• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Tea Parties, Going Galt, Iraq, and Delicious Irony

I’ve been following the growing “Tea Party” and “Going Galt” movements with no small amount of amusement, in part because there is really just too much sweet, delicious irony surrounding both of these groups of people (who, I might add, are largely the same people). Here’s a few observations:

  • The “Tea Parties”, of course, started springing up in response to Obama’s stimulus package, a package whose largest fiscal component is a tax cut that will largely benefit the people in the income brackets who make up the Tea Party movement. That I find funny.
  • The folks in the blogosphere largely cheerleading the Tea Parties are the same folks in the blogosphere who cheerleaded the war in Iraq. So apparently, government intervention to the tune of $650 Billion is okay to spend when it comes to an unnecessary war that in no way advances American interests, but not okay when it comes to building bridges, cutting taxes, helping state governments meet budget shortfalls, or making sure that Americans don’t get covered in lava. Gotcha.

    (Disclosure: At the time, I did support the Iraq invasion, which in hindsight was stupid. I am also skeptical about the stimulus package as passed. But I wasn’t opposed to a stimulus package per se.)

  • Some of the biggest proponents of the “Going Galt” bandwagon in the blogosphere and at Pajamas Media are Glenn Reynolds and his wife, both of whom have jobs (Professor of Law at a public university; forensic psychiatrist) that are dependent on public, taxpayer-funded institutions.

Finally and most ironic of all, none of the folks who attend “tea parties” or who will “go Galt” (one of these days, when they scrounge up the cash) have apparently noticed that we haven’t had anything approaching a free-market system for decades now, but apparently only now that the political party they don’t like is in power have they bothered to notice.

After all:

  • I didn’t see people sending bags of tea to their local city councils when tax dollars were taken from the middle class and used to support athletic stadiums and tax shelters for athletic teams worth hundreds of millions–sometimes billions of dollars.
  • I don’t recall anyone threatening to cut their own wages to protest the fact that the United States Armed Forces continues to contract with KBR despite the fact that KBR cannot account for billions of taxpayers funds that it has already received.
  • And I’ve done some searches, but I didn’t find any evidence of large scale protests aimed at a Republican Party which, over the last eight years, further doctored the tax and regulatory codes to favor large, public corporations and disfavor small businesses and individual entrepreneurs.

Let’s call the “tea party” and “going Galt” nonsense what it is: unprincipled partisan hackery. If these were truly principled protests, they’d have been around all through the Bush and Republican-controlled Congress years, too.

P.S. Oh, and of course, the most ironic thing of all is that the Ayn Rand Institute, named for the radical for capitalism herself (whom I’ve always liked, even when I disagree with her), has been getting a lot of media attention from the “Going Galt” cheerleaders lately. This amuses me because the ARI is actually a non-profit organization. Radicals for Capitalism indeed.

Related Posts:

About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp writes about pretty much everything under the sun, including politics, art, religion, philosophy, sports, music, culture, and science.

Comments

  1. Boyd says:

    The “Tea Parties”, of course, started springing up in response to Obama’s stimulus package, a package whose largest fiscal component is a tax cut that will largely benefit the people in the income brackets who make up the Tea Party movement. That I find funny.

    I find that principled. Even though a policy would help them directly, since it’s wrong-headed and bad for the country, they still oppose it.

    Make fun of them if you will, but many if not most of them are more principled than you give them credit for, Alex.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. odograph says:

    That was a fun read Alex, and I think some “interesting facts.”

    I am sympathetic to anyone unhappy with this economy and this response … but principled or not, I think the two movements you mention take a pretty shallow read of our dilemma.

    When the two TARP choices were (a) spend too much money or (b) let wall street crater, it isn’t really something you can fix with a poster board and some Sharpies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Alex,

    That tax cut that was part of the stimulus you mentioned amounts to about $ 13 a week, so I can understand most people not really thinking all that much of it. I certainly don’t.

    On the whole, though, I feel about these tea parties, and especially the whole “going Galt” thing (which is also being pitched by Michelle Malkin btw) the same way you do. Someone noted in a comment on my blog that “going Galt” is the right wing equivalent of threatening to move to Canada, and I think they’re about right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. sam says:

    One of the problems I have with all these folks chest-thumping for the rest of us to get busy “going Galt” is that they themselves seem pretty happy keep to “going Gelt”: Kinda like, let’s you and him fight–I’ll hold the coats. Moreover, all the interviews I’ve seen with folks contemplating Galthood have generated the same response in me: WTF difference would it make to anyone if you fell off the grid? They remind me of those losers I knew in college who had discovered Ayn Rand and found a “philosophical foundation” for the fact that they couldn’t layed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Alex Knapp says:

    Boyd and Doug,

    Re: the tax cut — the reason I find it amusing is because virtually all of the signs at the parties complain about tax hikes. Perhaps I should have made that clearer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Alex, as educated as you claim to be. Something seems to be lost on you. When government spends money they must get it somewhere as they do nothing to creat it outside of printing. Tax is the usual way for government to raise money. Count the dollar amount in the porkulous package, the spending bill and TARPs. How many trillion is that Alex? If you think they are going to be able to tax the rich for that amount, you do not understand the power of money very well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Alex Knapp says:

    Zelsdorf,

    Of course taxes are going to have to go up eventually, assuming that the Federal government is responsible. But for the past 30 years, the GOP has led the charge for increased spending and decreased taxes, and the past eight years were fiscally disastrous. Where were the tea parties then?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. [...] Knapp on a big load of fertilizer. Posted by Jim Henley @ 7:56 am, Filed under: Main « « Coase to Coast | Main [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. [...] Knapp on a big load of fertilizer. Posted by Jim Henley @ 7:56 am, Filed under: Main « « Coase to Coast | Main [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Dave Schuler says:

    Alex, has anyone proposed a tax cut yet? I’m not aware of it. As has been pointed out umpteen times over the period of the last eight years, what’s been proposed is a tax deferment rather than a tax cut.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Alex,

    I assume that they’re talking about the tax hikes in Obama’s budget on people making more that $ 250,000.00

    What they don’t mention, of course, is that these are marginal tax rates and that it amounts to maybe few extra hundred dollars a year on average.

    This is what convinces me that the tea party movement is more astro-turf than grassroots. I don’t agree with most of what’s in Obama’s budget, and I don’t like tax increases generally, but the truth is that he’s proposing tax rates that are about the same as what they were when Clinton was President. Since when is that confiscatory ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Alex Knapp says:

    Dave,

    Touche’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. [...] Knapp knocks one out of the park. Though he is being served a slow one up the middle underhand. Some of the biggest proponents of [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Our Paul says:

    A round of applause for Alex Knapp’s exploration of American Absurdity. An occasional shrill whistle among the appreciative audience will be tolerated, but viewed by the more sober OTB participants as Irrational Exuberance.

    Expected attempts to capture the moral high ground by advancing “principle” should be viewed for what it is, the aggrieved chirps of movement conservatives who are unable to comprehend why the great unwashed will not join them at the Reagan Altar, by the bird bath, located in the Central Square of the Shinning City on the Hill.

    Unfurl your banner, and march forward Alex, we may not follow, but we will applaud.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. DL says:

    It’s not the taxes -it’s the spending to buy votes and payoff friendly groups and friends in high places, while blaming Bush for everything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Another thing I find ironic is that none of these ‘Going Galt’ types seem to have actually read Atlas Shrugged.

    You are not John Galt. You’re probably not even Hank Rearden or Dagny Taggart. At best your Eddie Willers; if things start going Galt you’re not going to end up retiring to Galt’s Gulch, you’re going to end up standing next to a broken down train in the middle of the desert wondering what the heck just happened.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. C Stanley says:

    It strikes me that most people tend to see the problems of a public policy more clearly when the ‘other’ party does it than when the party they identify with endorses it.

    In fact, Iraq is a good example of the left falling out of love with foreign intervention for the purpose of seeding democracy.

    So, when conservatives now see the follies of deficit spending, I can see the irony but it doesn’t mean they’re now incorrect, either.

    And besides, in terms of the ‘hypocrisy’ of endorsing military spending but not the spending on domestic infrastructure, there is a philosophical reason to support the federal government’s role in defense but not in funding every perceived domestic need. There certainly is room to critique the way that principle is applied (whether Iraq was a correct policy or efficient use of defense funds) but there’s still a principle guiding the ‘guns, not butter’ argument on spending.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. Dave Schuler says:

    You are not John Galt. You’re probably not even Hank Rearden or Dagny Taggart. At best your Eddie Willers;

    For the same reason that everybody seems to have been a king or queen in a past life. Every revolutionary seems to imagine him- or herself as a commissar rather than as a kulak.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Jonah says:

    On CSPAN last week, Ann Coulter threatened to ‘Go Galt’ and stop writing as a response to a small increase in the marginal tax rate. Let’s hope she does.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. You are not John Galt. You’re probably not even Hank Rearden or Dagny Taggart. At best your Eddie Willers; if things start going Galt you’re not going to end up retiring to Galt’s Gulch, you’re going to end up standing next to a broken down train in the middle of the desert wondering what the heck just happened.

    Exactly ! Thank you for saying that.

    I’d also note that most of the “going Galt” crowd doesn’t seem to realize that most modern businessmen are more like Jim Taggart than Dagny.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Bithead says:

    But for the past 30 years, the GOP has led the charge for increased spending and decreased taxes

    CITE!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. bithed,

    1. Reagan cut taxes and raised spending. For a guy who talked about cutting the size of government and eliminating the Dept. of Education, he didn’t really do much.

    2. GHWB raised taxes and spending.

    3. The House Republicans caved on the Contract with American by 1996.

    4. The entire Presidency of George W. Bush.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. JKB says:

    If these were truly principled protests, they’d have been around all through the Bush and Republican-controlled Congress years, too.

    Sometimes things just reach a moment where that which was tolerated in the past is no longer acceptable. Kind of like how you can fail to pay taxes you signed papers acknowledging and become Treasury Secretary but if your the 4th or 5th appointee with a tax problem no matter how arcane, your out.

    Not to mention Congress can go wild spending while people feel flush with little notice, but after the President runs around saying the “end is near” people start thinking it is time to cut back rather than spend, spend, spend. If they wanted to keep spending, Obama and the Dem Congress shouldn’t have screamed about how broke we are.

