OUR MISSION Tea Party Patriots Foundation was formed in 2010 as the education arm of Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest grassroots Tea Party organization. Since the inception of the Tea Party movement, our focus has been to educate people on the issues and the values that make our country exceptional. Fiscal responsibility, adhering to the Constitution, respecting the rule of law, promoting free markets, expanding personal freedom and economic freedom, and moving our country toward a debt-free future are all things that make our country prosper, and when our country prospers, our people can prosper. Our mission is to empower local groups by providing the training and resources they need to meaningfully impact their communities in positive ways that promote growth and freedom. PERSONAL FREEDOM We are most free when the Constitution is followed, and all Americans can live life the way they want, as long as it does not harm others or infringe on their rights. READ MORE ECONOMIC FREEDOM A growing economy, with reduced tax rates and government spending, gives businesses the ability to hire more people and us all a chance to earn more. READ MORE DEBT FREE FUTURE Increasing the US debt puts an undue burden on future generations. It is only fair and right to pay the debt we have incurred so our children are not stuck with our bills. READ MORE OTHER ISSUES National Debt Washington’s out of control spending has led to over 19 trillion in national debt.  It is only fair and right to pay the debt we have incurred so our children and grandchildren are not stuck with our bills and so they too may pursue the American Dream as we have. If we do not get deficit spending under control, future generations will be living in a bankrupt nation where Washington continues to raise your taxes to fuel its out of control spending. How it Affects You: Right now, every child born in America already owes over $61,000  – their piece of the national debt. Our national debt is over $19 trillion now and raising the debt ceiling is just Washington borrowing more money from taxpayers that it cannot pay back. How We Fix It: The Penny Plan: If we cut just a single penny out of every dollar of federal spending, including interest payments, for five years – and then cap spending at 18% from then on – we can balance the budget by 2022 and reduce federal spending by $7.5 trillion over the next decade. Every family makes responsible decisions like this every day. If we can do it, Washington can do it. The Penny Plan is a common-sense solution that protects your money. Healthcare Health care freedom means we can choose our own doctor and health insurance plans, without penalty from government if we do not choose unneeded options. We are capable of making our own choices when it comes to utilizing our hard-earned money to protect and care for our families and ourselves. We have found that across all political groups –Americans place very high importance on the freedom to choose their own doctors, yet, increasingly, they do not feel that this freedom exists. The Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – removes this freedom and also presents perhaps the biggest threat to your money, your job and your opportunity to find a good job, which for many Americans, serves as the starting point for acquiring quality health care coverage. How it Affects You: The Obamacare small business tax will cost small businesses $8 billion in 2014 and $101 billion over the next ten years.  The IRS officially calls it a “fee” but it works like an excise tax on health care premiums. The National Federation of Independent Business – which represents almost 400,000 small businesses nationwide – estimates a quarter million jobs will be lost  – with 60% of those losses hitting small business – over the next decade if this Obamacare tax isn’t repealed. Analysts estimate premiums for young people – the key to Obamacare’s success – will rise by $500-$783  over the next few years if this tax isn’t repealed. The Facts on Obamacare: Virtually everything that was promised was a lie President Obama’s repeated claim that “if you like your health care plan you can keep it” was labeled the “lie of the year.”  President Obama’s promise that families would save $2,500  a year was a lie. An increasing number of middle class families are finding that Obamacare is actually costing them more on an annual basis. The unforeseen issues are so bad, that on February 10, 2014, the Obama administration issued yet another delay  to the Obamacare employer mandate, delaying its job-killing fines and fees until 2016. Washington is delaying the inevitable effects of the tax’s mandates each time is issues these delays. Obamacare has caused premiums to rise significantly  prompting many companies to freeze hiring , cut hours and contemplate layoffs to cope with the burdens caused by the realities of the Law. Heads of the major Labor Unions have written Congress and the President saying that Obamacare will destroy the 40 hour work week.  