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Tea Party effect on 2012 elections?
August 23rd, 2011
01:01 PM ET

Tea Party effect on 2012 elections?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The national debt is increasing by an astounding $3 million a minute; $3 million. Meanwhile, President Obama and Congress are on vacation.

When the president took office in January 2009, the national debt was $10.6 trillion. Less than three years later, it's $14.6 trillion.

Obama has presided over the fastest, largest increase in the national debt in our country's history, something to be truly proud of.

Under President George W. Bush, the national debt increased by $4.9 trillion, but it took eight years to increase that much.

Obama has the distinction of putting us an additional $4 trillion in the hole in less than three years. And he's still talking about wanting to spend more. It's insane. These rates of borrowing are unsustainable. It is far and away the biggest problem we may have ever been faced with. Eventually, our country's survival will be at stake.

And whether anyone likes it or not, the tea party seems to be the only group that gets it. The group became a force during the midterm elections because of the growing national debt and the refusal of Washington to do anything about it.

In fact, the recent debt ceiling standoff was driven by a group of only 60 tea party members in the House of Representatives.

You can bet that the tea party will continue to ring the alarm bells as we head into the 2012 elections - and it should.

Because just remember this: In the time it would take you to listen to this Cafferty File segment - a minute and a half or so - our national debt increased by more than $5 million.

Here’s my question to you: What effect will the tea party have on the 2012 elections?

Tune in to “The Situation Room” at 5 p.m. to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.

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


Filed under: 2012 Election • Tea Party
soundoff (288 Responses)
  1. jen

    Its possible that we could get proper trade policy for the moral continental, not the unsustainable regurgitation of the industrial revolution minus the job creation but with same destruction of our water suppply , air and food .difficult to get real legit candidate when u.s. has never put a 3rd party on ballot inevery state.proof our democracy is failing

    August 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  2. Russ in PA

    If the Tea Party is smart enough to fight for Ron Paul as our next President, then their effect would be significant and welcome. If not, nothing changes, even if the nameplate on the president's desk does.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    August 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  3. CarolynE

    In 2012 elections the tea party will give voice to the more extreme conservatives, but will it be a valid, productive voice? So far its been a vision of destruction.

    August 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  4. Fay in Abilene Tx

    I would like to be able to say Tea Party extremism is over the top and will definitely assure Pres. Obama a second term. However, I believe Mr. Obama's own unwillingness to stand up for middle America and get this economy on track ( as he should) may ,in fact, cause such disaffection in the electorate that it may serve to catapult one of the Perry/Bachmann ilk into the Presidency.Can you say Christian theocracy?

    August 23, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  5. PF in Ocean Shores, WA

    Even more than the 2010 elections. Although many on the Left refuse to understand the movement, the smart ones are waking up and joining the Tea Party. It's sad that the fringe Left fear it so much that they lay all their anger at the Tea Party door. Guess they thought with Emperor obama, they would never have to lose an election again. Not too smart.

    August 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  6. Herman Portland OR

    The Tea Party is holding our elected officials accountable and it is working. I think the effect will be another victory for hard working patriotic Americans. The Tea Party has been bashed by the media and many in Congress but will continue to be a strong force for many years to come.

    August 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  7. pat in michigan

    I fear a perfect storm is brewing and we all could be in very real danger.
    On the one hand you have a group of zealots who want to reign in the out of control spending .On the other hand you have a bunch of entrenched professional politicos who owe their alleigence to the rich campaign doners who don't want to loose their grip on their monitary free ride.
    Last you have a group who believe the govt can and should provide for the public good in every aspect of our lives .
    In 2012 we get to choose wheather to throw out the baby with the bathwater ,deny that the baby needs a bath or have the govt pay for the baby and the bathwater.Anyway you cut it we are standing on the edge of a cliff and one stiff breeze could spell doom for us all.

    August 23, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  8. lou

    I would lilke to think that crazy people like Perry and Bachman have no chance of running this great country. But I've been wrong before. I never thought a black man with Hussien as a middle name could ever beat out the Clintons for the nomination, then go on to win it all. Live and learn, I guess.

    August 23, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  9. Dave - Phx, Az

    What may have started off as a good idea, has turned into a mockery and a joke. Right wing, hardcore republicans have taken over the Tea Party. What was about taxes, now also is about abortion and religion. The Tea Party is just the same old wolf in wolves clothing.

    August 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  10. Darlene

    I am not 100% sure if it will depends on what you think it means. I am a tea party activist i think the liberals and the media have the tea party all wrong. We are just americans who don't want want big government high taxes and taxing the filthy rish wouldnt matter because there taxed to death already. What about the people who do not pay any taxes is this fair?? Thats so unfair everyone should pay there fair share I have to and I sure ain't raking in the money. We all need to live within our means maybe thats what this idiot president should be leading on instead blaming everyone just to get elected!! He is a fiailed jimmy carter the second!! All the good Dem's are gone...

    August 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  11. J.D.

    First re your rant about Obama increasing the debt. If the economy hadn't had that money put into it, we would be in a full blown, stand-in-the-bread-line depression right now. To the matter of the Tea Party. These are the most ill informed, irrational people to come down the pike. Look at their candidates for the most important position in the world! It's as if the insane asylum lets them out on day passes to go to their campaign events. I'm no Obama cheerleader, but the alternative this time around is truly frightening.

    August 23, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  12. marybeth, massachusetts

    Jack,

    I think you need a review of a basic high school civics class. Please remember that CONGRESS has the power of the purse; the President has the veto power, but then CONGRESS can override his veto with a 2/3rds vote.

    No, I disagree with you wholeheartedly; the Tea Party is as out to lunch as any of those in Congress. They don't get it either. They want to continue tax breaks to the wealthiest and to corporations. You are forgetting that we're in this pickle because we have BOTH a spending problem AND a revenue problem. Cutting spending alone will not solve this problem. Revenues need to be increased, and the only way that will happen is if there are jobs so people can get back to work and start paying taxes. Closing the tax loopholes that also favor the wealthiest and the corporations would also help.

    But the Tea Party doesn't get this, nor do they care. They will destroy this country. We're already fast becoming a banana republic; all that is needed is a dictator or a military coup d'état.

    August 23, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  13. Don

    What effect will the Tea Party have? Well for one, they will help get Obama elected for a second term. Even you Jack, don't seem to understand that it's jobs that count not the debt. And, it may take more debt to get the country back on track again. When you are in a situation like we are in now, the only way to change things is through investments in education and science and technology. Without that we will stagnate with no way to pay off the debt. If you are a carpenter and you're in debt, you don't sell your tools you advertize and fight like hell to let people know how good you are.

    August 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  14. Ed from Texas

    When President Bush took office, the national debt was $5.7 trillion. By 2019, the national debt is estimated to be $20 trillion, an increase $14.3 trillion. $7.3 trillion was borrowed to fund those tax cuts. In other words, one-half the increase in the debt is to pay for tax cuts originally intended to return a surplus.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  15. Ed from Texas

    At a time when there is no demand in the economy and the states are cutting spending, the Tea Party is forcing federal spending cuts. I don't know about the elections, but the Tea Party may cause another Great Depression.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  16. Rick, Medina, OH

    Jack,

    You're having fun with facts on this! Since FDR, our national debt has increased as a percentage of GDP under only three presidents ... Reagan, George 'W' and Obama, (and in fact, declined under all others.) As a percentage of the economy, 'W's' increases remain the largest in history. And if Congress had allowed the tax cuts on the wealthy expire, the Obama increases in national debt would be about one-third smaller. The Tea Partiers have actually worsened their primary issue.

    Rick,
    Medina, OH

    August 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  17. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    Right now, I don't trust the President, I don't trust anyone in Congress, and I don't trust anyone in the Senate. If they were really interested in turning the economy around, they would not have passed that very poor excuse of a debt ceiling bill.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  18. Loren

    Hard to say what effect when so many people still seem not to be listening or capable of understanding. One thing is certain, President Obama lost a lot of self-styled independent voters, but who those voters look to next is still up in the air.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  19. Jk from Minnesota

    I would hope they will have the effect of turning voter out to vote against anyone from the Tea Party. This group of wingnuts isn't what the country needs.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  20. Bob from Melbourne

    Let’s take a quick look back about 50 years when small groups of Americans took to the streets to speak out against the status quo, against economic and social injustice and a lack of representation from their government. They marched in the streets and held rallies to make their voices heard. They wanted to effect positive social and economic change. They were met with ridicule and night stick and fire hoses and police dogs but their resolve was firm, they stood their ground and didn’t give up. They stayed the course because it wasn’t about them but it was to give their children and grandchildren a better life. Those small groups of Americans became known as the Civil Rights Movement and brought about the Civil Rights Legislation and most importantly positive change. Now, 50 years later small groups of Americans marched in the streets, they held rallies. They saw injustice in a government they felt was ignoring them and their warning about reckless spending and a growing government that continued to spend money we didn’t have thus setting the nation on an unsustainable course. They saw one economic policy after another fail and all the while the government kept growing and they spoke out and most importantly, they voted. Now they are met with slander and ridicule, called extremist and even racists. These Americans are called the Tea Party. Let’s hope they too don’t give up, let’s hope their resolve is strong because again it’s not about us but our children and grandchildren.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  21. Rick McDaniel

    The main thrust of the Tea Party is accountability, of politicians. Anyone who is anti-Tea Party, is actually anti-accountability, and doesn't give a hoot what their elected officials actually DO!

    Those who criticize the Tea Party, simply don't understand the movement. (That is probably because the notion of accountability, applied to politics, is so new.)

    August 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  22. Greg in Arkansas

    Hopefully, the effect the tea party has on the 2012 elections will NOT be the same as their effect on the Stock Market following the debit ceiling debate earlier this month.

    It's one thing "to ring the alarm bells " about our growing national debt but the tea party actions of opposing any and all rational compromises were akin to starting a forest fire to "prove" dry conditions CAN cause forest fires.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  23. John in Alabama

    Jack: When the Republican Party loses its name, and it is substituted by the TEA PARTY, then I will believe the Tea Party is more than a fad. This nation needs serious leadership which is balanced and focused. The Tea Party has only one agenda of no taxes and cut all programs in hopes it will reduce the deficit. They want a balanced budget amendment or nothing will be accomplished. They do not want tax reform. They hate President Obama, and they mean hate in the worst sense. The Republicans are being led by the Tea Party, rather than the Grand Old Party leading.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  24. Pete in Georgia

    The Tea Party will open some eyes that are blind with allegiance to the never ending worn out pathetic promises, lies, and deceit of a corrupt inept government that is embedded like a cancer.
    Howling and knashing of the teeth will be heard from coast to coast, all critical of morality, decency, and honor as a way of American life. If only our ancestors could see how a once great country has gone astray. Lost.
    Beyond pathetic.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  25. Ed Scheiner New Freedom Pa

    There is going to be a "Cause and Effect" from the Tea Party. BUT it will not be, as they want. Disgust and being upset is a good way to describe WE THE PEOPLE.
    Yes we want change. Yes we want control of spending. Yes we want Budget amendment. Yes we want Tax System total overhaul (I want Flat Tax on all gross revenue individual and corp.).
    BUT too we want Term Limits.
    We mostly want what the Tea partiers have shunned. Compromise is the way of our form of government. Without Compromise in 1787 our government would not exist. Nearly 300 million people and do you honestly think any 2 people totally agree on any subject. Compromise is necessary for our survival.
    Oh do not think the extreme right Republicans (Tea Partiers by name) are different than the far left Democrats. Neither has an interest in the US survival. Each believes they are the only ones RIGHT. Read "Gone with the Wind". We may be uprooted as the old south and tossed in the wind if we do not Compromise.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  26. Donna, Wisconsin

    A Negative effect. I am sick of you and the rest of the media not paying attention to the facts: Our debt has risen because of the recession and the need to help folks. W Bush did this and Obama has had to do what was necessary to keep us from a depression. Read the economists, Jack. You have to spend money to keep the US afloat. Stop blaming Obama for what Bush did! Tax REVENUE is needed! The Tea Party has caused nothing but calamity upon calamity. They would sink us to prove a point. Talk about UN-Patriotic!