    The Stimulus was not sold as nor loaded with temporary investment designed to improve the overall economic capabilities in the future. Instead, it is new spending when we’re already in debt up to our ears. The Tea Parties have drawn those in society who realize that when you’re in a hole you stop digging unless your building a way out.

    As for the Ayn Rand Foundation, since when is being a “non-profit” mean you can’t be a paragon of support for “An economic system based on predominantly private (individual or corporate) investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of goods and wealth”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. missym says:

    Yes, Bush did waste alot of money on the war, but his deficit also consisted of katrina, which cost billions of dollars, and 9/11, which cost more than that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. Alex Knapp says:

    And besides, in terms of the ‘hypocrisy’ of endorsing military spending but not the spending on domestic infrastructure, there is a philosophical reason to support the federal government’s role in defense but not in funding every perceived domestic need.

    The irony of Iraq is that a great deal of the money was spent building infrastructure, schools, police, etc.–all things that are in the domestic stimulus package, only apparently it’s okay to provide that funding to a foreign power.

    Sometimes things just reach a moment where that which was tolerated in the past is no longer acceptable.

    Kind of like, “it was okay when my party did it, but now that the other guys are in power it’s just horrible!

    As for the Ayn Rand Foundation, since when is being a “non-profit” mean you can’t be a paragon of support for “An economic system based on predominantly private (individual or corporate) investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of goods and wealth”?

    When the person the Institute is named after opposed such institutions being run on a not-for-profit basis, there’s more than a little irony involved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    It is all in the numbers Alex. What did the Iraq war cost?? Somehow it cost far less than the porkulous package. The one no one read but passed. The very one which authorized the payment of bonuses to AIG employees, Alex. The changes put in by the administration to allow those bonuses, Alex. The Trillion dollars in newly printed money without ANY growth to justify diluting the monetary pool, Alex. Alex, are you aware of what a Marxist would do in the position Obama now holds, Alex? Alex, if your goal was to reduce the middle class to poverty, Alex. How would that be best accomplished except by spending all of our money, Alex. Alex, have you ever read any of Saul Alinski’s books? Alex, does the U.S. Constitution protect liberty or equality? Do you understand that in an equality system, some will be more equal than others?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. C Stanley says:

    The irony of Iraq is that a great deal of the money was spent building infrastructure, schools, police, etc.–all things that are in the domestic stimulus package, only apparently it’s okay to provide that funding to a foreign power.

    Well, OK only in the sense that we had a moral obligation. I suppose if W had stuck to his campaign promise of avoiding ‘nation building’, had gone in quick and dirty and deposed Saddam and then left quickly, he would have been praised by the left in this country for not wasting all of those infrastructure dollars that we need at home, eh?

    When any stick is good enough to club your opponent with, it starts to look as though your opposition isn’t principled but opportunistic.

    I’m not opposed to all domestic infrastructure by any means, but I do think we’ve gone way too far in looking to Washington to serve every need of local communities. I also question whether larger sums of money are needed for this type of spending/investment or if it is more of a problem of waste, fraud, and abuse of power that shrinks the impact of the funds that are spent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. (: Tom :) says:

    I, too, have found this latest round of Republican’t hypocrisy particularly amusing. There are so many additional ironies in this situation, you could probably try and write a thesis on the subject matter. But I would like to point out a couple of the more deliciously ironic (to me) bits that you didn’t focus on here:

    – the tax cut nonsense is particularly amusing to me because the Republican’ts are expressly going back on their recorded statements about this when it was enacted as part of the Bush tax giveaways to the rich early in his first term. The only way those tax cuts went through in the first place was that they expired now, and to see them conveniently ‘forget’ this little fact while whining about the extra $1200 per year that the ‘average’ person in this income bracket will have to pay in taxes. Except guys like Rush Limbaugh who have been skimming $1.5 million per year extra through those Bush tax giveaways that they promised (when they rammed them through congress) to let expire.

    I find that quite amusing.

    – the whole Randian philosophical bastardization by the ‘conservative’ types. I must be one of the few liberals who find some meaning in her message – but I got a completely different take from reading her stuff than most. To me, Rush Limbaugh has seemed very Ellsworth M. Toohey-like (minus the diabolical genius part) for years. All of those bloated writer hacks make me think of Hannity, O’Reilly, Back, et al. Bush seemed like Wesley Mouch without a mustache, and Cheney reminds me of Mr. Thompson without the personal empathy.

    Yet these supposed Randians follow the conservative media types off the cliff in the opposite direction of objectivism as defined by Rand (IMHO). This I also find quite amusing.

    As I said earlier, the hypocrisy and amazing cognitive dissonance involved here could be drawn into years of research at a major institute of learning. If either of the Reynolds’ truly ‘go Galt’ I would humbly suggest that this would be a more effective use of those government funds…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. Pug says:

    It is all in the numbers Alex. What did the Iraq war cost?? Somehow it cost far less than the porkulous package.

    This statement is not true. Yes, it’s “all in the numbers” and you aren’t telling the truth about the numbers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. Flyfish says:

    It’s a tax hike. Even if it isn’t immediate we’re going to have to pay it back. I gritted my teeth through lack of financing of the war, I’m gritting my teeth now as our currency is devalued, not for stimulus, but to expand the government and payoff political favors. The stimulus is a gigantic mistake my kids and grandkids will have to pay off.

    Even you are smart enough to know this Alex, nice try but you’re acting as myopic as any Bushie.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. Bill says:

    So apparently, government intervention to the tune of $650 Billion is okay to spend when it comes to an unnecessary war that in no way advances American interests,

    Yawn.

    “in no way advances American interests”

    Whether the Iraq war ends up advancing American interests in the net equation is still a ball in play, no matter what conventional wisdom on a 6-year timeline dictates.

    Reactants in the equation include: how badly it pissed off the Arab world and served as a recruiting tool, how much of a strategic defeat Takfiri suffered in Iraq, how well Iraq’s new Democracy functions and handles peaceful tranfer of power in the coming years, and the impact of an Iraq which maintains an alliance with the US and counterbalances Iranian regional power on the politics in the region.

    You think you were wrong when you supported the war … you may eventually think you were wrong when you authored this post. The trick is to be smart enough to realize when it’s not possible to know.

    Other than that, the tea parties are dumb so much as they oppose any stimulus, which the economy sorely needed to avoid implosion. In contrast, political pork projects when we need stimulus with focused multipliers, as well as the ambition of Obama’s subsequent budget, are certainly areas for legitimate concern and debate. (sometimes a portion of this debate takes the form of goofy protest, natch)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. Btesh says:

    Alex, it’s the unwashed, that know when the above 250 bunch gets taxed, they the unwashed feel the pinch. the war was at a great cost,money and lives, but two wrongs do not make a right and if you can say that doubling
    our spending in one bill is not wrong then you Sir are an IDIOT

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. Alex Knapp says:

    What did the Iraq war cost??

    $650 Billion and counting, not counting defense spending that is part of normal Pentagon appropriations.

    Somehow it cost far less than the porkulous package.

    If you only count spending in the stimulus package and not tax cuts, the Iraq War was more expensive.

    The one no one read but passed. The very one which authorized the payment of bonuses to AIG employees, Alex.

    No, you’re confusing the stimulus package which passed under bush with the TARP program, which was a Bush Administration initiative (which, admittedly, Obama is continuing, but I don’t recall any protests when Bush did it.)

    The Trillion dollars in newly printed money without ANY growth to justify diluting the monetary pool, Alex.

    My understanding is that the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program (spearheaded by Ben Bernakke, a Bush appointee) is being put in place to counter deflation, which has plagued the dollar for the last two quarters. (Also, it’s not quite the same as printing money…)

    Alex, are you aware of what a Marxist would do in the position Obama now holds, Alex?

    My guess is that he would nationalize every industry, break apart large estates into smaller parces held in common by agricultural committees run by the government, end currency trading, round up business executives and have them shot, put the government in charge of distributing commodities, and send dissidents to gulags.

    Alex, if your goal was to reduce the middle class to poverty, Alex. How would that be best accomplished except by spending all of our money, Alex.

    If I wanted to reduce the middle class to poverty, I would do one of two things: create a marxist state OR create a system whereby tax codes, regulations and laws favored large, multi-national conglomearates and made it increasingly difficult for small businesses and entrepeneurs to compete unless they acquiesed to government control by changing their business form to a publically traded corporation; I would ensure the protection of inherited wealth against new wealth by eliminating estate taxes; I would create a complicated tax system which allowed the wealthy to skirt the law and not pay taxes while those with lesser means ended up effectively being taxed more; I would protect monopolies by force of law through unnecessary licensure on professions such as cosmetology and undertaking; I would set up regulations that make shareholders powerless when it comes to the running of a company; I would enact bankruptcy laws that punish ordinary people for incidents that were beyond their control; I would reward companies that have utterly failed… The list goes on.

    Alex, have you ever read any of Saul Alinski’s books?

    Yes.

    Alex, does the U.S. Constitution protect liberty or equality?

    To a certain extent, both.

    Do you understand that in an equality system, some will be more equal than others?

    As opposed to an inequality system?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. JKB says:

    Kind of like, “it was okay when my party did it, but now that the other guys are in power it’s just horrible!

    Granted, but I was going for the fact that sometimes you’re shot for minor sins simply due to the fact that your 3rd or 4th to have your sins come to light while similar sins of greater magnitude were forgiven by virtue of being first. In the post context, there has been much wasteful spending but the time seems to be ripe for opposition to coalesce, just bad luck for those who like this wasteful spending better than some in the past.

    When the person the Institute is named after opposed such institutions being run on a not-for-profit basis, there’s more than a little irony involved.

    That is ironic but not unusual in the non-profit world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. Dawn says:

    The difference is that people were employed and still had their retirement money…duh! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist Alex.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. Alex Knapp says:

    Flyfish,

    I do know that it’s a de facto tax hike in the long run, which is why you can check my record on this site that I’ve opposed tax cuts with the exception of a limited-duration payroll tax holiday for a limited stimulus purpose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. Bithead says:

    Reagan cut taxes and raised spending. For a guy who talked about cutting the size of government and eliminating the Dept. of Education, he didn’t really do much.

    Perhas you didn’t live though that era. I did. All eight of Reagan’s budgets were DOA at the Hill. All of them. Congress rose spending over the level outlined in Reagan’s budgets.

