Kathleen Parker's comments ("Tea party not really 'terrorists,' but they are acting foolishly," Aug. 4) seem to give a free pass to profligate government spending by discarding the oft-repeated principle in her mailbox: Families don't spend more than they have; the government shouldn't, either.

After all, don't families routinely spend more than they have by obtaining car loans, home loans and college and vacation loans? Actually, responsible families don't. If a family finances a truck at $50 per month, it must reduce other discretionary spending by an equal amount to still make its budget. If it doesn't, it must borrow additional funds each year just to make interest payments on the loan. This can only end in financial ruin for a family.

The government must borrow to pay the interest on its debt and to fund its entitlement liabilities. It has no plan to eliminate the annual deficit, let alone pay off the public debt, despite the catastrophic consequences of not doing so.

The budget compromise reached does little to address the problem, adding trillions in new debt by 2020. Conservatives have proposed the only serious solution (cut, cap and balance) to this problem. Kathleen Parker believes tea partiers are acting foolishly. But to this fool, it appears they are the only smart ones in the room.

David Johnson