    August 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  27. David, from Plant City Florida

    They are going to drag the republicans into the grave. They are going further and further right and trying their hardest to fight tax increases on the rich that would help with the debt issue. If they keep going they are going to kill off the Republicans, which is a good thing, we need a new party, one that is not held to the irons by corporate and special interests.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  28. Annie, Atlanta

    You would think the whole debt ceiling crisis and resulting downgrade in our bonds would teach us a lesson, but it won't. Ideology, no matter how insane, trumps reason. Your guess is as good as mine at just how low we'll go before we yearn for normal, or if normal will forevermore be a distant memory.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  29. Bobby Jackson MS

    Probably not much,we all should be concerned about our national debt problems,but my problem with the tea party is that no matter how much missionary like zeal they claim to have concerning balancing the budget and dealing with debt,at the
    end of the day,they are no different from the rest of the republican,they want to cut from any and everybody except the rich they would probably have the best effect on the 2012 election by going away now but that's probably too much to ask of them.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  30. bud rupert, reston, va

    come on now may man, The Tea Party does not GET anything! Jack. All their doing is mouthing the same old tired cliches and rhetoric the GOP – and now the far right of the GOP – has been singing for 75 years. Cut spending NO NE TAXES. Spare me. Let me be clear. The mess we are in is not Barak Obamas fault. IT's congress who spends the money, writes the laws – and the tax code.. The President can't buy a paper clip but gets blamed for everyhting. It's time for a civics lesson,

    August 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  31. Karl in Flint

    It will hopefully be the end of them. The Tea Party doesn’t get anything. The reason we are having this conversation is because of the Bush unfunded tax cuts and two unfunded wars for starters which created most of this debt. What part of UNFUNDED don’t people understand? We can cut all we want, which will just speed up our decline, but the countries entire infrastructure is falling apart and until the greed driven wealthy and corporations actually become Americans again and contribute like they once did, we are destined to be another third world country. What the Tea Party does in the next election will determine whether I hang around to vote in the one after that. You can’t fix stupid and there seems to be a lot of stupidity of late.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  32. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack sadly the Tea party will have minimal effect. It is not that their intentions are not good but because Americans are having a hard time distinguishing the good guys from the bad guys in Washington. When the economy is bad all politicians are at fault and a scapegoat is what people look for. This election will not be about who is better for America but who America thinks is not the worst of those running. All a politician has to do is to be perceived as not quite as bad as all the others and he/she will be in the Whitehouse in 2012.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  33. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think the tea party will cause failure for the republicans in next election. Their strong arm tactics in Congress were not well liked. They also want to tell people how to live their lives socially. If the tea party would agree on tax increases on the wealthy along with meanfull spending cuts they would go along way with mainstream America. The only thing good that I can see that came out of the tea party is the fact they got people talking seriously about the deficit.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  34. Cy Gardner

    I hope the Tea Party will demonstrate how dangerously stupid they are. The choice on election day will be between sane and crazy, between people who want to save the economy and nuts who want to burn it down. The answer to unemployment is not firing more people. You don't close deficits by telling the people with the most money that they can keep all they have and , please, take some of ours, too. The whole world will be watching and wondering, "How stupid have the Americans become?" Cy from Arlington, VA

    August 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  35. kelly

    Are you kidding me Jack? The debt under Obama in large part were due to the finances that Bush didn't put on the books,namely the two unfunded wars and medicare part "D"!! Is it really Obama's fault that he did the responsible thing and actually made us accountable for it seeing as we are?? If America doesn't start seperating fact from fiction then we are in real danger of taking out the smart guy who wants us ALL to succeed to put in someone who has no intention of moving us forward and out of this mess!!!

    August 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  36. TomInRochNY

    I don't question the Tea Party's goal of reducing the debt, that's a no brainer, I just seriously question their tactics. Their methods put the world economy in turmoil needlessly. That didn't help our current situation much, in fact it made the immediate problem much more problematic. Now it's going to be just that much more difficult to dig ourselves out. And, I'm not happy about what it did to my 401k, again needlessly. If you want to have a budget battle, then have a budget battle, not a deficit battle. One is the cause the other is the effect. What effect did the Tea Party have on the 2012 election? Well, I know I won't be voting for anyone who sides with them.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  37. carlos Magallanes

    Jack,
    The problem is not the national debt, it is jobs and shared sacrifice, and a new foreign policy. What happened to having the very rich pay their fair share? Why do we continue to marginalize american labor by sending it overseas? Why are we still fighting two wars we can't afford? Why do we allow big money to influence politicians? While we are at it, let's bring our troops home from Germany, Japan, England, South Korea etc. Our foreign bases are left overs from the cold war. Fighting terrorism entails a new strategy that we can convene from our land.

    As for the Tea Party, they don't know whether they are coming or going, and they nearly caused the collapse of the American Economy, not to mention its affect globally.

    Carlos Magallanes
    Pasadena,Calif

    August 23, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  38. Karl in Flint

    If people start listening to Warren Buffet, it will hopefully be the end of them. The Tea Party doesn’t get anything. The reason we are having this conversation is because of the Bush unfunded tax cuts and two unfunded wars for starters which created most of this debt. What part of UNFUNDED don’t people understand? We can cut all we want, which will just speed up our decline, but the countries entire infrastructure is falling apart and until the greed driven wealthy and corporations actually become Americans again and contribute like they once did, we are destined to be another third world country. What the Tea Party does in the next election will determine whether I hang around to vote in the one after that. You can’t fix stupid and there seems to be a lot of stupidity of late.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  39. Ken in Pinon Hills California

    Jack,
    A vastly indebted electorate probably hasn’t a clue to what the Tea party is talking about when it comes to the national debt. It is scary the American public is so careless with their own finances, borrowing and spending, and seem not to care about government doing the same. They are birds of a feather happily seeking credit to their hearts content.
    The fiscally irresponsible electorate is so dominate, the tea party will have little have effect on the 2012 elections.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  40. Bob D Iowa

    Jack we have a whole group of well meaning people that are being sucked into American LLC and the Christian Taliban. The effect on the 2012 elections will bring out those that truly understand what the meaning is and defeat it American is for the Americans nor just those that pound a bible or get funded through Super PACs.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  41. bob z fr ,pa.

    we can only pray that more people will join the tea party and elect more people that will try to stop obama and get a congress that will work to stop this madness

    August 23, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  42. IKHAN from Nevada

    Tea Partiers didn't want debt ceiling raised & we could have defaulted.
    I have my doubts if they would have a swing vote effect on the 2012 elections.
    On spending though, it is rather baffling that no player mentions the 3.6 trillion and climbing cost on wars. The 3 million a minute that you say carries a substantial portion of our spending on conflicts, special ops around the world and the 700 military bases that we maintain in 200 countries.
    Add 6 billion dollars a year we pay to Israel & say 1 billion to Egypt.
    I don't see any political wannabe or incumbent pointing that out.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  43. Pat (Missouri)

    As the debt increases so does our interest payment on the debt. So far this FY as of July 3, 2011 413 billion was spent on interest on the debt. The Taxed Enough Already folks haven't shown me anything positive so as far as I am concerned they will have no effect on my vote. My vote will go to O'bama.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  44. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    Heck yes, Jack! The GOP has been pulled so far to the right that no reasonable candidate has a chance at the nomination. And yet even Romney and Huntsman raised their hand saying they would not accept a ten to one spending cut to taxes deal to balance the budget. So now the leading candidates are split between the guy who wants Texas to secede and the gal who can't find Lexington and Concord.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  45. bud rupert, reston, va

    When the top one-half of one percent of the population has accumulated wealth greater then entire the botton 30-40 percent . When easy credit and speculation (that's off the charts) combines with greed and more greed guess what you get? 1929 and 2008. Yep! History does repeat itself.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  46. David of Alexandria VA

    Hopefully, it will get everyone to think, for once, that government spending is like an addiction. "Just one more entitlement", "just one more program," "just one more bridge to nowhere," sound like the cries of an addict for whom a trillion dollars is not enough and a billion dollars is too much. Maybe we will all ask ourselves who the real adults are in the room - the ones who got us here through decades of irresponsibility, or the one's who finally have the common sense to say "No more." and mean it this time.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  47. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    While it's true we have a long-term deficit problem, we have a short-term jobs problem that is far more painful and pressing. The Tea party's only solution to that problem seems to be firing federal employees while lowering taxes for the rich and powerful. It ain't gonna fly.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  48. Phil, Georgia

    Hopefully Tea Party will sit down somewhere! President Bush didn't inherit the worsest economy falling off a cliff, 2 wars on credit card, exc. And you did not say that Bush spent 10 Trillion in 8 yrs. because he inherited a prestine economy with a 5 trillion dollar surplus,,,,,so he spent the surplus plus 5 trillion more on his crony friends. Where was the "Tea Party" then?? Ohh, as long as the money was comming to them they were ok.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  49. Shaken@RichmondVA

    Tea Party will go down as the most polarizing aspect of the modern political history. Their strength is proportional to the weakness of the president and his party's leaders. American people will, hopefully, see through their hidden Evangelical agendas and anarchist leanings.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  50. Patsy, Texas

    Jack, I hope the Tea Party effect on the 2012 election is minimal at least, and zero at best. I wholeheartedly
    disagree with your defense of them and of Bush. They have lost any credibility they might have gained, IF
    they had started this side-show during the Bush years, when all of this started cracking around us. I don't
    know the answers, but I do know that their absolute resolution to "take down Obama" has done nothing
    but cause a longer recovery than any of us knew. We were blindsided, and now they will not try to help
    in the healing. One recent example is their apparent willingness to allow the payroll tax to expire, thereby
    allowing the taxes on the working people to increase from 4% to 6%. What happend to "no tax pledge"? Oh,
    right, they kept the Bush tax cuts, in fact used it, and other demands, just to raise the debt ceiling. No sir,
    they are not my cup of tea. Thank you

    August 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  51. Paul P.

    The Tea Party will continue to keep the debt topic alive...so it should...unfortunately it's not the only crisis we face and I fear other voices talking about job creation and tax reform will get drowned out. The main problem with this group is they pledge allegiance to special interest groups, hijack the political system and don't stop shouting long enough to listen to anyone else.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  52. calaurore9

    It's already causing earthquakes. To your question: Debt is code for lots of classist, racist stuff. Right now we need to spend money to stimulate the economy, so hope Tea Party fails in its destructive shenanigans.

    Banker in Ma

    August 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  53. Brian, San Diego, CA

    The Tea Party will accomplish exactly what they've always dreamed of. They will drive the Republican Party and its presidential nominee right over the edge of the extreme right wing. Unfortunately for them and luckily for the country, the non-idiot majority of the electorate won't vote for that platform.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  54. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack--Nada-–the empty barrel makes the biggest noise!

    August 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  55. Valerie in Raleigh

    Much of the money spent by President Obama was to keep the country from going into a financial crisis thanks to the unfunded two wars, tax breaks for the wealthy and the unfunded drug break given to seniors during the Bush administration. Come on Jack, you know that! The Tea Party has correctly pointed out the financial difficulties of the country in "spades" but their behavior during the debt crisis shows exactly how radical and irrensponsible they are. And, unfortunatly, there are no reasonable senior members of the once-proud Republicans strong enough to reign them in.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  56. Ray E. (Georgia)

    The people, known as the Tea Party, TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY, have already made an impression in the Elections. I suspect they will continue to demand FiscaL Responsibility in 2012. It is overdue. But, I expect to see the usual group of Whiners, Moaners, and Bitchers posting here that will blast the Tea Party. I invite those to make a generous donation to the Government to show their true colors. Any chance that will happen, Jack?

    August 23, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  57. Andrew- Regina, SK

    With all due respect Jack, not much. One of the common sense solutions that the Tea Party is heavily against is tax increases period, even if it is only for the wealthiest of americans; plus we have to keep in mind that these are the same groups that influenced the Republicans into almost de-railing the debt ceiling deal, always wanting the politicians they elected to stick they're grounds and not give in to compromise. If a Tea Party politician actually becomes President, then you guys are seriously screwed.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  58. Dan in Aluququerque

    Jack, the majority of Americans amd most of the economists I have seen agree that cuts alone will damage jobs and the economy, and that compromise with revenue and serious cuts is the only way. The Tea Party is willing to play Russian Roulette with 5 bullets in the gun instead of one. They have already caused serious problems by controlling those Republicans who might have the guts to listen to reasoned, long term solutions. I believe the recent shock caused by the debt ceiling fiasco is mostly the fault of the Tea Party (as indicated by S&P managers). If automatic cuts take place without revenue, the recent shock of 4.9 will become 6.9 on the Richter scale.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  59. Paul P.

    The Tea Party will continue to keep the debt topic alive...so they should... unfortunately I feel their candidates are there for only one purpose and see the world through expenditures only, and don't consider other factors. Economics is a big, complicated, interlinked system and often not as simplistic as The Tea Party would have you believe. Alot of factors play into each decision and you need effective planning to be effective, nevermind the fact there is more issues to governing than simply managing a budget.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  60. Ann from Charleston SC

    The tea party scares me more than the debt does. I agree that we need to get spending under control, but I think the tactics used by the tea party will do away with democracy as we know it. The tea party is made up of people who seemingly are unable to think for themselves – they simply spout sound bites that someone fed them. They are just too far right and too out of touch with the realities of the twenty first century for me.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  61. Gordon NJ

    Jack, The Tea Party approaches economics the way 17th century Doctors approached illness...with leeches and prayers. Our economy is sick. It needs to be strengthened, not bled. We need real spending for growth, not Ayn Rand wishful thinking. Let's use the next election to send the Tea Party off into the history books where they belong.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  62. Dan

    if the Tea party wants America back to "The Old America" of the eighteenth century, they can build a time machine.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  63. Tom in Desoto, TX

    The bond fire of spend was by Bush and he set the toe for record debt but cutting taxes and borrowing money to pay for he jaunts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama has health care as his issue. More Americans will benefit with health care than continuing tax cuts for the wealthy and Bush's war policy, which is an abysmal failure. Unfortunately Obama has to pay the card he was dealt. Let not forget, Bush also ignored economic problems. Obama inherited the Titanic of economy's. The only problem with the Tea People is their unrealistic view. They don't really want to live in the country they propose.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  64. mine

    they'll undoubtedly get MORE freaking WACKOS in Congress. .which is GOOD. .as it will hasten the eventual and inevitable total collapse of our government and society

    August 23, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  65. Marie MD

    I don't know about anyone else, but any politician who wants to do away with "entitlements" such as Medicare and Social Security and agencies that keep us safe like the EPA should NOT be anywhere near any political building.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  66. Rick

    Whatever debt happened under Obama, it was a result of two wars and the bad economy he inherited from Bush. So, you cannot blame Obama for it. People are not stupid to forget how it was when Obama took oath.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  67. David

    I think the tea party will have the desired effect. They will insure Barak Obama's reelection. They are a scary bunch and any level headed independent will know if they have even the VP on the GOP ticket that they are doomed to fail. If they do succeed then I will look at giving up my citizenship because we are all doomed!!