    Every.
    Single.
    One.

    Reagan lowered the percentage of taxes, true, but because of that, the income at the fed;s coffers went up markedly.
    The problem was, Congress spent a buck 65 for every dollar of increased revenue… despite their promise to hold the line on spending. You will recall, perhaps with some prodding, that it’s Congress, not the President, that has the power of the purse?

    All of which is exactly why I called BS on Alex’s original line.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. Wendy says:

    That’s it? Your entire argument centers around the failures or hypocrisy of your opponent? Your position is bankrupt. Most Republicans want limited government, and if they failed to grasp that Bush was a big government conservative until it was too late, that is hardly an argument that they are being unprincipled now.

    As for the Ayn Rand Institute being non-profit, that may seem to you to be ironic, but it is in no way hypocritical or wrong. The concept of non-profits being virtuous by that very fact, and therefore worthy of tax exemptions, is a lefty doctrine. The Institute is just playing the hand you lefties are ultimately responsible for dealing them. They SHOULD use your system against you.

    And if all these people who are talking about going Galt are insignificant losers, then I am sure you are not worried AT ALL about the economic consequences of them doing so and won’t have much further to say about the matter in the future.

    Tick tock.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. C Stanley says:

    The one no one read but passed. The very one which authorized the payment of bonuses to AIG employees, Alex.

    No, you’re confusing the stimulus package which passed under bush with the TARP program, which was a Bush Administration initiative (which, admittedly, Obama is continuing, but I don’t recall any protests when Bush did it.)

    No, the exec comp restrictions were put in as a rider to the stimulus bill (the Dodd amendment to which Dodd either did or did not add the clause exempting preexisting bonuses.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  40. Wendy says:

    “When the person the Institute is named after opposed such institutions being run on a not-for-profit basis, there’s more than a little irony involved.”

    Link?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. bithead,

    I did live through the Reagan years as a matter of fact.

    You will recall, perhaps with some prodding, that it’s Congress, not the President, that has the power of the purse?

    And the President has the veto pen.

    So, what’s your point ?

    I didn’t say that Reagan was a tax-and-spender, I merely pointed out that even he found it impossible to take even one single baby step toward dismantling the Great Society, not to mention The New Deal.

    After Reagan, Republicans turned into the party of hypocrisy. They talk a good game on fiscal conservatism when they’re out of power, but once they get into the White House or re-take Congress, they’re no better than the Democrats.

    You will recall, perhaps with some prodding, that it was a Republican Congress that gave us the Medicare prescription drug benefit, which was the biggest expansion of the welfare state since LBJ.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. MDGrandma says:

    your views and comments are very undimensional and simplistic, stick to biochemistry and law dude.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. Alex Knapp says:

    C Stanley,

    No, the exec comp restrictions were put in as a rider to the stimulus bill (the Dodd amendment to which Dodd either did or did not add the clause exempting preexisting bonuses.)

    No, he didn’t: http://mediamatters.org/items/200903170026. The preexisting bonuses were exempted in conference committee from the Dodd Amendment, but such exemption was left to the discretion of the Treasury Secretary.

    Wendy,

    Most Republicans want limited government

    No, they don’t. This is empirically demonstrable by the Reagan Administration, Bush I and Bush II, as well as the Republican controlled congress from 1994 – 2006.

    As for the Ayn Rand Institute being non-profit, that may seem to you to be ironic, but it is in no way hypocritical or wrong.

    Ayn Rand advocated for-profit educational institutions, and you don’t see the irony?

    The concept of non-profits being virtuous by that very fact, and therefore worthy of tax exemptions, is a lefty doctrine. The Institute is just playing the hand you lefties are ultimately responsible for dealing them. They SHOULD use your system against you.

    I don’t believe that the tax code should allow for non-profit organizations of any stripe, so there’s that then.

    And if all these people who are talking about going Galt are insignificant losers, then I am sure you are not worried AT ALL about the economic consequences of them doing so and won’t have much further to say about the matter in the future.

    I’d be willing to wager right now that very few people will “go Galt” and yes, those that do will have very little impact on the economy. I suspect it will be roughly the same impact as liberal college students who “drop off the grid”, go live in the wilderness, and get eaten by bears.

    “When the person the Institute is named after opposed such institutions being run on a not-for-profit basis, there’s more than a little irony involved.”

    Link?

    Most of Ayn Rand’s work is not available online. But you can check out her books from a library. You know, and read them. And understand and integrate her philosophy to come to the logical conclusion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    I, Alex, would prefer liberty to equality. For with liberty, through my on devices I can gain prospertiy. In an equality system, either I get to live off the labors of others or they live off me. Sorry Alex, you don’t get mine and thanks to our founding fathers, I have both the right and means to defend what is mine. Liberty is mine and if you try to force equality on me you will find me at your door, armed and dangerous. I defended this nation and free people against Communism before and I am more than willing to do it again. I will never submit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. C Stanley says:

    Alex- that was sarcasm, because Dodd denied putting the exemption clause in one day and then admitted to it the next. And the point to my comment was to correct your assertion- this was part of the stimulus bill, not the original TARP legislation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. Alex Knapp says:

    C Stanley – Sorry, missed the sarcasm. My bad.

    Zelsdorf,

    Umm…. yeah. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool capitalist, which is why I can’t stand the corporatism of the Republican party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. Brett Rogers says:

    Up until now, we could be bored with politics. A minor annoyance, entertaining at times, but not a threat to the very premise of this country.

    The gloves are off. We’re readying for the fight. It matters now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. C Stanley says:

    I didn’t say that Reagan was a tax-and-spender, I merely pointed out that even he found it impossible to take even one single baby step toward dismantling the Great Society, not to mention The New Deal.

    He actually did dismantle a lot of programs and probably brought the country to the tipping point against Great Society welfare so that welfare reform could proceed to the next step under Clinton/Gingrich. His budgets included increased spending, including social spending, but he greatly cut back the rate of the growth.

    He also accomplished a lot in the way of ‘devolution’, which was what I always understood him to mean about decreasing the size of the federal government. He didn’t fail in his attempts but unfortunately there was no follow through after he left office.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. Barry says:

    “It’s not the taxes -it’s the spending to buy votes and payoff friendly groups and friends in high places, while blaming Bush for everything.”

    Posted by DL

    Again, this is something that Bush II did as much as possible for his administration, and not only were these ‘Galtists’ having few problems with it, but they loved it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. TRD says:

    >>Disclosure: At the time, I did support the Iraq invasion, which in hindsight was stupid.

    Don’t worry, Alex.

    In a couple of years, in hindsight, you will realize you are being stupid on this one too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  51. Skunky says:

    LOL…TWO degrees and yet you are still so clueless on how money works, tax credits versus cuts and you are still firmly entrenched in your love of TOTUS (Aka Chairman MaObama) after two months of eye-opening fiascos. You’re funny.

    Umm, anything you believe I will be so glad to be on the opposite side of. Obamarxist was laughing at YOUR expense too on 59 Minutes (1 Minute away from the truth), FanBoy!

    I’m be tea-partying on 4/15. Continue your teabagging, Alex!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  52. C Stanley says:

    Again, this is something that Bush II did as much as possible for his administration, and not only were these ‘Galtists’ having few problems with it, but they loved it.

    And those who criticized Bush for it are loving it, or making excuses for it, or ignoring it, now.

    And the sun came up in the Eastern sky this morning too.

    Why do people act like it’s a revelation when they notice people excusing the inexcusable from the politicians they voted for while calling out the ones they didn’t vote for? It’s human nature- although with the stakes as high as they are now, we all ought to stop patting ourselves on the back for noticing other people’s hypocrisy and try applying principles of accountability to all politicians of both parties.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  53. David says:

    Finally and most ironic of all, none of the folks who attend “tea parties” or who will “go Galt” (one of these days, when they scrounge up the cash) have apparently noticed that we haven’t had anything approaching a free-market system for decades now, but apparently only now that the political party they don’t like is in power have they bothered to notice.

    That is so terribly not true. Conservatives have been fighting the majority of our Republican politicians on spending and regulation for what seems like forever. The party hasn’t been in alignment with the grassroots for a long time. Politicians just love to spend money and increase their own power, no matter the party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  54. Dan says:

    Sorry kids, the problem is in our corrupt Congress and ultimately with voters.

    We either impose term limits on candidates and their families or we demand serious sacrifice of these congresspeople.

    no congressperson should be permitted to leave DC with more money than when they arrived.

    congresspeople should have a lifetime ban on lobbying (foreign or domestic) for the privilege of public service.

    any violation of the public trust should be considered a near capital crime

    congress should be made up of citizen servants, not professional blood suckers.

    Nothing will change unless the the corrupt institution is either reformed or burnt to the ground.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  55. physics geek says:

    Again, this is something that Bush II did as much as possible for his administration, and not only were these ‘Galtists’ having few problems with it, but they loved it.

    The correct response to this is, well, I’ll be polite and simply call “shenanigans” on such twaddle. The right complained about Bush’s excessive spending for his entire presidency. As to the spending on Iraq II, I don’t know if it will be worth it at the end of the day. I’m convinced that Bush I screwed up by not taking out Saddam during the first Gulf War. However, and this might be worth pointing out for the numerically impaired, the 650 billion spent over the course of 6 years pales in comparison to the multi-trillion spending occurring right now. And I’m including TARP I, which Bush to his eternal discredit favored and approved.

    Are their GOPers who support policies when a Republican proposes them, but oppose them when a Democrats offers them? Sure. I ignore those people much like I ignore the converse, people who bitched incessantly about Bush’s policies but seemed convinced that Obama’s continuance of said policies is just swell. Hypocrites abound. But saying that conservatives supported Bush’s big spending ways and now see the light only because Obama is president is disingenuous at best, and completely unsupported by facts. But hey, why let pesky things like facts get in the way of some ill-considered prose?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  56. Rebecca McCully says:

    I completely respect your opinion, but honestly, by evidence of the Republicans losing their majority status in 2006, we have been targeting Republicans! We voted out many Republicans who were not standing up for conservative principles. We’re just protesting now, more for the Republican leaders to hear us say, “We are the silent majority. We punished you for your wasteful corruption. We will support candidates who stand up for our conservative principles of fiscal responsibility”. I don’t care if I benefit from the stimulus plan. It’s going to bankrupt our nation and I’m not selfish enough to just think about what’s in it for me. As far as the Iraq War critique: from your statement, you don’t understand that most of us supported this use of taxpayer money. We just disagree about the War making us safer. I believe it did, you believe it didn’t. No way around that, well.. except all the people who didn’t die in more attacks in our country since 9/11. There is that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  57. Bithead says:

    And the President has the veto pen.

