. Their hard stance politics isn't what the majority of the public want. Yes everyone would like to see the debt come down. But the Tea Party wants these cuts at the expense of the middle class. Cutting Medicare and Medicaid. Cutting, what they call entitlements. Where did they get that name entitlements. If I recall the people of the US paid int these entitlements. Sorry Tea Partiers, I believe the next elections you'll be out the door. You didn't just anger Democrats, but the Republicans don't want you either.
    Bob from MN

    August 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  59. Mark

    The tea Party “is the icing on the political cake”.

    The USA is a political corporate elite welfare state with a growing population of ordinary families living in circumstances similar to those of the third world.

    The tea party are the spoilt children of a dishonest, selfish, corrupt regime.

    Thanks to you the world is now fast tracking towards a financial, economic Armageddon! And before you try to yet again “to blame others” for this it’s you that have been the big bullies on the block forcing the world to follow your exploitative financial, ruinous economic and selfish corporate policies.

    You continue to reward the corrupt fat cats for bad behavior using tax payer money while the rest of us are being victimized, thrown out of work, losing our homes and pensions.

    What is it about “YOU” that you can’t see in front of your own noses?

    Who needs enemies when you have American friends?

    Disgusted of Ottawa, Canada

    August 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  60. Ann from Charleston SC

    I think that the Tea Party is eroding away our democratic form of government by doing away with compromise. They remind me of the communists and the Nazis.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  61. David

    The tea party has had a bad effect on government. I never thought I'd see the day when a political party would refuse to compromise and hold the economy hostage. Some of the freshmen in Congress thought that it was ok if the country were to default . My question is how are incompetent people like Joe Walsh elected. Someone like him should be banned from capital hill.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  62. Gordon NJ

    It's worse than I could have imagined. I thought he Tea Party was just a dumb joke. While they are not really terrorists, they are definitely anarchists. They rule over the supposed moderates with fear and intimidation. First they created chaos in government, grinding that to a halt. Now their victories have sewn chaos in the markets and it is grinding America to a halt. If traditional, rational, fiscally-conservative Republicans can't regain control of their party, I see very bad things for America.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  63. cal

    They stick to what they belived. Both partys sway as the polls go not the tea party.I like most people will go with the new party for that reason.
    we had the two party system for to long and look at how bad it has become.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  64. Ron Dayton

    The Tea Party, Inexperienced newbees who need to drink some Camomile and calm down! Jack, this insane idea that we can just stop spending is proof to their inexperience and absolutely a no go! I understand that the voters wanted to replace people who maybe didn't do as much as they wanted. But, how do you elect crazy people like this! How do you run on cutting Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the strip the Military without knowing it will KILL JOBS! And the in the next breath, say the President isn't creating Jobs? Wait a minute, didn't Boehner say we shouldn't raise taxes on the "Job Creators"? Where are the Jobs from the Job Creators? Wait a Minute, Boehner held the country hostage so that he can Kill all those Jobs in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the Military, in order to create Jobs?????? Really? I just think we need to send the Tea Party to Camp and teach them Economics and History. Or maybe send them home, because they are making the entire world nervous that they may actually STOP SPENDING EVERYWHERE! Now, let me think, hmmmm. our economy is completely dependent on people and Government spending money, and if they can't afford to buy, give them credit, so they can spend! Of course they need good jobs to make money to spend, and to save for their kids so they can spend money on college, and on and on!
    So, going into the elections next year, the Tea Party and the Republicans are going to campaign on the above strategy, Wow! I'm not a Democrat or Republican and won't be tied to groups who get so wrapped up in sound bites and word salad that is mindless. I can decide on my own if a politician is capable or at least will do less damage than another during an election. But if this country elects and re-elects Republicans in 2012, I'm leaving! They are going to destroy everything Bush didn't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  65. Pete Carton

    In playing by the present rules, the Tea Party has disclosed several flaws in our legislative process. A. the non-constitutional supermajority (60%) vote requirement in the Senate. B. The constitutional requirement that all revenue measures must be initiated in the House of Representatives. And C. The executive not having a line item veto power over budgetary items..

    August 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  66. Barbara Leavitt

    They are blackmailers. They have turned our country into an 'us against them' country. Read this in the Buffalo News last Sunday on the opinion page........"In my opinion, the only pledge our leaders should sign is to do what is best for the country, not for one group." by Jerry Cappello....... I totally agree with this statement. Unfortunately some don't.

    Henderson NV

    August 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  67. Jeremy

    Nothing, secession is the only solution.

    Houston, Texas

    August 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  68. Dan from Long Island

    Jack,
    To use an old golf analogy, the Tea Party teed off and hit a 450 foot drive that landed on the green just a short putt from the cup. They then lined up the putt and hit another 450 foot drive. I think the original character in this analogy was a gorilla.
    As crazy as I think some of the Tea Party members are, they forced the urgency for Washington to focus on our runaway budget and deficit problems. However, they have added a third dimension of dysfunction to Congress, along with the entrenched Republicans and Democrats.
    Unfortunately, they have only made things worse. And let's now remember that the Tea Party reps in Congress are also on vacation along with their more seasoned boondoggling chamber mates. At least now without the annoying job of governing, they all have time to watch the stock market crash.

    Dan from Long Island

    August 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  69. Sharon E. from Illinois

    FINALLY a party that holds itself accountable and works for the greater good of the people! Let's just hope the lobbyists don't get a hold on them.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  70. Raj, Toronto

    Simple question Jack, put Ron Paul's policies against all the issues that our country faces. Relate them to the founding fathers positions on the issues. And there you have your answer. The father of the Tea Party, not this fake movement lead by Sarah Palin, but the true tea party, is what this country needs. Ron Paul is Americans last true statesman.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  71. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,

    My impression is they need to be graded a DDD; Disconnected, Disruptive and Destructive regarding their philosophies and behaviour in their involvement with the federal government.

    My impression is come next election I will definitely vote against them and the other Republicans that support them. Get them out so that Congress can get its business done without those screaming children.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  72. chuck

    Hello Jack,

    No idea. I hope someone does. From an old man’s view point I am not sure the Tea Party folks know what they are doing. Over reacting in a hurry never worked for me. This is THE scary part, not knowing whether these powerful young folks in the congress are “mature” enough to lead.

    Wall Street spoke today.

    I am so tire of the "Job Creators". It is time the “Demand Creators" to speak up.

    Got to go, lunch time. Sorry, lunch is more important to an old man. Good luck to you all.

    Old Man Chuck

    Beaverton
    Oregon

    August 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  73. Randy

    They know how to protest, not how to govern. Some of them are ignorant about Economics, thinks that defaulting would have been fine as long as you prioritize your bills (as if paying your mortgage and not your car loan would keep your credit rating the same.)
    They did push the debate towards debt reduction instead of growing the Economy. What are their plans for job growth ? Cutting taxes ? The Bush tax cuts are still in effect.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  74. Tony Brooks from Topeka

    I'd love to call them radical spoiled children but that wouldn't be too grown up of me – would it? The verdict is still out in my opinion. The government does spend too much money but are we too late in the game to do anything about it? Kinda like you going to the doctor after having years of chest pain and the doc saying you have 3 months to live. Well, hell, I could'a done without that trip to the doc!

    Jack, you need to grade the answers to this question on a curve – it was too hard for me.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  75. Paul P.

    The Tea Party, with their single-minded agenda, I fear will force all the focus on spending, when it is not even the country's biggest problem. What will be the consequences when we see all the issues through the prism of spending at the expense of all else, without any context of the current economic environment and how different issues how connected. In short, I fear we'll lose sight of 'the big picture'.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  76. James in Georgia

    Great question! While I don't subscribe to the far right(or left) ideals, I do find it refreshing that they stuck together and held their line. There must be compromise within the government for it to work effectively. If spending were under control instead of off the charts maybe they would be more open to compromising. Entitlement programs are a great idea, less government regulation is also a great idea but both have to be implemented and managed efficiently and effectively. Why must our government always be reactive? It would be so much more effective if it were proactive!

    August 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  77. David of Alexandria VA

    In a word: "Shock." For all the reasons you cite, Jack, the Tea Party came in with a mission, did it the democratic way, and caught the Washington establishment with their knickers down. A government whose idea of spending cuts seems to have become, "save here so we can spend there - oh look, I saved-right there!!" has taken a frontal assault from a group of people who call that for the nonsense that it is. Washingotn needs to reflect on who really are the adults in the room.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  78. bob, ontario, canada

    Jack, the effect has been similar to what we have had in Canada for a number of years when the federal party in power rules as a minority government. This means that original proposals have to undergo severe compromises to satisfy enough of the opposition parties to vote with the government to pass a bill. In effect, this is what the Tea Party's recent demands among the Republicans has had. They have obdurately opposed the moderate members of their own party in any attempt at meeting Obama's own already watered down debt crisis solutions. It was their way or no way and that is why it was a slow, tortuous path at finding a compromise that was acceptable to all, one which the President, himself was not entirely pleased with. The Tea Party will see to it that Obama is hobbled at every turn to rule as the elected party.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  79. Ron

    I hope a lot. Lets hope they will stop some of the giveaway
    programs Obama has started.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  80. Jeff

    Jack, the tea party is just a cover for the right wing that doesnt want the blame for bush politics while keeping his agenda alive and well. Seems to be working for them too. Its terrible because although bush is no longer in office, his policies are now being forced upon america by a weak president and radical group of individuals called the tea party who claim they are speaking for "the american people" But they really speak for the upper two percent, big oil, and wall street who also happen to be american. What a great line they've discovered.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  81. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack what have you been smoking lately? The debt ceiling was raised and we are still in debt up to our children's eyeballs. The Tea party did nothing but take up space and give lip service. You make it sound like they accomplished something when they did absolutely nothing. The Tea Party is nothing more then a minor inconvenience to the powers of Washington D.C.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  82. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: My impression is that the "empty barrel makes the most noise!"

    August 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  83. Terry in Virginia

    The Tea Party came, saw, and conquered. They've learned that acting like screaming brats gets them media attention and their way regardless if it destroys our country in the process. We voters are masters of America's fate. If we don't want our country to go the way of Ancient Rome, then we must elect people who understand the art of compromise. Getting 98% of what one party wants is not compromise; it's what Brutus did to Caesar!

    August 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  84. Jeff

    Jack, the tea party is just a cover for the right wing that doesnt want the blame for bush politics while keeping his agenda alive and well. Seems to be working for them too. Its terrible because although bush is no longer in office, his policies are now being forced upon america by a weak president and radical group of individuals called the tea party who claim they are speaking for "the american people" But they really speak for the upper two percent, big oil, and wall street who also happen to be american. What a great line they've discovered.

    Jeff in OHIO

    August 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  85. Kevin in CA

    As shills for the neocon, rich, ultra right they are having the effect intended – weaken and destroy the government to the point where it "could be drowned in a bathtub".

    August 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  86. Bill in PA

    Jack,

    You ask: the effect the Tea Party has had on the federal government?

    Check the close of the U. S. stock markets today. See also the markets around the world.

    But our 30 million very rich are doing very well. And our corporations are reporting record profits, see Exxon/Mobile, for example.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  87. Shari Cecil

    This party is over. The Tea Party has shown us they are willing to hold our political system and the American people hostage for their extreme right wing beliefs. We have seen our Federal Government manipulated by political posturing, stonewalled by the inability to compromise, and accomplishing nothing but threatening the very existence of American families. They play politics while we suffer. The Good News…this fiasco has shown us just how broken Washington really is. No Jack, the Tea Party went too far this time, the question should be…what do we, the voters, intend to do about it in 2012?

