A common charge is that the tea party was terrorist-like in its willingness to bring the fiscal system to a halt to enforce some sort of limits on new debt. I say ‘common’ since the vice president of the United States purportedly put his own brand on that slur. But tea-party efforts to control the spending were belated and reactive; the real nihilism comes from those who apparently wanted no limits on the debt they might run up and had no plan to pay it back. In one formula, we are borrowing $4 billion a day and have run up nearly $5 trillion in the first three years of this administration. To define questioning a debt of $16 trillion as heartless cutting is unhinged.