Is The GOP Ready For The Tea Party ?

Some Republicans in Congress are worried they won't be able to control the future Congressmen and Senators that the Tea Party might be sending to Washington.

With the prospect of many new faces joining the Republican cacuses in the House and Senate in January, some are beginning to wonder how well the establishment will get along with the Young Turks:

Republican lawmakers see plenty of good in the tea party, but they also see reasons to worry. The movement, which has ignited passion among conservative voters and pushed big government to the forefront of the 2010 election debate, has also stirred quite a bit of controversy. Voters who don’t want to privatize Social Security or withdraw from the United Nations could begin to see the tea party and the Republican Party as one and the same.

[Rand] Paul, the GOP Senate nominee in Kentucky, floated the idea of forming an official caucus for tea-party-minded senators in an interview in the National Review as one way he would shake up Washington. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), one of the movement’s favorite incumbents, filed paperwork on Thursday to register a similar group in the House “to promote Americans’ call for fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution, and limited government.”

In six states — Kentucky, Nevada, Florida, Utah, Colorado and Minnesota — tea-party-backed Republican Senate candidates have won nomination or are favored in upcoming primaries. They are attracting outsize attention not only from Democrats and the media, but from conservative leaders such as former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and Fox News host Glenn Beck.

(…)

Yet some Republicans worry that tea-party candidates are settling too comfortably into their roles as unruly insurgents and could prove hard to manage if they get elected. Paul, who beat GOP establishment favorite Trey Grayson in Kentucky’s primary, told the National Review that he would seek to join forces with GOP Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.), “who are unafraid to stand up” and who have blocked numerous bills advanced by both parties deemed by the pair as expanding government.

“If we get another loud voice in there, like Mike Lee from Utah or Sharron Angle from Nevada, there will be a new nucleus” to advocate causes such as term limits, a balanced-budget amendment and “having bills point to where they are enumerated in the Constitution,” Paul said in the interview.

Former Senate majority leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), now a D.C. lobbyist, warned that a robust bloc of rabble-rousers spells further Senate dysfunction. “We don’t need a lot of Jim DeMint disciples,” Lott said in an interview. “As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them.”

But Lott said he’s not expecting a tea-party sweep. “I still have faith in the visceral judgment of the American people,” he said.

Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah), who failed to survive his party’s nominating process after running afoul of local tea-party activists, told a local Associated Press reporter last week that the GOP had jeopardized its chance to win Senate seats in Republican-leaning states such as Nevada and Kentucky and potentially in Colorado, where tea-party favorite Ken Buck has surged ahead of Lt. Gov. Jane Norton in their primary battle.

Bennett warned that such candidates are stealing attention from top GOP recruits such as Mike Castle in Delaware and John Hoeven in North Dakota, both of whom are favored to win seats held by Democrats. Nor are they helping the Republican Party to resolve its deeper identity problems, he said.

“That’s my concern, that at the moment there is not a cohesive Republican strategy of this is what we’re going to do,” Bennett told the AP. “And certainly among the tea-party types there’s clearly no strategy of this is what we’re going to do.”

So the concern is really two-fold. First, that voters will come to associate the Tea Party movement, and some of it’s more controversial views, with the GOP as a whole. Second, that “Tea Party” candidates like Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Sharron Angle will be “difficult to manage” should they win their elections.

As to the first concern, that’s a matter of closing the barn door after the cows have already escaped. For better or worse, the Tea Party is the GOP and the GOP is the Tea Party. There may have been a time when the Tea Party movement was non-partisan, but that pretty much ended after groups like Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks and Newt Gingrich got involved. Now, with Sarah Palin quite openly pushing for the movement to reject anything other than Bushian nation-building as a foreign policy, it’s quite clear that while the Tea Party may be a grassroots organization is a distinctly Republican grassroots organization. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it is time to give up on the illusion that the GOP and the Tea Parties are somehow distinct.

As to the second concern, the impact of the “Tea Party” Congressmen and Senators on their respective institutions depends largely on how many of them there are. On the Senate side, it would seem that they’re unlikely to amount to much more than a strong obstructionist bloc within the GOP, which will likely still be the minority party in the Upper House. In the House, it depends on how large any Republican majority turns out to be (if there is one). If the GOP only holds the House by a handful of votes, then the ability of a “Tea Party” Caucus to influence the agenda is going to be hampered by both their relative lack of seniority, and the leaderships need to court Democratic votes on many pieces of legislation.