    August 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  88. John, Lake Charles, LA

    The Tea Party has given us a dysfunctional government. They are obnoxious obstructionists who only care about destroying our form of government. What we really need are moderates from all parties who can work together for the good of the American people. Get rid of the extreme right and the extreme left and vote for real people who really understand us and want to help us.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  89. Rahul, San Antonio Texas

    Look around and see that working class and rich folks are losing wealth–this all due to the religious right and those who listen to ignorance as espoused by folks like Rush Limbaugh. Welcome to the dark ages–didn't they start one in Europe a while ago??

    August 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  90. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Less then 100 Tea party members showed up in Washington to protest. In fact there were more Tea party Congress members on hand then Tea Party members. The Tea Party is like a fart in a whirlwind in Washington Jack. Their value as freshmen congress members is equal to the janitorial staff on hand at the Whitehouse. You need them but could do without them in a pinch.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  91. Rob

    That bozo dressed up as George Washington says it all. They want to take us back to the Articles of Confederation. We are in three wars, the economy is tanking, and our food isn't safe to eat. The TP answer is to gut the American government until you can drown it in a bathtub. I did mention that we are involved in Three wars. That man is a disgrace to the Continental uniform. Men died wearing that uniform to create the government that he seems so ready to destroy. They have been and will continue to be a catastrphe for America and her government.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  92. Jim

    Yes Jack, the Tea Party has changed the debate. But it is not for the better. Their way of governing is not to negotiate but to dictate. "No new taxes under any circumstances" doesn't sound like a negotiating stance to me. And to maintain their position to the point of (what several of their people have said) letting the US default is not what we need right now. I think that the American people should take another look at these Tea Party partisans in the House and vote them out placing more moderate people in place in 2012. The shock of their immediate budget cuts is taking its toll on the stock market these days. Just guess what the future holds for us at the hands of these extremists.

    From Northeast Pennsylvania

    August 4, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  93. pat, Idaho

    We don't have enough crooks in washington, now we have the Tea Party, anybody else want to create havoc?

    August 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  94. Greg in Arkansas

    Tea Party......they are kind of like a group of hornets attacking a bus driver during rush hour traffic on a rainy day.....they know how to make their "point" but don't seem to care what happens to anyone else in the process.

    If these past few weeks are any indication of what's to come, we need to break out the Raid for the 2012 elections and elect people that are open to "some" sort of compromise because NEITHER SIDE WINS IF THE OTHER SIDE LOSES.......

    August 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  95. virginia - Atlanta, GA

    Devastating. I doubt the people who voted for the tea party had any idea that they would do the kind of damage they have. The stock market reflects how it feels about this. That they would put 84,000 people out of work by sending an unacceptable bill to the Senate and then leaving town is reprehensible.

    They all went on vacation for the month, President Obama took one day off to go the Chicago and an evening off tonight (after working all day on his birthday) and the tea party called him lazy and said he should be staying in Washington working on jobs. Jobs are something they obviously don't care about and made more difficult with their month long wrangling and blackmailing. Their hypocrisy is without bounds. They accuse Democrats of what the tea party is actually doing. I believe their agenda is to destroy our Government. (Note: their criticisms indicate they have not read the Constitution.)

    August 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  96. Curtis in Philadelphia

    Self-serving. Correect me if I'm wrong, but 60 of 435 is a minority and in a democracy, it is the majority that is suppoed to rule. I think they may have awoke a sleeping giant in the moderates and independents who don't believe what this Tea Party minority believes. Time will tell.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  97. Jim S

    Jack, this movement has made bipartisanship in Washington even more difficult than it already was, which is not a good thing. The Tea party appears to be nothing more than another terrorist group Hell bent and determined to wreck our economy through demand for deep cuts in a time of recession and a total refusal to approve any increase in revenue to address the huge deficit. Instead, they push for either cuts or elimination of badly needed social safety net programs and health care for the elderly so they can further benefit the most wealthy. It's disgraceful!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  98. Eve of Texas

    Koch Industries and other meag-corporations who took control of our government via funding of the tea bag lackeys were very successful in their objectives. These gluttonous entities were able to retain all of the subsidies, tax breaks, etc., while the middle class and working poor keep getting shafted. Isn’t it ironical that the right-wingers claim to be the “religious” ones. Apparently, their Bible doesn’t contain the 350 mentions of taking care of the down-trodden and poor. Eve of Texas

    August 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  99. Steven

    The so called "tea party" is the most conservative wing of the Republican party. They are used as a tool by the Republicans to feign independence. Boehner could have passed a debt deal with around 30-40 Republicans and a majority of Democrats. Wouldn't have looked good for him, but would have passed.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  100. Karl in Flint

    They came in with a plan and good intentions, but so far, due to their lack of governance skills and apparent rejection of learning any, it has been executed poorly. Smaller government and less spending are great ideas, but they can’t be accomplished overnight or on the backs of the very people that are supporting our economy. The top 1% isn’t contributing anything to our economy and they need to change that for starters. Unless they temper their ambitions with compromise and accept slower progress, they are a flash in the pan. Many things need to be changed but they wanted to fix our entire economic system with one bill and that was foolish in any sane conversation.

    Other than that, I think they are lunatics.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  101. James Lenon @chuckey TN

    the teavangelists have introduced the continual threat of a destroyed government into our history. We don't need a group of suicide bombers demanding to make policy or subvert the Constitution.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  102. Malcolm in Vineland, NJ

    Jack,
    My first question would ask; How many members of the Tea Party actually benefit from; as they call it "Smaller Government"? Are the members of the Tea Party just following suite through the Republican party, or do they demand a specific leverage which will improve their own personal stance? My impression is negative Jack. I view the Tea Party the same as the many lobbyists who influence lawmakers not for the good of the country, but instead for self interest. If lawmakers concentrate on the $3.5 trillion tax cuts for the wealthy which were deemed to create jobs, the questionable topic of smaller government becomes mute.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  103. Jan From DE

    The tea Party is ruining this country. Thank God they won't be there after 2012. They are too extreme and 90% of Americans now see what they are all about and are just not going to take it anymore.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  104. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    They haven't done anything that would increase my faith for the President of the United States, members of Congress and members of the Senate. Until lobbying is banned, and until members of Congress and the Senate can only be voted into office twice, my faith is going to remain at zero.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  105. Semo

    The tea party cannot govern. What is their solution for the partial FAA shutdown ? Haven't heard anything...
    Are they taking any initiative to pass the trade agreements that are languishing ?
    Are they taking initiative to pass a jobs bill ?
    Everthing is about cuts ?
    Does this sound like somebody who is trying to help this country ?

    August 4, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  106. Chad, WI

    Looks like the tea baggers have thinned out a bit, Jack.
    Maybe they figure that it wasn't President Obama that's after their
    medicare and social security, after all, but Michelle "Migraine" Bachmann!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  107. Gerard Luimes

    Interesting question !.Something to really ponder.Book pages could be written about this,and probably will in due course.
    Reaction: The T.P may have been mis judged; Its positive character seems to be a willingness to play hard ball. Under any circumstances.They invoked a dictatorial attitude in congress in spite of middle-of-the road- reasonable republican members.
    For the country at large there lies the danger of the power of the T P.
    Now we are seeing a house of repr.tives that has gone AWOL, is apparently NOT interested in governing,but instead could be frighteningly on its way to lead the country into a train wreck.
    The debt ceiling has been raised,but the possibilty of a melt-down remains very real.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  108. Bob in Silver Spring

    The effect of the Tea Party is to ramp up the crazification factor for the right whingers in the Republican Party. Every issue the Tea Party stands for is to the right of normal positions of the polity - from their inception as paid goons* during the health insurance fight ("death panels" etc.) to their Grover Norqistian opposition to balance in the fiscal arena, the Tea Party acts as an anchor for the Republicans.

    And anchors don't let the boat go very far, do they?

    Bob

    * Yes, goons. Their uncivil interruptions at Town Hall meetings were nothing less than goonish; and we can expect the same at this summer's meetings as well. God help us when it's election season!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  109. Kathie

    the tea party is a group of wackos in the back pocket of corporate america and the wealthy who pull their strings in the name of greed. the see no problem with taking our country hostage and if the ransom is not paid driving our country off the cliff. the tea party will be the demise of our country!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  110. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    They will all eventually get fired. Gov't does not like non-conformist.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  111. chris

    thanks Tea Party for the 500 point drop in the Dow.
    are you happy now?

    August 4, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  112. Hal

    Yeah, they are getting just what they want – the Country to fail! Dow is down 512 points so far today! Great job wingnuts! You see, just saying no works when you want to destroy a recovery! Let's face it folks, who would buy stock in the USA with Congress acting like they are now. They ALL NEED TO GO home and stay there. ALL of them. We need public financing of elections. Cut congress compensation 50% and find real public servants. We need to stop Crossroads GPS from funding hatred, division, stagnation, and failure.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  113. Joe

    Jack,
    When federal policy is dictated by the few, then we will have another Great Depression. Do you remember Herbert Hoover's policies to cut spending, and then again in 1937 FDR was persuaded to end his WPA projects of getting the economy to survive building many of the parks, dams, highways, and other major infrastructure projects of the time; but, now, we have an agenda drive right wing party supported by who?

    Who pays for Grover Norquist? Who has investigated his background? Why is Congress (or I should say the Republicans) willing to allow the fringe Tea Party to influence our programs so much? Why does a lobbyist have more power than most elected officials?

    The backlash will happen Jack, but only after we go through another Great Depression ... I might add, "thanks to the idiots behind the Tea Party," which may be the extremely wealthy looking to create class warfare.
    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    August 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  114. Dan in Aluququerque

    Yes, they emphasized the debt problem, but they misguidedly think there is an instant solution that will solve it all. this so-called "compromise" solution and the childish behavior of poiiticians has resulted in a major negative economic earthquake all over the world. But, as some Tea Party and conservative members said, "just let this country go into default. Don't worry, America has plenty of money to pay its bills," I believe the American people showed in a variety of polls that we must have revenue as well as cuts. I also think these conservatives will pay in November. Afer all, they created this debt ceiling fiasco. Mike Huckabee sid it would take more than one term for an administration to end this mess. That's exactly what Obama said.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  115. Virginia Weddington

    The effect of the Tea Party on Congress? Their actions only served to remind me of an old childhood anthem: "My daddy can beat your daddy." Throw all of them out and let's elect some new "mammas" for a change. Virginia in Bristol,Tennessee

    August 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  116. Greg from Virginia

    I get what they are trying to do but like any other elected official it's tough to trust in this environment. Sure let's cut deep and get the fed smaller but taxes need to be raised slightly and the cuts need to come from Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Defense.....we should never forget what President Eisenhower warned in his final speech about the Military industrial complex...it's happening and the bigger question is how to stop it.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  117. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack the Tea party voted 31 out of 40 for renewing the patriot act that originated under Bush. It is not the elections that mater Jack. It is the subsequent actions by those people elected. The last election that put these people in power was a direct result of people becoming tired of the healthcare reform being shoved down their throats by the democrats. The other option was the Tea party and people took it. Now that same Tea party is voting with the republicans and raising the debt ceiling as well as not cutting the budget but voting to empower 12 people to MAYBE do something about it in the next several years. That is not progress Jack that is more of the same old thing.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  118. Dario G. Legal American Citizen

    Jack, The two party system in America are running scared... They can call the Tea Party anything and everything... The ATP are still American Citizens Petitioning our government on grievances.. This is what America is all about.. Freedom to participate in government to make changes and represent Legal American rights.