    August 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  68. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    The effect that they will have will be too little, too late. The Tea Party movement is not strong enough and our current fearless leaders who oppose the Tea Party are too well entrenched. It would be nice to see Sarah Palin get elected President though, at least we would get some entertainment in our final days of existence.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  69. bonnie from NJ

    Have you lost your mind? Yes I realize we have to curb spending, but after the column regarding Bachmann and Perry being domionist and now you are supporting them. Have you listened to any economist lately, they will tell you that the way of the tea party will plunge us deeper into recession. Stop coddling the rich and end the Bush tax cuts and letting them export all of our decent paying jobs, and end the pointless, ridiculous wars and the deficit will improve on its own.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  70. ThoughtCop

    When they first came on the scene, they claimed that they weren't party of the Republican party. Unless they have their own candidates, they'll give their votes to the Republicans, as predicted by the left. Even the Green party managed to stick to their guns in 2008 – Maybe it had something to do with the goal of taking on corporate hacks.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  71. Richard

    What other president walked into a country about to implode. Right from the get go he had to take care of the problems gb created in his eight years. We're lucky it wasn't 10 trillion. Do the numbers and do them in a way that it takes into consideration the Iraq war and the tax breaks for the rich. There's 2 trillion right there. If we didn't go into Iraq, we could have concentrated on binladen and his ilk. It would have been over in a short time and we would not still be embroiled in Afganistan. another trillion thanks to gb. The rethuglicans brought us to the brink of disaster and the tea party tried to finish us off.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  72. karl larson

    well Jack. .it saddens me to see you jump on the bogus bandwagon of the dangers of our debt. .

    all we have to do to make it go away is stop invading and occupying other peoples' countries

    August 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  73. chill

    Hopefully the voters will wake up and throw these clowns out of office. Yews the debt is an issue, but Jack, we've had a Civil War in this country and had to deal with WWII and the Great Depression. So your analysis of the debt is just a bit over the top. Problem, absolutely. But if this economy doesn't get growing again, then all the spending will pale compared to the loss of tax revenue in another recession. Everyone is screaming for Obama to do something about jobs- except that he isn't allowed to spend money and he has to lay off government workers. Maybe you'd like him to walk on water when he leaves Martha's Vineyard.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  74. Chris Burgess

    Um, when Bush took office we had the largest surplus in American history and left it 10 trillion in the hole. How does that add up to 4.9 trillion. Think again

    August 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  75. Hari Seldon

    War in Iraq + tax cuts + stimulus to avoid depression = debt. NONE OF IT IS OBAMA'S FAULT!

    August 23, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  76. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    First, does the Tea Party have data on exactly how President OBAMA has spent these billions? I was not aware that the president could spend much of anything. I was under the impression that CONGRESS held the purse strings. Am I mistaken?

    Obama may sign spending bills, but I actually thought the bills themselves were proposed by members of CONGRESS, and voted on there. Can the Tea Party tell me otherwise?

    Does the Tea Party have some actual information that can tell me what we are borrowing for? I want to see some actual numbers, not just rhetoric about spending. Where is the money going? I have looked at the pie chrts and bar graphs until I'm blue in the face. But can the Tea Party tell me where the real MONEY is going?

    Does the Tea Party know what happened to the millions and millions in cold, hard cash that disappeared in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    But the main thing is, does the Tea Party have a SOLUTION? Or do they just have accusations? If the Tea Party has real SOLUTIONS, maybe I will listen to them and they will influence how I vote. But if all they can do is finger point, how are they any different from the Dems or the Reps, or Libertarians, or any other party. In fact, I am kind of sick of them all being called a "party". I think they have ALL had enough partying, on my dime.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  77. jake1969

    And that same Tea Party says any tax increases at all are off the table - even though tax rates are at historically low levels. Marginal tax rates on the wealthy ranged from 50-91% from 1931-1986 while only 1987-1991 saw rates lower than today. So why should we slash Social Security, Medicare, or Defense just to keep taxes on the wealthy so low? Is it because these low taxes are booming our economy???

    BTW, if the economic situation turns around, the debt will start dropping. There's always a direct correlation. So more thoughtful CNN writers like Zakaria or Zelizer note that to focus purely on spending cuts may harm the economy and ultimately make the debt situation even worse.

    Plus, the Feds are paying ridiculously low interest on the debt. The "crisis" is definitely being exploited for particular agendas...just read on the differences in how cities and states account for their capital debt versus the Feds (which is a pay go basis) and you'll understand more the nature of the debt and how the Feds really aren't any worse off than states and cities that so-called "balance" their budgets...

    August 23, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  78. John

    If the American People are smart they won't effect the elections In any way. I think the American People see the Tea Party for who they really are.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  79. Chris

    3 million a minute....half a minute and I could live without working for most of my life......sad.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  80. Alex

    Tea Party is the only one who gets it. They are called terrorists, racists, extremists, etc. because they are trying to keep us from bankruptcy, when no one in Washington ever had the guts to stop spending money for special interests and entitlements. When households do it its called fiscally responsible.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  81. steve kevlin,,,, puyallup wa.

    both parties are at fault. get rid of all of them...... and whats wrong with a balanced budget? we regular americans have to do it.? just a wild idea...

    vote for any 3rd party person and shake up the system can't do any worse...

    August 23, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  82. Michael Carroll Alton Ill

    I don't think that they will be able to settle on one canidate they all can all agree on. I can see a big split in the republican party over them.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  83. Andrez Aguayo

    I dont blame Obama for our debt ! You say that he spent 4 trillion in 3 years . he still had those 2 wars . Bush tax cuts are still in place , which according to the CBO makes up 60% of our debt! This President walked into unusual circumstances, these Tea baggers forget we were losing 650,000 jobs a month! Maybe if they weren't mainly republicans trying to blame Obama i would actually take them seriously ! Our debt still needs to be addressed and it seems like the TEA party is more worried about taxes than they are debt ! They are the same old crowd that voted Bush in Twice! Their goal is blame obama

    August 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  84. Noel M.

    You say the Tea Party gets it, Are you kidding me? Jack you make these comments without taking any regard to the fact the last four years have seen us in a Recession. And just as this policies of this administration begin to pull out out of the hole with stimulus, the idealistic Tea Party comes along and cuts any recovery effort down. If we're not already in a double dip recession (or worse) caused by the blind politics of the Tea Party and thier Republican puppets, we soon will be.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  85. M. Gonzales

    The Tea Party's only real power is that it has set the conversation for the 2010 election cycle and now again it's forcing the conversation in 2012 to what the Tea Party wants to talk about. The Tea Party also is a huge driving force in getting the GOP base out and to the voting booths much like how labor once did for the Democratic Party.

    M, Gonzales
    Edgewood, NM

    August 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  86. Don in SF

    Tea Party Effect in 2012? Yes, it will help Obama and Dems get re-elected.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  87. Michael Carroll Alton Ill

    I don't think that they will be able to settle on one canidate they can all agree on. I can see a big split in the republican party over them.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  88. Marlon

    If the tea party is so great...then why hasn't anything of any significance occurred since the candidates they overwhelmingly supported took their offices...all we have seen was more bickering and less action but the Bush tax cuts were extended...the tea party is nothing more than an extension of the republican party that is using a different approach to see their agenda through...the debt issue is a result of more and more citizens retiring and drawing social security...don't be fooled

    August 23, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  89. David in Houston

    Jack said, "And whether anyone likes it or not, the tea party seems to be the only group that gets it. "

    Jack has seriously lost his marbles if he honestly believes the Tea Party actually "gets" anything!

    Insanity...indeed.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  90. John, Lake Charles, LA

    If the Tea Party has it's way the United States of America would become the Independent States of Anarchy. Weak central government, conflicting laws, outrageous state taxes, etc. Good luck!

    August 23, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  91. MikeTheVet

    We could write off 1.2 trillion in bank interest if we simply told the banks to go to Hades. What could they possibly do to 300 million Americans? Nothing.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  92. Jason

    Kudos, Jack on a factual summation of the current administration's activities; it's a rarity on CNN.

    With rising spending, the Tea Party was created with one goal – LOWER EVERYTHING. The Tea Party will force Obama, in the next 14 months to make spending corrections, pass a budget and hope no one notices. The president is cerebral on every issue with the exception of spending. Unless his personal finances are equally disastrous, Obama has shown he is not responsible with the People's money.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  93. Donaldo in ATL

    Well Jack, we have seen a crisis of confidence so far, lack of leadership, a 6.0 quake, and potentially dangerous flooding from a hurricane. What man can not solve, the Higher Power will. Lets hope the Tea Party gets the message here.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  94. Steve Giles

    Zero. Their ideas may have merit but their methods don't. We live through large large political swings where the only people not taking in the shorts are the people who orchestrated the swing. I think the American people are tired of the swings and will marginalize those on the extremes. Every election seems to make half the population mad so the next election is generally a large swing the other way thereby making the other half mad. Why can't we move to the center and only make 30% mad?

    August 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  95. Don - Florida

    The tea party will continue to have an affect on future elections as they say the right things, but have the wrong recommendations. They are totally on the side of the people who are the problem, corporations and the rich who have not paid their share of taxes for a long time who by the way funds the tea party.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  96. Kea from Honolulu

    Jack,

    Wanting to reduce spending is one thing, but driving the nation to the edge of default is just plain stupid. I know the TEA Party citizens truly love this country, but they don't understand how their extreme actions actually could do more harm. You saw what happened to the world markets with just the though of the US not paying it's bills.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  97. Frances

    The tea party Republicans have pushed out the moderate Republicans and taken over the asylum. They don't believe in science, they would bring the church into state (but only their church), take away women's rights, gay rights, Union rights, and workers rights. All the while giving tax breaks to the wealthiest people in our Country. They would be happy to see our Country default on our debt. They will lie about our President, and will do anything to "Break him" and make him a one term President even if it hurts the Country.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  98. Jason

    I don't get the hostility against the Tea Party. They are the only thing staning in the way of out of control government spending. Is that not a good thing?

    August 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  99. Allen

    The Tea Party is correct, even if one does not agree with their politics. As a nation we can not continue this level of spending. If the Federal Reserve keeps printing money from the air, the US dollar will not be worth the paper it is printed on. Politicians are afraid of their bases and eventually losing their jobs. Right now politicians are only interested in how a decision affects the next election cycle. The media just stokes the fire by repeatedly running polls on what is the country's position at a particular moment. This has politicians running in circles, trying to make everyone happy.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  100. GC

    Fromt the view of the Tea Party, the outlook seems pretty good. A positive and meaningful affect on the 2012 elections. Working toward the reduction of our National Deficit, and implemting common sense spending controls to get our fiscal house back in order.

    One small, tiny, wheeny problem.

    Reducing the deficit is not the goal of the Tea Party. Changing the policies of our government towards the far-right wing is the TRUE goal of the Tea Party and as people see the Tea Partiers negotiate, they begin to see their true colors and therefore are turned off by what they are trying to accomplish.

    1. Tea Partiers wanted a reduction in our debt as comparable to our GDP.
    Hypocricy: As long as those reductions didn't affact the defense budget, and weren't produced by closing tax loophols to profit binging corporations and mega rich tycoons.

    2. When Tea Partiers are given the option to cut off grandman, privatize social security, eliminate access to healthcare and help people in poor communities – they would rather give that money to large corporations because, though dis-proven, they believe it will create jobs.

    3. It can now be summed up that Tea Partiers are a select group, a consolidated group of 90% of the biggoted, ignorant, and hateful people in this country that we have ignored for too long. Some people in the Tea Party truly want less spending, less debt – but most want an end to America as we know it and would like to create a new system of Government where only the State and local governments are in charge and there is no central body to rule over us through a representative or misrepresentative faction.

    You've heard that Tea Partiers want the 1930's back. We" that is true, and that is unfortunate because their message is now drowned out and will never be realized as all Americans see in Tea is Blind Hate and Hypocrisy.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  101. Macmaven

    If the Tea Partiers weren't so radical on a variety of issues aside from the national debt., they might get somewhere. However, with nut jobs like Michele Bachmann and her outrageous promises, lack of history or policy, the Tea Party will be nothing more of a spoiler for Republican candidates, and serve as a distraction that will keep Obama in for another term.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  102. carly

    Hey Jack did you join the tea party? I have watched your for years but this right wing propaganda piece makes me ill. I think you have lost it and joined the dark side. The Tea Party is nothing more than a group of misled losers funded by Dick Armey's group, the Koch brothers and others out to destroy the country for middle class Americans. You failed to mention why this administration had to spend the money it did. Did recession/depression ever cross your mind? Please spare us the right wing rhetoric in the future. There is another network dedicated to nothing but that 24/7.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  103. FatSean

    Whatever effect they will have, it will be lesser than we've seen. The American people don't care for the child-like Tea Party and their tantrums.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  104. MNindy

    I think the effect of the Tea Party is already shown. They have increased devisiveness between Americans. They have pushed the GOP further to the extreme right to accomodate Tea Party issues and ideology. This has basically alienated the middle and independants from voting with anyone on the right in the national election. President Obama has presided over an economic nightmare, but suggesting it is a nightmare of his doing is just plain wrong. It is clear that the economics the Tea Party and the GOP bring to the table is exactly the root cause of this economic crisis. President Obama followed GWB lead bailing out banks, auto sector, and stimulated the economy enough to prevent total collaps. Do to this splintering away from moderates and independants the Tea Party will create another comfortable re-election for President Obama.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  105. Chad

    Wow, it's nice to see that someone is saying it like it is. We can't keep spending like drunken sailors. The government has been buying votes, er, funding social programs for decades that we just can't afford. It's time to cut back on spending and step out of the way so the market can take care if itself. There is way too much government interference going on. That's the real problem.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  106. Paul

    We have a revenue problem. Too many people are out of work and not paying taxes that they used to. Too many loopholes and tax "holidays" from those who have jobs/companies and should be paying more.
    Cut back more on government spending and the effect will be a large tax increase on the middle class who will then have to spend money on those "benefits" that will be cut rather than purchase things that would increase demand and therefore jobs!

    Yes, we need to be careful on our National Debt. But with our economy in such a mess, why is it so toxic to ask those who can afford it, to chip in with more revenue? It's the patriotic thing to do.