So, will the Tea Party change Congress ? As we’ve seen recently, change in that institution is very hard to bring it about. Will it change the GOP ? I would say it already has, the only question is whether that will be for better or worse.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2010, Congress, Politicians, Sarah Palin, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Brummagem Joe says:

    Would you really say there was much difference in their relative implausibility as a governing party? The more the merrier I say. I’ve never had any problem with high visibility for the likes of Beck, Palin and the extreme fringe, except they aren’t the fringe any longer. The more exposure these people get the sooner this nonsense comes to an end and the GOP can start to move back to the center. Does anyone really think Al Sharpton is an asset to the Democrats. The same applies to these fruitcakes. This is one of those situations where we need to destroy the village to save it and these guys are going to demolish it in short order.

  2. Tim says:

    I would say that it is very likely that since the Tea Party candidates will be sent there with a mandate and the establishment GOPers are just sort of there on vacation, the Tea Party candidates will expose the GOPers as insincere and providing only lipservice to the principles they claim to hold. Since it is this false set of principles that got the GOPers elected, it won’t be long before the fraud is exposed and the GOP will cease to exist.

    When given a chance to put up or shut up, they will be forced to shut up and while that bodes well for the Democrats in the short run, it will probably benefit the new party in the out years. So, this site can now congratulate Obama on a second term.

  3. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    “But Lott said he’s not expecting a tea-party sweep. “I still have faith in the visceral judgment of the American people,” he said.”

    This one statement by Trent Lott summarizes the situation perfectly. Just from where does Lott think that the tea party comes? It is a grassroots movement of the American people.

  4. wr says:

    In several states, paved roads are being ground into gravel because the local governments can no longer afford to maintain them. This is the legacy of the fanatical anti-taxers, a move back to the earliest days of the 20th century. Water systems will be failing next, as infrastructure all over the country is decaying rapidly. But it’s okay, because we’re “free.”

  5. tom p says:

    ***They are attracting outsize attention… but from conservative leaders such as former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and Fox News host Glenn Beck.***

    If I was a conservative, and those two were counted among my leaders, I would be to embarrassed to admit it.

  6. Duracomm says:

    Republicans like Trent Lott and their efforts to expand government spending and haul massive slabs of pork to the political cronies in their home district are a big part of the reason the republicans lost congress.

    The fact that he now works as a lobbyist shows what a bunch of corruptocrats that species of republican is.

    Obviously Lott is going to be hostile to any voting group that is interested in trying to cut back the size of the government cash trough he an his clients have access to.

  7. Duracomm says:

    wr said,

    In several states, paved roads are being ground into gravel because the local governments can no longer afford to maintain them.

    This is the legacy of the fanatical anti-taxers, a move back to the earliest days of the 20th century. Water systems will be failing next, as infrastructure all over the country is decaying rapidly. But it’s okay, because we’re “free.”

    Do you have any examples?

    Because states like California have spent plenty of money.

    The problem is they spent it on payments to politically connected interest groups not roads and other infrastructure.

    States like that don’t have a revenue problem they have a responsibility problem.

    Pension reform: Can Arnold lift SB 400?

    A 17-page CalPERS sales brochure told legislators a decade ago that a major increase in state worker pension benefits would not increase state costs, but annual state payments to the pension fund have soared from $159 million to $3.9 billion since then.

    The professionally designed pamphlet apparently helped build a persuasive case in 1999 for SB 400, which sailed through the Senate on a 39-to-0 vote and passed the Assembly 70-to-7.

  8. wr says:

    Duracomm — I’ve lived in California for the last fifty years. Have you ever set foot in the state? Your “analysis” of the state’s problems comes straight from Republican talking points.

    We’ve got serious structural issues here. The citizenry passes initiatives demanding that money be spent on certain priorities, but because we have an absurdly anti-democratic law saying that any tax (or budget) needs a two-thirds supermajority to pass, there’s no money to pay for it all.

    Fortunately we’re not as backwards as some of the states described in the WSJ article — http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704913304575370950363737746.html — and we’re not yet destroying our infrastructure because it’s cheaper than maintaining it.

    But the Republicans are doing a good job here of convincing a scared populace that the idea that anyone should have a secure retirement is actually a communist plot, and that we’ll all be much better off if billionaires don’t have to pay a nickel in taxes than if we fund the programs that once made this state golden.

  9. Brummagem Joe says:

    Patrick T. McGuire says:
    Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 15:09
    “Just from where does Lott think that the tea party comes? It is a grassroots movement of the American people.”

    If you believe that you probably believe in the tooth fairy too. It comes from a bunch of Republican front groups for godsake.