    The Democrats and Republicans know this and fear the American Tea Party unjustly.. One day the ATP might even become the second largest party in America.. Can you just beat that... From one came many to stand up for all Americans.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  119. Frank

    The Tea Party only has one real cause, their own wallets. When a party or cause is self serving it always has negative impact on the country .

    August 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  120. Tom from Nebr.

    Jack, Oh they've had an effect alright. The problem is, it's a bad effect. Instead of a divided government we have a dysfunctional one that will be the death of this once great country. Now thanks to this fake debt ceiling crisis they invented we will have this so-called Super Congress. Super stalemate is more likely. They will do nothing. McConnell will see to that.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  121. Bertina

    If you think the people voted in this group with only sixty out of four hundred and thirty five, then you're missing the statistical point. Though it does prove that minorities have a stranglehold on getting anything done which is a shame.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  122. TheMostWise

    How soon can we expect the Tea Party to be leaving?
    Is it possible they could leave a lot sooner?

    August 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  123. Rob

    These "tea party" freaks are holding our country hostage to push their extreme agenda that the MAJORITY of the country does not believe in. This is treasonous, and these people should be tried for it!

    A democracy works with compromise. These stupid freaks don't know that word, nor are they willing to compromise on any of their archaic views.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  124. Liam - VA

    I'll take anything now instead of Obama, Reid and the "wicked with of the west."

    Obama's policies of over-taxation when 50% of Americans don't pay income tax as the market drops to 500 points should be writing on the wall to everyone that this administration cares more about its own self interest, shcool lunches and handouts that anything. Our markets now have failed because of this. I dont care what the tea party is all about I just want him out and yes stopped. It will take YEARS to repair this damage. YEARS. Shame on us all as Americans to let this moron destroy our county. Him and Biden could care less. And I guess I'm only talking to the Americans who are the real backbone and have to work and pay for the rest of you who will agree with his policies. Obama could not run an ice cream stand. One other thing, for all who are collecting government checks and think your safe think again. Soon there will be less working people you can take money from. What will you do then work?

    August 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  125. Margaret Birney

    Watching the Dow plummet today, it is worthwhile to ask if it would have been so vulnerable had the so called debate, controlled by the Tea Party, not occurred. If there had been a reasonable deal to raise the debt ceiling and cut the budget, two weeks earlier, I suspect that Wall Street would have been much less nervous, regaradless of Italy's financial woes.. Holding up the vote on the debt ceiling by debating and voting on two bogus bills, the Tea Party pushed the vote to the eleventh hour. With virtually no time left, and no willingness to strike a reasonable deal, the Tea Party put the rest of Congress, the Senate and the President in the untenable position of risking default and/or lowered credit rating unless they agreed to the terms of the Tea Party.. Yes, the Tea Party has influeced the work of Washington and we should not forget it.
    Margaret

    August 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  126. Dario G. Legal American Citizen

    The Democrats and Republicans know this and fear the American Tea Party unjustly.. One day the ATP might even become the second largest party in America.. Can you just beat that... From one came many to stand up for all Americans.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  127. Ed House

    Thank God, some group has brought to light the terrible financial fix we are in and a solution to it. That is: stop the spending, stop the borrowing, and balance the budget.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  128. Gary H. Boyd

    It's brought it to a halt - simple as that. The Tea Party has enough votes to stifle anything the Democrats propose and they're just sufficiently obnoxious that half the Republicans won't join 'em so the GOP can't get anything passed either. In the meanwhile, the guy in the Oval Office is out fund raising. It's a stalemate.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    August 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  129. Frank

    They are the problem, not the solution. They are even less honest than the ones already there and refuse to compromise. That is not the recipe to make America stronger.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  130. Richard Friedman

    The Tea Party made an impression, but did not win the battle. Now the nation's financial managers have registered their thoughts on the wisdom of continued borrowing by the totally irresponsible Federal Government. We are in deep trouble if we wait for Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama to show any common sense at all.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  131. the_dude

    The tea party has had little to no effect on the federal government. It is only because of media organizations like CNN why the tea party gets so much coverage. It is not like everything would suddenly be better if the tea party didn't exist. It's just the latest thing to place blame on while not fixing anything.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  132. RG

    I can see what Wall Streets reaction to the actions of the Tea Party they created. Just like Frankenstein, it turned on it's creator.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  133. tea Party Members and Jobs

    Putting policies in place to help create jobs is not simply up to the President. How many are in Congress? This is their economy. What are they doing to help create jobs? What are they doing to help create confidence in the United States? I don't see anything they are doing except causing a big loss of confidence, endangering our economy and causing a loss of jobs. The tea party people need to be voted out this next election if not recalled immediately. What a bunch of immature losers.
    Chuck

    August 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  134. Jeff In Minnesota

    The Tea Party started as a good idea but got usurped by Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and others and turned into a group representing ultra-ultra conservative reactionaries that believe it's their way or the highway. If you listen to them speak, it's all rhetoric and vitriol, no substance and certainly no ideas on how to actually fix the problems we face. In fact, if our problems were as simple as they portray them, then they should have been fixed a long, long time ago. What is even scarier is that I think these people are actually the simpletons that they come off as with their simplistic views.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  135. Carol Wallace

    Jack, like I said the other day, the Tea Party should be singing the old Ruby and the Romantics song "Our Day Will Come" because they will be history after the next election. Thank you.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  136. John Burick

    Tea Parties are for children and the spoiled, whiny, unwavering children have caused an economic mess. The market is tanking and so will the country if these yahoos are not voted out come next election. Change is always a good thing, but children trying to change an adult world never has much success.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  137. bill in NC

    Lets see Jack, the red haired step child of the GoP has pretty much has helped the party of NO tank the economy. They are the ones who made it a point to point out that our credit is at its max and caused everyone to question our credit worthieness, Well done Tea Party, NOT!!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  138. Billie Shaffer in Tx.

    Saying our quality of life is ebbing away is malarkey. Where do you get such outlandish notions? American people have more today then any time in history, more toys, more clothes, more food, more everything. What on earth are you whining about?

    August 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  139. Carolyn in SD

    My impression? The market nosedived by over 500 points today. That sums up my impression of the effect the Tea Party has on the federal government.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  140. Tommy Jonq

    dear teabag: you had your sugar. here comes the hot water. PS: printing money like toilet paper didn't work. hacking away at the federal budget with a machete didn't work. pretending that kim kardashian is worth her weight in gold didn't work. what now?

    August 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  141. Mike

    I thought in Democracy Majority Rules.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  142. Nancy Medici

    I think the Tea Party screwed everything up. Now Wall Street crashed today and with it our 401(k)s and IRAs. Disaster is looming. You don't cut spending in a bad economy. It will never get better.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  143. Sam - Miramar, FL

    The Tea Party has had a profound effect on the process in Washington. It is a great lesson in how to take the federal government hostage. Since they are not really aligned with the GOP, they don't care about collateral damage. They are like hired mercenaries sent to Washington to mess with the President and anyone else who gets in their way.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  144. Justin

    The Tea Party has acted like spoiled children, unwilling to compromise until they get their way. What the Americans who elected these nuts don't understand is that a country CANNOT operate under those childish tactics. Well, I guess it can, but its known as Iran and North Korea.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  145. John

    Jack, the Tea Party has changed the debate. Rather than debating over how much to increase the Federal government's reach, they have shifted the country to a profound discussion over the size and scope of government. Democrats who hate the Tea Party only do because of an unconscious fear that their Big-Government positions will be exposed for what they are, Authoritarian power grabs.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  146. hopeful

    it is a sad day when a group of people stand for principle and this decision hurts the country. Comprise is always a good decision

    August 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  147. Gator - West Texas

    Overall the tea party is a small group and they have made a difference imagine if more of us were to get together on issues we care about and vote in people with the same views. I believe the majority of us want similar things (Jobs, Security in our future, no war, etc...) The Fed Government is concerned about the message sent by the tea party and they should be...

    August 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  148. Anita Root

    It has paralyzed it. Boy, we thought we had gridlock before!

    Bloomington, Minnesota

    August 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  149. JoAnne Allen,Brainerd,MN

    And how did that help our Country ? If they had not held the country to ransom we would have resolved our debt problem by compromise and the DOW would have been up 500 points today !!! What use is a philosophy if its does no good and leads to the destruction of the country !!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  150. mike

    People who call cuts "unacceptable" are the real terrorists, these are the leftists who believe we should continue borrowing every penny from China until our country 100% belongs to them.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  151. tj

    Just saying "NO!" isn't difficult. You need to tell the truth. The truth is that cutting off your nose to spite your face doesn't get you anywhere. If the Tea Party is allowed to cut social services, where do those who rely on those services go? They do not just fail to exist because you removed them from a budget. They will, naturally, appear elsewhere. So all that is accomplished is that the money will have to come from somewhere else. Maybe the corner of the street in your neighborhood panhandling. It WILL eventually hit YOUR home.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  152. Bob in Kansas City

    I think the jury's still out on them, they've gotten off to rough start by attacking the social programs that benefit elderly and disadvantaged people while seemingly going out of their way to protect the those that need help the least. There is just enough of them to cause trouble but no really enough make a long lasting difference.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  153. Tracy Hancock

    In short, the answer is yes the Tea Party has made an impact. What is yet to be answered is the Tea Party making a positive or negative impact. They are not saying anything new, they are just pointing out what all Americans already know. To bad they do not offer any real solutions with all their rhetoric.

    Washington, DC

    August 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  154. Marsha Lakes

    In one word: Devastating! Their actions go against the core tenets of a democracy. People have to realize that for every tea partier and then some, there is someone who has a different opinion, a differing solution. Democracy is about compromise and working toward common goals. It is not about "my way or the highway"!!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  155. Robert T

    The tea party has alot of good ideals but at the end of the day they want to push a fiscally and socially conservative agenda with no compromise.

    They are going to split the republican party and nominate a conservative candidate that can't win a general election.

    They will be responsible for four more years with Barack Obama in Office.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  156. ejr1953

    Jack, a major polling firm found that 70% of Tea Party supporters don't want cuts to Medicare. If they checked the Federal budget, entitlements to seniors makes up about half of its expenditures. So we'll see how much "support" the Tea Party gets, when the "going gets tough"...

    August 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  157. Gary in WA

    Sounds like democracy in action. The Tea Party is made up of US ciitizens and they have made their voice heard in Washington DC.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  158. Ron (Denver)

    Not good. Their stance on marying the debt ceiling to the budget was misguided. Their views while (perhaps) correct, have a bad implementation.

    It seems to me they did not look at any consequences for their actions. Now, there appears to be a global confidence crisis in the American markets with the results being problems seen with the markets in the last few days. This has a real affect on people. Where is their focus? Also, their extremist views toward social programs are troubling. We're on our way to fascism!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  159. P.H.Mani

    The Tea Party had and continue to have a positive effect on the Government policy makers. They delivered what they stood for, whether you like it or not. This is a welcome change.
    The Tea party is NOT a political party but rather a political philosophy. I bet Thomas Jefferson would have loved it.
    P.H.Mani

    August 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  160. NocommentCNN

    Is it the Tea party's fault the government is spend more than the national GDP? All the money that should be flowing in the US economy is now spent by our Federal Government. That is a simple fact.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  161. Doug Loew

    They are sure to drag it down to financial ruin and then when it is all destroyed, of course they will blame it all on Obama.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  162. TheMostWise

    With the Tea Party around, the first ammendment of our Constitution is proving to be somewhat of a liablity; one supposes that this deeply regrettable liabilty is the price for we all pay, but do we ....really have to listen to ...nonsense...it seems like such a waste of time.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  163. Don Settle Salisbury Nc

    It shows what a small group of radically focused individuals can do. like the movie said.. good.. bad..I am the one with the gun...but remember for all of those who think this was a good idea ,if you ride a tiger you are likely to end up inside it

    August 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  164. David Swartz

    Let us vote in enough of these kind of people in and maybe, just maybe we can get term limits for all . Senators 2 4 year terms, Members of the house 4 2 year terms. And have them cut the number of congressional aids in Half.
    Throw out the UN. Stay friends with friends and stop supporting people who hate us. let thier own governments feed thier own.

