I am a proud Clevelander. I am also  proud to not subscribe to our only daily newspaper, the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  (More)

Phillip Morris is a columnist at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and he’s enthralled with the Tea Party. Sorry, Mr Morris, but you and your friend Kenny are being played.

I try to stay away from the paper except for the sports page and some news events that are reported in the Metro section. Regardless of his background and education, I avoid reading Mr. Morris since he has written some pretty inflammatory columns. I have my own thoughts about why he writes for the PD. I get really angry when I read his columns, which isn’t good for me and is not productive. Although his January 18, 2011 column has an innocuous title, he is wrong on the facts. The title of this column is “Kenny found a political home, and now he’s inviting people over to visit.”

These are Kenny’s words:

The Tea Party is the only one speaking my language. It’s the only one raising the notion that our government is not operating in our best interest[.]

This is true when Republicans run things.

It’s the only one saying that we have to stop piling up the bad debt we are passing on to our children and really means it.

I agree with you, Kenny especially when we borrow money to pay for undeclared wars.

It’s the only one saying that we must radically reduce the size and scope of government and means it.

Which part of government do you want to get rid of? I want to get rid of Homeland Security, CIA and NSA and decrease the amount we spend on National Defense … that way we won’t be tempted to start a war because we have a bunch of hardware going to waste.

I don’t want the government trying to take whatever I’ve been able to earn and reallocate it to other people, especially people who have spent their lives sitting on their lazy butts.

Me neither so big business should pay its fair share and stop killing people to make a profit for example: CPSC delays lead testing in toys, again.

This problem only becomes important when the president is a Democrat and government helps people who actually need help. Where was Kenny when Presidents Reagan and the Bushes ran up the deficit by both increasing defense spending (welfare for white guys) and giving tax cuts to the rich (more welfare for white guys)?

I agree with the phrase, “piling up of bad debt.” But until you and your friend Kenny acknowledge that people come before profits, I have nothing in common with their position. I’m not going to be played for a sucker.

This problem although important isn’t as important as the jobs deficit that we have in this country especially in Cleveland. There are no jobs because large American and multinational corporations do not need workers and especially not American workers. They can shuffle numbers around their balance sheets instead: Intel Corp to buy back up to $10 billion in stock and declares a dividend. Wall $treet, their investors, and their political enablers destroyed the economy with too big to fail and accounting gimmicks. They destroyed jobs; they destroyed the housing market; they destroyed families. They destroyed people. The stock market is almost back to pre-crash levels, but the families – the people – are still hurting.

On top of which, the wealthy do not pay their fair share of taxes because they have lobbyists to write the tax code with loopholes for money but not work. These are some of the “lazy butts” that Kenny is referring to: Yahoo to post earnings and lay off 1% of workforce. Senior management wins by firing people. Now, they have bought our Congress using the Tea Party as a cutout to steal my government.

The Republican Party and its Tea Party base are tools of the wealthy and privileged in their quest for even more wealth and privilege. But the Constitution starts with We the People, not We the Wealthy and Privileged. We need government to work for all of us.

The wealthy and privileged already have lots of advantages. Your “we need less government” talking point just magnifies those advantages. Nature abhors a vacuum and the less government that we already have is ripe for corporate takeover now that they are fully capitalized.  Using your rational, we continue our march to becoming like Mexico: a handful very rich and the rest very poor.

We don’t need “less government.” We need better government. Kenny may be struggling, but not because government is doing too much for people who need help. He’s struggling because government has done too little to stop the wealthy and privileged from getting even more wealth and privilege. Yo, Kenny: the wealthy and privileged are never going to share their wealth and privilege with you.

Don’t be suckers, Mr. Morris and Kenny. You’re being played.

The BPI Progressive agenda:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.

A mighty fist bump to you all!