    Duracomm says:
    Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 16:05
    “Republicans like Trent Lott and their efforts to expand government spending and haul massive slabs of pork to the political cronies in their home district are a big part of the reason the republicans lost congress.”

    I got news for you buddy. This at bottom is how the US political system works. Right or wrong it’s reality and the first to scream when the bacon doesn’t arrive on the table will be the party in the state (Republican or Democrat)

  10. Tom_Beebe says:

    Things that could or do divide the Tea Party: 1) abortion 2)immigration 3) gay marriage 4) social security 5) medicare … more on request. Thing that can unite the Tea Party 1) Cleaning out corruption. Ways to start to accomplish 1) Campaign Finance reform to keep (some of the) rascals out. I favor excluding all groups… individual contributions only with full disclosure and anti-laundering, and 2) Term limits.. who wants to invest (much) in a lame duck? I’m fed up with the GOP, of which I was a life-long member, because they’re too much like the dems, and for the same reason: they’ve been bought.

  11. Gerry W. says:

    Here is the low down on our infrastructure, as was previously mentioned.

    http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/

  12. Duracomm says:

    wr said,

    But the Republicans are doing a good job here of convincing a scared populace that the idea that anyone should have a secure retirement is actually a communist plot, and that we’ll all be much better off if billionaires don’t have to pay a nickel in taxes than if we fund the programs that once made this state golden.

    California has one of the highest tax environments in the nation and the politicians have still managed to spend the state into a fiscal disaster.

    One of the big causes of the fiscal disaster is the vast difference between “secure retirement” and the bloated, gold plated, citizen robbing, retirement california is providing to their public sector unions.

    We Are Out of Money, California Edition

    The state of California’s real unfunded pension debt clocks in at more than $500 billion, nearly eight times greater than officially reported.

    To put that number in perspective, it’s almost seven times greater than all the outstanding voter-approved state general obligation bonds in California.

    Why should Californians care? Because this year’s unfunded pension liability is next year’s budget cut to important programs.

    For a glimpse of California’s budgetary future, look no further than the $5.5 billion diverted this year from higher education, transit, parks and other programs in order to pay just a tiny bit toward current unfunded pension and healthcare promises.

  13. Tom_Beebe says:

    To fund its legitimate functions, government needs taxes. To raise sufficient funds without raising tax rates, it needs a bigger tax base, or greater wealth. What contributes to growth, good for both government and the citizenry? Three things; education, health care and investment (tool). What does not? Consumption beyond base needs and an expanding discretionary element. Let us therefore refashion our tax system to exclude from taxation a personal exemption great enough to live on, health care costs of all types, education and savings. Coming shortly, a plan based on thse assumptions.

  14. Tom_Beebe says:

    1. All persons residing in the U.S. shall come together in units for the purpose of reporting all income from any source, each item to be identified by payer’s and payee’s tax number. Members of a unit need not be related, need not reside together, and a unit may consist of as few as one person. With equality as the primary goal, this act established units to be taxed, so that all persons, whether related or not, legally here or not, are taxed equally.
    2. Each year congress shall set by legislation a “minimum wage” and a “tax rate”.
    3. The following income shall not be subject to taxation:
    • An amount equal to a year’s earnings at the minimum wage rate, for each adult (age 20-65) member of the unit, decreasing 10% per year to 50% at age 15 and increasing 10% per year to 150% at age 70.
    • All payments for what is classified as necessary health care for all members of the unit including medical care, any pharmaceuticals prescribed by a recognized health care professional, vision and hearing aids, and membership fees for health-enhancing entities such as gyms or other exercise facilities. Health care insurance premiums may be deducted but not health care expense paid for by such insurance.
    • All educational expenses including day care for young children or legally incompetent persons, that portion of state and local taxes identified as spent on education, that portion of parochial school tuition, fees and other expenses identified as going for non-sectarian education, tuition, fees and educational materials for private school education at any level, and a per-diem allowance for students traveling more than 50 miles from primary residence for education.
    • All income saved into an identified account from which investments may be made.