    Semper Fi

    August 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  165. Bruce from Santa Cruz

    The Tea Party made a difference, but unfortunately it was a difference for the worse. While their goals may be righteous, their methods are destroying our economy. They want to achieve their goals at ANY cost, especially if it's on the backs of the poor and middle class.
    The Tea Party did show us that change is possible, but they did it by holding a gun to the country's head. Unfortunately, the gun went off and injured the country. Thanks, Tea Party...... NOT.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  166. Jay. Okatie SC

    I think the tea party should be congratulated for figuring out Washington's weakness so quickly. That is compromise. Without it the politicians all look foolish. What does this do for our future. I find it very frightening to think that a bunch of zealots can stop our government in it's tracks. I for one will work against them in the future.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  167. David

    The Tea Party is an arm of the republican party that they created to do their unpatriotic dirty work and provides the republicans with cover when they spew flatout lies and misrepresentations. We all know they were created by and continue to be supported and given voice by the republicans and their corporate donors. Hoping that in the general election this GOP created monster will bite them as 3rd party candidates may split the traditionally republican vote.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  168. Alex Bennett

    Originally, I thought the Tea Party had a chance to do some good. Well, not originally, but before they existed, before they coopted the movement created by Ron Paul's 2008 campaign. That movement was about libertarian ideas of freedom from government. The Tea Party is a perversion of these ideas. While yelling about stopping government intrusion into our lives, they insist on creating a Christian state, where women do not have the rights to make decisions for themselves, God is above all else, the LGTB community is demonized, muslims are all terrorists, and the poor are completely forgotten. The tea party claims to love America. They claim to be the force to bring us back to our roots. The Tea Party does not love America. They hate America and everything that it stands for.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  169. james brown

    We were headed downhiil before the tea party. Lets start blaming everyone for the mess were all in.. Tea party or no tea party it all starts at the top.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  170. brian

    I'm an independent. They're a bunch of frickin' loonies that held the country (and world) hostage and (once again) shook the confidence of the global economy. Vote the extreme idiotlogues out of office and promote a balanced perspective.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  171. Viz from Atlanta, GA

    There is a point about making a difference vs. having negative impact which could have landed the country in trouble. If the tea party people were educated enough to understand the impact of various stances they assume, I would have whole heartedly supported such a movement. However, government cannot be run on fanaticism and half baked ideas coated with wicked politics. The tea party movement kept pushing for cap and balance but somehow they forgot that the money that was being discussed had already been borrowed for reasons like war! So they had to pay the bill for it...balancing out now is not going to cut out what you owe! And yet this was a simple point that was so conveniently overlooked all throughout the debate. Besides, republicans themselves were split over their own party decisions. They somehow refrain from acknowledging how some of them were responsible for converting Clinton's surplus to Bush's debt! And so tax reform and entitlement reforms are the only way to go, not tax cuts!!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  172. Randy

    My impression is that it's a joke. Nothing but a Koch brother funded front group with no REAL power. Put there to disguise right wing elitist from destructive policies they advocate. It's also obvious that the media has a few dollars thrown their way to act as if these clowns are anything more than pawns for the "elite".

    August 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  173. scoto

    The Tea Party only proves that much of the American voting population responds to ignorant simplistic messages. This is an extremely dangerous thing and could take us down a road to disaster very quickly.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  174. AB

    Jack, let's get real about the Tea Party by asking a few questions about this group: Firstly, where was the Tea Party when Ronald Reagan trippled the national debt by wasting billions of tax payer dollars on a boondoggle called "Star Wars"?? Secondly, where was the Tea Party when George H. Bush and George W. Bush wasted trillions of dollars on unneccesary wars and overseas military adventures?? The answer: The Tea Party was nowhere to be seen during those Republican administrations. The Tea Party conveniently came into being in 2008 after Barack Obama became the nation's first black president. My point is this: The Tea Party is not really about fiscal responsibility–some of these people are financially irresponsible and do not pay their debts. The Tea Party is really about undermining President Obama and his presidency. These bigots cannot stand the fact that a black man is President of the United States. However, in the end of this foolishness and drama, the Tea Party will have no real and lasting effect on the federal government and the nation once they are gone.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  175. Joe

    My impression would be of a bunch of right wing nut jobs that have not a clue as to what government means. They have stomped our guts out....

    August 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  176. Tony

    For years, ultra-rightists have been sitting on the sidelines, trashing those who are actually governing. Now we've all had a chance to see how irresponsible they really are. I believe that their influence has crested and will gradually diminish and possibly even disappear completely.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  177. William Hill

    Tea Party – Duh! A better name is RADICALS! Those people have NO COMMON SENSE whatsoever, as well as all our Representatives in DC.....who are nothing but back slapping yahoo's who would trade their mother's for the "right" deal.....All of those people and their lack of actions is exactly why the DOW tanked over 500 points today! NONE of them are qualified for the offices they hold!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  178. gaucho420

    The Tea Party's philosphy is to look out for the individual at the cost of the masses. Their "expense cut" view is that if it doesn't affect them, then their up for cutting it.

    I beleive they've had a terrible, negative effect and the stock market today reflected that. They're are unwilling to compromise and they don't care if the ship sinks with them.

    The Tea Party is a great reminder that just because you are organized and share the same mindset, it doesn't mean your views are correct. The Nazis came out as a result of a weak German economy following WWI and the Tea Party is a distant, yet similar cousin, of people being loud, but being wrong.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  179. Brandon

    Jack,
    Finally someone in Washington is actually walking the walk instead of lip service. How can we spend money that we don't have? The average person doesn't live their life this way so why should the governement? The Democrats are worried because they aren't half as organized as the Tea Party. The average person who actually works for a living relates to the Tea Party. All they want is fiscal sanity. Pretty simple, huh?

    August 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  180. P.H.Mani

    The Tea party had an effective influence on the policy makers. The Tea Party is NOT a political party but rather a political philosophy. I bet Thomas Jefferson would have loved it.
    P.H.Mani

    August 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  181. Luther Heggs

    The "tea party" should be properly cased as in "Tea Party".

    Show a little respect, I think they've earned it.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  182. Billy Davis

    They are terrorist that put the country in an untenable predicament as demonstrated by today's market collapse.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  183. Sturgeonslawyer

    The effect of the Tea Party on the US Government is not unlike the effect of the Nazi Party on the German Government in the 1930s: a fanatical, evil minority using the politics of fear to force their agenda on the whole nation.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  184. Bob

    Really? How many Tea Party representatives have given back their fat salaries and unearned benefits? As the economy now crashes due to the idiot spectacle of the debt-ceiling debate, and the fact that slashing government spending now is only going to further exacerbate the problems, does any rational person – not racists, ideological zealots, and religious kooks – but any rational person think that the Tea Party represents anything but white-trash rage?

    August 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  185. Sam

    What you don't mention Jack –
    is that the major Tea Party groups like "American's for Prosperity" are funded by big monied interests like the Koch Brothers. The Tea Party is the farthest thing from a Grass Roots Organization, and it's Media People like you that won't look below the surface and expose them for who they really are.

    Yes, they brought this country to it's knees. But, it was for the benefit of Big Oil and Karl Rove's Super PACS – not for the American People.

    All it proves is how easy it is to get low information voters to vote against their own interests.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  186. JAMES

    I think it could be a case of curing the disease but killing the patient.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  187. Mike

    "Tea party movement members said they would go to Washington and work for smaller government, lower taxes, less spending and a general disengagement of the federal government from our everyday lives."

    Are you kidding me, Jack? The only reason any of these tea party members were elected is because they told their constituents that JOBS would be their number 1 priorty. Have the even mentioned the word since January 2011?

    "It is possible to fight Washington. They just finished doing it with the debt ceiling fiasco. The government was brought to its knees and made to look absolutely silly by a small group in the House of Representatives – just 60 out of 435 members. "

    Really?? You think that it a good thing? There was no need to take the government hostage over the debt cieling. That is what is causing the uncertainty you are seeing today, in the markets. They are purposefully derailing economic growth, are traitors to the USA, and should be arrested, imho. Your opinion piece, is horrible like my grammar.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  188. Dan in Louisiana

    The Tea Party has had a laxative effect.

    It got things moving, but the results weren't pretty.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  189. Bob

    The Tea Party came to Washington to try to shut down the U.S. Government, pure and simple. I don't know how they can do that without breaking their oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  190. pete

    The Tea Party doesn't care that they don't have popular support – they have taken a decent idea (deficit control) and gone way past any boundaries of precedent or what is good for the country in trying to achieve their goal. I don't hate the aim, but I do hate:

    1. The timeframe (get it done yesterday)
    2. The one-sidedness (a balanced budget without any increases in current taxes equals MUCH small government, and most of us aren't on board with them regarding this, because it would cut Social Security, MEdicaid and Medicare to pieces)
    3. Their attitutude – no compromises, no prisoners, it's all about their wants
    4. Their tactics – completely beyond reproach

    August 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  191. Ron Lustig

    As much as I (we) may loathe the Tea Party, they get credit for doing what no one else did: push their beliefs through the system all the way to the finish line. It is possible that others did not fight back any harder because they could not believe what they were watching unfold. By the time we all figured it out, it was too late. What we have to work on is to make sure that their future successes are limited.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  192. Sarah from Arizona

    There is more cheese now to go with their whine....

    August 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  193. Clint

    The Tea Party is little more than the Republican Party's attempt to shed the 'neo-con' moniker from the Bush era under the guise of fiscal reform.

    It was able to fool a lot of moderates, myself included, into thinking that the Republican Party was evolving beyond its trademark bickering over social issues steeped in religious idealogy. Today, the Tea Party persists as that very same Republican Party – wanting the moderates' support when it chooses to present its ficscal conservative facet, but bearing its Theocratic fangs for 'the common good' while espousing less governmental inference in the personal lives of the public. It exercises no understanding of balance.

    In the last month, the Tea Party has spent every quantum of political capital it has. In a situation so dire that it called for both less spending and more revenues, the Tea Party chose its idealogy over the good of the public. The Tea Party has unbalanced the government beyond what is practical in our current situation.

    Clint, Chicago

    August 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  194. saeed

    Jack if 60 of them caused this fiasco I can't imagin what more of them can do to this country. .......failed state may be .God help the United States fo America.
    Nashville TN

    August 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  195. Don

    The Tea Party is a mixture of folk. Some are well-meaning though misguided, and manipulated by the wealthy, corporate anti-regulation crowd. They seem to believe the myth that tax breaks for the super-rich really will create jobs. Other Tea Partiers are bigoted, racist, and mean-spirited, who would stop at nothing to bring down the Obama administration. I believe at this point the destructive effects of the Tea Party far outweigh anything constructive they might hope to do. I sincerely hope, for the sake of our nation, that there will be a groundswell of moderate voters in the 2012 election who will turn back these extremists.
    Don

    August 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  196. Mu

    1) It is good they got us focusd more on important issue of debt reduction

    2) It’s time for them to begin offering real solutions beyond “cut this and cut that”. For example, who will make sure that my drinking water is safe if they get rid of the EPA. Who will be responsible for
    ensuring the safety of our food supply if we gut the FDA? If we enact a Balanced Budget Amendment, what happens in a time of war or national disaster? Must we stop building bridges, and enforcing drug safety to keep things balanced or can we raise revenue to fund wars?

