And They Call Themselves ‘Patriots’

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No. 4 in a series on the Debt Crisis of 2011.

Here’s an American paradox, or maybe it’s a morality story. You work to pay your bills. I work to pay my bills, thereby maintaining the fiction that I’m solvent and creditworthy.

While you and I are working to pay our bills, right-wing zealots are conspiring to prevent the government of the United States of America from paying its bills. They even pretend that it would be right and good for the U.S. to ignore its debts.

The premeditated intent of these patriot-politicians is to subvert Congress and sabotage the U.S. Treasury, force financial default, and destroy America’s credit rating. With malice aforethought, they plan to run the U.S. government straight into bankruptcy and shut it down.

By bankrupting the Treasury, these people — the Tea Party, the Libertarians, the Anarchists, the tax protestors — hope to smash and destroy the government, and kill its hated programs and taxes. Then they will wave the American flag and celebrate.

Isn’t it sedition and treason to destroy from within the government of your own country?

Believers in this Tea Party and Libertarian conspiracy call themselves “Patriots.”  But aren’t they really traitors and turncoats?

— John Hayden

6 thoughts on “And They Call Themselves ‘Patriots’

  1. “Traitors and turncoats” may be a bit harsh. While I agree with most of your opinions, the devil’s advocate in me can also sympathize with the growing number of Americans who are fed up with their gov’t’s inability to impliment a workable budget. “Sedition and treason” ?… Could it also be considered sedition for a gov’t to knowingly continue to raise a nation’s debt limit beyond the point of one’s ability to ever pay it back? People are outraged. Business as usual isn’t working, and now may well be the time for drastic,unpopular measures.


  2. Yes. I’m appalled at the failure of Congress to pass a budget this year. No excuse for that. I’m appalled by the near total inability of the Senate to pass ANYTHING.

    I don’t know that we’ve yet reached “beyond the point of one’s ability to ever pay it back.” Events are unpredictable. Nothing can be expected to continue in a straight line for long. Remember, at the end of Bill Clinton’s administration, in 1999, the government was running a surplus, and huge surpluses were predicted far into the future. You can see how that turned out. It might not have been easy, but George Bush turned the surplus into a deficit in short order. He did this by starting two wars on the American credit card, while at the same time cutting taxes. Bush apparently had no intention of ever raising the money to pay for his wars.

    See how sour the federal budget turned between 2000 and 2006? Then the bubbles burst, and the recession drove revenues down, further increasing the deficit.

    In light of all the change that can happen in a decade, I think it’s a bit premature to decide that America will never be able to pay its debt. We got ourselves into this jam, and there’s no reason why we “can’t” work our way out of it, unless we adopt a “can’t-do” attitude.

    You are right that people are outraged. And with good reason. Most career politicians are incapable of being serious about anything. They think it’s a game, and the one with the most campaign funds, or the one re-elected the most, wins. Professional politicians are also incapable of being honest, for the same reason — honesty doesn’t serve their re-election. Yes, people have a right to be furious at politicians, and the resulting dysfunctional state of our democracy.

    If a majority of the country decides that it’s time for “drastic” measures, then by definition, the measures taken will be popular, not unpopular. Even FDR didn’t dare get the U.S. into an unpopular World War, until a large majority of Americans support it, and then it became a popular war.


  3. There have been many people who dug themselves into a deep hole of debt through bad planning, pulled up their socks, paid the bills they had run up (even if those bills resulted from foolish choices) and eventually came out in the black.

    Government decision-makers screwed up and committed the taxpayer to poorly thought out purchases — like buying a war — but that doesn’t make it patriotic to default on whatever is owed as a result of those crappy decisions; plenty of businesses and individuals have built their plans around the expectation that those purchases would be paid for. People who’ve run up dumbass (or unavoidable) high interest credit card debt seek debt consolidation, borrow money against their houses, eliminate frivolous expenditures and delay non-frivolous ones for as long as possible– writ larger, the same approach would seem to apply here. What they don’t do is say “I’ve decided to start economizing” and abandon any available option that would allow them to meet their commitments.

    I wonder how many of the Tea Party freshmen have committed to living on as little as they can and returning the rest to the Treasury. Just sayin.


    • Thank you, Ms Sledpress! There is another behavior exhibited by people who spend more than they earn. People choose to keep spending, but INCREASE THEIR INCOME. Imagine that! Ordinary people ask for a raise, improve their skills, look for a promotion or a higher-paying job elsewhere. They work overtime. They get a part-time job. Other family members go to work. They start a side business. What a concept, increasing your own income! Too bad Republicans have ruled out increasing the government’s income (raising taxes). Increasing your income is almost always more effective and less painful than trying to eliminate necessities. Just sayin.


  4. It is Independence day and I am celebrating my director JOHN HAYDEN, REVOLUTIONARY WAR PATRIOT, who after the war, was the first American to drive across PA in a conestoga wagon with his entire home contents in tow, and became the first American to have a successful Iron Org west of the Alleghenies, So, I AM UNILATERALLY OFFENDED By this use of my direct ancestor’s name for something less than all he fought and died for: Freedom from the tyranny of the British. HOW DARE YOU USE AND ABUSE MY GREAT x times great GRANDFATHER’S NAME FOR YOUR OWN USE? He would spit on you.


    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Not sure what offended you and your ancestor. He was indeed a remarkable man. After dying for freedom from the British in the Revolutionary War, he drove across Pennsylvania and became the first successful American beyond the Alleghenies. Thanks for sharing a great story of the American Dream. Apparently he was also a great spitter.

      By coincidence, MY NAME is also John Hayden. Far as I know, it’s still a free country, and I still have a right to use my own name. But thanks for your input. Have a nice day.


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