    Which he used 39 times, if I recall rightly.
    Next?

    Don’t tell us Reagan increased spending when the record shows clearly he didn’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  58. Bithead,

    My point was intended to counter yours about Reagan’s budgets.

    If he really objected to the budgets that came out of Congress, why didn’t he veto one of them ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  59. Don says:

    Come to think of it, I don’t recall them complaining about the socialized media/educational industrial complex where the ideas produced are the ideas the taxpayers paid for. However, I suppose there is a quality of life difference between producing engineers for corporations rather than social philosophers for the Weather Underground, and other assorted Obama ilk.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  60. TheSitRep says:

    Things are just starting to heat up.
    As more people become disaffected, you’ll see more rage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  61. skeneogden says:

    “tea parties” as “unprincipled partisan hackery”? Funny in all of the photos I’ve seen of the tea parties not one person has had an “R” or a “D” stamped on their foreheads.

    I think ideologues on both sides are upset about this spending and you will probably see these protests get bigger. Neither side wants to see their kids paying for their mistakes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  62. Talismen says:

    One thing that cannot be ignored in all of this is that although most GWB voters still admire the man, we sat through 8 years of more spending than was fiscally tolerable. Conservatism means less government, less spending, less taxes, and Americans keep more of the money they earn…ALL Americans who pay taxes, that is.

    Although we raised our voices in objection over non-defense spending, in most cases the GOP in the House and Senate gave him what he wanted because he was, after all, their party’s leader and the President. Now, if we’ve all been paying attention, we should know that many of those same GOP’ers who voted to go along with his spending practices, are now singing a different tune. They’ve openly admitted that GWB’s non-defense OVER spending corrupted the conservative “message”, and it will take their standing up and saying “no” in order to straighten that out.

    Why are GWB voters NOW standing up and saying “no more”??? – Because 8 years of it is long enough of non-conservative actions from conservatives. Now, if you couple that with the apparent “change” Obama campaigned on, suggesting that Bush was spending too much….well, I’m sorry but….how do the Obama voters feel about that “change” now? Kids – that’s not “change”…it’s the continued GWB non-defense spending that you were supposedly so mad about. What happened? OH right…OBAMA happened. (*yawn*)

    Conservatives and indy voters alike (along with some back-boned “Blue Dogs”) are standing up once and for all, because enough is enough. We didn’t like TARP I, and we certainly aren’t going to like anything else that takes on a vague appearance of a “bailout” or “stimulus” or anything else.

    Enough is friggin’ enough!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  63. mr. burns says:

    The current economic situation is a serious problem. It is not obvious that our existing institutions are ideal and our economic understanding perfect. Current policies assume both to be true. Current policy is to borrow/print/tax enough money to prop up the broker-dealer banks and control interest rates (keep them at 0) so that we can return to the borrow to consume economy of the recent past.

    The tea-party Galt people don’t believe this can work . They want capitalism not Keynesian-socialism. They want malinvestment liquidated. They don’t want to sacrifice their and their children s futures for Citibank. In their world when you fail you lose . Their world is reality, and all the clever barbs you can toss wont change that .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  64. Kevin Sweeney says:

    There was no “tax cut” in the stimulus plan, $13 or otherwise. It was merely a decrease in the rate of withholding. The tax tables themselves were not changed up or down. Therefore boys and girls, if you generally “overwithhold” on your paycheck you will get less back than usual in your “refund” next April and if you “underwithold” you will owe more come next April 15.

    It was not a “tax cut”. It was just an Obamanism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  65. katablog says:

    We care about the taxes our children and grandchildren will pay. We care not just about a momentary reward of a whole $8 per week, but the long run which will be the demise of America. We don’t want to be socialists – we could have moved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  66. Jeremy says:

    “The “Tea Parties”, of course, started springing up in response to Obama’s stimulus package, a package whose largest fiscal component is a tax cut that will largely benefit the people in the income brackets who make up the Tea Party movement. That I find funny.”

    I don’t find this funny at all. I don’t see a tax “rebate” as being something that long term helps the economy. Since many people who don’t pay taxes get this refund, I don’t see how it qualifies as a refund. A slight break in the form of bread crumbs may satisfy you and cause you to say “look we’re getting $50 a month, why don’t you sit down, shut up, and be happy with it”, but I believe the whole system is broken and abused…$50, $100, $200 a month isn’t my price for complacency…

    Additionally, there’s not a point at which I sell out my Capitalist free market principles just because short term I get some sort of temporarily added benefit, that, according to many economists, won’t last due to the inability of Obama to sustain his spending on current proposed tax receivables. I am against government interference with the free market, especially when it comes to me paying my money to sustain companies that cannot sustain themselves. This isn’t some intermittent “as it suits me” argument…this is across the board. This includes my own failures as well. If the government had a safety net underneath me for everything I did, my successes wouldn’t be so sweet.

    Rand also wasn’t against charity or organizations…she was against mandated charity by the government.

    I’m going to be attending my first Tea Party on April 15th to protest this whole mess. Those in the comments seem to be make unqualified assertions about followers of Galt, as if we sat by, mouths closed, never criticizing the Bush administration. It’s a broad, ill informed brush that these people paint not only Objectivists with, but Republicans in general. It seems that those on the left have a zero sum criticism, you’re for or against someone in toto, instead of a policy by policy issue.

    In addition, if you’re going to criticize every single person who gets some of their paycheck from some extension or abstraction of the government nipple, you’re going to be doing a lot of criticizing. Somehow, over the last fifty years, the government has managed to get it’s hand in every pocket, and every business. You work within the rules…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  67. Poohrat says:

    Uhhh the whole going Galt thing….already happening. We and in we I mean business owners are already looking for countries to reincorporate in. I am lucky enough to have a global business model and yes we will be moving overseas with in a year. The libs can laugh at the “tea party” movement all they want but the fact remains that these people that are protesting are the business class and middle class. These are not a bunch of left wing radicals calling for world peace or global warming. The people wanting to “Go Galt” are the very people that drive the economy. So keeping on laughing we will just move over seas and make our money there. As I told a liberal friend last week “I will be a capitalist in exile”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  68. angie says:

    People exercising their first amendment rights — how “quaint.”
    Regardless of whether I agree with them or not, I don’t find it amusing nor do I feel the need to be condescending towards them — I say good for them. At least they are getting up off of their sofas, turning off the tvs & computers & letting the government know they exist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  69. KJG says:

    So you laugh at us? Because the timing wasn’t right for you, this is not a serious movement? Sometimes it takes years and many different things happening for the people to rise up in anger and frustration. And right now is that time.

    I was too young and too busy with young children in the 90s to overly concern myself with government spending. I had a good job, I was feeling like I was making progress, there was no compelling reason for me to protest anything. The past 8 years were quite good for me overall. I agreed with the Iraq War and understood the need for ramped up spending in order to track down terrorists in Afghanistan and to get Saddam out of power in Iraq.

    BUT in the last 6 months I have seen my life crumble. I have seen my children’s future ruined by the burden of bailouts and pork spending. Notice I say, last 6 months…YES, I’m including when BUSH was in charge! This has NOTHING to do with party and EVERYTHING to do with getting FED up with the government. For months I contacted my senators and my representative to NO AVAIL. I got no answer but a canned response that followed party line to the letter with no real thought behind what these people were doing to their constituents. They masked it by saying they got money for our state and all these great projects that will happen.

    Well, guess what? I don’t want those projects! That is FUTURE taxpayer money being given away for pork we don’t need.

    And when I got to that point. When I felt I was not being listened to and my representatives weren’t even reading what they were signing…that I got ANGRY. And i got motivated to do something more.

    If that doesn’t fit your timetable for when I SHOULD have cared, just go jump in a lake. How dare you tell ME when I should be upset and when is the right time to protest and how! Maybe if you would actually talk to some of the people involved in this protest and not make conclusions based on your bias toward conservatives in general, you might learn something about honest-to-goodness citizens in action for their country and their Constitution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  70. Doug too says:

    And I’ve done some searches, but I didn’t find any evidence of large scale protests aimed at a Republican Party which, over the last eight years, further doctored the tax and regulatory codes to favor large, public corporations and disfavor small businesses and individual entrepreneurs.

    I guess you missed that really big one we had in November of ’06.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  71. [...] Knapp hits a home-run at Outside the Beltway with this post regarding the absurdity of the whole tea party and “Going Galt” movement: Let’s call the “tea party” and “going Galt” nonsense what it is: unprincipled partisan [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  72. Dan says:

    The middle class and the upper middle class have been getting raped for years while carrying the burden imposed by the DC/Wall Street axis.

    In the age of Obama it has become nothing less than a gang raping.

    The producer class will rise up or shut down soon enough and then their will be hell to pay for all of us.

    Keep laughing though, if it makes you feel better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  73. Jon says:

    The “Tea Parties”, of course, started springing up in response to Obama’s stimulus package, a package whose largest fiscal component is a tax cut that will largely benefit the people in the income brackets who make up the Tea Party movement. That I find funny.

    Having the guts to stand up against something that is so obviously fundamentally wrong is funny?

    Ohh, I see you obviously are OK with anything as long as you personally aren’t going to be hurt by it or potentially even stand to gain.

    No big deal as long as it isn’t your ox being gored, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  74. orlandocajun says:

    Thanks Alex, but we already know that liberals don’t have any problem passing on trillions in debt to our children. Also, it may interest you to know that conservatives don’t like “unnecessary wars”, and their related costs, anymore than liberals, so please spare all us the sanctimonious drivel. Conservatives also like bridges, roads, etc. and would like for them to be free, or at least paid for by the evil rich people. However, at least give conservatives the credit for actually expecting that someone should pay for them (other than our children). Conservatives want smaller government, lower spending and a balanced budget. I’ve never heard a liberal wanting that.

    You may call the outrage, and tea parties, delicious irony if you wish. I would expect nothing more from a liberal. Our children don’t deserve what our generation is about to leave them.

