- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The most enthusiasm about this election is not coming from labor unions, paid volunteers or even traditional political party organizations. It’s coming from the Tea Party.

This grass-roots movement is made up of people from across the country who are sick and tired — some might say “fed up” — of seeing Washington fail, time and time again, to address the very real problems facing our nation.

This movement is drawing its energy from the very principles upon which our nation was founded: economic liberty, limited government and freedom. These principles, which do not seem to be shared by President Obama, must be restored to our national vocabulary if we are to restore America.

Don’t think they’re going to play a major role in this election? You haven’t been paying attention. Tea Party candidates across the country have scored upset victories, including Ted Yoho in Florida, Richard Mourdock in Indiana, and, in my home state, Ted Cruz. All ran strong, well-organized campaigns fueled by a non-establishment, anti-Washington message.

Inspired by one fiscal calamity after another at the hands of the Obama administration and its allies in Congress, Tea Party conservatives are ready to make their voices heard, loud and clear, in November. Add in the fact that Mitt Romney selected budget hawk Rep. Paul Ryan to join him on the ticket, and what once was a growing roar has elevated instantly to supersonic levels.

It’s important to remember that what has everyone excited about Mr. Ryan and like-minded conservatives isn’t the one-liners or political stagecraft. It’s a clear vision of fiscal responsibility that will help us begin the climb out of the financial hole we’ve dug for ourselves.

This movement is a direct response to the steady encroachment of Washington into every facet of American life and the relentless erosion of the rights and liberties we’ve enjoyed as U.S. citizens. Deepening the crisis, the Obama administration chose to immediately begin spending money at historic levels, borrowing and borrowing ever-soaring amounts of cash in a failed promise of stimulus and job creation.

Instead of building an economy, the Obama administration is building an economic house of cards. Cost estimates for Obamacare promise disaster for fiscally fragile states and communities across this country. The much-lauded Obama stimulus failed. After campaigning against deficit spending in 2008, Mr. Obama added $5 trillion to our national debt. There even are rumblings that Mr. Obama’s Federal Reserve is considering another round of quantitative easing, essentially printing money to goose the floundering Obama economy ahead of Election Day.

The reckless fiscal mess emanating from Washington has many Americans desperately worried, and it has the Tea Party, conservative activists and Republicans fighting mad. For the GOP and for America, that can lead to good things happening in November.

Fiscal conservatism works. In Texas, we’ve long embraced that brand of policy, and we stand as Exhibit A that low taxes, fair courts, sensible regulation and simple freedom can result in stronger economies and more jobs. Our budget is balanced. We are approaching $9 billion unspent in our rainy-day funds. We lead the nation in job creation. Our people are responsible and entrepreneurial.

America must return to our fiscally responsible, pro-free-market roots. The coalition behind the Romney-Ryan ticket is committed to a more limited government and private-sector entrepreneurship and job creation. This movement truly can save America.

This week’s convention, the Romney-Ryan team and committed conservatives across our nation will help put our nation on a path toward balanced budgets, a more modest federal government and job creation to provide real hope to American families.

For the Tea Party, fiscal and social conservatives, and traditional Republicans, this is our time. It’s our time to work together to elect common-sense conservatives, along with a new president, and overhaul Washington to get America off Mr. Obama’s road to financial ruin and onto the path of responsibility, optimism and freedom our founders intended.

Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Republican, is a former 2012 GOP presidential candidate.