Tea Party Leaders: If Default Hurts The Tea Party, So Be It


The tea party is so hell-bent on getting America’s finances in order, they’re willing to suffer the personal consequences of a government default. That’s according to leaders of the Tea Party Patriots, who spoke with reporters in Washington this morning as the city remains gripped in debt ceiling stalemate.

Jenny Beth Martin, a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots (the grassrootsier wing of the movement) agreed that default — and the requisite end in government payments for the programs that go with it — could hurt the thousands of tea party voters she represents. But she said her members are willing to take the hit.“If it injures the people that we represent, but it’s benefiting the whole country, that’s what we need to be concerned about,” she said.

The comments came at a meeting sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. Martin was joined by fellow TPP co-founder Mark Meckler, who laid out view that the default terror expressed by both sides of the aisle is essentially a myth. He said that the government would still be able to pay its “sovereign obligations” if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, meaning the only real hit would be to the expensive government programs tea partiers want to see slashed anyway.

The pair came carrying the results of a poll TPP conducted among its members on Facebook and via email. Far from scientific, the leaders said the poll showed tea partiers are not happy with the way either party is working on the debt issue.

A sample from the results:

Which party do you trust to actually fix the debt problem?
Democrat <1% Republican 36.4% Neither 62.8%

Martin said default could be good for the country in the long-run, and said she looks to her own painful financial history as an example.

“As somebody who has gone through bankruptcy, I don’t want to see our country into trouble that my family went through.” she said. “I understand that means that you’ve got to sit there and look at: ‘What can you do different? Can we sell anything? How can we get out of this mess?’ And that’s what our government needs to be looking at.”

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