    P.S. Oh, and of course, the most ironic thing of all is that you get to sit on your fat arse and pass your condescending judgment on people because you haven’t been blown up by a terrorist yet.

    P.S. Part Two…conservatives were outraged at Bush and Republican controlled Congress for uncontrolled spending. That’s why many of them a gone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  75. TigerLady says:

    I am appalled at the arrogance of your blog and of many of these posters. If you wish to close your eyes to the trillions of dollars that the Government is spending and wants to spend then go ahead, but this mother of 4 and grandmother of 2 is paying attention. For you to assume that people, such as me, are just now opposing government fiscal irresponsibility because the Democrats are in power is absolute nonsense. Because of your arrogance, you have failed to go out and talk to the people who are now going to Tea Parties all over the country. I have never been to a protest in my life, but I am going to stand up for this one on April 15th. You can ridicule all you want but it would be somewhat shallow considering you blog from lack of knowledge of who these tea party people are. You also suggest that the “going Galt” people are the same as the “tea party” people but this is not the case. Go out and research before you make wide ranging generalizations about people. I have been researching this because of my profession (by the way, I am a college degreed Social Scientist) and because I want to hear why people who are usually the “silent majority” suddenly feel the need to take their family to carry signs. Explain to me please how the following statement is not arrogant to the extreme: “Let’s call the “tea party” and “going Galt” nonsense what it is: unprincipled partisan hackery.” Yeah sure, it is we the little people who are unprincipled (which I find ironic coming from someone who doesn’t even realize that the “so called tax cut” is just cover for the 9,000 earmarks that “We the People” didn’t get a chance to took at in that 7-inch high bundle of Stimulus fiasco. What I see in your comments is your hatred for anything Republican and your shame for having been for the push to go into Iraq after the fact (nice armchair quarterbacking, huh). So, everyone that doesn’t follow your thinking is just “unprincipled partisan hacks.” If anyone should be called partisan hacks, it is the Congress, Our President, and the dismal leadership they have provided during this crisis on both sides of the aisle. We can live in the past and keep complaining about past mistakes or we can speak out, this is what I choose to do and I believe that many more of us will begin to make our voices heard. You can be silent or post your insults, some of us choose to stand!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  76. John_R says:

    Some of the biggest proponents of the “Going Galt” bandwagon in the blogosphere and at Pajamas Media are Glenn Reynolds and his wife, both of whom have jobs (Professor of Law at a public university; forensic psychiatrist) that are dependent on public, taxpayer-funded institutions.

    So you’re saying that because of their circumstances, the Reynolds are obligated to hold certain views?, or are you saying that anyone that works for the state should keep their mouths shut about politics? Your “point” about the Reynolds sure looks like a fallacious ad hominem circumstantial to me.

    Second, it looks like you are arguing that it is hypocritical to complain about a problem today, if you didn’t do it yesterday. I guess you support perpetuating error.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  77. Guy says:

    Alex,
    I notice that you’re not calling into question the fact that all those who opposed Bush are NOT joining these protests. Since they were the ones who did protest the entire Bush administration they should be the only one’s qualified in your view to protest Obama’s administration.
    You’re strangely silent about this fact. I guess we know who’s the political hack.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  78. Scott says:

    I look forward to the “Going Galt” movement to start embracing Rand’s attitudes towards religion.

    I do wish that people could see past their party affiliation and actually stand by ideas. Both of our political parties are quite comfortable with a statist/collectivist system that allows them to wield power beyond their intellectual capabilities.

    I do disagree though that the Iraq war did not advance our interests. A representative democracy replacing Saddam Hussein is a plus in my book. Too bad we botched the aftermath though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  79. OneMonkeysUncle says:

    You seem to have it pretty much under control here, despite a couple of attack poodles nipping away, so I’ll just leave it at: nice job wrapping up this whole (wait for it…) tempest in a teapot (thanks, I’ll be here all week). My favorite? “Mail your Congressfrog a box of tea bags!” Yeah, good idea, you kids get right on that…

    Much of the verbiage sluicing forth from La Malkin and the Olde Perfessor is of the “Why does the MSM not respect us and report on our VERY. VERY. IMPORTANT. MOVEMENT” – without pausing to consider if they’re not already getting PRECISELY the amount of attention they deserve.

    (Oh, and kudos, too, to commenter Stormy Dragon above for detailing the deliciously ironic misreading of “Atlas Shrugged”… As the old saying goes, “You couldn’t make this stuff up!”)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  80. ignore the strawmen says:

    Alex has a B.S degree — shocking (it maybe childish but I decided to fight condescension with condescension)! Once again we see another example of “enlightenment”. It still amazes me that someone with a good education can drop the line:

    “The “Tea Parties”, of course, started springing up in response to Obama’s stimulus package, a package whose largest fiscal component is a tax cut that will largely benefit the people in the income brackets who make up the Tea Party movement. That I find funny.” (bold is my emphasis)

    Two points:

    Either Alex thinks that those protesting are the underclass that should be satisfied with the government giving them what amounts to loose change (let us be real the “tax cut”, which isn’t a tax cut, is exactly that — can anyone say “let them eat cake!!”)

    Or

    Alex doesn’t understand what standing on one’s principles mean. Who cares if you give us $13 or $130 or $1300 hundred dollars it does not matter if it is at the expense of our children’s future or the countries well being!!

    These protesters are not looking to get anything!!! They just want the government to stop spending what it doesn’t have — not for their well being but for EVERYONE’S well being!!

    This isn’t ACORN screaming for their fair share — maybe that is why there is so much confusion among the left ideologues. It must be confusing for them to see Americans (D, R and I) not putting themselves first but putting their children and country first. In Alex’s defense this concept must be foreign to anyone that was educated in American schools and universities over the last decade.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  81. A Clay says:

    A smirky post. The philosophical underpinnings of the movements go well beyond your facile distortions.

    There were MANY complaints during the Bush administration. The reason these movements have exploded now is that the scale of Obama’s proposals is unprecedented. The frog is jumping out of the boiling pot.

    The protesters are also smart enough (unlike you, it seems) to know what Obama is promising vs. what will actually happen are very different. These are also principled people – who truly believe in the role of government by founders, regardless of the handouts offered by big government. You seem to be saying “You stupid little people, feast on the crumbs tossed to you by Big Government and don’t tax your precious little minds on how you are governed.”

    As for the employer of Glenn Reynolds, does who employs you invalidate what you think? He’s a talented lawyer who wants to live in Tennessee. He’s teaching at the best school in the State. Shouldn’t you be happy that he has chosen a lower paying job with the State? He has also proved himself to be incredibly entrepreneurial beyond his day job, to a degree that he is teaching for pleasure not for cash. What about all the people who work for large companies who want socialism? Are there points of view invalid as well? Good bye to 50% of the people supporting Obama’s programs.

    As for the Iraq War, your thinking is too muddled to address in a short comment (that has become long because of your sloppy thinking).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  82. JIMV says:

    The “Tea Parties”, of course, started springing up in response to Obama’s stimulus package, a package whose largest fiscal component is a tax cut that will largely benefit the people in the income brackets who make up the Tea Party movement. That I find funny.

    I also find it amusing. My spouse got her massive $3.11 a week tax cut. We plan to spend the largess on an exotic night out…Dinner for two with wine and a tip at the Macaroni Grill will only take 30 weeks of diligent savings of the Obama largess.

    Of course…the total cost of the bill with interest is over a trillion, or about a $12,000 debt for every household in the country, but heck, I got my $3.11. I’ll forget the debt that came with it.

    Alex, don’t you folk ever do the math?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  83. in_awe says:

    I recall from reading “Anatomy of a Revolution” in the 1970’s that historically it is the middle class and merchant class that propel revolutions – not the working class. People who still have something to lose can become a formidable political force…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  84. Bithead says:

    If he really objected to the budgets that came out of Congress, why didn’t he veto one of them ?

    As I say, he used that veto pen 39 times… rejecting around 10-12% (based on my memory) of the total number of bills sent to his desk.

    And as for veto of an actual budget, he did that, too. But there’s some history you’re apparently missing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  85. mwl says:

    Attendees of Tea Party protests are not concerned about possible benefits from the Dems’ stimulus package, they’re worried about the cost. $787b for the stimulus, $410b for the omnibus, where are the revenues to balance these expenditures? Will Obama and his economic advisers choose tax-and-spend, borrow-and-spend, or merely PRINT-and-spend? No matter what the source of the money, Obama et. al. are raising Federal spending drastically, and those of us who understand that there are no free lunches are unhappy about it. How long will it be before Treasuries go from good-as-gold to good-as-confetti?

    As for “going Galt”, people need to understand that professional talent, true talent, is both portable and variable. If the “AIG tax” becomes law, then you will see a mass exodus from that firm to others that are not subject to that tax, either because they took less than $5b of TARP money, or because they’re not U.S. firms. Similarly, if professionals see a large marginal tax increase at the $250k level, then they may just stop working after they earn $250k for the year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  86. Chris Jones says:

    Hey smartass,

    Stop saying the stimulus bill has a tax cut in it. That’s a lie. The stimulus bill gives a tax rebate one time to people. A rebate is not a cut and they mean two very different things. Obama calls it a tax cut, but Obama is a liar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  87. [...] These “tea parties” are just old fashioned Klan Rallies. They are actually quite funny to observe. Tea Parties, Going Galt, Iraq, and Delicious Irony [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  88. Brian B says:

    Perhaps in a few years they will all innoculate themselves from criticism by disclosing they were really for all these trillions in spending and tax hikes and looking back they realize now their opposition was stupid. And that while they were for the war in Iraq they were skeptical of it, as fought, but that they weren’t against war per se.
    The only thing more tedious than a hypocrite pointing out the hypocrisy of others is a hypocrite first lamely trying to explain why he’s not one and then pointing out the hypocrisy of others.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  89. malika says:

    Alex Knapp is a 40 year old virgin who still hasn’t hit puberty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  90. JIMV says:

    The CBO figured the deficit at $1,800,000,000,000. That was a week ago. Since then Obama has proposed another Trillion to reduce mortgage rates, paid for by simply printing money, and a trillion for toxic asset programs. As both were not in the Obama budget the CBO studied, the new spending is entirely deficit…so, the Obama administration is proposing/creating a $3.8 TRILLION deficit….