    Tea Party is like NIMBY, when they want people to "share" the sacrifice, just as long as it isn't them!

    August 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  107. Doug

    You made it sound like the Tea Party actually did something good for the country...Sure they brought our debt to the forefront of our collective consciousness but then they just totally forgot thier vocabulary and said NO to every reasonable idea put on the table to solve the dilemma. They got to the point where the "solution" that was voted on merely prolonged the problem when they had a real shot to fix it! Holding my country hostage like that and not bargaining is not what I expect out of my leaders. Politics I'm sure everyone can agree on is all about bargaining. But when you have dumb dumb's like Michelle Bachmann (for the life of me i do not know why anyone takes anything out of that womans mouth seriously) saying "I will not bargain blah blah blah" and then blame Obama for our economic mess is just unreal to me. Do these Tea Party idiots think they are really helping?! I sure don't. President Obama, you have my vote come next November!

    August 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  108. Brian

    None. The country has learned from the debt crisis that Tea Party candidates are only opportunists who have no interest in representing their constituents, but are rather more focused on pushing an extreme agenda that only creates more problems for Americans than it does solve any. 10 years from now, the Tea Party and it's members will all be a distant memory.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  109. lynn goodman

    I think the tea party will lose the election for republicans. Too many moderates and independent voters will never support a party that is being lead around by the nose by those politians who have no real interest in making the US a better place to live.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  110. Keith Newman - Lake Elsinore, CA

    With the knuckleheads we have in Washington “our country's survival is already at stake,” and that goes for both parties.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  111. Joe

    You are kidding right?

    Bush turned budget surplus he got in 2001 into economic shambles. It will take another 3-4 years to get out of this.

    If not for TP, we would much further ahead with the recovery. They are responsible for the last 8 months!

    Where are the jobs TP???

    August 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  112. Dennis north carolina

    hopefully the tea party will follow the rest of the republican party down the tube.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  113. John in Forest

    Jack, I'd feel a whole lot less cynical about the Tea Party if they'd started paying attention to the debt when the 2001-06 Republican government cut taxes and spent like drunken sailors and doubled the debt. Why did the debt only become a problem when a Democratic government and the first non-white President took over? You'd better not answer that or else Faux News will jump all over you.

    Thing is, the debt isn't the only problem we need to deal with. If we cut spending we'll send the country into another depression. First get the economy healthy, then deal with the debt. That's where we were in 1999, and then the Bush II administration killed it. Why didn't the Tea Party get it then? Answer: Because they were more than happy to see taxes on the wealthy cut. BTW, that's the one and only Republican economic policy. Put the Teapublican Party in charge of the economy for another eight years and we'll all be broke, nobody will have a job, and the only folks smiling will be the big money conservatives who back the brainless Tea Party candidates. They'll be all right, Jack.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  114. Mark F

    Come on Jack, I don't agree with what Obama has done but Bush and Republicans got us in this mess. Obama is stuck/blamed for not being able to clean it up. Meanwhile Dem's, while reluctant, agree to cut programs but Republican's refuse to let Bush tax cuts expire (primarily because of the Tea Party). We needed further cuts and we need to allow those tax cuts to expire and a major overall of the tax system is needed.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  115. Mike, Longview TX

    Both D's and R's got us into this debt debacle. The only sane thing to do, before the dollar is utterly worthless, is to look to "outsiders" to drive some sanity back into our national politics.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  116. Gary Phillips

    The tea party congressional member's stubborn adherence to their so-called "principles" during the debt ceiling debate proves they are not fit for elected office. The dysfunction in Washington will not get any better so long as extremists on either end of the political spectrum are elected. The more the Tea Party's profound influence within the Republican party drives Republican candidates to the right, the more independents will either vote for the Democratic candidate or stay home altogether.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  117. Doug

    I guess my answer to your question is this: The Tea Party is the single best thing for Obama's reelection. They will alienate any moderate independents and put Obama in office for another 4 years.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  118. Jim Andrada

    I'm tired of the Tea Party "we're broke" refrain.We're far from broke. Most US debt is held in the US, not by China. Lies lies and more lies from the GOP (Grand Obstructionist Party) and the lunatic Tea Party fringe. Effect of all this negativity and brinksmanship and prevarication by the right? Obama in a walk in 2012.

    Do we have debt problems? Yes indeed. Do we have to do something about them. Yes again. Is the middle of the Republican Recession the time for austerity? No. Just read a history book.

    Tucson AZ

    August 23, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  119. Scott Stevens

    The Tea Party movement will continue to drive the political debate and whether or not you consider yourself part of the movement, the Tea party message of less spending and smaller government will resonate with voters in the 2012 election.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  120. Willie12345

    The Tea Party folks are basically a force for good. They've made some of the hidden problems in America more visible and thereby subject to debate. The huge national debt being one of them. What they do between now and November of next year will determine their impact. No doubt, they will focus on wasteful spending and the national debt. This alone should influence the voters to vote for more conservative representatives.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  121. Kevin, (Minneapolis)

    Who can say what effect the Tea party movement may have on next year's elections? One thing I think is for certain, Republican incumbents will be looking over their collective shoulders in the coming months, for primary challeges from Tea Party endorsed candidates. Assuming a similar percentage of these candidates displace incumbent neocons as last year, the House should gain an additional 15-20 seats reflecting the Tea Party's philosophy. That in turn, would place the old guard Republicans on the endangered list, and could see many of them retire. Given the state of things in our Country, I cannot see how Obama, or several House and Senate Democrats, retain their seats, with the exception of those areas that are historically Liberal bastions. For all the "great minds" that have served our Country in Politics, and for all their intellect, the results have been, well, what we see today. Conversely, the Tea Party, despite the occasional slip ups, (e.g. Christine O'Donnell and Sharon Angle), at least connect with the everyday man and woman, at a level that neither of the established parties cares to do. One should not be so quick to dismiss them, or their approach to governance.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  122. Kevin

    They will have little to no impact. Risking our future just to have your voice heard does nothing but hurt the middle class even more. For that they will go no where and no nothing.

    Kevin – Decatur, GA.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  123. Ma Deuce

    "Under President George W. Bush, the national debt increased by $4.9 trillion, but it took eight years to increase that much."

    He also had a large surplus that he spent before going to -$4.9T, so take the surplus and the $4.9T to get the total of what W spent.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  124. Ed in Harrisburg

    Jack, with any luck, the Tea Partyers will split the Republican Party and we will have another four years of Obama. The only good thing about that is that the democrats will get the congress back and then we can move on from the tyranny of bi-partisan log jams and try to recover and grow this economy for the poor and middle class and have the billionaires and corporation start paying their fair share...

    August 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  125. Kooky

    Jack, you’re sounding like F-word News. While you are telling us how fast the debt is going up you should also include how much in taxes the wealthy and corporations don’t pay anymore, you know, fair and balanced. That would make it real news, like Warren Buffet’s op-ed; otherwise it’s just Tea Party propaganda.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  126. charlie

    No, I think the Tea Party overreached. They have people such as Joe Walsh who speak volumes on fiscal
    responsiblity and yet he does not care about the needs of his children and does not pay child support. I want
    people who have moral values as well as fiscal values, People who do not drive on suspended licenses and respect the laws of the land not who believe they can make the laws and not follow them. I want reps that think about the country and not just about their own agenda. I believe other Americans have seen the my way or the highway thinking and want people who are reasonable representing them. Any extreme is too extremne. No compromise is a dangerous way to be. Is this how we want our children to grow up to be...no matter the reason or cause.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  127. JeffinIL

    Since the Tea Party is angry Republicans, it only affects Republican candidates.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  128. humtake

    One side will whine and complain, while the other side whines and complains about the their opponents whining and complaining. All the while, the voters will be whining and complaining about their choices they have to vote for. One side will claim they are right about everything and the other side will claim they are right about everything. Then both sides will whine and complain about the fact that the other side is whining and complaining about their whining and complaining.

    That's the effect they will have. That's the effect all politicians have every election cycle. Rinse...repeat...

    August 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  129. john

    Jack, i must say i'm surprised at your honesty. We all need to wrap our brains and hearts around this real debt problem. Whether we call ourselves tea partiers, progressives or conservatives.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  130. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl it is my financial experience that when a business or person starts to borrow money to pay the interest he is in trouble. when the vig becomes too much, they become frantic and borrow more from any source, until their world collapses, and it always collapses. 2012 elections will most likely be too late to make a difference. too bad the tea party didn't start sooner.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  131. Sam from Texas

    Tea party will have a very polarizing effect on the elections in 2012 and GOP beware...

    August 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  132. Melissa

    Cafferty, Obama deserves this vacation. Bush went on vacation more than any President in American history after the country had been attacked and the economy started crashing, Obama goes once or twice a year for a couple of weeks. Honestly, stop overreacting.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  133. Jeff Myhre

    The Tea Party will force the GOP candidate so far to the right that Obama wins 300+ electoral votes, and the Democrats regain the House while losing the Senate by a couple seats.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  134. Sam

    I think the Tea Party message is hateful and hurtful. Their slash and burn mentality with no regard for their fellow citizens is a disgrace and people are getting disgusted and tired of it. This economy can be fixed. Not overnight, and not on the backs of our elderly, our sick and our poor.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  135. Mike in Minneapolis

    If they hadn't acted like such children during the "debt ceiling crisis," which was not even a crisis in comparison to so many other things, I would have thought that they would have a fairly strong effect. Now I have no doubt that it will be none. It sucks that we are in debt $14 trillion as a result of both parties, including the messiah Reagan, but when people have been out of work for the past two years and living on credit cards, which debt do you think the voters will care about more?

    August 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  136. James

    Maybe the earthquake we felt was actually Obama starting up the printing presses. He cant print the money fast enough.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  137. Joe

    This article is littered with lies and half-truths. Do you not remember the GIANT economic hole we were in when bush left office? The trillions Obama was forced to pump into the economy to prevent the next great depression. Yet now you turn around and blame him for doing what he had to do. The "tea party" doesn't "get" anything. If "getting it" means trying to push the country to default on our debt, you are just as insane.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  138. todd

    Todd here in Washington, DC. The tea party will force the GOP to move so far to the right that even those not thrilled with the Obama presidency will reelect him simply because the only other option is an ignorant theocrat.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  139. Pete

    I think the national debt crisis is nothing more than this year's version of the "illegal immigration" issue. Just another hot button topic to get the masses excited about. As a percentage of GDP, the national debt has actually decreased under Obama during a time when increased government spending is a must due to the critical condition of the US economy and job market.

    People can say what they want about Obama, but I think it's refreshing to know we now have a President who genuinely cares about more than just the top 5% of American citizens.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  140. Steve OK

    Jack,
    Where did you get your numbers from, Rush Limbaugh? BOGUS!

    August 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  141. Jeff Rush

    Nashville – The Tea Party will continue to split the Republican Party further forcing moderates out of the party, and existing Republicans will need to embrace Tea Party policy to further their agenda. Their impact will be to further polarize the country so that nothing ever gets done due to their unwillingness to compromise and lack of respect for the legislative process created by our founding fathers.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  142. Jermey

    The Tea Party and its radical agenda is more of a threat to this country than any foreign enemy we have ever faced.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  143. Steve,NY

    Something has to be done and done quick. You can't blame this one on the Republicans. They have been in Congress only since January of this year. The Senate is still controlled by the Democrats. If you listen to MSNBC, the liberals keep on blaming the Republicans. Somebody has to put a muzzle on that station. Tea Party is the only voice that's telling the truth. Obama is going to destroy this country at the rate he's going another 3 years the debt will be another 40 pecent more which will make it at $20 trillion. Who brainwashed all the people to vote for this guy??

    August 23, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  144. Dave Jack, Baden PA

    The Tea Party so far has gotten a lot of attention by making noise about the deficit and debt, but their naive, 'just say no' approach has done little to resolve our complex fiscal problems. There are enough ignorant voters to elect some more of these folks, but if the Tea Party candidates would specify what spending they propose cutting, they would never get elected. When the actual debt crisis finally arives maybe some real statesmen (and women) will arise to deal with it. For now, the Tea Party gives you news guys something to yack about, but their simple-minded solutions won't help us.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  145. JOHN B.

    If the tea party has a major influence in the next election–get ready for tent citys!

    August 23, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  146. Daniel - TX

    Jack,
    This is the worst ramble I have seen from you in a while. The Tea Party will only effect the Republicans in the next election. They have not and will not win support from independents and obviously democrats. I think everyone agrees that the debt is a major issue that needs to be dealt with. I also know that everyone agrees the way to address it is by a mix of spending cuts and tax increases as to not lead to Draconian cuts across programs that will cost jobs. It just plain makes sense Jack.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  147. Chuck

    Come on Jack,

    Most spending on Obama's watch was in place when he took office. Republicans in Congress blocked all efforts to fix it, like ending tax cuts so the rich pay fair taxes.

    Obama is still spending on both unfunded wars and new drug program too ... Add it up Jack. This wild borrowing and spending from the last Republican Congress made the national debt and deficit skyrocket.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  148. Tampa Tom

    Such hypocrisy!!! Where was the Tea Party when Bush took a budget with a surplus that Clinton left him and turned it into a deficit? Where was the Tea Party outrage when Cheney said "deficits don't matter"? Where was the outrage when the GOP did not pay for the prescription drug coverage? Where is the outrage when billionaires get a tax break, but the GOP doesn't want to extend the middle class payroll tax break?Please spare me the croc tears!

    August 23, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  149. Pat

    To quote Ronald Reagan: There you go again, Jack. Ever heard of the great recession? Does that ring a bell? Check the CBO estimates of how many jobs were saved by the stimulus the government pumped into the economy. Facts are pesky things aren't they?

    August 23, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  150. ATLJack

    Jack,
    Where was the Tea Party when President Bush was spending like a drunken sailor (remember the GOP 900 million
    dollar bridge to nowhere?)

