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Tea Party Raises a Cup to Jeff Atwater's Budget Resolution

Balancing the federal budget may not be the Tallahassee press corps' cup of tea but the Tea Party likes the idea. A lot.

Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, after announcing a proposed resolution calling on the feds to balance the budget, was asked repeatedly by reporters Tuesday to address the irony in his demand that the U.S. government balance its books when the state has had to borrow money from the feds to balance its own.

Atwater addressed the questions but reporters seemed to be in an unimaginative 'dog bites man' mood. Once they sank their teeth in the irony issue the news conference seemed to lock down on it. Democrats bit, too, howling about the "gaping inconsistency."

A serious airing of the national debt and its relationship to state finances was left to cool. (Atwater's media release, letter to governors, and related resolition items can be found here.)

Enter the Tea Party, which wants to reheat the issue. "If Washington won't balance its budget, then it is time 'We The People' force them to balance the budget," said Everett Wilkinson of the South Florida Tea Party, who is urging supporters to ask lawmakers to vote in favor of the resolution.

There is little doubt Atwater's thinking is in step with public concern. Worries about the nation's debt -- as well as the debt load carried by other nations -- has been giving the stock markets the willies for weeks. In fact, there are some economists who think it's going to push a couple of nations over the edge.

Globally, "so much debt has been issued over the past two years fighting the Great Recession that paying it all back is going to be hell -- for Americans, along with everybody else," noted a recent article in Forbes. States are as addicted to credit as the rest of us. (Does this really surprise Democrats or the other media in Tallahassee?)

Call Atwater's news conference and resolution an election ploy stunt. Or call it political shrewdness. He is, after all, running for Chief Financial Officer. Whatever it's called, there really are people who want a discussion on how we ensure the current tsunami of spending doesn't drown future generations in debt, just like Atwater said.

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