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.
- 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.
- 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.