    Although Republicans hope we will forget this little inconvenient truth, President Obama inherited the Great Recession from Bush and is following Keynesian economics – the government spends money to keep the country out of a DEEP recession. Many Republican Presidents have followed this economic mandate and spending is keeping the country afloat- for now.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  151. Al-kc

    They will help the dems get the house back. People now see them for what they are, radicals trying to destroy the government. Their true and only objective is to get rid of Obama. It is easily seen in their statements and actions. It is bizzare to see elected officials showing allegiance to one person like norquist. It's also obvious how they feel about the president by looking at their racist signs, etc. It's now about the president of the U.S. it's about Obama and they just can't stand it that a black man is president.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  152. Paul Gilligan

    Obama was handed a disaster while W was on his way out the door, so blame the new guy holding the bag. Jack, the roof was burnt off of our collective house and now the Tea Party is complaining about the cost of the repairs. The Tea Party may have an effective only if the American public cannot remember why the roof is gone. The Tea Party is complaining that the repair is too expensive and thinks we can live in a leaking house. We should do what is necessary and that includes spending what it takes to repair the economy.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  153. Ken Gullette

    The Tea Party has a good basic idea, but they've allowed their fiscal message to be overtaken by far-right Christian fanatics who are willing to lower the intellectual standards of their candidates in favor of those who won't compromise and who push their own religious agenda. O'Donnell, Palin, Bachmann, and the "C" and "D" student Rick Perry are leading examples of why I can't support the Tea Party.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  154. William Pearce

    Jack, the Tea Party may have a legitimate concern about our rising indebtedness, but their approach defies logic. First, examine the cause of this rise; two wars together with the huge Bush Tax breaks account for much of this debt. Second, add the TARP and stimulus spending, and you'll go far toward understanding where this debt originated. Don't forget that many economists credit the TARP and stimulus spending with saving the US auto industry and averting a major depression. Third, recognize that if debt is a problem, we must raise revenues as well as cut expenses. EVERYTHING must be on the table; to cut only spending is not a viable strategy for balancing the budget. Democracy requires recognition of competing priorities, and compromise toward a solution that is in everyone's best interests, not just the wealthy or the tea party or the GOP.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  155. Michael

    The problem with the "TEA Party" is their extremists methods and refusal to compromise on a path forward. Their "my way or the highway" approach is nonsense. I tend to avoid voting for extremists...either from the right or the left. So anyone who panders to these knuckleheads won't get my vote.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  156. Ronald

    The only effect is that the country has seen how truly extremist they are by being willing to put the country, in deed the world in a financial crisis. The effect will be not to vote for those associated with the Tea Party or the Republican Party for that matter.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  157. hooverguide

    The Tea Pary – is that supposed to sound like a nice afternoon social affair? Or the daring deeds of our ancestors? You are right, someone should sound the alarm and they have reached that goal. It is too bad that lots of someones did not do so long before this day. We did not get here in the last 3 years. We got here after decades of our elected officials ignoring their duty and responsibility to keep we, the people safe from harm (and is many cases, lining their own pockets). In my book, economic harm within our own country is worse than any physical harm that may confront us from afar. We know we would be rescued from the threat of physical harm. So, Tea Party, how are you going to solve the problem and keep your citizens, especially the most vulnerable among us, from harm? That is my question.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  158. John Colorado Springs

    Hey Jack, I hope the tea party gets some responsible people in there, some who are willing to look at both sides of the coin and compromise. But we also need a mix of democrats in with the republicans and the 2 branches need to be separate. We are supposed to have separation of power and if one party controls both branches that will not exist.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  159. Bill Wilson

    The Tea party will help Democrats get elected!

    August 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  160. cary

    What affect? More than they should. They aren't offering solutions just conflict. The demand for a balanced budget amendment is pure distraction since it's purpose is to stop Congress from spending money. It's like sending an alcoholic to rehab but a drunk always finding a way to keep drinking so the real solution is to get rid of all the spendahollics running the government not waste time trying to reform addicts. FYI, the President doesn't hold he purse strings Congress does so they are responsible not Obama. A little Civcs 101.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  161. Ben in LA

    The Tea Party will push reasonable Republicans so far to the right that moderates and independents will have no choice but to vote for Democrats.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  162. Kathleen, Helena MT

    Jack, the "Tea Party effect" will be the Democrats retaking the House of Representatives.

    It's amazing how fast the deficit can jump when you actually ADD the cost of two wars to the budget, instead of leaving it off the budget to make the numbers look good. The so-called rate of the deficit inflation is bogus.
    I'm sick and tired of hearing comparisons of the federal budget to a household budget. When a household budget gets out of whack responsible people will look to add more revenue, like a second job, etc. But n-o-o-o, our House of Representatives won't do THAT (more tax revenue). Instead of getting a "second job", the House would prefer to not pay the bills.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  163. Matt

    It's about time that someone recognizes the Tea Party isn't a movement full of right-wing nut job extremists. It is simply a group of middle class Americans who recognize the gravity of the debt situation in our country and want practical solutions. They are sick of Washington's unhealthy spending practices. Money to pay the bills isn't going to just magically appear. Future and current taxpayers will ultimately be responsible for squaring away our debts.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  164. Eric Kinberg

    Jack, I have never responded to one of these websites (too busy at work, thank goodness!!!). Although I am a registered Democrat and think the Tea Party people are a little weird, they are right on with focusing on this deficit. What is the matter with our country? All the Tea Partiers are requesting is to cut spending a small percentage...and for this they are villified in mainstream media and by ethically challenged politicans like Maxine Waters.

    Stand tall, Tea Party...many of us quietly support your goal of reduced government spending!!!

    August 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  165. Pat Kelley

    Hey Tea Party- try to walk erect, would ya'?? This Libertarian is glad the Tea Partiers have shined a bright light on this critical issue: teh staus quo must go. But when we complain about a barking dog, we're not asking that it be shot or tossed a poison-laced pork chop. Destroying the economy is NOT the way to save the economy! When Michelle Bachman is part of a Congress that spent like a drunken sailor, and then demands that we refuse to pay the credit-card bill, she should be vilified, not celebrated. Cut, cap and balance in some reasonable way, but don't bankrupt us all in the process.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  166. Charles from Camp Verde, Arizona

    Jack, your story only tells half of the problem. The Tea Party may talk about not spending, but they refuse to allow revenue, either. It's blind, ignorant anger that is as harmful to our country as the debt itself and even compounds that debt! I hope the effect they have on the 2012 elections is that they cause Americans with a better sense of citizenship to wake up, educate themselves, and get involved.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  167. JimmyNelson

    but to answer your question.... i think the effect it will have is securing Obamas 2nd term.. !

    August 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  168. Bob

    From what I can tell, the Tea Party has awaken many people to the true nature of neo-conservatives – poorly educated, racist, kook-reliogion and ideology-driven morons. After watching the Tea Party turn a routine debt-ceiling issue into yet another financial diastser, I doubt that many Americans are amused. The national debt is staggering and a very real problem – cutting back the military, closing foreign bases, stopping unfair government handouts to large corporation, and stopping foreign wars of agression are real answers. Another real answer is for Americans to start trying to be educated, and start voting for educated people – people with quantitative backgrounds in engineering and science, for example – who actually think rationally, rather than turning to bankrupt political and religious ideology.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  169. william rickard

    I think the tea party should start drinking coffee, they are brain washed on tea.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  170. Gerald

    San Carlos, CA

    I am predicting they'll have a profoundly positive effect that will benefit (not just their party but) this country, in raising the real core issues of this nation to the surface, such that the best of the presidential hopefuls, be it the incumbent or a candidate can be identified based on their responses and a ideas and a plan to RESOLVE the real issues of debt/spending and that of jobs/economy.

    Jack I'm pleasantly surprised and encouraged that someone in the mainstream media is seeing and finally reporting what I've come to conclude as well; that the Tea Party isn't some extremist republican movement (though a bit crass at times) they're simply a party that has correctly identified the critical path deficiencies in our current government operations and nations economic direction (they get it) and want to make a REAL change. Whether or not I'll ever vote Tea Party or they get a candidate elected to POTUS is beside the point, the bottom line is they're good for our democracy and their ideas need to get integrated and implemented if we're to build a succesful economic future.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  171. John George

    It's deceiving to portray the increased debt soley on increased spending. Obama also happened to be President during the largest one-time decrease in revenue in decades. The increased debt has as much to do with the great recession as it does with spending. Finally, it's unfair to compare deficit spending in a time of economic growth, with deficit spending in a time of recession/slow growth.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  172. D-Nice

    When the tea party first started it was about fiscal responsibility, however, these days the tea party is just another word for hard right republicans. The tea party lost all credibility when they chose default over the "grand bargain" that Obama offered. The tea party no longer stands for fiscal responsibility, they stand for partisan politics and the American people have had enough. The tea party will be swept out of office as fast as they were put there.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  173. Hardy

    $4 trillion increase? Except for the nearly 1.5 Trillion of pre-2009 off-book war costs Obama added, the 800 billion pre-2009 off-book Medicare Donut hole repair, the TARP funds all added to this deficit and all approved under the previous administration, nearly 3/4 of the $4 trillion, not to mention the war costs that continue to accrue as a result of the mistakes of the previous administration.....in any case, if you are going to make a case like this, at least be transparent...

    August 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  174. Jesus L.

    Our government will become Fascist.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  175. Dave in PA

    Jack, if a person who makes $100,000/yr has a $100,000. mortgage, that is considered responsible, because servicing the debt is a small percentage of real income. Same goes with our debt to GDP ratio. Our debt numbers may be too high, but the only risk we have in not paying it off is with alarmist ignorant baffoons in Congress putting a halt to government business. Wanna see a real recession? Let the Tea Partiers have their way.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  176. David C

    Correct me if Im wrong, but Bush used supplemental budgets to allocate funds towards the war efforts keeping it out of the "national budgets" This could have severely skewed the numbers you are proposing.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  177. CaliforniaBC

    What people aren't comprehending about the debt increase under Obama is the massive drop in government revenue from the 6 million jobs lost from September 2008 to April 2009 with December 2008 representing the largest month of job losses in ~20 years. This represents a HUGE chunk of revenue that was lost. As a result the government's debt spending increased just from paying its bills accrued over the past decade or more. On top of this the government had to spend money to stabilize the economy which it did, keeping us from slipping into depression. Then we can add one more policy issue to that list as well...the unpaid for Bush Tax Cuts which, according to Politifact, was one of the 3 top reasons for the virtual doubling of the debt under GW Bush. The other 2 were the unpaid for wars and the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

    If the Tea Party is "the only group that gets it" then they would have jumped on these issues that started under Bush and they would understand the broader reasons for the increases. But they don't seem to given their rhetoric, laying all the blame on Obama and thinking, incorrectly, that spending cuts alone will solve the problem.

    So just stating Obama increased spending is woefully oversimplifying the situation and lacks an overall comprehension of the economic factors involved.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  178. Harvester of Eyes

    Zilch !

    August 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  179. Cosmos42

    The reason the national debt has increased under Obama so much is that the economy was in free-fall by the time he took office, and a massive stimulus was needed. That, combined with inheriting two wars, a massive overhaul of the healthcare system, and complete Rebublican intransigence since day one, is why the national debt has increased so much.

    But no, no, you're right we should just take a superficial look at the total numbers and completely ignore what actually went into them. Seems smart.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  180. Malick Sylla

    The tea party will have zero effect in the presidential elections of 2012 because people are starting to realize what they stand for wich is no good for this country.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  181. Pam

    I hope not much. Most of these people know nothing about government. They are mostly religious with far extreme views with plenty of predudice mixed in. If Americans want to hold on to their Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, freedom of religion, collective bargaining rights, abortion rights and every other right that we enjoy, we had better hope thay don't have much influence.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  182. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, despite all the headlines and loud mouths, the Tea Party is still a far right group organized, funded and supported by ultra conservatives. They have taken over the Republican party and kicked out the moderates, who had been leaving the Republican party in droves for the past 30 years, anyway. Their affect on 2012, an election with one party standing far to the right of everyday Americans.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  183. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,

    You're scaring me, you sound just like a Tea Party member. I agree the spending is getting out of control, but we need to raise revenues to help compensate. Let the Bush Tax Cuts expire across the board. And I hope the Tea Party fanatics don't have an impact on the 2012 elections. They've done enough damage as is. I see their point, but their tactics/methods are all wrong.

    You really want to see change happen get the corporate money out of politics. Companies are not 'people'!

    August 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  184. Abe

    They are destroying the fabric of this nation, they are nothing more than an extremist bunch who dislike being led by the biracial president or led by a perceived Liberal president.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  185. R. H. Stern

    Jack: Have you nothing better to do but ask leading questions? The aftermath of eight years of destructive government cannot be turned arouind in less tan three years. There is such a thing as lags in economics and that is what we are seeing, the full impact of the Bush/Republican profligacyis still to be felt. To add to this misery, we had the earthquake/tsunami disaster in japan which severely impacted our economy, more than one oil crisis and the lingering effects of two wars – neither financed – plus a House of representativers which has made it clear that its only missioon in lifeis to ensure Obama is a one-term president. To compound this, we ha ve as senate that seeks a filibuster and a super-majority on virtualy everyhting and continues to block many appointments necessary for the effective operation of the Government. If you must pont fingers, point them at the people who publicly , brazenly, and iresponsibly choose to be roadblocks. To paraphrase Ronald Reaqgan: "government isn't the problem, the republican party is the problem."

