The hysterical emanations accusing the tea party as being the proximate cause of our recent credit downgrade demonstrates how far removed from reality the accusers are. Blaming the tea party for this credit downgrade is equivalent to blaming The Weather Channel for a hurricane.

No one opposing the recent debt deal is for defaulting. Quite the contrary, the idea was to pay obligations first to avoid default, then cut spending. This salient point was made repeatedly; it is a shame that the demagogues chose to ignore it and proceed with their talking point regarding the false choice of either raising the debt ceiling or defaulting. I assume that strategy was hoping that enough Americans would fall for this claptrap. The tea party is here to see that as many as possible do not.

We were told by the president that payments to Social Security, Medicare and military recipients may not go out, clearly a scare tactic and never a real possibility. This was shameful, and America deserves better. We were told that if we raised the debt ceiling we would avoid a credit downgrade, clearly false based on subsequent events. In fact, continuing to raise it guarantees that we’ll have no choice but to ultimately default. The debt ceiling isn’t the real issue; that would be the debt itself.

Being or voting against this lousy deal should have been a no-brainer. Rating agencies told us we needed to cut a minimum of $4 trillion; this “deal” didn’t. The “cuts” that are present aren’t even real, in that total spending/debt continues to go up every year, even if the supposed “cuts” ever do actually occur, which is very unlikely because there’s no way to enforce any of it on future Congresses. The tea party supported cut/cap/balance, the only plan ever on the table that actually addressed the problem. Likewise, we opposed the legislation that ultimately passed, a plan that not only fails to address the problem, but going forward will exacerbate it.

For this, we are denigrated with a new derogatory epithet almost weekly by those who have lost any semblance of credibility. U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in his diatribe against us, offered his solutions: more spending, taxes and, most hypocritically, regulatory reform (from a champion of Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank and Obamacare ... which have paralyzed businesses into not expanding, not hiring and having to move operations offshore).

We are concerned Americans who refuse to sit by idly as our beloved country is dragged toward fiscal and economic collapse on the way to being sacrificed on the altar of socialism. Despite the stellar performances of economies such as those in Greece, Portugal and Ireland, many Americans are not yet sold on the merits.

Mike Thibodeaux, president

Baton Rouge Tea Party

Baton Rouge