The head of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported on February 5, 2014 that Obamacare creates a “disincentive for people to work”  and agreed that it “lowers economic growth.” The CBO estimates a decline in the number of hours worked due to Obamacare equivalent to about 2.0 million full time workers  in 2017. The IRS has also determined that self-insured employers are exempt from this tax – about 80% of employers with more than 500 workers and most union health plans are self-insured, so they don’t have to pay this tax. Medicare and other government entities are also exempt, so this huge tax burden mainly falls on small businesses and the self-employed. Real Health Care Reform: As we continue to watch the American people lose their health insurance due to Obamacare, after the President repeatedly promised that Americans would be able to keep their plans, we continue to look ahead to real reform. So, what does real health care reform look like? (Download the PDF) CONSTITUTIONAL: Real health care reform will be constitutional.Real health care reform will improve our health care system while respecting all aspects of the constitution, with the rights of Americans to make personal choices protected and valued. We envision a country where individuals and families can be free and healthy. COMPREHENSIBLE: Real health care reform will be comprehensible.Real health care reform proposals will be simple and concise. You won’t need a law degree to understand the bill. It will make the health care system easier to navigate because the bill itself will be clear and easy to comprehend. DEBT-FREE: Real health care reform will not add to the national debt.Real health care reform will not add to the national debt or increase the deficit, which means that young people today and future generations tomorrow would be free to pursue their dreams instead of the unfair practice of paying off the debt of current and previous generations. Additionally, real reform will save taxpayers money today, as well as individual patients and health care consumers. RELATIONSHIPS: Real health care reform will enhance the doctor-patient relationship.Real health care reform will rebuild and strengthen the doctor-patient relationship and allow patients to work with their health care providers to develop the best health care regimen that meets their needs. After all, the doctor-patient relationship is the most sacred relationship in health care, and it should be nurtured and reinforced. FREE MARKET: Real health care reform will draw on the strengths of the free market by encouraging innovation and competition.Real health care reform will unleash the imaginations of innovators and finally allow health care providers to expand access and provide quality care for lower prices. To do this, we must look to the same place where iPhones, Kindles, and Twitter came from – the people, not the federal government. Let’s free up the private sector so it can do what it does best, which is solve problems. Free market real health care reform equals real innovation and real job creation. PRIVACY: Real health care reform will minimize the role of the federal government in the health care sector.Real health care reform will ensure that what is discussed between you and your doctor, stays between you and your doctor – privacy is paramount. We all know that health care services are best delivered by health care professionals, and not by lawmakers and unelected decision-makers in Washington, DC. We want a nation where the privacy of every American is fiercly protected and maintained, especially when it concerns the very personal issue of health care. CHARITY: Real health care reform will incorporate opportunities for the private sector to provide charitable solutions.Real health care reform will provide opportunities for private citizens and doctors to give their time and money to help those in need. Americans are some of the most charitable people in the world, and give not only their financial resources, but also their time and talents to help those in need. In 2011, charitable contributions reached almost $300 billion, and between 2009 and 2012, almost one-third of all Americans over the age of 16 volunteered their time to assist others. People helping people is what America is all about. So let’s foster that spirit. CHOICE: Real health care reform will increase consumer choice.Real health care reform will increase choices for Americans by bolstering the free market and igniting innovation. Individuals and families should be empowered to make personal decisions about their health insurance and their health care services. We can only do this if the health care market is not artificially restricted by overbearing regulations. The health care system must be allowed to operate freely so that we all have as many options as possible. TRANSPARENCY: Real health care reform will increase transparency.Real health care reform will empower patients by making the costs of medical procedures, pharmaceuticals, and devices more transparent. In today’s health care system, it is difficult for the American people to know the cost of basic medical procedures, drugs, therapies, and medical devices. Currently, we have no incentive to shop around for better prices on basic procedures because the system lacks transparency. When patients can see how much something costs, providers have a reason to give us a better price. In Summary: Increases your choice of doctors and plans. It doesn’t take away the doctor and plan you currently enjoy; Obamacare does. Is clear and simple for everyone to understand; not designed to be confusing as Obamacare. Actually controls costs instead of adding trillions to the national debt, which unfairly burdens our children and their ability to pursue the American Dream. Includes opportunities for private entities to provide charitable solutions. Protects personal freedom and your Constitutional rights, whereas some of the Obamacare mandates force people into a position that violates First Amendment religious rights. Tax Reform Our country’s tax code is unfair, punitive and out of control.  The complicated web of loopholes and deductions hinders opportunity for Americans to save for college, retirement or other important quality of life concerns. Simply put, we want hard working Americans to keep more of the money they earn. When given the choice between paying higher taxes and receiving fewer government services, a vast number of Americans chose receiving fewer government services. This makes sense when we see that Americans – by a roughly 70 to 20 margin – believe the way to solve our fiscal challenges and grow the economy is by cutting spending rather than tax hikes. How it Affects You: The Tax Foundation notes  that “Americans spend 6.1 billion hours every year attempting to comply with the internal revenue code, at a monetary cost of about $168 billion.” Due to the complexity of the tax system, 59% of individual tax payers hire tax preparers  to complete their returns while another 30% of individual tax payers pay for software to facilitate their tax returns. “The average taxpayer spends about $258 dollars in out of pocket expense to comply plus about 18 hours of time.” The burdensome and unfair tax code is another way in which Washington has placed your job and your opportunities under assault. Under Barack Obama, there have been many new taxes imposed on the American people, including at least 20 new or higher taxes in Obamacare.  The tax code’s enormity and complexity are a threat to your freedom and your rights because it can easily be used by the IRS to selectively persecute certain groups and individuals, as it did with Tea Party and conservative groups. Big Government Washington is too big, too powerful and too intrusive in our lives. Led by out of control agencies like the NSA and IRS, which have literally persecuted Americans for political reasons, Washington has become a threat to opportunity, freedom and rights. President Obama has been notorious for selectively enforcing the law, which directly threatens the Constitutional principle that we are all to be treated equally under the law. Americans from all political persuasions believe that security from threats, foreign and domestic, is not a valid reason for giving up their basic rights - like the right to privacy - with a plurality of Americans suggesting that the Government regulates more of their daily lives than it did when their parents were their same age. Americans place tremendous importance on being treated equally under the law, but across the board, they do not feel that everyone is treated equally in reality. The same holds true for people's beliefs about the freedom from politicians who serve their own interests instead of the public's interests, the freedom to choose your own doctor, the freedom to express political beliefs without fear of government reprisal, and the freedom to speak on the phone without the government listening and the freedom to send an email without the government monitoring. The IRS has become so politicized and heavy-handed that it literally targets and persecutes American citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights of "freedom of speech" "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." The IRS has shown that it can target organizations deemed political rivals of the Administration with impunity. Revelations about the National Security Agency (NSA) spying on American citizens run counter to the ideals of freedom-loving Americans. The NSA has taken its vast capabilities and broadened them from spying on America's enemies to spying on its allies abroad and law abiding Americans. The NSA can eavesdrop on a cell phone conversation between you and your friends, read private emails between you and your spouse, even read text messages between you and your children. Washington's abuse of power threatens to destroy the checks and balances established in the Constitution to protect your freedom and your rights. We must hold our politicians accountable when they pass laws that serve their own interests rather than the public's interests. Immigration We believe this country was founded by people who immigrated here from other countries, enriched our country throughout history and continue to enrich it today. We support the American Dream – the ability to come to this country, work hard, raise a family and fulfill your dreams and prosper. What we have issue with is the notion that Washington should make subjective decisions of when to enforce our immigration laws and when to set them aside. Washington has tried amnesty before and it failed. As reported in the The Washington Post citing The New York Times, it “… didn’t work. The law was supposed to put a stop to illegal immigration into the United States once and for all. Instead, the exact opposite happened. The number of unauthorized immigrants living in the country soared, from an estimated 5 million in 1986 to 11.1 million today.”  In 1986, a Republican President Ronald Reagan and a Democratic-controlled Congress agreed to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants in return for securing the borders and enforcing the law.  Congress failed to secure and enforce, and now Washington wants to repeat history. The result will be the same. Americans are clear on their position with regards to amnesty. At rate of nearly 2-to-1, Americans believe that anyone entering the United States illegally should not be granted amnesty on the grounds that it is neither fair nor equal treatment under the law. How it Affects You: A border that is not secured will directly affect your freedom as more people will enter our country illegally and with impunity. This places additional strain on an already poor job market. When Washington follows the law, it supports your freedom and your rights. When Washington does not follow the law, or subjectively enforces it, your freedom and your rights are threatened. In summary: We must first fully secure our borders. Immigration reform cannot happen without this necessary first step. We support legal immigration and the rule of law, according to the Constitution. There already is a legal path to citizenship for those wishing to immigrate to the United States. Anyone who decided to get off that path and enter the United States illegally should not be given any sort of amnesty for it is neither fair nor equal treatment under the law. Real Immigration Reform: An assessment of what a true immigration reform package would include 1. Real reform would prioritize securing the border. More than 70% of Americans want to see border security before anything else happens. As of right now, the amnesty bill does not require any real border security measures. The bill only requires a plan to do so. An amendment by Sen. Ted Cruz was defeated in committee by all of the Democrats and two Republicans – Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC) – that simply would have added a guarantee that the border be secured before any legalization. It was voted down. Real reform wouldn’t pay lip service to border security or treat Americans like naive little children; it would secure our borders before any other steps are taken. 2. Real reform would represent the people’s voice. The Senate amnesty bill cedes so much authority to unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats, much like Obamacare does. Agencies and bureaucrats are untouchable by the people, and therefore free to make decisions without the consent of the governed because they never have to stand for elections. Additionally, the bill was written behind closed doors with special interests, while the rest of us were shut out – Chamber of Commerce, AFL-CIO, and La Raza were all intimately involved in the writing of this bill, while ICE, border agents, and all the rest of us were excluded. Real reform would be written and implemented by people accountable to voters. 3. Real reform would be fair and Constitutional. This point refers to the unfairness of rewarding people who broke the law while punishing those that have followed the law and are waiting to enter the country legally. Whatever reform ultimately occurs, it must be fair. After all, people come to this country hoping to live in a place where the rule of law prevails and the law is equally applied to all. Real reform would uphold the rule of law and justice rather than mocking it. 4. Real reform would be understandable. This point refers to DC’s addiction to “comprehensive” legislation, i.e. giant bills that are written behind closed doors in confusing legalese and code, released with little time to review and analyze the bill, with so much complexity that regular Americans have no chance of understanding all of the implications and ramifications. Congress also uses these enormous bills to hide unpopular provisions and crony, corruptive deals because they know they will pass it before we can see what’s in it. Real reform would be broken into pieces that are manageable and understandable to the American people – no more comprehensive bills. 5. Real reform would benefit the economy. This point refers to the logical and obvious requirement that policies and legislation should be good for our economy, our fiscal & debt situation, and jobs. To push for any legislation that does otherwise is unacceptable. According to the Heritage Foundation’s recent report, this bill will cost us $6.3 trillion – at a time when we are already almost $17 trillion in debt. Real reform would be a boon to our economy, the jobs situation, and wouldn’t add a penny to our debt. 6. Real reform would promote American values. This point refers to the necessity that those who come here and want to become citizens should understand what makes America exceptional and the founding principles of our nation. They should understand the philosophy behind our Constitution and Declaration of Independence. They should understand our three core values of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets. The amnesty bill currently contains provisions that would give taxpayer dollars to anti-American groups like La Raza to teach these new citizens about American values. Which version of America do you think La Raza will teach? Real reform would promote and instill the American values that made our country so great. First Amendment Rights We stand for the rights of all individuals as laid out in the first amendment. The Bill of Rights is a fundamental piece in securing our freedoms and every American possesses the right to free speech, the freedom of religion, freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, and the right to petition our government. We will vigorously stand up for these rights for every American anytime they come under attack. Second Amendment Rights We fully support the preservation, protection and defense of your Second Amendment rights. As we are aware there are varying thoughts and opinions on what the Right to Bear Arms entails, we will oppose any attempt to revoke that right, but does not actively advocate for particular positions concerning this issue. The Second Amendment has been upheld repeatedly in our court system up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court. Voter Integrity Exercising your right to vote and be heard is a fundamental principle upon which the United States was founded. Voter laws should not keep us from wondering if the outcome of an election was truly the will of the people, or, if the outcome was fraudulent and wrong. There are many groups focused on this issue and we are proud to be part of that coalition. There are certain issues in the public discourse that are very polarizing and while it would be disingenuous for us to proclaim that, as individuals, our members do not have strong beliefs on these matters, we know that oftentimes these issues serve as distractions from the most pressing issues facing our country. We stand for Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets. To allow an opportunity for these issues to get drowned out is to divert us from our mission.