    August 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  186. Russ

    Jack, not so fast. $4 trillion is a lot of money, but so is $40,000 – the cost of a new SUV. It's all relative. The Tea Party, for all its fiscal self identity, seems more unified in its revulsion of all things liberal. It is, in fact, a very right wing group, and controls only the Republican Party. We would be having this discussion with or without the Tea Party. We also would have had compromise last month,and a greater bite out of the debt.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  187. Sparks McKenzie - Missouri

    Hopefully a minor one. I get that they think they deserve credit for turning the conversation about our deficit and wanting to do something about it, but the partisan nonsense they bring is simply unnecessary. To say that the deficit is a huge problem now, when it wasn't just 3 years ago, is crazy – let alone giving our President the disrespect and grief that they have. Obama inherited a mess, and I, for one, still believe he is the guy to fix it. We don't need more crazy, we need more compromise. We need to work together. The Tea Party has proven it will not do so.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  188. captnavenger

    The Tea Part does not "get it," Jack. When the house is on fire, the solution is not to call all the firemen communists and quickly replace each of them with store clerks and businessmen. Name calling, race-baiting and paranoia are not solutions to anything.

    And you should add all the surplus Bush and Co. wasted into the debt he accumulated. And you also need to be honest about whether the kind of hemorrhaging Bush got started is fixable in a single term. President Obama said none of this would be a quick fix. That it would take sacrifice and hard work. Everybody seems to have forgotten that, espeically the Tea Partiers, who will never have an instant solution, no matter how loud they yell.

    -Menlo Park, CA

    August 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  189. John James

    This act of the Tea Party on the 2012 elections is simple. Almost 80% of the Tea Baggers will not be elected and the both the Senate and the House of Representatives will have a majority of demcrats in power and President Obama will be elected over Romney in a landslide and once again the millionaires and corporations will pay their fair share and the country will be moving again toward prosperity and solvency. Oak hill West Virginia

    August 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  190. Maria

    Obama had to deal with Bush's mess, at any cost. Yes, it took Bush 8 years to get the country to where it was in 2008. And it took Obama two years to get us a little bit farther away from the ditch, and yes it cost a lot of money. Did anybody had a better plan? When will you get it: there was no other way out of it. You don't like 9% unemployment? How about 25% and this is minimum what would have happened if he did not do what he did. Now you are trashing him , Jack, singing halleluiah to Tea Party, which is destroying this country faster than Bush and Co. could ever imagine . I guess it will take President Michelle Bachman and Vice President Alan West to bring you back to sanity.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  191. Guy King

    Of course the Tea Party will have an effect. Hopefully, beyond fodder for liberals who like to demonize the group. Tea Party centrists want responsible government, because their core belief is that people are responsible for their own situations. Health, income, education and way of life are the result of choices the individual makes in reaction to conditions they face. Their government has to reflect that belief. Don't spend what you don't have. Don't expect more than you give. Be fair and be treated fairly. Curiously, in the media, many groups that are nowhere near the majority get much more respectful treatment than members of the Tea Party. LGBT's, the handicapped, even looters are given understanding treatment in the media...but conservative TP members are vilified. In my view most of us have much to learn from the Tea Party. (writing from Dallas GA)

    August 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  192. Lisa

    The Tea Party doesn't get because like every other politian they don't think about the consequences of their decision. It's easy to think about the "right now" but rarely does anyone on The Hill think about the future beyond the next election. And if the Tea Party was so concerned about our financial situation one would think they wouldn't be on a tax-payer paid vacation ...

    August 23, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  193. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Whatever the outcome, it will be painful and very violent. It will be many times worse than what we've seen in other countries as we have become addicted to social programs and wars. The President won't drop the blame game scenerio and focus on real jobs without spending money. This won't cut it with us oridinary folks that live in this great country. We are sadly to say headed for another major depression and I only hope that Congress gets their act together and soon.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  194. Aynus McDiddle from Haggisfart, Scotland

    The Tea Party is the best thing that could have happened to the Democrats. Key for the GOP in 2012 will be the independent vote. Any GOP candidate aliging him or herself with the Tea Party might as well give up and go home now. Given the recent tomfoolery in congress no independent in their right mind is going to vote for someone who supports a fringe group lacking basic math skills and the most elementary of economic and accounting principles.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  195. Larry Batson, Powderly, TX

    They won't have much effect if they continue to advocate balancing the budget without any revenue increases!
    Larry
    Powderly, TX

    August 23, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  196. Mike D

    I hope they will sound even louder in 2012. Who ever gets elected Obama or the Repubs, we need fiscal conservatism to get our financial future back on track.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  197. Jay Scheuerle

    The TP will affect the Republican primaries, but not the general election, unless they sway the Republican candidate of choice too far to the right, at which point they will be partially responsible for Obama's 2nd term. They will not HELP a Republican get elected president.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  198. jon moter

    Jack, It sounds as if you're forgetting that things cost money. These Tea Partiers demand the same services from our government as the rest of the population, they just don't want to pay for it. Our national dept is growing because corporations and the mega-rich have so many tax loop-holes, they pay relativley little taxes.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  199. Christopher Blunt

    Jack, you are usually lelve-headed but you are so wrong with this rant that it's going to make my head explode. In the first place, Obama inherited the mess from Bush, and has done his best to limit the damage. In the second place, with consumer spending in the tank the only player that can get the economy back into gear is the US Governement. And they do that by spending. Stimulating the economy will improve revenues and end up reducing the deficit. But to answer your question about the effect of the Tea Party, I think it will be to drive moderates and center-right voters into the Democrat's arms. The American people can see that the Tea Partiers are absolutley insane and will not follow their path. Only the media is fooled by them

    August 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  200. Ya No

    Like I've mentioned before, I respect and support the Tea Party goals. Their strategies, however, are a different matter. Rather than be engaged in good-faith discussions with their counterparts in Congress, they decided instead to unilaterally risk an unmitigated economic disaster which may yet come to pass. If our future is going to be ruled by small groups of radical extremists, we are in serious trouble. Would you trim your Christmas tree with a flame-thrower?

    August 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  201. Dorothy

    Nothing I hope they are the radical fringe, causing all sorts of trouble and no solutions.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  202. abby

    The Tea Party professes concern for deficits and debt ceilings and proclaims its patriotism loudly, but the party is more about money and power than the members are willing to admit or too gullible/naive to realize. In the end the only ones who will benefit besides the politicians are the corporations that support the party that seeks to dismantle the regulations that keep corporations from running amok. The party is long on rhetoric but short on rationality and reason. Also, as a Christian I cannot support the Tea Party or any party that espouses cutting the safety nets for the most vulnerable in our population - seniors, the poor, children.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  203. gatordave

    Obama does not have unilateral control over the budget. Congress shares the blame.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  204. Steve

    The idea that President Obama has somehow 'put us in this hole' is utter nonsense. It's like blaming Roosevelt for the Stock Market Crash in '29 even though he didn't take office until years afterwards. The current economic climate stems from events that happened far before President Obama took office. The jump in the annual national deficits are due to collecting 2000-level tax revenues to pay 2011-level bills.

    The Tea Party will scream and yell for the candidate most likely to get beat by Barack Obama (Bachman). They'd better serve their own interests by keeping their mouths shut, and letting a more moderate (read as 'realistic & reasonable') candidate compete in the general election.

    Jon Huntsman is the only reasonable candidate anywhere near the GOP ticket, and he is by nearly all measures a straight up conservative. The rest of those clowns are living in fantasyland, daring each other to propose ludicrous idiocy-based solutions that appeal to people devoid of any measure of intelligence.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  205. Gigi Oregon

    Having voted Republican in the last election and thanking God every day for letting the People win. Those wanting change winning back the White House, I will be voting for President Obama. Every time the party of the people gets into office the Republican pawns and corporate America begin there "slick tricks". Bush raised the debt limit over six times. The banks, mortgage co., etc. had a hey day screwing the American people and are now blaming President Obama for all the Economy woes. What happened to the Clinton clean up of our debt, the surplus, securing Social security etc. and the list goes on...When lost our dignity, respect from around the world, embarrassed by going to war in the wrong country. Lost the lives of our young men and women who fought this battle in the wrong country. And you think the under educated Tea party will bring us hope....and they are the answer...Jack retire.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  206. Jane B.

    The Tea Party are a bunch of quacks. I agree something needs to be done about this – stop the wars for one – thats the biggest expense – but what I have seen from the nuts in the Tea Party – they are not the answer – they will absolutely wreck this country even worse!

    August 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  207. David, North Carolina

    Are you thinking of going to work for Fox's News Jack? The Tea Party needs to be GONE by 2012!

    August 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  208. Jim, San Antonio

    The tea party will hurt the Republicans. Obama will be re-elected and Republican numbers in Congress will be diminished by the tea party crazies.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  209. James Jones

    Jack, I didn't know you were part of the tea party! the tea party doesn't just care about cutting spending, they care about cutting spending for those who need it the most while allowing corporations and the wealthy suck america dry.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  210. Bruce Levitt

    For all our sakes, we better hope the Tea Party affects the election (and I hope the world is watching for its own good.) There should be a Tea Party in every country that is in debt trouble. I'm a total independent who detests the far left and the far right. The Tea Party tapped into the disbelief so many Americans feel about the incredibly irresponsible spending of the federal government, starting with Bush, but then insanely escalating under Obama, Pelosi and Reid. The Tea Party message was laser focused and grounded in common sense. "Stop the insane spending and get the deficit under control with serious deficit reduction." Without the Tea Party, the absurdly lame debt bill that passed would have been even lamer.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  211. Jessica, Sparta, NJ

    Jack, It will make the more sane voters either not vote or they will vote for Obama. The Tea Party is filled with people that don't understand reality or science and it scares those of us that can think for ourselves.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  212. Synapse

    Really- You're posing that GWB's performance was better? Bush drove the economy into the ditch & left President Obama holding the Bush Economy Bag of Doo-Doo. It took FDR nearly a decade to turn the economy around from the time of the October, 1929 crash- and that was WITH a Democratic majority in Congress [and just as bad an anti-citizen Supreme Court as we have now]

    August 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  213. David

    Every Presidential election is impacted by grass root support. If the Tea-party is capable of going toe to toe with the millions of grass root supporters who reject their right wing rants they could make an impact on the election. However, to say that the nation's debt is the President's fault ignores two ongoing wars and 10 years of tax cuts and the cost of the Bush Administration's casual approach to Wall Street and Banking regulation and the subsequent housing meltdown. Seriously, the world economy almost crashed and burned. Where was the "Tea-party" when their standard bearer was creating this mess?

    August 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  214. Sam, Florida

    The Tea Party has left a bitter taste in my mouth and I'm staunch Republican. Even if its Tea for Texas, I think most real Republicans and all Democrats will say they are tead off at this party's brinksmanship and send any party candidate packing!

    August 23, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  215. Dennis in Los Angeles

    Obama supporters are impressed at how good Obama looks while driving a bus that's headed for a cliff while at the same time they call the Tea Party members hysterical because they are yelling at the top of their lungs for him to stop.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  216. Joe from Brigantine, NJ

    I hope that it will make anyone who voted for a Tea Party candidate realize that they made a bonehead move and that they will vote for a person who understands the real world. I appreciate the Tea Party highlighting our debt but they also highlighted the fact that they haven't a clue as to how to deal with it in a rational manner. They are Chicken Little alarmists without any common sense. But they can, and will, prevent any rationlal party from doing the right thing.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  217. Bill in Jax

    Obviously you don't get it Jack. The current deficit is not due to Obama but rather steadily decreasing revenues. The Tea Party offers no solution to the USA's revenue problems, just more tax cuts to the rich and religion in our bedrooms.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  218. Andy C.

    Let's not forget that President Obama began his Presidency on the very eve of the largest financial crisis in this country since the Great Depression. I wonder where we'd be if the banks, and Wallstreet, and AIG and the auto industry had not been bailed out? Really think we'd be in better shape? If the economy had REALLY tanked, how much tax revenue would that have generated? If the TEA party "gets it," why are they advocating austerity measures at a time when our economiic recovery has been so weak? Now there's a great way to push us into a double dip recession. What would that do to our national debt? I believe the tea party's message of fiscal restraint will resonate in the next election. However many people place the blame for the credit rating debacle squarely at their feet and they will have less clout post election.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  219. Jerzy

    Simple, the Tea Party members will be voted out of office for their tactics. I'm curious if you could report on what portion of Obama's record spending binge was a direct result of either the Iraq and/or Afganistan wars, what portion of it was related to bailing out our stagnant economy, how much less revenue the Fed received due to the recession since 2009, and how much was lost due to the Bush-era tax cuts. I'd just be curious how much of the $4 trillion Obama spending spree was actually driven directly by the poor fiscal policies of the current President...

    August 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  220. Carlos

    From Tampa, Florida

    I believe they will have as much an influence now as they did during the midterm elections, but being extreme conservative, they certainly won't affect the number of Democratic votes; They will primarily decide who wins the Republican primary, and considering their outstanding support for both Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman, The election will be for which side of the extreme do most Americans fall in? The fiscally-irresponsible, unassertive-liberal left (being Obama, of course), or the Christian dominionism, fiscally-ignorant right? This election feels the same as the last, only instead of being hopeful for our future, either way this election goes we fear there may be no future left!

    August 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  221. steve

    If you were really interested in this one, you wouldn't have put it to your audience in such an incredibly biased way. C'mon, man. Obama wants to raise revenue. Your blame is really tiny-minded.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  222. Alan Patterson

    I disagree. The biggest problem is that we outsource too many of our Jobs. No other advanced Country in the World tries to operates like that, with a welcome mat...