    3) Let them put Farm subsidies, boondoggle defense contracts and the Congressional budget itself on the table.

    4) I am scared that although they claim to be rallying around fiscal responsibility, I am scared that the “Tea Party” is a Trojan horse for the next round of Culture Wars.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  197. atypical

    they may have had an impact, but I'm not impressed with the impact they have made.
    overall, the T. Party is too radical, want to push their morals on to others and tend to think in terms of "me"consciousness, as opposed to "we" consciousness.
    they are in general an emotionally immature group, thinking too much in black and white.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  198. Nunya

    Such a short term focus you present. The tea party is the latest swell of American populist "I'm not happy with how things are going" complainers. It has resulted in several movements through our history and while they may be studied in history books, they rarely have any substantive effect. The tea party will fade from the scene in a few short years without accomplishing any of their goals, because enough voters can be whipped into a fury for only so long before they get distracted from paying attention to politics and go back to the trivialities of daily life...

    August 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  199. John C.

    I live in Point Pleasant Beach in New Jersey. Here is my comment: Tea party members advocate anti-socialism orthodoxy, and that opinion is respected. However, they have to be honest with people and tell them that Social security and Medicare are very large socialist programs. If they are against socialism, then they should advocate the repeal of Social Security and Medicare. You cannot have it both ways: You cannot say that you hate socialist ideas and at the same time be for the biggest socialist programs in the world, i.e. US social security and medicare. Let them call for the repeal of those programs, and let the American Public judge them on that.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  200. MYSTERIOUS

    They are a mean-spirited, not-thinking-past-tomorrow group of Americans. Where were they between 2001-2008 when their guy, GWB, was sending our soldiers off to foreign lands to die with us paying the price? Where were they when their guy, GWB, initiated tax cuts for the rich?

    They came out with an African American became president, and tried to help those who their guy, GWB, inflected the most sorry.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  201. micah

    It's had an amazing effect. Amazing in that it only takes 60 anarchist imbeciles to wreck the entire world economy. Bloomington, IL

    August 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  202. Ralph

    Yes, the Tea Party zealots have made a difference; all of it Negative.

    For example, the stock market is down more than 1,000 points, and is STILL falling. And the Chinese credit agency, has downgraded the USA crediting rating today to "A" as a result of the recent Tea Party Brinkmanship. The markets in Europe also look increasingly bleak, in no small part due to the ramifications of the selfish Tea Party bullies.

    So thanks to all the Tea Party Thugs who either didn't care about the consequences of their obstruction, or, were quoted to say they didn't believe there would be a consequence to the federal deficit from their obstruction.

    So as the ramifications of higher interest rates quickly filter down, just watch and see how everything will get more expensive for everyone. Up to and including making the federal deficit larger without spending a single penny more!

    Sadly, I doubt the Tea Party bullies care about the consequences of their Brinkmanship to the USA. Indeed, I believe the Tea Party is proud of what has happened, given the fact they are NOT Patriots, but are actually ANARCHIST⁠S.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  203. Jimmy

    I believe that the Tea Party is the single biggest threat to the USA.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  204. Chris Dawson

    I think their goal, collectively, is a good one – but they want it too fast. It is a goal that needs to be reached through a thoughtful process – you can't stop a supertanker on a dime.

    The real problem is that our country got greedy by our own hand from our own prosperity and we wanted more, more, more. That is essentially what is driving jobs overseas. We don't necessarily need a Tea party, but rather, some self discipline to keep what previous generation have fought, and died for. Patriotism can mean "keep jobs and skills in the US" not just the typical "Don't tread on me" rhetoric these guys spurt, and not the global exploitation at the expense of our own citizens. "Don't tread on me" can also be applicable to those really prospering by sending our jobs overseas.

    Chris Dawson
    Los Angeles, CA

    August 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  205. Kurt, Sacramento CA

    The crazies have taken over the asylum...

    August 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  206. BD70 - Webster NY

    My impression? They took a sledge hammer and went to DC swinging. Ok now what...they have totally ruined the recovery. More people have lost jobs....and they keep swinging.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  207. Richard

    Want to thank them - just love what the stock market did today. The debt deal has created more doubt, not less. And, as Time pointed out, it looks like it will exacerbate the income disparity and that means only the wealthy have money to spend. How many BMW's and Tiffany rings can they buy to move this economy along?

    August 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  208. Ronda (from Canastota, NY)

    You're right, Jack. The Tea Party came to Washington and did exactly what they planned. They disrupted our government's business, divided the Republican party buy putting a "reasonable doubt" in their minds (a la Casey Anthony) and disappointed everyone with the result. This debt deal fiasco is a prime example of what a 3-party system can do. The two parties we have now can't agree to anything as it is, and the Tea Party just makes things worse.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  209. nancy

    Tea Party????? a group of crazies that have set out to destroy America as we know it.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  210. larry hernandez

    Negative effect to one and all. The divison in th is country was born
    when Mr Bush 'stole' the election from Al Gore and continued to grow
    under the influence of hate groups including the tea party. They are
    as unamerican as you can get, this has been apparent through their
    hate rallies (PALIN) and through their no compromise attuide no
    matter how harmful not resolviing would kill the economy.
    It looks like the stock market and global markets are losing faith on
    our ability to govern and make sane decesions, thanks Tea Party
    for creating more heart-ache for the American People.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  211. evelin

    crazy hostage takers with no grip of realty!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  212. Truthwillsetyoufree

    You've got to be joking if you think there is any good coming of this twisted, not even the same issue, Tea Party. The name Tea Party was a good thing back in the day but this one is corrupt and destined to kill the American dream. Its making the dream only for those who already have it. If you do not think there will be an uprising, I'm afraid your wrong. This cannot go on much longer... Its embarrassing to have this kind of person given any credence in this country. What has gone wrong. Did the hippie kids get brain damage from their parents drugs? My parents taught me how to respect others and help bring the world up. These peoples parents must have been drunk and not at home. This is so wrong in so many ways and it just keep going. The rest of the world gets lifted out of darkness and we get lowered into it. Sad state of affairs...

    August 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  213. Michael Roepke

    If changing the country is the goal, then you are on the right track Jack. But, remember that small group that once had training camps in Afghanistan? They did more to change the world than the T-Party could ever accomplish. But is anyone happy with the change?

    August 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  214. jmusician

    The Tea Party was founded on certain premises that they seem to believe are basic truths such as low taxes will spur economic growth, wealth trickles down, and government can`t do anything right. I see no evidence to support any of these assumptions. In fact, in every case I have every reason to believe the opposite is true. Taxes are now, and have been for quite some time at their lowest rates in 50 years. Disparity of income has grown to levels not seen since the days of the robber barons, and social security, medicare and medicaid are extremely popular programs and medicare, for example, has overhead costs much lower than anything the private sector has managed to do. Where is the growth from low taxes. Where is the trickle down? Where is the cost efficiency from the private sector? The Tea Party believes in the tooth fairy.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  215. sixtyeight

    You can fight City Hall transparently using the established rules and regulations, and those too can be changed. The Koch brothers however don't operate by the rules of democracy.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  216. Walter

    I am so tired of hearing about how the Tea Party has "taken over" the government. As Cafferty mentions it's only 60 out of 435 House members. If people don't like the what the Tea Party is doing, they should blame their fellow libs in the House, Senate, and White House, who apparently have no backbone.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  217. Carol Sjoberg

    I think the Tea Party has had a disastrous effect on our country. They are focusing only on their unrealistic , out-of-touch philosophy and don't give a damn about what's best for our country. I hope they're all defeated at election time.

    Carol Sjoberg
    Corsicana, Texas

    August 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  218. Joel W

    The tea party members of Congress have proven to us how cowardly the other members of Congress and the executive truly are. Joel W – Pennsylvania

    August 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  219. Mike Erickson, MSgt (USAF) (Ret)

    It appears that the most Tea Party members have not experienced having to depend on government help just to make ends meet. I agree that entitlement programs need better management and ways to rein in abuse and fraud, but don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
    Before congress cuts any entitlement programs they should make equal cuts in their own retirement package and other perks for past, present, and future members. This would not save a great deal of money, but would show the American people they are willing to share the pain.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  220. Kris

    Looks like tea is getting cold. May be its time for iced tea party with better economic sense.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  221. Mike The American

    About time.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  222. Dave in Cincinnati

    They have been instrumental in bringing the debt issues to the forefront. Finally the average American is becoming aware of just how big a mess our elected representatives (from both parties) have made of our country's finances. Like them or hate them we should all be thankful for representatives that are willing to stand by their principles instead of compromising just to get a bill passed – or some pork for their district or to payback for their supporters. What is good for the country may or may not be good for a particular industry, union, lobbying group, etc. Most of our elected officials simply do not understand this.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  223. Josh Gonzalez

    You call death threats, vandalism, and harassment a recipe for success? I'd hate to eat in your kitchen.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  224. kathryn costantino

    the effect of the tea party on the federal government? we are seeing it already – the stock market is tumbling and we are heading toward a double-dip recession.
    Los Angeles, CA

    August 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  225. ToGettherWeStand

    What the debt ceiling has taught us, is taht the Tea Party's interpretation of small government is a roadblock to economical recovery.

    We need "problem solvers" in Washington, not a small group of "troublemakers" that believe they know best and therefore completely close themselves to any negotiation or compromise.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  226. Peter

    The Tea Party's insistence on controlling the debt by 100% cuts and absolutely NO tax increases for ANYONE, is dangerous. GE reportedly paid little or no taxes on record profits last year. Certain CEOs are pulling 20-30-40 million a year, including stock. We have never had the working class and the upper executives so far apart. Tea Party people don't seem to understand the big gap and want NO tax reform (if it means increases) for anybody at all.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  227. Tom Donat

    Here is the simple truth:
    If you earn more than $250,000 annually – vote straight Rebublican.

    If you make less than $250,000 – vote straight Democratic. If you do not follow that clear divide, you are voting against your interests.

    If you belive that the Tea party agenda actually serves anyone except the super rich, you are simply not paying attention. The middle class in America is an endangered species. It will disappear after Medicare and Social Security are gutted by the Tea Party extremists.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  228. MiamiDade

    Tea party doesn't do anything but create havoc and division even within its mother party the GOP. They misinform the nation and manipulate the media, the polls and most of their claims are baseless. I feel sorry for the people who let themselves be influenced by these tea baggers.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  229. michael from bartlett IL.

    Jack,

    While the tea party actually accomplished certain spending cuts it did so by holding an up and down vote on the debt ceiling that was never done till Aug 2nd. This was brinkmanship at its finest and if you ask them it did not go far enough. I agree on a balanced budget perse but at the revenue they envision will not work unless we are at 5% unemployment or less. Get us back to the Clinton administration revenues and then we can speak about capping spending with a trigger to raise spending on cases like a deep recession. Forget about Planned Parenthood and remember a smaller govt. requires a robust economy which we are far from. The party is too far right for me however it remains to be seen if their effect is helpful rather than hurtful.

