400 Capitol Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
- Toll Free 1.888.564.6273
- Local 202.783.3870
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – August 8, 2011 – As part of its debt ceiling deal with the Obama administration, Congress has once again abdicated its budget duties to yet another “super committee.” It’s clear the committee will be at the mercy of entrenched special interest groups, who are already beginning to line up, once again leaving the American people without a voice in how the government should reduce spending and balance the budget. But the Tea Party Debt Commission, launched today by FreedomWorks, will give the American people their voices back.
The Tea Party Debt Commission will begin its grassroots outreach with the launch of a new online poll (www.TeaPartyDebtCommission.com) that will allow voters to prioritize spending cuts. With each vote to cut a program, activists will see both the one-year and 10-year savings the proposed cut will generate. The results of the poll will be used to spark a nationwide discussion that will begin at grassroots activist hearings scheduled for key cities around the country. The goal of the effort will be to develop a budget that, at a minimum, cuts $9 trillion in spending and balances the budget within 10 years.
“For far too long, average Americans have been unable to exert enough influence on politicians to counter the entrenched interests that perpetuate bloated budgets,” said Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks. “The Tea Party has changed that, and the Tea Party Debt Commission will send a message to legislators that they will be rewarded for showing courage in cutting spending.”
The Commission will be tasked with creating a budget plan that balances the federal budget within 10 year; reduces federal spending to 18 percent of GDP; reduces the national debt to no more than 66 percent of GDP; reduces federal spending by at least $9 trillion over
10 years (including $300 billion in the first year); and does not raise taxes.
“Detractors often claim that the Tea Party movement lacks a coherent plan to cut spending,” Kibbe said. “The Tea Party Debt Commission is a full rebuke of that narrative.”Cuts being debated in the online poll include reductions in Medicare, energy subsidies, defense spending, education spending, and numerous other “sacred cows” many politicians are too afraid to touch. No department or agency is spared the scalpel.
The first step for the Tea Party Debt Commission is to collect debt-cutting priorities online. Using the same crowd-sourcing technology used in developing the Contract From America, hundreds of tea party groups from across the nation will be participating in this effort. Field hearings are already being scheduled across the country where grassroots activists, legislators and policy experts will meet and discuss budget priorities. The first hearings are scheduled for Friday, Sept. 1, in Salt Lake City, Utah; Friday, Sept. 23 in Orlando, Fla.; and Thursday, Sept. 29, in Philadelphia, Pa.
“It’s inevitable that Washington will struggle to eliminate wasteful programs and get spending under control without burdening the American people with higher taxes,” Kibbe said. “When that happens, the Tea Party Debt Commission will have done their work for them, proving that when you take politics and lobbying out of the equation, cutting trillions of dollars in unnecessary spending is not that difficult.”
FreedomWorks recruits, educates, trains and mobilizes volunteer activists to fight for less government, lower taxes, and more freedom.
Founded in 1984, FreedomWorks is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has hundreds of thousands of grassroots volunteers nationwide. The organization is chaired by former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey and the president is Matt Kibbe.