The theme of this year's election season is simple: Stop the spending now. The federal government needs to stop adding to its budget and stop funding new programs. Current expenditures should be rolled back. That's the message sweeping America's heartland.
A call for fiscal restraint is what unites various groups of Tea Partiers, political independents and moderates, former Ross Perot voters, mama grizzlies, town-hall meeting participants, small-business owners, job-creating big investors, libertarians, old-line conservatives and a new generation of voters who are starting to realize they'll be the ones paying the bill.
It's also the no-frills message being spread in what's called the Spending Revolt National Bus Tour, a grass-roots awareness campaign sponsored by four conservative organizations: Americans for Prosperity, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, 60 Plus Association and Concerned Women for America. The Spending Revolt tour is asking Americans to sign the following petition:
"I believe our current level of government spending is unsustainable, hampers economic growth and job creation. Our elected officials need to change their ways, become responsible and cut spending to 1990s levels. If they don't, Americans will face higher taxes, a higher cost of living and a stagnant economy. I urge our elected officials at all levels of government to act quickly and reduce the level of government spending. It is their job and it is our money and our future."
The tour is trumpeting an aggregate of 10 state polls ranging from liberal California to moderate Colorado to conservative South Carolina, with a combined sample of 5,500 voters, released yesterday by pollsters Hart Research and the Tarrance Group. The survey shows 71 percent of Americans think federal spending is too high, while just 8 percent say it's too low; 65 percent say government spending is among the most important issues to their vote.
The fiscal reality is daunting. The federal government spends $112,000 every second. That's $67 million in the 10 minutes it takes to drink a cup of coffee in the morning. Meanwhile, 48 of 50 states are still losing jobs. In five weeks, Americans will have an opportunity to vote for real change.
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