    Michael

    August 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  230. Frustrated

    Jack,
    the Tea Party is what, 10% of the country throwing a two year old tamper-tantrum because they want their way. Majority of these people atke advantage of what is country has to offer, even though they don't need it.

    If the Tea Party candidates really want to make government smaller, they would be turning down the benefits offered them and putting that money towards the debt.

    They would be donating their government earnings toward the debt. They can afford to do that, instead, they are trying to take it away from the poor, so they can pad their pockets more. Come on wake up America!!!! Anyone who is making over a million dollars a year and keeps their government money is not!!!!looking out for our country!!!
    ONLY THEIR BACK POCKET!!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  231. tkogrady

    I just wish they were strictly fiscal conservatives. If they were, I would be right there with them. But then we start mixing in the social conservativism and it goes off the rails for me – – smaller government, but one that still should dictate a state sanctioned moral code – not my cup of tea.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  232. Jim, San Antonio

    The Tea Party is the equivalent of 1930's Germany's National Socialist Party. While this may be politically incorrect to say, it is nevertheless true.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  233. Chris

    Domestic terrorists. Hostage takers. They get what they want and still vote against it. They would allow us to default because they didn't understand what default was.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  234. Joe A. Moreno, Jr.

    Added another layer of roadblocks. Their unwillingness to comprise on issues just caused delays. At the end of the day the agreements hammered out were pretty close to what was first put on the table. Anytime you have an extreme group pushing their agenda and not willing to listen or comprise, and with an, "my way or the highway attitude", leads to conflict and hate. This country ought to be ashamed of how we treat our senior citizens. If the wealthy are willing to do their part and pay additional taxes, what is wrong in letting them. Instead we want to take money away from the elderly, that they cannot afford it. What a crime.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  235. Kurtinco

    Tea party in modern terms: nothing less than a narrow-minded, super-charged, terrorist insurgency determined to weaken the United States and empower China and the global conglomerates watering at the mouth to do business there without regard to wages and workers' rights, environment and civic responsibility. In short, they are economic terrorists. And like all terrorists, they must be stopped at all costs before they do serious long-term damage that will forever relegate the United States to a second rate power.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  236. Buffalo Bill

    I'm confident this is just the beginning of a long-term ,and significant impact the Tea Party will have on the the USA. The 2012 elections will be a great opportunity for the Republicans to take control of both the Senate & Presidency.....then we can look for true reductions in govt. spending to reduce the deficit, coupled with econiomic growth that will increase tax revenues, without having to increase tax rates!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  237. Dab

    They are total whack jobs that are completely ignorant of how to run a country and they have put equally ignorant representatives in seats that should be occupied by intelligent, educated, and reasonable people. The real problem with the Tea Party is that it gets media attention. I have difficulty envisioning Walter Cronkite looking at them and thinking "Yes, this is important news."

    August 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  238. musician

    The Tea Party was founded on certain premises that they seem to believe are basic truths such as; low taxes will spur economic growth, wealth trickles down, and government can`t do anything right. I see no evidence to support any of these assumptions. In fact, in every case I have every reason to believe the opposite is true. Taxes are now, and have been for quite some time, at their lowest rates in 50 years. Disparity of income has grown to levels not seen since the days of the robber barons, and social security, medicare and medicaid are extremely popular programs and medicare, for example, has overhead costs much lower than anything the private sector has managed to accomplish. Where is the growth from low taxes? Where is the trickle down? Where is the cost efficiency from the private sector? The Tea Party believes in the tooth fairy.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  239. Julie from Illinois

    Jack,
    I think one of the reasons the markets are in a free fall is because we have a group like the tea party that think compromise is a bad word. What we are going to have to do to get the market stabalized – the tea party isn't going to like. Will the rest of the GOP have the guts to stand up to them? That is the question.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  240. Alan Scott

    After 30 years of trickle down economics it is interesting that after 2.5 years of a different approach we are ready to allow control of our country to go back to the cut taxes and increase our deficit Tea Party. If we cut taxes all together maybe that would drive revenue through the roof, oh wait zero times any number equals zero. The next time there is a national disaster, we should fly the President into the ravaged area and he can declare that they need to get all their assistance from the local goverment and the rest of the country can't and won't help. The Tea Party is acting its age which is right around 2 years old because they are all about me and I and nothing about us, or we.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  241. John Davis

    Having gone through what happened with the State Government closing in Minnesota and the debt ceiling fiasco in Washington, I got a climps of what it is like to live in a dictatorship due to the actions of the Tea Party. Here is a very small group of people who through their radical behavior were able to control the live of millions. Perhaps the next election will force the American voter to be a little more intelligent in their thought process.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  242. Larry Huber

    The effect of the Tea Party has been to show the world how a small group of officials funded by the wealthy (Koch brothers and King Grover) can bring America to the brink of default. Hopefully, this will show the rest of America how to elect people with America as their best interest, not themselves, but I doubt it!

    Larry
    Noth Las Vegas, NV

    August 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  243. mark

    America was designed without a "political class". Term limits and "commoners" in power are the only way to fix DC.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  244. Sara Jean from Texas

    The Tea Party is controlled by big business corporate interests like Wal Mart and the Koch Brothers, whether they reailze it or not. The Supreme Court's Citizen United Case has left us virtually defenseless to monyy buying candidates who have neither knowledge or common sense. We voters need to wake up from this nightmare before they eat us like monsters created by a financially backed Frankenstien.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  245. Kentucky

    Thank God the Tea Party was not around when our country was formed. Washington, Madison and other compromised to for a more perfect union. The tea party are like 8 year old boys who want ther way or will take the ball home and pout. If you are married, or in any relationship, do you get everything you want? The tea party is not healthy for Americas long run goals.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  246. chris

    something needs to be done now anot one year or even 10 years doen the road we all the american prpeople need to do something about our currupt govt we have

    August 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  247. Barbara L.

    I think the 60 Tea Party members looked absolutely silly themselves and endangered our economy and government. They are not to be admired at all. They are misguided and dangerous.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  248. Þorsteinn Halldórsson

    Having moved from the USA 7 years ago and having predicted this fiasco´s outcome to my friend back then as Bush 2 was squandering the country´s funds. I find it promising and at the same time sad that its this tea party bag that is succeeding. Educated and moderate Americans need to be more vocal and attack what has become a farce in Washington for 30+ years. The problem is to many lawyers making laws for lawyers in government and being chased by the lobby of corporations and special interest groups in the same halls they work. This by any other definition is called a monopoly and would not be allowed.
    America needs more parties and less control of elections by the 2 party system which pretty much controls the outcomes with – you guessed it funds from the corporations.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  249. todd

    They came to Washington to do a job. They tried but do to dead lines and other issues I feel they caved in somewhat. At the present time I don't think the 60 members of the Tea Party is worry about re-election. I still belived it time for term limits.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  250. mark pinter

    Jack,
    The tea party has challenged the republican party however they have no experience in governing. Most of them are angry and project that anger towards the general electorate in middle class america.
    In 2012 there will be a backlash against them in Wisconsin and other states and they will be like Palin-irrevelant?

    They are distroying the GOP.

    Mark
    Rosehill, Texas

    August 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  251. john C. Kelleher Jr.

    It’s about time; we had another party stand up and make a difference! Keep it up and we will finally change the way our Government does business. They will finally think about the people and not keeping their jobs.

    John

    August 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  252. MaryAnn Zebrowski

    The Federal Government was screwed up enough, Jack. Now we have a bunch of know nothings trying to become the "reformed" Republican party.
    The people need to take the bull by the horns and thik when they vote. Vote the man and not the party. Take a look at the Independents.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  253. Ron

    The reason why we are in this bad a shape is because you have one group of people who are uber passionate about their own positions and cannot reason beyond those ideals. This entire system of government is built on the premise that if you get intelligent (I use this term loosely), reasonable people in the same room to work on a problem together a compromise solution will be found that is better than any one person could devise.

    The problem we have is that there are about 60 members of congress that know that if their brethren Republicans, who are more moderate, do not kowtow to their beliefs that they will lose multiple seats in the house and senate thereby giving the dreaded “D”s too much power.

    You can’t be a good leader if you have a bunch of wing nuts that refuse to follow. In the end, the good leaders are the people that vote because we are the ones who are supposed to be the ultimate wielder of power. We are supposed to recognize who should be in power and ultimately we will decide if the idiots in congress should all be replaced.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  254. Jason

    Well Jack, I didn't think they were very responsible in handling the debt ceiling. I do give them credit for making a stand although it was the wrong stance. Where were they for the employees of the FAA? On vacation. The focus should be growth. Millions out of work.. Thousands more on the horizion. We need jobs. If they want to make a difference, they should work on keeping companies here in America and creating good jobs. How many foreign companies have production plants in U.S? My future view of USA is a shell of its former self.
    Jason
    West Chester Pa

    August 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  255. JB from NC

    Jack, TP had negative impression on me, they spurred the free fall we see today on wall street and my 401K suffered as well. We all know Washington needs to be changed but lets do it from the middle not the extreme sides. No one wants a big government, but what will happen to our economy when this smaller goverment puts all these federal people on unemployment and welfare??

    August 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  256. Yajiv Edag

    It is evident that these 60 are not politicians. Which means they can be easily fooled by razor skilled politicians like Reid/Boehner/McConnell/Schumer. I am sure there are some folks already building a strategy to bring these 60 unintelligent people down. The wolf always gets it's sheep.
    -Yajiv

    August 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  257. Mark in Las Vegas

    The Tea Party has left the impression on me that the majority no longer rule in the United States. The Minority now rule. The Tea Party has cost the US a great deal in our reputation the we can rule ourselves. The rest of the world is looking at us like we are freaks.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  258. Frank

    The Tea Party has one agenda and that is to be anti-government I see them as a problem not a solution. Anyone can stir the pot, but someone needs to actually have the recipe and they certainly don't. If you attend one of thier rallies you would see that half of them are over 65.
    Which means half of them are on Social Security and Medicare, yet they are opposed to Government programs. Maybe they should take a look in the mirror. They are opposed to the programs they benefit from. They should put their money where their mouth is and donate their Social Security checks back and start paying their own medical bills.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  259. Joan Phelps

    I believe the tea party only cares about how much power they have and what they can do with it. They do not care whether what they want is good or bad for the country. Their attitude is "we have the power and we're going to wield it." Hopefully the people in this country realize that these people are dangerous and will recall the ones they can and not vote any more in.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  260. Steve K

    I think the Tea Party learned a lesson from the Obama campaign. The Obama campaign offered "change" with sufficient ambiguity that voters could read into it whatever change they wanted. Yet Obama couldn't be attacked on the details of the change because the details weren't there. The Tea Party promises a different set of generalized ideals, without specifying any details. People can rally around smaller government because the see it as their personal interpretation of smaller government. And the Tea Party itself has no details, so any details offered by a specific Tea Party candidate that are objectionable can be dismissed as that specific candidate's interpretation, but not a Tea Party issue. Same amount of ambiguity, just different general ideas.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  261. Seresh Major

    Jack that's exactly what we need. A bunch of inflexible factions fighting for position in congress. I think the turmoil this would cause would make today's congress seem like it's moving like a NASCAR pit crew. A democracy can't exist without compromise. We've been down this road before. Remember that thing called the Civil War.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  262. Lauren, Plano, TX

    Sometimes it takes radical positions to foster change. That being said, my sense is the the timing and vehemence of the Tea Party, with it's hard right, "take no prisoners" approach, may have caused caused permanent collateral damage to the United States and its citizens.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  263. Mark From Akron, Ohio

    Quite simple. They are now and will ultimately ruin this country. Why? Because their ideology comes first and the country second. Too much of any one thing is toxic. Balance is always the solution.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  264. Matthew Bogard

    Small groups of people labeled "misfits" have been able to change the course of history, often. We only need to look at the founding of our Nation, or the rise of Nazi Germany. The Tea People want to repeal the laws passed by FDR and take us back to a time of "all persons for themselves." I say, mail in your Social Security check, for starters, Tea People.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  265. Old Guy

    A total negative. They are not interested in running an efficient federal government, but in the destruction of any part of it they don't like. They do not understand the consequences of their actions and I fear the next few years will become worse because of their actions. They cause more devision with their lies and my way or the highway mentality.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  266. R. Dixon

    The Tea Party has caused Washington to be less productive and helpful to people. At a time when the middle class is hurting the most, we have a bunch a yahoos in Washington who do not listen to experts. They think they know it all! There are people who have actually brought the country out of recession (during the Clinton years), and these financial experts disagree with everything the Tea Party wants done . They are the meanest group of so called Christians I have every seen in my life, and they will be the downfall of America – Not Barak Obama. They are like a giant plug, everything they get near doesn't move forward – it just gets stuck!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  267. Dick Davenport

    The people that make up the Tea Party are totally into themselves – they are all "takers" not "givers" They want to keep rewarding the rich (the "job creators" – ha! How is that working out?), Big Business, Oil Companies and their elitest, white, religous based bigoted cronies.