    Assuming that true unemployment is 18 to 20%. And only expecting a increase of Jobs, ie. a reduction to 6% true unemployment, at an annual income rate of say $30k per year [for sake of calculation] would yield over ten trillion dollars a yer annual increase in monies to American households. The taxes collected on that income, the spending generated off that available pool of American Household monies quickly fixes many of our current problems. But at the expense of some of the profits or our larger international Companies. I call that a fair outcome. AlanP

    August 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  223. CTYank

    Jack, methinks you've got it bass-ackwards. Until we get unemployment down, without additional burger-flippers, we'll have a problem with debt.
    Once employers give us a little trickle-down, and hiring takes off, deficit will shortly go away. Then, when the "W" tax cuts to his base are allowed to die, we can make some progress. You conveniently ignore the fact that these cuts are a major ongoing source of the debt. Give credit where it's due.
    Your assertion that the TP is any sort of grass-roots thing conveniently ignores Dick Armey and Fox. Nicely ducked.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  224. Terry

    It has amazed me that no one has yet realized that the Tea Party is nothing new. It is the reincarnation of the Anti-Federalist movement of the 1780's, led by Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams and James Monroe, to name just a few. It's stand was also espoused by Thomas Jefferson, who was in Europe at the time.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  225. rker321

    I am not so sure that they "get it" as you seem to think. To me, and I am a Republican, the Tea Party represent an extremist fringe that has not place in our government. We need politicians, and people that govern all of us, to have not only common sense, but also the ability to be flexible, and compromising.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  226. chuckles

    hopefully people will realize how inefficient their presence is in government by their lack of compromise and their distorted sense of reality which is defended by talking points and rhetoric. I just hate the fact that americans are forced to choose between voting for democrats who act like republicans or uncompromising right wing fanatics. the only real hope is that the tea party eventually directs all their anger at the current political procress in hopes of created a multi-party system.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  227. mdmooser

    Is there a D minus credit rating?

    August 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  228. L. Narug

    The old adage "you must break a lot of eggs to make an omelet" is true. If the gov. stops spending, as a result lays off hundreds of thousands of people, how do the Tea Partiers think the economy will improve with less payroll taxes? They aren't following the thread, if companies aren't willing to spend their piles of money on new jobs, the gov. must, to get people back to work and greatly increase our income through payroll taxes. The Tea Party might have good intentions, but they aren't using logic to reach their goal of balancing the budget.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  229. Mark

    Its true Obama has increased our debt by 4 trillion in only 3 years...but by not doing so..what would our unemployment look like? would we be in a full on depression? Those are questions people seem to forget when critizing the debt...sometimes you need to go into debt to get your car fixed...because not fixing your car, means you will lose your job, and a whole new amount of problems will arise.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  230. AB

    Jack, enough with the hysterics!! Think longterm. President Obama has increased public investment in our country and its citizens–this will in the longterm reduce our national debt since it is more expensive in the long run to fix our infrastructure, our economy and solve our social problems. Obama saved the auto and banking industry from insolvency and ruin. In the short run, it will be tough and expensive, but in the long run, we will reap huge cost savings and benefits by reforming our health care system, repairing our roads, bridges and improving our mass transit system. The Tea Party effect will be negligible in the long run when our nation and economy is fixed and is up and running.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  231. mike halter

    The Tea Party will have a lot less effect than last election. They have gone to far to the right and have lost most of the
    Independant voter's. Their mantra of no new taxs will be their downfall.
    Jack ,That dog won't hunt.

    Mike Largo FL.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  232. Merrilou Neigenfind

    I really believe the Tea Party's influence will peak with this campaign. People want rational, fact based debate. Enough of this bluster and ridiculous promises. Sacrifice is required and I believe the American people know this and that we seek an end to this us against them mentality and a return to 'we the people'.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  233. Chris, Bx., NY

    The debt will be worked out. Yes Mr. Cafferty the real deal is, yes more spending must be done SPECIFICALLY for job creation. The deficits are a big concern in the out years....but the super committe, or the trigger option, WILL finally give us real cuts w/ teeth.......Yes Cafferty, the President, and congress will, at the end of the day lead......i hope you're ready for that day, cause it's coming very soon.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  234. Realistic

    Bush only saw the debt raise after he spent every single dime of the surplus he inherited.
    The debt only went up 4.8 trillion with him because by the time he was leaving office, the financial chaos started to unfold. It's like draining all the motor oil from your car and letting someone borrow it.
    When they start driving, a few miles later, the engine will break and then they will get the blame because it was them driving the car. They didn't know why it broke, but they still get the blame. Then, they ask for money to fix the engine but you refuse to help because it's their problem and it's too expensive.

    Only in Washington this kind of logic can make sense.... Maybe america needs a character like Guy Fawkes.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  235. AR1000

    They will become extinct in 2012 like the Dixiecrats in 1948

    August 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  236. Bill

    Those that have usurped the Tea Party movement for personal gain or support the Tea Party and don't understand what it is all about will continue to have a negative affect on the Tea Party while the real Tea Party continues to have a positive affect on the discussion of this country. Perhaps real issues will be the focal point of this election rather than talking points. Ron Paul is the only one that hasn't been bought and will be the only one capable of taking on the challenges. Enjoy your vacation Obama, you relax while we raise millions to support the only one capable of restoring America.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  237. Jay

    The Tea Party isn't the ONLY group that has sounded this alarm and isn't the only group concerned. However, the Tea Party has been the LOUDEST – unfortunately like every loud mouth know it all the Tea Party rarely offers a solution other than to stop spending and don't raise taxes. Common sense tells you that both approaches must be blended together to make the debt come down. The fact is approx 53% of Americans pay taxes so that 47% of Americans get a free ride. That is not sustainable. Sorry but the number needs to be approx. 100% of Americans are paying taxes and spending needs reigned in. Most politicians (Repubs, Demos & TPs) will say that the Average American who suggests that we cut programs like Foreign aid don't get it because Foreign Aid is such a small % but that is BS from the politicians. Look at this way if 100 politicians would find $ 1million dollars each to cut from the budget you would suddenly cut $100 million dollars. Do that 10 times and suddenly you have cut $ 1 Billion dollars. $ 1 million dollar cuts would add up. In addition thanks to the Bush tax cuts we have people who are retired and making about $90,000 per year in dividends paying Zero taxes because of the capital gains structure. If we said sorry you are going to pay $3,000 on those $ 90,000 of dividends and did that to an estimated 1 million taxepayers, the IRS could raise $ 3 billion dollars and guess what paying $ 3,000 on $ 90,000 of income is not going to place a hardship on those taxpayers. Also, welfare should continue however, we need to stop handing over money just because it is the right thing to do and the compassionate thing to do – welfare should be Compasion with accountability! Sorry but drug testing, citzenship, lack of criminal backgrounds and limits on the number of children should all be in force. In addition, if you are receiving benefits and are able, guess what here is your broom, your paint brush, your trash bag, your toilet scrubber – help reduce government's cost of maintaining public buildings – put these people to work. Average Americans could and can get us out of this mess by suggesting viable solutions that wouldn't be open to negotiation for political gain which is exaclty what the politicians of all types do.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  238. James Riedmiller

    Jack where is the Tea Party taking this country, so they open up a discussion on government spending too much, even this they did in a reckless manner. They take the country to the brink with their fabricated debt crisis, all this in the middle of recession they then dismiss it as if they had everything under control. Why are they not talking about jobs .If there is any good they are responsible for and I have yet to see it , it is certainly offset by their destructive, irresponsible behavior. I fear for my families future if these people keep forcing their agenda upon us. Why would you give credence to this reckless divisive group of self serving idealists. They are not concerned about my America they are part of a larger conspiracy to create a new aristocracy hell bent on controlling rather then leading. They are not part of a populist revolt but rather a selected group of angry individuals who devil be damned mean to get their way. In my 50 years I have never seen such a divided America, such a polarized America such a mean spirited get out of my way America. That is not my country, that is not the land of my birth. That is instead some corrupted vile untruth that is an embarrassment. The Tea Party will have an effect on the election, if they get their way the lifestyle some many of us have had to fight for will surely be lost the erosion of the middle class will continue on an accelerated rate. However if the real silent majority in America decides to keep this wreckless self serving enemy of the people from exerting any more of its influence on election day then we all win

    August 23, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  239. Charles Billiter

    Keep up the good fight Jack. I believe in what you are doing.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  240. Ellie from Nebraska

    Comic relief. They're a vocal minority. If they manage to nominate a Tea Party GOP nominee, Obama will definitely win the 2012 election. There is no way the Tea Party can appeal to Independent voters.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  241. DIANA

    The only effect the TeaParty will have is divide the Republican party and guarantee another four years for our President. Hopefully, the rest of the country has caught on to what they really stand for – they and nothing but a crazy fringe group who want the President to fail and they don't care if they run the country to the ground to do it.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  242. dave in nashville

    None if they keep mixing religion with politics and making it an issue. And Jack, they are a "faction", not a party, and if they make reducing the military expense and foreign aid real issues, they would do well. All this talk about jobs is bull, government cannot create them except for itself, and we all know that dog won't hunt.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  243. Merrilou Neigenfind

    I really believe the Tea Party's influence will peak with the campaign. People want rational, fact based debate. Enough of this bluster and ridiculous promises. Sacrifice is required and I believe the American people know this and that we seek an endo this us against them mentality and a return to 'we the people'.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  244. Brian

    The debt rise in the Bush administration is largely a result of the Bush tax cuts and his unfunded wars. The bump after he left is largely a result of the Bush tax cuts and revenue decreases from people losing their jobs and no longer paying taxes. Until the tea party gets off of the no tax increases on the wealthy bandwagon I will have to side with the middle who want to see the balanced approach. Anyone who thinks they will balance the budget on the backs of the middle class by gutting us deserves no support. the moderate republicans and the moderate democrats need to get together and push the extremists on both sides out of the decision making.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  245. Jenny Demmiti

    The Tea Party will split the extreme right from the established GOP. It may lead to a 3rd party candidate and chaosis will rein.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  246. curtis in philadelphia

    Jack, in business you need three points on a graph to be able to spot a trend. So far the Tea party have one point on the electoral graph and that was 2010. Even if they do well in 2012, its still only two points on said graph. They scared a lot of people with their willingness to default on our debt, their eagerness to cut spending on the Big Three and their complete and total resistance to consider raising taxes, but they may have even picked up a few votes because of it. The Tea Party is no flash in the pan, but they're not ready for prime time either, only time will tell.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  247. Bill in New Mexico

    No Republican will be for increased tax revenues for some time.

    The Republicans will win the White House, a majority in the Senate, and expand their majority in the House in 2012.

    The Deomocrats will take a deserved beating in 2012. It is late for Obama to be thinking about campaign promises.

    Thank God, someone (the Tea Party) is concerned about the debt, and the annual budget deficit.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  248. ghost

    The impact the Tea Party will have? Win or lose it will be a positive one. They have gotten both Republicans and Democrats to reconsider how they look at the nation's finances. Basically Democrats are Coke, Republicans are Diet Coke, and the Tea Party is well, Tea. What the country really needs is a nice class of water, until we get a glass of water, we will have to do with the Liars, Lawyers, and Politicians that have infested our political system with their out right lies, half truths, and truths by omitting, as well as their lawyerly way with words, where they can talk so pretty for so long and really not say anything. We need water, but I will settle for TEA, (for now).

    August 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  249. mdmooser

    Tea Party is absolutely correct but it is also tunnel vision. Yes spending MUST come down, no choice. Jobs, infrastructure, growth must be accommodated also with WHATEVER IT TAKES. It is a balancing act and when you only see one of the legs you need to stand on, you fall over.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  250. Lee

    Jack, do you really think the Tea Party is the only group worried about the debt? What happened to the Reform Party, for example? Also, do you really think that the debt issue is a bigger threat than, say, WWII or the subsequent threat of nuclear war?
    Frankly, the Tea Party is right to be pointing out the debt problem. It's too bad they're so committed to a stubborn, idelogical non-solution. While I admit that entitlement reform needs to be part of the solution, removing the deficit through Medicare and Social Security alone (and killing this nation's seniors in the process) isn't the way to go.
    Ultimately, the only way we're going to get out of the debt crisis is through growth, and that's going to take an increased investment in our infrastructure and an overhaul of the education system. Of course, these plans will take a few years to show results, so good luck getting our election-minded officials to sign on.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  251. allens

    why on earth should you be shocked at the increase? when Obama came in, were things good? did we invade 2 countries at that point maybe? quite a bit of the war spending was defered until Obama came in. then the wonderful Bush tax cuts that keep on adding to our woes. where were you, on mars?

    August 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  252. Franky

    I hope the only effect they have is ensuring Obama gets re-elected. Honestly, can you take someone seriously who claims to avert "economic disaster" by well supporting "economic disaster".

    August 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  253. Tea party bad

    The Tea Party is taking the Republicans in the wrong direction. Their views only favor the rich and exclude everyone else, especially minorities. They caused the recent market drops by focusing the nation's attention on the debt instead of job creation. The government needs to provide incentives for companies to hire unemployed Americans. They also need penalties for sending jobs overseas and laying off American workers when the unemployment rate is so high. Get Americans working and give them more job security to get the economy going again and generate more tax revenue.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  254. John Mulhausen

    I'm surprised to hear you say the Tea Party is the only one who "gets it." They view austerity as a means to contain the ability of the president to use stimulus to generate growth, which is the best solution for our debt than the spending cuts they just passed. Meanwhile, they do not accept that to tackle debt, a balanced approach that includes new tax revenue is needed, nor do they get that the "bottom 50%" only controls $1.4T of wealth, meaning if you took 25% of everything they own, we'd raise a paltry $350 billion, meanwhile wrecking the lives of people whose average income is $25,000 a year. Obama resided over a near-depression started during Bush's reign [decreasing revenue], and spent money trying to keep the economy afloat [increasing spending] which was the right thing to do. It is the Tea Party's belief that we can get out of this by cutting services to and raising taxes on the poor that is the greatest threat to our economic recovery, and without that recovery, our state of perpetual debt will continue.
    -John Mulhausen, Seattle, WA

    August 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  255. Jim

    The answer to Life, the Universe and Tea Party effect in 2012 is 0. Folks with an IQ will see through their silly arguements.