    But the left is sure Bush was the idiot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  91. Zaggs says:

    The “Tea Parties”, of course, started springing up in response to Obama’s stimulus package, a package whose largest fiscal component is a tax cut that will largely benefit the people in the income brackets who make up the Tea Party movement. That I find funny.

    They benefit less then you think. The “tax cut” is really nothing of the sort. Its a relax of withholding tables. This means you take more home per pay period which also means in 2009 you’ll pay more taxes on that increase in your wages. Also since the tax cut was not even a majority of the stimulus bill to act as if its all the stimulus bill is akin to lying. Makes one wonder if you’re actually paying attentuon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  92. [...] Mataconis gives props to Alex Knapp (OutsideTheBeltway) for recognizing the hypocrisy too: [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  93. E.D. says:

    Wow! If I were to laugh at the mess we’re in, it would only be to stop myself from crying. But go ahead and laugh it up — at our expense.

    I’m glad to see people finally taking a stand against this government. The fed’s have forgotten who employs them.

    Also, I don’t think the middle class got much of a tax break. I am seeing a little more in my paycheck — but only because Obama changed withholding. Next February will be exciting when I find out how much I get to pay back to the government because Obama felt benevolent enough to let me use my own money until the next April 15, when he’ll rescind his benevolence. If he really wants to help the middle class, he ought to present a permanent tax reduction to congress for a vote, instead of temporarily changing the withholding taxes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  94. DL13 says:

    So, our tax cut will be less than $13 a week, which is chump change so the pres can look good. In the mean time those that have wealth are laying off their workers and taking their investments and businesses over seas because they have no faith in this glorious tax plan. If you want a meaningful stimulus, why don’t you convert to the Fair Tax, or, letting every person and business go 3 months without paying personal or business income taxes? Why is America the second highest taxer of business, when it has been proven that when you lower taxes you create jobs and higher production?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  95. Jim Treacher says:

    This is what convinces me that the tea party movement is more astro-turf than grassroots.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/files/2009/03/teapartycincy2.jpg

    Astroturf. Mm-hm.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  96. D Stewart says:

    I, for one, have always opposed both taxes and spending. Just what kind of tea bags have you been smoking, Alex? Most people don’t have the time or inclination to fight gradualism constantly or consistently — they are too busy raising their kids and buying the groceries — but this doesn’t make them stupid or unable to see rampant political corruption when it is so obvious. This isn’t about “party”, it is about our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor, all of which are under attack — mostly by taxation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  97. MM says:

    Man, Alex really hit a sore spot with some people on this one. When Zelsdorf looks like one of the more civil commenters, then you know that we are on bizarro OTB.

    Poohrat:

    Uhhh the whole going Galt thing….already happening. We and in we I mean business owners are already looking for countries to reincorporate in…

    So are you moving the company completely out of the US? No longer employing Americans? No longer providing service for Americans?

    If so, are your ideas so unique that nobody else can possibly fill the void that you’re leaving? because otherwise that’s not “going Galt”.

    And if the ONLY thing that is changing is the country of incorporation, then that is truly not “going Galt”. That is just “creating a tax shelter”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  98. Alex, I lack the time to respond in full or to wade through the comment thread, but I will note one thing. When you write:

    Let’s call the “tea party” and “going Galt” nonsense what it is: unprincipled partisan hackery. If these were truly principled protests, they’d have been around all through the Bush and Republican-controlled Congress years, too.

    Why do you think that all “principled opposition” must be fully formed with every cadre manning the barricades from some hindsight derived day 1? Ever heard of the aphorism, “the straw that broke the camel’s back”? The anger that is out there has been building for a while and with the spending spree the Obama Administration is proposing now on top of it, little alarm bells are going off all over the place for people who were too busy, too uninformed, or just too apathetic to take off work or school to go and participate in a demonstration before.

    I think I’ve been consistently opposed to the increased spending throughout the Bush years, certainly to TARP, and now Son of TARP, the Stimulus Package and the proposed 2010 Budget. And yet, I’ve never gone out and joined a physical protest before. By your logic, am I nothing but an unprincipled partisan hack if I do so on April 15?

    FWIW, I concur that many people who speak of going John Galt don’t know what they are talking about. On the other hand, I have read Atlas Shrugged a few times, as well as most of Ayn Rand’s non-fiction. In fact, in college I knew someone who really did go John Galt, though it seemed like more of an excuse for not trying to me, but YMMV. The thing is, no one really has to announce they are going John Galt. As incentives to produce and take risks disappear and uncertainty is introduced with punitive post hoc retroactive taxation, more and more people are going to quit trying so hard and forego taking risks as the risk/reward ratio falls ever farther. In time it will become tough to distinguish this from people actually going John Galt.

    (But hey, on the positive side, now you can see why I lack the time to address your full post.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  99. Details the ‘Tea Parties’ overlook…

    DETAILS THE ‘TEA PARTIES’ OVERLOOK…. I’d kind of forgotten about it, but apparently, far-right activists continue to organize “Tea Party” rallies and talk about “Going Galt.” It’s a little right-wing fad that hasn’t quite gone away, as evide…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  100. Jim,

    And when election time comes around in 2010, what are those Ohioans going to do ?

    Vote for Republicans who are going to go to Washington and do what Republicans always do — talk a good game but, in the end, do nothing ?

    The whole damn system is rotten to the core, including the GOP

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  101. Jim Sissel says:

    When the “Bush tax cuts” expire the lowest bracket will go from 10% to 15%. So much for comrade Obama’s promise to give 95% of Americans a tax cut. And most of these people who you seem to think are idiots didn’t like a lot of the Bush policies. But Obama’s insanity is the straw (rather the redwood) that broke the camel’s back.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  102. Leonard Peikoff says:

    “Similarly, if professionals see a large marginal tax increase at the $250k level, then they may just stop working after they earn $250k for the year.”

    Going from 36% to 39% is a “large marginal tax increase”?

    How many “Went Galt” when Clinton was President?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  103. andrew says:

    “The irony of Iraq is that a great deal of the money was spent building infrastructure, schools, police, etc.–all things that are in the domestic stimulus package, only apparently it’s okay to provide that funding to a foreign power.”

    This is either one of the dumbest or most dishonest things I have ever read.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  104. seejay says:

    Hate is BAD!
    Unless you hate REPUBLICANS!
    And Capitalists!
    God, what a populist tool!
    Hey Alex, maybe you should have stuck with the biochemistry!
    Because your attempts at POLITICAL objectivity are HILARIOUS!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  105. Steve B says:

    There are several flawed premises in this article:
    1.) Conservatives didn’t mind when their party was in power. Actually, most of us were so disgusted with W’s growth of government and inability to veto a spending bill, that Republicans lost big in 2006 and of course, the last presidential election.
    2.)The tea party types are protesting taxes when they are likely to receive tax cuts. Ya, what was that; $52 per month? All while bumping the coporate tax rate to 28% as Obama supported in the primary debate. Sure it will hurt business and probably cause greater unemployment, but if you still have a job, your taxes may go down ever so slightly. But then of course, your energy bills and the cost of every product you have to buy will explode if cap and trade goes through.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  106. Derek says:

    Eww, hope you don’t practice law in Kansas. Or anywhere else for that matter.

    Mr. Knapp, your grasp of the situation is infantile. The basic, very basic mind you, event of not electing RINOs back into their seats is in of itself proof of the lack of motivation for those types in a supposed “conservative” party.

    Do the internets a favor and stick to biochem. Your ideas are neither creative nor interesting. Which actually fit well with the KC Star, so maybe you are in the right place.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  107. johnt says:

    Alex, you are a sharp dude! It takes a sharp dude to recognize that people who are getting, net weekly, $8 to $11 dollar tax cuts, are the ones attending the tea parties, ho ho , ha ha, and funny besides. Maybe some of these people, the funny ones, aren’t used to the idea of $1.75 trillion- $2 trillion dollar yearly deficits. Perhaps they were influenced by sharp dudes like your self about the horrors of the fractionally smaller Reagan/Bush deficits, but then perhaps they didn’t spot bullshit when they saw it.
    But why go on, suffice to repeat you are one sharp dude !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  108. buckz says:

    Galting in the small town where I live is done mostly to keep under a certain tax bracket. There’s people doing it here, and it can have effect. It’s mostly small businesses, but if the employees get laid off, there’s another batch of paychecks that can’t be taxed. Enough of this, and the town can go ghost.

    They don’t want to work to make a lot of money, then after taxes, have as much money as a person who slouched. Around here, it’s more of a tax thing.
    (Perhaps that’s why they had that law in the book Atlas Shrugged that production had to be at a certain level, because people won’t produce if their reward for working is taken away.)

    It’s a hickish Galting, they don’t understand that they are actually following a character in a book, they just don’t want to give the Government more money, but they Galt all the same.

    I’m not a big Biochemistry Brain, I’m not a scholar or a genius at government or literature. I know my post is simple, and probably corny, and it’s not filled with polysyllables.
    I just own a small business that is suddenly unavailable for half of my clients. I don’t want to be overtaxed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  109. Jim Treacher says:

    And when election time comes around in 2010, what are those Ohioans going to do ?

    How do you know they’re even from Ohio? I thought they were astroturfers? They were probably brought in from out of state, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  110. Dan M. says:

    To pretend that operating a non-profit is antithetical to capitalism or to free market principles is absurd. The free market is about exchanging goods and services to get the things that you want. If what you want is to promote the ideals of Ayn Rand and if you wish to spend your time doing so, that is a transaction no different than any other.

    These protests are not simply against the stimulus bill. These same people opposed the first bailout, this stimulus bill, a new bailout, and the horribly bloated Obama budget in general. A lot of conservatives were displeased with George Bush’s spending, but most of us were hoodwinked into supporting the invasion of Iraq and people don’t like to abandon wars. But Obama’s spending is on a completely different level than Bush’s. The amusing thing about liberals who pretend that we never complained about Bush’s spending is that what they always wanted was for his spending bills to be bigger.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  111. Brian says:

    Alex Knapp,

    You can’t damn Christianity because there are Christians that practice it inconsistently. The same goes for Objectivism, people that oppose the stimulus, etc.