    Every reasonable person on the planet sees that we need to cut stupid spending, end wars and protect our so called "entitlement" programs (what does entitlement mean? Sounds like its some kind of gift – I pay premiums for that coverage so where is my "product"?). And we can't get out of our hole without raising revenues from those that have the most. And those that have the most have BILLIONS individually and tens of MILLIONS minimally. Screw them. Take their money and right this ship!

    Tell Boehner to send in his tanning and country club golf fees to the Treasury. Be an example!

    Oh – and stay the hell out of our bedrooms and keep your religious views to yourselves. You are all hypocrites anyway on those issues – aren't you Gingrich? I've had enough Jimmy Swaggart moments, with these political pontificating clowns, in my lifetime!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  268. James

    The tea party has reduced, through total ignorance of facts, the chances of any compromise or progress to near zero for this country. Great job!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  269. Tony

    You may think that the Tea Party did a great job, but what they did was destroy the reputation of our great country. We all made this mess of the economy and yet not all is willing to help correct it. That doesn't seem to me that the Tea Party did anything but protect the wealthy and embarrass America. It seems to me that Osama Bin L. is still alive and he is running the Republican and Tea party – hold us hostage and keep us in bondage to do as the minority says. The Future looks bad...........

    Tony,
    Tulsa, OK

    August 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  270. Lawrence Pence

    If the spending continues unabated, while our national debt continues to grow, world history tells us the consequences are dire, and this country will no longer exist as the great nation we have come to believe it is. MAY GOD BLESS THE TEA PARTY, then once again we can hope He will bless the United States of America!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  271. Eli

    I'm the most amazed how the Tea Party were able to change the Debt Ceiling bill to favor the right without even voting in favor of the bill. I admire them how they are sticking to their principles. Call me stupid,Terrorist etc, I won't budge of what I feel is the right thing for America. Look, love us or hate us, whoever votes for the Teaparty atleast knowes what he his voting for. Americans, let me break the news to you. Our only way out of this mess is to Realy Cut Spending, to the extend that it shouldn't be worthwhile anymore not to overwork. (everyone knowes what I mean). Shrink goverment, dramatically reduce regulations that don't even make sence. I'll give you a simple example I've just come across, (I dont even know if this is Federal or State) If you establish an LLC you have to publish it for like $100 in a newspaper. What the Heck is that all about? now, this is just small numbers, Get my point? Politicians just bud out!!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  272. Bill Crutchfield

    Disaster!!!

    Roxbury, ME

    August 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  273. Elaine M. Hensen

    The effects of the Tea Party are: Total paralysis of the United States, negativity, less $ to take care of the people's business, power in one man's hands (Nordquist), the selling of this country down the river, less compromise, frustration that a few can hold the many hostage.....shall I go on?

    August 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  274. Lorie

    The Tea Party has been instrumental in bringing out the lack of respect that some people have for other people in this country. They speak of those that use entitlement programs as if they are filth and do their best to bully people into adopting their worldview. I consider myself an independent or a "demopublican" due to my beliefs on what government should or should not do, but I am an American first and foremost and I find there actions repugnant and disgraceful. Where were they and their "pro-american" stance prior to President Obama being elected?? Why now?? Why him?? If they think that I and other Americans don't see through this sick joke they are playing on this country they have another thing coming. This next election season will be another story all together. As far as I'm concerned, it's ON!!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  275. alan crowell

    We are a country of idiots who naturally elect a high percentage of idiots to represent us. The tea party is the latest example. They sign pledges, which would be great if they were boy scouts, rather than governing responsibly. Very few people take the time to research an issue and clearly understand the impact of whatever action is taken. The typical American voter or government complainer gets there information from sound bites, TV ads or the opinions of the myriad of talking heads who could care less what is good for the country...only what is good for their pocketbook. The tea party does not have a plan. Reducing spending is not a plan it is an action. Being strong armed by another idiot ,who has no place influencing what an elected representative should do, to not raise taxes under any circumstance is irresponsible and need I say idiotic. The tea party has clearly had an effect, only because those who know better don't have the guts to stand up for what is best for this country, since it may effect their ability to be reelected.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  276. Dave R.

    Jack; As with many things, they are good for you when used in moderation but they bad for you when used in excess. I would hope the majority of people feel that the old saying "Be careful what you wish for...." is true here. The Tea Party is just way too extreme for me and I would hope many others.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  277. Susan from Idaho

    Jack the communist party could make a difference. We have been in a down hill spiral for years. Too bad the the little coffee clatch that sprung up didn't have what was best for everyone on their agenda.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  278. rene

    The TP is nothing more than a band of thug terrorists who should be recalled, impeached, and tried for treason. They want to country to fail because they can't stand the fact that Obama is the first Black American president.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  279. Steven

    Yes, enough people banding together, even temporrily, can have an effect. But that doesn't require being well-informed or thinking of consequences. The Tea Party exhibited to willingnes to sacrifice in order to achieve the diametrically opposed aims of reducing our income (tax revenues) at the same time as achieving a balanced budget. Many feel that only programs they don't depend on or otherwise like (such as the Defense Department) will be cut.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  280. Pat Ludy

    Tea Party started out about taxes..how to change to be more equitable. Corrupted by parties who want everyone to bow to their particular brand of ideals. Their way or no way. It has been a disaster for our country. We are now the laughing stock of the world with the circus caused.

    I am an Independent, 79, white, retired computer instructor. Originally from MA; now living in NC. Grew up with politics and football. Never have I been so disgusted with a group of narrow minded idiots.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  281. Nick

    You mean a group of people that has terrified the federal government by demanding it operate within its means as opposed to acting as if the American people are their unappreciated cash slaves. I guess that's why the vice president and other democrats refer to them as terrorists.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  282. Jim

    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

    Who thinks it’s possible to govern a country of 350 Million people with “small” government. If they can close of the Department of Agriculture soon we can have a sale on ground turkey!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  283. el rob o

    Jack, the Tea Party is here to stay. And everytime you or other liberals refer to them as terrorists or extremists, they grow stronger! Thanks for the insults! So much for that cry for civility you all asked for.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  284. MightyFudge

    Just because you can, doesn't mean you should...

    August 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  285. Darron R. Brown, M.D.

    This very far-right wing of the Republican Party has dictated the workings of Congress by fear tactics. I'm disappointed in the majority of Congress (both Republican and Democratic) who can't stand up to them. President Obama is the only sane one person in Washington, in my opinion.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  286. marybeth, massachusetts

    Jack,

    My impression of the effect of the "tea party" has had on the federal gov't is one of astonishment (not in a good way) and dismay. This right-wing radical faction of the Republican party has a few small goal:
    1.) end life in the U.S. as we know it by eliminating the middle class;
    2.) create a new U.S. based on an aristocracy/oligarchy/plutocracy in which a very small portion of the population (upper 1%-2%) hold ALL of the wealth and power;
    3.) eliminate the federal government in favor of states' rights;
    4.) put women back in the Dark Ages in terms of rights;

    The tea party doesn't know the meaning of the word "compromise"; they don't care about the elderly, women, children, minorities, veterans, and other disadvantaged groups–they have a vision of the U.S. being an evangelical, right-wring CHRISTIAN country living according to the way they interpret the Bible and wish to go back to the original Constitution–the one in effect before women were given the right to vote and before the Civil War. It is their way or no way at all. That isn't how to govern, that's a dictatorship.

    The tea party has forgotten or never learned history–they've forgotten about what we had before the Constitution–the Articles of Confederation, in which states were strong and the federal gov't was weak. Remember how well that worked out–Daniel Shays and his local militia marched with their guns to Springfield, MA; his rebellion was put down and the Constitution was written shortly afterwards, recognizing that having 13 states with 13 different gov'ts, 13 different currencies, policies, laws, regulations, etc. didn't work.

    I'm thoroughly disgusted with the tea party, who come across as an uneducation, misinformed, spoiled, ENTITLED, rabble of whiny toddlers who never learned how to share or how to play together. I'd like to smack all of their parents on their heads. I only hope that enough Americans feel the same to vote them out in the next election, but I fear that many people will develop short memories or are even more ignorant than the tea party.

    We're doomed, rapidly heading for 4th world country status, and the tea party is gleeful about it.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  287. Dave Tidwell

    Where's the Common Sense Party? Nobody in Washington shows any evidence this basic virtue. Not the Democrates, Republicans or Tea's. They all have extreme agendas and refuse to budge even when it's obvious that they should. We need a basic financial restructuring that includes some cuts, tax code reform and, in some cases, tax increases. Until and unless that happens we will have economic instability and probably another recession. Change will involve pain and sacrafice for everyone. Most of us normal people recognize this. Why not Congress?

    August 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  288. Larry Stillwater, MN

    The Tea Partiers have had the effect of starting our country down the path of Third World Countryhood. They ignore the long term ill effects 3 decades of tax-cutting have already had on our infrastructure. It appears they also long for the days when our rivers caught fire, our food was tainted and killing or maiming a few workers was an acceptable cost of doing business. Queen Tea Michele Bachmann represents my district and I can tell you all she cares about is the rich and getting herself elected. Sadly, I'm too old to emigrate to Canada.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  289. Tony from Ajax, Ontario

    The Tea Party are like that one screaming kid back in school that ruins trips for the entire class. He is loud, unreasonable, stubborn and doesn't represent the majority of the class. This is a sad example that being loud is more important than being reasonable.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  290. Terry- Greensburg, IN "Hoosier Hillbilly"

    Tea party movement members said they would go to Washington and work for smaller government, lower taxes, less spending and a general disengagement of the federal government from our everyday lives.

    That 'pretty much' says it all buddy – I'm with them 100%. It's basically the same thing Ron Paul has been saying for years but not it's got "clot!"