    Hmm, afer saying that, I guess all us intelligent folks are screwed....most of the US does not think intelligently when it comes to voting.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  256. Blue in Chicago

    The Tea Party's ignorance of the Constitution and how government works will be their undoing. The mainstream GOP will not allow the Tea Party to continue to erode its brand and reputation as effective leaders and legislators. All Congressional Tea Party members will meet stiff opposition in primaries as well as in general elections, and, while they may not be silenced, they will be largely expunged from government.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  257. Ray S in Binghamton, NY

    I consider myself a Democrat, a conservative Democrat at that. The national debt is insane. I actually hope a tea party person gets elected so everyone wakes up.
    I have a daughter who lives and works in Spain and has no intention of returning to the states. I have a son in college who wants to move to Japan, and myself, I want to move to New Zealand. They say we are the greatest country in the world, yet we can't get our children on either side of the isle to get along. What nonsense! They can't see beyond their own wallets what's good for the country.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  258. Ken in MD

    They will cause the primary elections to be thrown to the most right wing conservative candidates, none of whom can win in the general election in November. Liberals, moderates, and independents will run in the other direction. In other words, the stronger the Tea Party becomes, the more likely Obama will win re-election.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  259. Raymond

    Jack, the effect will be little or no effect at all if the Tea Party don't start working with all Parties including the President to get this country back on track with Job Creation and Spending Cuts. Good Luck with putting the country first.

    Marksville, Louisiana

    August 23, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  260. Jay in Irvine

    Jack, You are fast becoming a joke. How convenient of you to ignore the fact that Obama inherited a recession, 2 unpaid wars and Prescription drug plan Bushies never accounted for.

    As for as Tea Party is concerned , only reason they had a major influence in 2010 elections was that old geezers who made up that tea party had way too much time on their hand to go out and vote. This won't be the scenario in 2012.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  261. Harold

    Its about time something on CNN discussed how crazy all this spending is. Being this much in debt and continuing to spend at the rates the US is borrowing and spending is criminal and should be considered a national security issue.

    Look at it this way. Any person applying for a job with the US GOv't would be denied a security clearance if they had the same debt to income ratio the US Gov't is currently operating with. It puts us all at huge risk, not to mention it is just plain irresponsible. If anyone of us borrowed like this in our personal lives we would be in jail in short order.

    Why is it that political gain is more important than the security, longevity and economic success of the United States?
    How do these politicians sleep or look at their children without deep guilt and embarrassment?

    Based on the leaders the voters keep putitng in office, I could not be more embarrassed to be a citizen of the United States right now.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  262. John Mulhausen

    I'm surprised to hear you say the Tea Party is the only one who "gets it." They view austerity as a means to contain the ability of the president to use stimulus to generate growth, and growth is the best solution for our debt, not Tea-Party-sponsored spending cuts. Meanwhile, they do not accept that to tackle debt, a balanced approach that includes new tax revenue is needed, nor do they get that the "bottom 50%" only controls $1.4T of wealth, meaning if you took 25% of everything they own, we'd raise a paltry $350 billion, meanwhile wrecking the lives of people whose average income is $25,000 a year. Obama resided over a near-depression started during Bush's reign [decreasing revenue], and spent money trying to keep the economy afloat [increasing spending] which was the right thing to do. It is the Tea Party's belief that we can get out of this by cutting services to and raising taxes on the poor that is the greatest threat to our economic recovery, and without that recovery, our state of perpetual debt will continue. Obama understands that weak demand is the problem. The Tea Party believes protecting the investor class is our only hope. They are out of touch and so is anybody who justifies their stance on the air.
    -John Mulhausen, Seattle, WA

    August 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  263. Steve

    I think the Tea Party will have a huge effect on the election, but not necessarily because they should. They will point to the deficit growing with Obama but will never put together a REAL solution. Cut, Cap and Balance is a marketing term. When they had the opportunity to clarify the tax code so that tax write off loopholes are eliminated, they balked, saying 'No News Taxes"

    However, clarifying the tax rate is not new taxes , its making sure the government gets what it NEEDS so we dont have a deficit. Its this type of obfuscation that the Tea Party will bring to the election and god help us if we elect someone based on their vague marketing speak.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  264. ghost

    The Tea Party are the only group of people in the entire world that are protesting for LESS government. Its uniquely American, and its time we considered ourselves as American, and not as NATO, or Western Europe. I have noticed that everything the TEA Party is asking for has been championed by both parties in the past 15 years. Only difference is now the TEA Party wants less spending and a balanced budget, they are called terrorists and hostage takers... Democrats still brag about balancing the budget in the 90's, the Republicans always demand less spending... but the TEA Party is the only party putting action to their words, and they are being railroaded by the two parties that really agree with them deep down.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  265. Bruce

    Jack. I believe that the Tea Party will be the primary cause of the downfall of this country. While I do agree that we need to curb spending, the tactics used by the Tea Party members have brought gridlock to the country. If the Democrats use the same tactics, which is likely, things will only get worse.
    We need to cut spending, but we also need to invest in jobs,l research and infastructure. If we only cut, then things will get worse. Raise taxes on the rich. make them pay their fair share.
    Personally, I believe that the SCOTUS ruling that gave corporations the rights of citizens was the beginning of the downward spiral. Facism here we come!!!

    August 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  266. Harley Lever

    Jack, your post ignores the fact Obama wanted $4 trillion in cuts through spending cuts and revenue increases which were blocked by the Tea Party even though 64% of Americans favored this approach. The Tea Party came across as pig-headed and clueless to the consequences; which we got a glimpse of in our 401k in the last 4 weeks.. Instead of $4 trillion in cuts, we are looking at a quarter of what could have happened. I think what this shows is the Republicans are going to have to put forth a candidate far enough right to get Tea Party approval, which is likely too far to the right to get elected. The other scenario is Republicans and the Tea Party will put forth two seperate candidates which will cyphen off too much from both bases. The Tea Party has already had their own response to State of the Union Address, which shows they do not necessarily see themselves as Republicans. The only person I can see getting Republican, Tea Party, and Independent support is Ron Paul.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  267. Eric CO

    The problem is that the tea party candidates althought "getting it" had no understanding of economics. We came out of the worst recession since the depression thanks to the credit default swaps and derivatives. We handed billions if not trillions to the banking industry and all we got from them was more of the same. Even the new legislation overlooks some of the causes which brought on the too big to fail crisis. No one went to jail. The tea party although probably good in theory is like having a cheerleader running the country.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  268. Jack

    The tea party should have taken the grand bargan offered by Obama first, then you fight for more during the next round. What they have donne was pure stupidity and idiological hard line instead of reasoning, they just forsed the can down the road instead. lets get them out.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  269. Barking Alien

    Jack, I think the Tea Party is going to have a negative effect on the 2012 elections. I think we can all agree we need to get our financial house in order. The way the Tea Party handled the debt debacle I think has turned off many voters. This wing of the GOP did not get religion about deficits until a Democract was in the White House. This appears to be anti-tax zealots disguished as fiscal conservatives as evident by their donors. We should balance the budget but not strictly on the backs of the middle class and working poor.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  270. Jim - Connecticut

    The Tea Party will do well in the conservative bastions. But most people recognize that the TP approach would bring us an infinitely worse economy than we already have. No borrowing, tax reductions for the wealthy, a federal budget cut in half, millions more out of work – and a shrinking economy to top it off. Sounds like shangri la....

    August 23, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  271. ghost

    Perhaps politicians should quit representing their political party and start representing their constituency regardless of what their party tells them. Maybe we should outlaw political parties in favor of district or state representation.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  272. Martin in Atlanta

    Jack, what would you do differently if you were handed a recession, 2 wars, stock market at 6,000 and 700,000 lost jobs a month? I hear a lot of criticism but no alternative solutions.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  273. Amie

    The tea party needs to know that we were hitting rock bottom about the time Bush left office. He spent 8 years running up the tab! And they also need to know that the Tea Party was because of taxation w/o representation. They have representation and their taxes haven't increased. So basically – they're a walking contradiction and no one should listen to a group that ignorant!

    August 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  274. Jon

    Yes, the Democratic Party will continue using the Tea Party as a Bogeyman to frighten American's away from the Republican Party and reap electoral victories as a results of their scare tactics.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  275. Candace Clough

    The difference Jack, during economic growth the debt is supposed to be paid down not expanded... now when the country needs the boost of money infused into the economy to reverse the recession.. suddenly all those who never said boo about debt are budget hawks? Cutting spending during recession or even during this fickle recovery is like liquidating your stock holding after the market falls 400 points and waiting to buy back in until after it climbs back up 400... thats some backwards reasoning!

    August 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  276. Brant Noziska

    Pick your poison, debt or depression. Most Americans still attribute the majority of the ills of the country in terms of the economy to Bush, who set the crisis in motion. Most Americans are concerned about debt but terrified about depression. If we were in a depression, no one would be talking about debt. All Americans want to get debt under control, but the economy would face a worse challenge in a full blown depression. Part of the reason the debt has grown is that we borrowed the money to go to war. That is because we can't raise revenue, and this is the President's fault? Republicans want to go to war today, and have the future generations pay for it, instead of demanding current sacrifice which would make the wars unpopular and hard to wage. Cut back on defense, raise the age of social security, means test social security, extend payroll tax to all earnings, pretty soon you are back in the black.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  277. Me

    Obama is merely dealing with what 1) GW Bush and 2) the global economic crisis forced on him. It is simple minded to argue "well, this and that happened during Obama's time in office, therefore it's his fault". Still, I agree that we need to start working on the deficit, no doubt about it. I belief though that the Tea Party's stand on "no tax increases" will not get us there, we need a combination of tax adjustments as well as spending cuts (including the military!).
    Beyond that, I hope that we won't get a Tea Party President, I don't know if I could stomach the idea of being represented internationally by a President who beliefs that dinosaurs roamed Earth 5,000 years ago.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  278. California Gary

    After the serious harm they did to our economy and standing in the world with their debt ceiling stunt, I expect the Tea Party to go back under the rock they came from in 2012 and become irrelevant. They are pulling the presidential candidates so far to the right that the eventual winner of the nomination will have zero chance in the general election. They do have so valid points to make, but they have greatly overplayed their hand.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  279. Russell R. Pankey

    The Tea Party will have a tremendous effect on the 2012 elections and you can put that in the bank. They are speaking
    for the average american citizen and they don't care if you are a Democrat or Republican. Get on board America.............
    and remember China only owns 8% of our debt and we can be strong again on our own. Thanks for listening to America.
    Russ Pankey

    August 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  280. Bob Knox

    Although I am less into blame than the tea party, my question is how much of that debt increase in Obama's years is because of the Iraq war that Busch started, and the tax relief he provided to the wealthiest, who, based on trickle down theory, should have spurred growth....hmmm...seemed to have missed that part these past 3 years. Point is that the tea party wants the debt down...so do we...they want to cut spending....2 for 2. But they want it all to be spending, which if you look at what they are going after, it is the stuff that hurts people who can least afford it. So what is their answer for helping kids and seniors who don't have a 401? I have not heard that from them, because they are too busy trying to get elected. So what if they get what they want...a growing chasm between lower income and weathy...not a pretty picture either. It is going to take us a while to get out of this, and the people who think they can do it in a week, well maybe they think the earth was formed in 6 days too.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  281. jason

    I forgot to answer the question. the only effect the tea party will have will be to reduce the conversation to kindergarten level and push out the sensible republicans such as huntsman and romney to an extent in exchange for the ridiculous republicans like perry and bachman.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  282. William

    Jack,
    The tea party will scare the most right wing, religious, conservative, members of congress who have a close re-election coming up, but I predict that the tea party candidates are too far to the right in their ideology and their public comments to have much effect on the national scene. The middle of the ground public and the Democrats can see through their smoke screen rhetoric, and will not be fooled by speeches that do nothing but offer criticism instead of constructive ideas.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  283. Kip (minnesota)

    Little if any effect. The "tea party" can not be a player in the political game if they say it is thier way or no way the old political game players will say you are not allowed at the table....and people want the game played not a stale mate with nothing getting done one way or the other.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  284. Pepinium in Miami

    Jack, the main effect will be to ensure that sane people like me do not stay home on election day. The think that irks me is that when it comes to the national debt , most of the noise is being made by those blaming only the spending side. How about the reduction in tax revenue resulting from the purchase of politiicians by the ruling elite, over the last 30 years? Why are not enough people mentiioning the fact that tax rates on the rich and corporations were over 70% during the economic boom of the 50's and 60's?

    August 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  285. James from Ocala, FL

    None I hope! The "Party" has already put this country at risk by helping to elect a bunch of naysayers there seem hell bent on making the US a third world country because they do not know the meaning negotiation or compromise.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  286. Kapil S

    Jack,

    For a moment, I thought I was reading Fox News! OK, great points. Here's my take on it. Since the debt crisis is a fundamental existential threat to the United States, its solution is a fundamental change to how we look at government spending, including entitlement, welfare and military. The Tea Party gets it, yes, but realize that the Tea Part is comprised of individuals. Some of them are enthusiastic now but when they see cuts to their own welfare, they may back off. But at the same time, more individuals might join the Tea Party when they realize that the US, as it exists, is technically bankrupt.

    The effect of Tea Party will depend upon how many sane heads prevail in 2012 who would realize that we need to get our house in order, and spending is not the solution, it is the problem.

    In other words, in 2012, the fiscally sane, regardless of party affiliations would be Tea Partiers, and their number decides whether we will accelerate towards Greece, or restore our economic viability as a nation.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  287. Dave

    The Tea Party will effect elections, alright. Just look at Wisconsin if you need any further evidence. The Republican Party is going to lose dearly in 2012.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  288. Marie in New Mexico

    Hopefully, the Tea Party effect will be to disgust the majority of Americans enough that they'll actually go and vote.

    August 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm |