Conflation of individual obligations and expectations arising from the Tea Party

It is not terribly difficult to understand the groundswell which constitutes the base of the "Tea Party" movement. Most recent estimates place the per capita national debt at over $10,000 for each man, woman, and child in the United States. This grave fiscal challenge appears to be the thrust of the Tea Party's mandate. Staggering American debt and our insistence on ill calculated foreign entanglements may well become unmanageable long before expected by policy makers and pundits alike. While American national debt is conservative in the face of the nearly $30,000 owed by each of our more deeply indebted Greek friends - as those of us who are parents often tell our children, "if all the other kids jumped off a bridge - would you do it too?"

But more fundamental to the core of the Tea Party movement seems to be a cohesive sense that Americans have grown accustomed to shirking their individual obligations. These obligations are as varied as fiscal responsibility, child rearing, and so forth.

What is likely to be quite challenging to those steering the Tea Party movement is the conflation of differing policy approaches to grand national tasks such as defense, education - and now perhaps health care.

The adage that one should be careful not to kill the goose that laid the golden egg comes to mind. I fear that the public is being so heavily weighed down with taxes and debt that the flame of American ingenuity and creativity may become increasingly endangered.

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