    What is anti-capitalist about a charity? Atlas Shrugged and Objectivist non-fiction make it clear that Objectivists regard charity as a minor virtue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  112. Jim,

    I didn’t say the people attending the rallies weren’t real people, I said the movement was phony — and that’s largely based upon the identity of the people who have been pushing it forward. Michelle Malkin, for example, didn’t discover that Bush was a big spending liberal weenie until last September. And I now hear that Newt Gingrich — who supported the TARP bailout and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit among other things — is jumping on board.

    If the tea party movement hadn’t become so partisan so quickly, maybe I’d believe it was the start of something.

    Right now, though, it appears to be much ado about nothing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  113. mwl says:

    Going from 36% to 39% is a “large marginal tax increase”?

    I was thinking more about the 36% to 90% that AIG employees &c. would see. Nor do I think it’s possible for Obama to stop at Clinton-era rates with the level of spending he supports.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  114. Jim Treacher says:

    I didn’t say the people attending the rallies weren’t real people, I said the movement was phony

    Real people, phony movement. Got it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  115. mwl,

    That’s not a fair comparison because bonuses have always been taxed at a higher rate than ordinary income.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  116. Debbie says:

    Alex, so all of this is FUNNY to you? Then you and BO would be in good company YUCKING it with Leno and 60 minutes. FYI This TEA PARTY is an eruption of ANGER over the insanity of our incompetent government and it is real. Our congress is NOT listening to us even though we have melted down the phone lines about the porkulus and all the other bailouts. SInce you seem so confused about this new approach for conservatives to take to the streets, understand that generally the other side can do so at the drop of a hat since few of them are gainfully employed. We have to take off work to attend these events, so that reduces our number significantly. So for every person you see, there are probably 100 who couldn’t leave work to participate who are just as upset. DId you somehow miss the fact that BO has spent more in 60 days than GWB did in 8 years and you WONDER why the ANGER?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  117. Diverted Attention says:

    The productive members of society are now redirecting their talents, skills, energy and attention to fixing this. We are awake and on the move. The Tea Parties are simply a starting point.

    Your self-important keyboarding aside, right is right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  118. ruaqtpi2 says:

    A lot of the people protesting Obama’s policies *were* vocal in opposition to Bush’s expensive and unnecessary war in Iraq, and other governmental waste by both parties. It’s just that the situation has gotten so more precarious in the past three to six months that some have felt a need to be even more vocal.

    Of course you’re going to find anti-Obama sentiment where you also find pro-Bush sentiment. It’s the “Birds of a feather…” mentality. It doesn’t make their concerns about how Obama is running the country any less valid. Is there hypocrisy? Sure, because it’s human nature to be willing to sacrifice more for your “team” and its cause than for you to want to sacrifice for others – especially your ideological rivals.

    As for tax breaks in the stimulus package, what’s included is minimal (as others have pointed out), but the stimulative value of these tax breaks is likely to be wiped out largely by inflationary effects and economic deterioration due to the reckless spending in the rest of the package.

    On top of this, people are fed up with both the previous and current administrations for
    the continued giving of trillions of dollars of tax money to banks without requiring the them to account accurately for their losses insuring unwise motgage derivative products. The Tea Party movement and “going Galt” are attempts by people to demonstrate against government’s corruption, its incestual relationship with big business, and its poor stewardship of tax revenues, which just might have reached the breaking point.

    Instead of finding something to laugh at, thus demeaning the relevance of other people’s protestations, I suggest you add your voice to those demanding accountability and cost consciousness in government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  119. Jim,

    Real people, phony movement. Got it.

    As long as it led by the usual suspects ? You bet its phony.

    As for the people, if all they do is walk into a voting booth in 2010 and elect the same sons-of-bitches to do the same stupid things, then all that time they spent protesting will be a complete and total waste.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  120. Diverted Attention,

    The productive members of society are now redirecting their talents, skills, energy and attention to fixing this. We are awake and on the move. The Tea Parties are simply a starting point.

    Yea, right. I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Have these people even read Atlas Shrugged ? Do they even understand what “Going Galt” means in the context of that book ?

    I’ll give you a clue, it doesn’t mean “working just a little bit less so I don’t get hit with higher marginal tax rates.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  121. Tom F says:

    Alex, your view that the GOP has been responsible for increased spending is hardly founded in reality. First the House and Senate have been controlled by The DNC for the last 2 years and 3 months. That is where spending bills are passed for Presidents to sign. I could be off by a few degrees but the House and Senate have not been controlled by Republicans for the last 30 years or the last 8 for that matter. In fact, one could surmise that if the House and Senate had been under GOP control perhaps they would have done something about Fannie and Freddie in 2006. In addition, I have never heard the DNC demand to spend less on anything other than the Military. If you have examples of Kennedy, Reed or Pelosi demanding Bush spend less on Education for example I would love to see or hear it. As for ARI being a non-profit, they are not reliant on the Federal Government for their funding, and being exempt from Taxes fits nicely with Galt stating, “Eliminate the income tax.” A final note Iraq may or may not end up a mistake, a bigger mistake would be to not develop and refine all US resources for Oil. You have 10% unemployment and $4 a gallon gasoline and you will see some really big “Tea Parties”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  122. Tom,

    So tell me, who do you hold responsible for the vastly increased spending we saw during the first five years of the Bush Administration when Republicans controlled the White House and both Houses of Congress ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  123. JIMV says:

    Doug, that was change in comparison to the spending we see now….the dems took a trillion in deficit spending over 6 years and made it 4, and in less than 1/3 the time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  124. Jimv,

    This comes from the Treasury Dept.’s Debt Calculator which you can find here:

    http://tinyurl.com/5kqofk

    Between 1/20/01 and 1/1/07 (just before the new Democratic Congress came into office), the National Debt increased nearly $ 3 trillion from $ 5.7 trillion to $ 8.6 trillion.

    From 1/1/07 to 1/20/09, it increased from $ 8.6 trillion to 10.6 trillion. About a $ 2 trillion increase, but keep in mind that at least $ 1 trillion of that occurred between September 30, 2008 and Jan 20, 2009 and is likely the result of TARP and related bailouts which Bush and the Republican leadership supported.

    So, you know, you’re sort of wrong there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  125. Jim Treacher,

    Here’s evidence in favor of the astroturfing hypothesis:

    http://tinyurl.com/d6uz3c

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  126. will stonnet says:

    I am glad that people are downplaying the movement. That way we get stronger as you think about other things. We surround you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  127. buckz says:

    I’ll give you a clue, it doesn’t mean “working just a little bit less so I don’t get hit with higher marginal tax rates.”

    Doug, I agree in the theoretical context that cutting work in half isn’t not going Galt in the sense of the book,
    I’ll destroy my Locomotive Empire tomorrow, and the day after, will set fire to my oil fields.
    I dunno what the average guy that just produces a needed gadget is going to do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  128. a.k. says:

    I am always amused when pundits set false predicates of what their ideological opposites’ position really is and then argue based on the false premises. I thoroughly enjoyed yet another leftist’s musings as I would any entertaining work of fiction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  129. Jim Treacher says:

    As long as it led by the usual suspects ? You bet its phony.

    Well, you’ve convinced me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  130. johnt says:

    Alex, as a lawyer as well as being a smart dude I’m interested in your take on the current Congress. It seems they have developed a soft spot for punitive law, directed against people whose financial gain was protected in law by that same Congress. A clever dude like you also noticed the ex post facto, punitive, discretionary bill of attainder nature of this charade
    So smart dude, what do you think of a Congress that deliberately corrupts the Constitution, which I know you all love.
    Tea parties you have told us about, Congress is a little more serious. Let her rip clever dude! Share both your morals and your legal expertise with us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  131. Angela says:
    Most Republicans want limited government

    No, they don’t. This is empirically demonstrable by the Reagan Administration, Bush I and Bush II, as well as the Republican controlled congress from 1994 – 2006.

    I agree with the first poster. Look at the platforms that the Republicans voted for, and you’ll see we voted for a much different deal than we got.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  132. MM says:

    If Alex could have worked Ron Paul into his post, this would have been epic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  133. And if all these people who are talking about going Galt are insignificant losers, then I am sure you are not worried AT ALL about the economic consequences of them doing so and won’t have much further to say about the matter in the future.

    Oh, I don’t think they’re all losers or that their efforts will have no effect. They’re just in denial about the nature of what they’re proposing. They seem to think they’re going to end up on the bleachers enjoying the sight of everyone else suffering in the pit, not realizing they’re going to end up down in the pit just as well.

    1.) Conservatives didn’t mind when their party was in power. Actually, most of us were so disgusted with W’s growth of government and inability to veto a spending bill, that Republicans lost big in 2006 and of course, the last presidential election.

    Those disgusted enough to stop voting for him were enough to swing the election, but didn’t amount to more than a few percent of the country. Most “conservatives” weren’t disgusted by it at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  134. (: Tom :) says:

    When the “Bush tax cuts” expire the lowest bracket will go from 10% to 15%. So much for comrade Obama’s promise to give 95% of Americans a tax cut. And most of these people who you seem to think are idiots didn’t like a lot of the Bush policies. But Obama’s insanity is the straw (rather the redwood) that broke the camel’s back.

    Posted by Jim Sissel | March 23, 2009 | 01:22 PM

    Well – except that Obama is keeping those portions of the Republican’ts tax shenanigans, and only letting the sunset for the top bracket expire, you’d be right about what you were saying, instead of your statements being in direct opposition to, you know, reality. Standard Republican’t hackery. Yawn.

    Funny how those straws only break camel’s backs when it’s a Democratic president in the White House. Funny how it’s only enough when the Republican’ts aren’t at the levers of power ready to game the system. Funny how Republican’ts think of the burden of their grandchildren after they’ve stolen their own grandchildrens’ future. Funny how they talk of 9,000 earmarks in Obama’s stimulus package and conveniently ignore the earmarks in Bush’s legislation that he inserted for his own pet projects. Good thing I’m easily amused…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  135. Phil Smith says:

    That’s not a fair comparison because bonuses have always been taxed at a higher rate than ordinary income.

    Doug, sorry, but that’s entirely false. A bonus may push the taxpayer into AMT if it’s large enough, but bonuses are taxed as ordinary income. And nobody has been taxed at anything approaching that rate since Kennedy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  136. Phil,

    Hmm, that’s what I get for relying on the MSM for information, I guess.

    My mistake

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  137. bob says:

    nice armchair analysis, fat boy. stick with the comic books and star trek and leave the real analysis to the grown-ups, mmmkay?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  138. JIMV says:

    Doug…the CBO just costed out the first Obama Budget with a $1.8 trillion dollar deficit. The latest TARP spending ($350 billion) and the entire $1.2 trillion stimulus is debt, both Obama. Last week Geithner announced his trillion dollar mortgage rate reduction program, debt again, and today he announced another trillion for Toxic assets.

    That is $5.3 trillion in debt we didn’t have January 20 and sets a new record….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  139. tom p says:

    Alex, you are my hero, can I have your baby? OK, I guess not. Still, you have given me an idea for the latest on the back of my truck:

    “Please, go Galt, and get the “F” out of the way of the rest of us who haven’t yet gigged the system.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  140. Duracomm says:

    Saying “he did it first” or “he did it too” were arguments that generally went out of style somewhere between kindergarten and junior high.

    Not caring to argue the economic impact of these policies Alex and a depressingly large amount of liberal obama supporters use “he did it first” as their main argument in favor of obama’s irresponsible, fiscally and economically destructive policies.

    Let’s call the “tea party” and “going Galt” nonsense what it is: unprincipled partisan hackery.

    If these were truly principled protests, they’d have been around all through the Bush and republican-controlled Congress years, too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  141. [...] Some of the biggest proponents of the “Going Galt” bandwagon in the blogosphere and at Pajamas Media are Glenn Reynolds and his wife, both of whom have jobs (Professor of Law at a public university; forensic psychiatrist) that are dependent on public, taxpayer-funded institutions. [Source:  Alex Knapp] [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  142. Duracomm says:

    There has been plenty of opposition to the disastrous overspending during the bush years.

    One example of this is the club for growth which has dedicated itself to providing financial support primary opponents who are running against fiscally irresponsible republicans.

    Jeff Flake and Tom Coburn are examples of their success in getting fiscally responsible republicans elected.

    Furthermore, I can’t take liberal complaining about bush spending terribly seriously when their main complaints have been that bush did not spend enough on things like the medicare prescription drug program.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  143. Duracomm says:

    Leonard Peikoff illustrates the mistake many people make with the obama proposal when he says.

    Going from 36% to 39% is a “large marginal tax increase”?

    How many “Went Galt” when Clinton was President?
    Posted by

    Obama wants to do away with the fica cap which will increase the tax rates far beyond the figures you give. Don’t forget the increase in capital gains and dividend tax increases that are being proposed.

    Depending on how they are structured these changes could cause a significant tax increase on the first dollar earned over $250,000 and every dollar earned under $250,000.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  144. Duracomm says:

    tom p said,

    Alex, you are my hero, can I have your baby? OK, I guess not. Still, you have given me an idea for the latest on the back of my truck:

    “Please, go Galt, and get the “F” out of the way of the rest of us who haven’t yet gigged the system.”

    Well tom go ahead and have the baby but the results of obama’s tax increase may make it harder to care for the baby.

    I have a few thoughts concerning your Corner post titled Bracketology.

    My wife and I are both Pediatricians. We own our own practice together. We have one PA and 7 other employees. We each gross about $200 K a year. We have 3 young children at home, 2 of which are not in school. We also employ an in home Nanny.

    We file taxes jointly. After crunching some numbers concerning the President’s tax hike proposals, I have come to the following conclusions. If the President’s plan is inacted, we will do the following:

    1. My wife will become a stay at home mother.

    2. At least 3 of my 7 employees will be released.

    3. The practice will downsize to a smaller office space, i.e. less rent.

    4. The number of patients cared for on a daily basis will drop by 40%.

    5. My wife will come out of the forced ER call schedule for good.

    6. I will gross $249,999.00 a year, exactly.

    7. The net income of our personal home will decrease by less than $10 K a year from where it would have been if we changed nothing.

    Not the result obama or you planned on it but there it is.

    On the good side They are the “F” out of your way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  145. 6. I will gross $249,999.00 a year, exactly.

    So what’s he going to do, stop in the middle of an exam and say “Sorry, I can’t examine your child’s ears” ?

    I hate Obama’s tax hikes, but I call bullshit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  146. [...] do they FAIL? Let me count the ways… By kishnevi Alex Knapp ticking off some of the FAIL points of teapartying going-Galtsters: Finally and most ironic of all, none of the folks who attend “tea parties” or who will “go [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  147. Duracomm says:

    Link to the physicians comment above and some other points

    It is not only the increase in the rate that scares those who are making the $250K plus, but the FICA taxes Obama wants to throw on it too. So really it would be a jump not to 39%, but more like 53% when you factor that in.

    While it’s true that increases in marginal rates only impact the 250,000th dollar and above, that is NOT true for when the income level is used as a trigger for phase-outs.

    For example, if the child tax credit disappears after a certain level of income, by earning one dollar less, you can save a nice tax credit.

    Same for AMT triggers, deduction phase-outs, earned income credits, joint filing credits, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  148. [...] 2009 March 23 by forkend A couple of posts by Sullivan and Knapp to follow up on the pathetic “Going Galt” and “Tea Party” nonsense.  [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  149. Aaron says:

    6. I will gross $249,999.00 a year, exactly.
    -moron.

    Going to a higher income bracket DOES NOT MEAN ALL your income gets taxed at the higher rate. It means the income over $250,000 gets taxed at the new higher rate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  150. Duracomm says:

    Aaron said

    Going to a higher income bracket DOES NOT MEAN ALL your income gets taxed at the higher rate. It means the income over $250,000 gets taxed at the new higher rate.

    Aaron you might try and learn a little bit more about tax law before you call someone else a moron. The comment right above yours provided this information

    While it’s true that increases in marginal rates only impact the 250,000th dollar and above, that is NOT true for when the income level is used as a trigger for phase-outs.

    For example, if the child tax credit disappears after a certain level of income, by earning one dollar less, you can save a nice tax credit.

    Same for AMT triggers, deduction phase-outs, earned income credits, joint filing credits, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  151. Gus says:

    4. The number of patients cared for on a daily basis will drop by 40%.

    So you will lose patients to another non-ideologue doctor who is happy to pay the extra 6 cents on the dollar to make that dollar. Your employees will find new employment with said doctors. You don’t have to make the dreaded 250,000th dollar and your former patients get to see a doctor who isn’t a money obsessed Randroid. Win-win!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  152. Bithead says:

    As long as it led by the usual suspects ? You bet its phony.

    As I said at my own place a few weeks ago, in a post that caused an instalanche:

    …conservatives organizing protests is something unheard of in recent times. That it happens at all with conservatives, is a huge story. we expect the left to be generating these kind of things. Not the right.

    The Usual suspects, then, would be the left. The likelyhood of seeing them protesting taxation would seem to be fairly low.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  153. No, by “the usual suspects” I mean Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich, with blogospheric assists from the likes of Michelle Malkin

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  154. paul says:

    did you even listen to Glenn Beck during the Bush Administration because he frequently took the unpopular view of criticizing the president. The republican betrayal of conservative principles, the border agent controversy, and many many others

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  155. Paul,

    You’ve got to remember that during the Bush Adminstration, Beck was on CNN Headline News so it’s understandable that nobody would realize he was there ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  156. [...] Some of the biggest proponents of the “Going Galt” bandwagon in the blogosphere and at Pajamas Media are Glenn Reynolds and his wife, both of whom have jobs (Professor of Law at a public university; forensic psychiatrist) that are dependent on public, taxpayer-funded institutions. [Source:  Alex Knapp] [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  157. Bithead says:

    No, by “the usual suspects” I mean Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich, with blogospheric assists from the likes of Michelle Malkin

    Comments about ‘kill the messenger’ aside, do you discount the photos you’re seeing?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  158. lizard says:

    I don’t recall significant conservative outrage in ANY medium, including the blogosphere, over anything Bush did — not the no-bid contracts and sweetheart deals for Dick Cheney’s old company, not the billions of dollars unaccounted for in Iraq, not the pork, not the creation of an enormous new cabinet agency, not the off-the-book wartime budgets and supplemental spending bills, not the ineffectual responses to various domestic crises, not the poorly-planned and poorly prosecuted war, not the expansion of entitlements.

    Nope, all I heard from conservatives was “My country, right or wrong” and “We’ve got to support the troops” and “Criticizing Bush and the war is treason” and “Bush is righteous and Godly” and so forth.

    So when a bunch of conservatives who never uttered a peep at Bush’s bloated deficits suddenly get pay-as-you-go religion, it’s natural to be a wee bit cynical. It doesn’t inspire confidence in the sincerity of your views, that’s for sure.

    No, it’s more of the old tribalism. When a Republican president runs up deficits, all is well. When a Democratic does the same, the sky is falling and people start remembering that they read Ayn Rand when they were sophomores in college and oh, isn’t that John Galt cool. And you have so much invested in your tribal identities that you can’t even see it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  159. a.k. says:

    Bithead. I revile intellectual dishonesty. Your presentation and rant of the conservative viewpoint is so far off the mark there is no way to begin an intelligent conversation. Conservatives were unhappy w/much Bush did. But you would not have any clue of what the conservative viewpoint was and is, depending as you do on CNN and MSNBC for their skewed and partisan coverage. Suffice it to say, you are completely ignorant of the truth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  160. Jordan says:

    Actually, it’s not ironic at all. The fact that a stimulus package may benefit us does not make it any more right or constitutional.

    In fact, the *Original* Tea Party in the 1770s was to protest a pre-tax that would actually make the tea cheaper for the colonists! We don’t want the stimulus because it is wrong, constitutionally, not because we thought it wouldn’t benefit us.

    Second, where are you getting your stats? Most of the Tea Partiers I know are Libertarians and Old School GOP noninterventionists that DON’T and DIDN’T support the War in Iraq. If you can produce some sort of official statistic supporting your claim, I’ll stand corrected. Otherwise, I have a bunch of people at the actual Tea Parties to back me up.

    Last, it’s not that we are awakening to this fact now that Democrats are in power. Again, most Tea Partiers I have encountered are 3rd party, so they’ve ALWAYS been the opposition, and I (and many others) were against Bush’s bailout at the end of his term as well. We spoke out against the police state tactics used the last 8 years.

    This is far, far from partisan, as much as it seems you’d like it to be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  161. [...] Tea Parties, Going Galt, Iraq, and Delicious Irony (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0