    Does give some daylight @ the end of the tunnel if:
    THIS HAPPENS ( but will it)
    Vote in enough numbers for the people you believe in and can trust, and who knows what might be possible.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  291. Shawn Lowry - Grand Rapids, MI

    I respect that the 'Tea Party' freshmen have held their ground on what they stand for and that they vote their principles. However, in the midst of it all it seems they are allowing their immaturity to get in the way of good governance. In the end, I think my daughter described it best on her Facebook page..."If our leadership is a true representation of us then their actions in the past few weeks have shown us all to be a bunch of whining children crying because we can't ALL have ice cream with our dinner." I don't mind ANYBODY changing the dialogue in that whacked-out city but let's just hope the Tea Partyers get past the 'Terrible Twos' quickly as it will be good when they can have an adult conversation...

    August 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  292. Sam

    The problem with the Tea Party is not just that they are a collection of some of the most ignorant and un-educated individuals in our society who have gathered to be easily manipulated by powerful interests. But the real problem is the fear held by even the media and society to call these people out for their ignorance, stupidity, and blindness. How is any society suppose to operate efficiently when the members controlling it can"t even spell society? They are a cancer on our political system, and a cancer on society.

    Tell you what, since they were all elected supposedly to bring back the jobs, why don't you talk about how many jobs bills were created since Jan 1st.? Better yet why not compare the number of bills they have processed to day and compare that to 2006 at this time? Enough said.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  293. crazyvic

    Whether we like it or not I think the 'Tea party' is changing the way Washington use to do business. For once ,all spending must go the right way and some 'loopholes' must need to be revised, including 'wasteful spendigng'. During the next elections People must elect their reps to follow what they expect people elected them to do. Mr. Obama lack of leadership during this 'debt ceiling' issue was so weak that the market are responding now to those weaknesses sinking down the stock market.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  294. Rob W.

    Change is required in Washington but Tea Party not the best suited to carry it out. It is bound by fundamentalist principles on every side which will make it impossible to carry out any real change in areas that require philosophical or cultural plurality. This will regularly challenge it's adherence to constitutional principles regarding freedom of religion and the separation of church and state, will tend to exclude any who do not share their principles in a precise manner and everything will be interpreted through a narrow cultural scope under the an anachronistic and misguided definition of universal righteousness. The fundamentalist core of the Tea Party will invariably produce a plethora of hypocritical behavior (the defining characteristic of members of any social philosophy, especially a strict or detailed moral philosophy, is a higher incidence of deviation) They will be singularly prone to internal collapse due to narrow field of views and interpretation they allow themselves.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  295. Midwest Guy

    Yup, the TP is making a difference the same way a two year old in a restaurant screaming and kicking makes a difference. We were already in a slow down, the artificial squabble over debt ceiling applied the brakes (to the tune of $3B in extra costs to refinance the debt for a couple of weeks). That being said the TP is serving a purpose, they are pointing out how completely inept most of the congress-critters really are, "except mine, of course, he's good at pork procurement". But seriously folks, it's not even about pork and ear marks any more - the purpose is to protect the ultra wealthy. Sharpen them thar pitchforks, I'll fayer up the torches.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  296. Christian

    I'm a fan of democracy. There is no one I'd vote into office that would be willing to bring the country to its knees in order to ensure my minority view. Hopefully the next voting cycle will bring back debate and compromise to our government.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  297. Steve Matlin

    They are the movie Idiocracy, they represent society that emphasizes anti-intellectualism, and the love of popularity over rational thought!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  298. james kent

    The House and Senate need to realix they can be replaced. They olaying us and our lives like were brain dead . Americans need to band together for the good of the country and kill that cancer of irresponsibility that is being displayed.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  299. bunkai Winnipeg

    unfortunately it proved that extreme ideology cannot govern. a small faction holding the country hostage until it gets what it wants is insane! look what's happening to the global economy because of these 'terror' tactics.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  300. Disgusted

    The Tea Party has done nothing but cause chaos. They may have good ideas but their style of government destroyed our economy once again. It wasn't great but things had not gotten worse until this debt deal business. I believe it was done for ELECTION purposes only. ANYTHING to bring President Obama down (one term president). I think that is disgusting. It made Americans look like idiots and was very embarrassing. I hope that republicans like John McCain speak out against such politics and stand for something rather than doing or saying whatever it takes to get re-elected!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  301. victor

    The tea party in power would be the death of America. Like all extremist regimes that put agenda before the general well being of their country, they would destroy America. We don't usually see the things that bind us and make us a nation, but once someone starts making those parts of our lives targets of partisan attacks, the edifice of the nation will crumble.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  302. Jarrod Rager

    Like other grass roots political movements, the Tea Party began with good intentions and gave voice to issues not at the front of the political discussion. Then, like all the other grass roots movements that get large enough, it was Co-Opted by the mainstream political party closest to its agenda. Unfortunately, many who claim the tea party name have little to no idea about libertarianism or really have the slightest desire to see libertarian policy enacted. I love greater political involvement, what scares me is we normally don't see more intelligent political involvement.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  303. Alan in Los Angeles

    The effect that the Tea Party is having on Washington is less important than the effect it is having on American society. To me, the Tea Party movement is a reaction to the 2008 election. In short, people know that if they become motivated enough, they can change Washington. While it takes hard work to go out and galvanize communities into action, it is possible to have an effect, for better or for worse.

    Personally I hope the Tea Party focuses harder on defense spending. We spend more on defense than anyone else. And we've seen with the killing of OBL that small groups of special forces are effective in facing the challenges we have today. The amount we spend countering the cold war of yesterday only weakens us in the economic battles of today.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  304. Liam

    Politicians who go to Washington and do what they promised to do are a dying breed. We need more of them.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  305. Roy Pase, Magalia, CA

    Their effect is all BAD! The republicans & George Bush got us in this mess with an unnecessary war & big tax cuts for all his rich buddies & the tea party people. They fight the President at ever angle. Why aren't the tea party complaining about the proposed cuts in Medicare & SS as they were doing during the medical debates. Pres. Obama's biggest mistake was last Dec when he should have let the Bush tax cuts expire & then proposed new tax cuts for the people that need & deserve them & then let the republicans block them so lower income people would know who their FRIENDS in Washington really are!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  306. Mike H.

    Their effect is similar to that of the folks that ushered in the dark ages in Europe. The attempt to follow their flawed religious and political ideologies, if they are successful, will result in a slowdown in human progress and will significantly lower the average human standard of living. The weak human mind has proven it far prefers to cling to false stories and ignore fact in place of reacting intelligently to reality because pleasant ignorance is easier than informed problem-solving.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  307. Stig

    The effect is that we had a broken government before but now the TEA party has smashed it so it will be harder to get anything done.
    CA, San Francisco

    August 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  308. ShirleynTexas

    Jack,
    I think the Tea Party has done nothing positive for our country. They have brought racism back to the forefront, they have created more seperation between the Democrats and Republicans and have made a mockery of our political system. Their an embarrassment to our country. I would like to see them all boarded on a ship and dropped out to sea.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  309. Tom

    While I understand your point, we also have to look at what the Tea Party is doing. There's "taking back the country" and then there's "bulldozing the situation in total ignorance". With little to no understanding of economics, the Tea Party is forcing us to relive the mistakes of budget-balancing from the Great Depression which led to a double dip.

    And, for their representatives to hold the raising of the debt ceiling hostage to force this mistake is inexcusable. They damn near defaulted us just to be heard. I'm all for people getting organized and trying to make a difference but this group is a disaster for the US as a whole. Death to the Tea Party.

    Tom
    Atlanta, GA

    August 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  310. Mark

    Effective government must be negotiation and compromise between parties. It's bad enough that the Republicans and Democrats find it hard to compromise but add the hard line Tea Party and compromise is unheard of. Without compromise there is no effective government. Bend over and swallow hard cause 435 are gonna give it to 300 million again and again

    August 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  311. Cindy Jordan

    Jack, it's been my impression that the tea party has added to the general rancor and partisanship in Washington. Their freshman House Republicans are making our country look even more foolish to the world than usual (if that's even possible). They act like babies who hold their breath until they get their way. I'm all for a third party in American politics but this tea party seems to be populated by people who want to retool a government system they don't understand in the least.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  312. Daryl

    Those 60 members represent more of middle America than the 435. My impression? Thank God! Finally someone gets it!

    August 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  313. Dianne Wickes, Champaign, IL

    "It is possible to fight Washington."

    *Fighting* Washington shouldn't be the point. *Fixing* Washington would make things better for everyone. What the Tea Party just did made things worse; more polarized, more inflexible, more politically charged. And they accomplished their dangerous and damaging goals via political blackmail, not reasoned persuasion. That's not appropriate or beneficial behaviour, IMHO. I think Washington needs to change; I don't think the Tea Party is an asset to that change.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  314. Kevin in CA

    Forget the Federal Government – look at the stock market ... great job there guys !

    August 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  315. Ancient Texan

    You are correct. Without the emergence of the Tea Party, the attempt to slow spending and get the national back on firm financial footing would not have occured, at least not in this session of congress. There'll be an even larger push for a balanced budget following the 2012 elections.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  316. Nick

    The Tea Party means well. However I don’t think they think rationally. Their unwillingness to recognize facts that contradict their beliefs will be there downfall. Most of those 60 will be 1 term representatives. They won the debt battle but I believe there unwavering dedication to nonsensical ideals will bring the Tea Party experiment to an end.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  317. cal usa

    This is certainly not the first time the nation's political dlalogue has been taken over by a small but determined radical element. Have we forgotten McCarthysm? Then too we were driven to excesses based on fear and division. Then too we were told that only the true believers were the Real Americans. If we learn nothing from history we're just going to relive our mistakes every generation. The only thing these people have proven is that it is possible to destroy our democracy and create a Taliban-like replacement. All we need is arrogance, money and fear. Unfortunately, we may not have an Edward R. Murrow to bring us to our senses this time.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  318. Duane - St.Pete FL

    I think it's been a great force in moving our government back.....back to more of a role where states are able to decide that's best for that state and not the federal government. To many people look upon our federal government as a force to create fairness and to right some perceived wrong....that's not their role and life is not supposed to be fair. Maintain our armed forces and roads.....do not burden the populace with unfair taxes.....49% of people pay nothing in taxes. Libs want the "rich" to pay more but let the poor pay nothing....everyone should pay something....everyone.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  319. Alan

    I would HOPE that the effect they have is for America to pass a Constitutional amendment requiring a minimum IQ of 90 in order to be allowed to vote.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  320. Jan Newman

    The Tea party is sending the federal government down the drink. with their rigid idiological stands. How the Republicans as a whole can refuse reverse Bush era tax breaks for the wealthy is beyond me. These people are the ones with literally trillions of dollars on the side not investing in the US, all the while cutting more and more US jobs and the Tea Party just doesn't get it.
    WHen private enterprise refuses to invest in the US, the Federal government needs to stand up as in the New Deal. The Tea Party would rather the government and their fellow citizens drown.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  321. Seth

    This political fiasco is the predictable result of putting people who think government can do nothing well in charge of the government—they will always prove themselves right.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  322. Robert Zagrodzky

    The Tea Party is a breathe of fresh air. Some objectives are short sighted but their "big picture" to reduce the size of gov't is on the mark. The federal gov't is mostly inept at solving problems; education, energy, low cost housing, job creation (good at killing jobs=EPA), efficient operation of the federal gov't, transportation, etc. The Tea Party is that common sense to recognize when something is failing, get rid of it.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  323. Jacob Howard

    Regardless of your political views, you have to admire a politician who actually follows through on their promises. Once in a while, compromise is necessary, but comprimise is what brought us the 3/5ths compromise prior to the civil war. How about conviction for a change? Congrats to the Tea Party for proving that "politician" and "sellout" do not have to by synonymous.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm |