Jenny Beth Martin

Tea Party Five Year Anniversary Event - February 28, 2014

Jenny Beth Martin
February 24, 2014
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MARTIN: We want an America where personal freedom is cherished and all Americans are treated equally so that everyone can pursue the American dream. Nearly everyone you talk to you will tell you they want that too. A lot of Americans think they already have that, but when your targeted by the IRS, when you learn that your government is listening to your phone calls, or making you buy health insurance you don't want or need, or that our nation is $17 trillion in debt, which means every American share is $50,000, you realize Washington may not cherish freedom at all. That's why America needs us, and that's why we form Tea Party Patriots, and today of all days I had an experience that proves our work is more vital than ever.

Today when we've been gathered here to celebrate five years of progress, I was summoned to testify before Congress about the IRS targeting us, about the IRS striking fear in millions of American people who wanted to freely express their views. And after waiting three years two months and 10 days, less than 24 hours before I testified before Congress, the IRS granted us our 501 C 4 status. We are going to win. Our values, personal freedom, economic freedom, and a debt-free future will win. It starts with a simple way to fix a world of problems. We need to implement the penny plan. Congress could do that in their next budget but they won't unless you force them to. You must talk to your neighbors about the penny plan. Tell them how reducing every dollar Washington spends by just one penny will eliminate our national deficit in three years.

When you do this, Americans will nod their head in agreement as they listen to you because most Americans are willing to give up just one penny. They're willing to reduce the services they receive by just one percent to get this country on the right track. The penny plan is the first step to the debt free future we want. It's an answer to what- to the problems that gave rise to the Tea Party.

When this movement started, I was going through personal financial crisis myself. My husband and I found ways to keep the roof over our family's head without a government bailout. Some of you have told me you've been there too; you know what it's like to lose everything and have to start over. So when we say we're willing to give up just a tiny bit of government services, we're not saying it because we've never had any needs. We want this because we do not want to see the country we love and cherish stretched too thin the way we were. We don't want to our children and grandchildren to be stuck with our bills.

So that's job number one, implement the penny plan. Saving a penny sounds simple. Our next task sounds like a hard one, some of you may even think it's impossible, it's not. We will amend the Constitution and replace the tax system with a fair fixed flat weight. An obvious benefit to doing this is that we will we will dump 67,000 pages of oppressive IRS regulations, and we'll replace that with a tax that are simple and fixed. Now that will save families and businesses billions of dollars every year in tax preparer fees alone. It stops the IRS from political targeting and silencing speech. It takes away many of the special interest on K Street, and it frees us from the politicians who only serve their own interest rather than the people's.

There's more to it. This will reduce taxes, and when we reduce taxes and we reduce government spending, we all have a chance to earn more money and businesses are able to hire more people. We free people in the economy to do incredible things. As President Reagan said about reducing taxes, there is no limit to growth and human progress when men and women are free to follow their dreams.

When I give in to the urge to think ‘Wow a constitutional amendment it can never be done,’ do you know whose words I think of? President John F Kennedy. President Kennedy said we will put man on the moon in a decade and we did. When asked why dare attempt such a difficult thing Kennedy said, ‘we do these things not because they are easy but because they are hard because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, one which we intend to win.’ To amend the Constitution, to revamp the tax code, that's the challenge we are willing to accept. And we will win. That lofty mission starts on the ground with us. We need to teach our family and friends that it can be done, we need to make the case to our state legislators and to Congress. It's not rocket science and we will do this.

There's a third thing or rather there's a third charge that falls to us if we're sincere about personal freedom and this job requires work now through 2016 and beyond. We must repeal the entire health care law. We must put choice back in the hands of people. I know I don't have to tell you what's wrong with this law, how it robs us of the freedom to choose our own doctors and how we choose to spend our hard-earned dollars. The health care law also represents what concerns us most about the direction of this country, a congress passing bills it doesn't even read, congress exempting itself from laws it forces on us, a president creating and changing laws at will, violating our system of checks and balances.

To push back Obamacare will likely require new Congress and a new president, but there's something we can do now, we will work to get the interstate healthcare compact passed. That would at least allow states the freedom to design health care programs that meet their local needs without federal interference.

I know we can do these things because Americans of all political stripes want freedom. Freedom to make our own choices about our health care, freedom to start a business, freedom to talk on the phone without the government listening, freedom to speak about our political beliefs without the IRS interfering, and without harming others, freedom to live our lives the way we see fit.

The dream of freedom unites and motivates millions of people across the world and it has for centuries. President Reagan said, ‘as long as that dream lives, as long as we continue to- as long as we continue to defend freedom, America has a future and all mankind has reason to help.’ This week you may have seen the viral video I am a Ukrainian. In this video Yulia says, ‘we want to be free from a dictatorship. We want to be free from the politicians who only work for themselves.’

More than three decades ago in October 1982 John Mooney a young naval man wrote home to his parents. They were so moved by the letter they sent it to President Reagan who read it and his weekly radio address to the nation the Saturday before Christmas. ‘Dear Mom and Dad today we spotted a boat in the water. We picked up 65 Vietnamese refugees. It was about a two-hour job getting everyone on board, screened by intelligence, checked out by medical clothes, and fed. Now they're resting on the hangar deck and the kids most of them seem to be kids are sitting in front of probably the first television set they've ever seen watching Star Wars. Their boat was sinking as we came alongside. They had been at sea for five days and had run out of water. A couple more days and the kids would have been in pretty bad shape. I guess once in a while you need a jolt like that for us to realize why we do what we do, how important it really can be. I mean it took a lot of guts for those parents to go to sea and a leaky boat in hopes of finding someone to take them from the sea. So much risk, but apparently they felt it was worth it, rather than live in a communist country. For all our problems, with the price of gas, not being able to afford a new car or creature comforts, I really don't see a lot of leaky boats heading out of San Diego looking for Russian ships out there. One picture blazed in my mind is the approach the ship they were all waving and trying his best they could to say hello America's sailor, hello freedom man. It's hard to see a boat like that full of people and not get a lump somewhere between your chin and belly button, and it really makes one proud and glad to be an American. People were waving and shouting choking down lumps trying not to let other brave men see their wet eyes. A lieutenant next to me said, yeah I guess it's payday in more ways than one. We got paid today and I guess no one could say it better than that.’

America will be the land of the free only as long as she is a home of the brave, only as long as we the people stand for liberty. We will be free because of those defending us abroad like John Mooney on the ship in 1982, like Emery McClendon and Mark Herr who spoke to you today. We have lasting freedom because we've been blessed with presidents like Abraham Lincoln who fought to free the slaves, like John F Kennedy who challenged us to go higher and be stronger, like Ronald Reagan who fought to release those behind the Iron Curtain, and because of you, freedom will endure.

Five years ago fewer than 50,000 people we're talking about tea parties. Today there's hardly a political conversation that doesn't mention us. Heck, we're even in house of cards where we’re the strange ones because we don't murder and cheat. I see how far we've come and I know what we can do in the months and the years ahead.

Thank you so much for coming here to Washington for being part of this celebration. I don't know when we'll see each other again, probably the next time Congress does something really bad though we have to have another rally. We'll keep in touch through our webinars, through your local groups, through the groups you'll go home and start. I've seen how much determination you've shown we've celebrated only just a few of the thousands of accomplishments you've had and I know why you do this work in the evenings, on week- the weekends, and at two o'clock in the morning, for the same reason I do. We dream of an America that lives up to her promise. Our dreams are so lofty because we do cherish personal freedom and we know our work isn't done until everyone, especially those we elect to represent us, cherish freedom too. And most of all, we do this work because we care about our legacy. Because it's our responsibility to leave a debt free nation with enduring freedom so our children can soar in pursuit of their American dream. Thank you. Thank you so much. God bless you, God bless the United States of America.