    This encourages growth of the tax base, thus growth of the government’s ability to pay for its responsibilities, by fostering health care, education and investment, all of which contribute to growth of income, taxable to support legitimate government purposes.
    4. The “tax rate” shall be applied to any income over and above the deductions listed above, regardless of amount. It seeks the elusive concept of fairness by taxing at the same rate all “disposable” income.
    5. There shall be no federal tax on corporations or other business entities. Products made in the USA will be more competitive in the world market by eliminating taxes as part of their cost All taxes will be directly, and transparently imposed on those who have always paid them, the consumer.
    6. The Office of Management and Budget shall compute revenues to be expected using the newly set tax rate and minimum wage, applied to the previous year’s reported incomes. No expenses in excess of that amount may be authorized or made by the federal government without approval by 75% of each house of Congress. It sets the Federal budget to produce a surplus in times of economic expansion and a deficit in times of contraction to promote economic stability.
    7. At the request, by legislation duly enacted by a municipality having greater than 100,000 inhabitants or a state, a surtax may be imposed on citizens of that municipality or state which shall be applied in a manner exactly as applied for the Federal tax. It recognizes disparity in cost of living among various locations. It facilitates sufficient sources of revenue for states and municipalities.
    8. For units whose deductions exceed total income, the Federal Government shall make payment equal to the tax rate multiplied by the shortfall in income, as shall municipalities and states. This addresses aid to the truly needy.

  15. Duracomm says:

    Regarding pork barrel spending Brummagem Joe said,

    I got news for you buddy. This at bottom is how the US political system works. Right or wrong it’s reality and the first to scream when the bacon doesn’t arrive on the table will be the party in the state (Republican or Democrat)

    The only problem is it looks like all of the luscious pork the politicians bring home tends to harm the states economy not help it.

    Not to mention the ethical and fairness issues of taking money from one state and giving it to another based on nothing more than the seniority of the states politicians.

    When the Government Sector Grows, the Private Sector Shrinks

    Recent research at Harvard Business School began with the premise that as a state’s congressional delegation grew in stature and power in Washington, D.C., local businesses would benefit from the increased federal spending sure to come their way.

    It turned out quite the opposite.

    In fact, professors Lauren Cohen, Joshua Coval, and Christopher Malloy discovered to their surprise that companies experienced lower sales and retrenched by cutting payroll, R&D, and other expenses.

    Indeed, in the years that followed a congressman’s ascendancy to the chairmanship of a powerful committee, the average firm in his state cut back capital expenditures by roughly 15 percent, according to their working paper

    This opens the intriguing possibility that the massive amount of pork Senator Byrd sent to his home state helped stall the economy and harmed the constituents he was supposedly helping.

  16. Brummagem Joe says:

    “The only problem is it looks like all of the luscious pork the politicians bring home tends to harm the states economy not help it.”

    Well since red states are comfortably net recipients of federal tax dollars let’s start by cutting off all aid to states that aren’t paying their way federally and we’ll see how long it is before Haley, Rick, Bobby and co starts to scream blue murder. I’m all in favor of it since my state is subsidizing all these losers.

  17. Brummagem Joe says:
  18. wr says:

    Duracomm — You hit on one of the key issues there. It’s not pensions, it’s unfunded pension liabilities, Because the state has put off required funding for years — because the money hasn’t been there, because Republicans refuse to accept that we need money to pay for services.

    As for “gold plated” retirement plans — to a Republican that seems to be anything more than eating cat food.

    It’s time that taxes were raised on the rich and on corporations in this state. Of course we’ll hear the usual lies about how California has the highest tax burden in the country or in the world or in the universe, but maybe this time someone will stand up and point out how false that is.

    California isn’t Alabama. It’s a great place to live — and it costs money to keep it that way. People are willing to pay a premium to live here.

  19. Juneau: says:

    The idea that the Federal or state governments have not received enough money to maintain their infrastructure is ludicrous. They have simply used the citizen’s money on other priorities. There is not enough money in the world to sustain the commitments made for the purposes of securing the vote of the unions and the entitlement class.

    California is a perfect example of this. Liberals crying about how hard it is to raise taxes, while ignoring the fact that businesses are fleeing the state as it is due to the tax burden, as well as the fact you can’t possibly raise taxes enough to cover what has been promised.

    In other words, who cares if it just delays the inevitable and compounds the problem when it finally hits? We need more taxes, not spending cuts!

  20. Juneau: says:

    But the Republicans are doing a good job here of convincing a scared populace that the idea that anyone should have a secure retirement is actually a communist plot, and that we’ll all be much better off if billionaires don’t have to pay a nickel in taxes than if we fund the programs that once made this state golden.

    Liberal pap for the uninformed mind. What secure retirement are you talking about? It sure isn’t social security. The California state union’s pension retirement plans? How is that going to work? I mean, someone has to pay the bills – including the state and county worker’s salaries.

    Social Security is going to go broke; the government hasn’t done anything except play a huge Ponzi scheme with the taxpayers dollars. Robbing from the right pocket to pay the left pocket. And you want the “status quo” to continue ’cause it’s going to lead you back to the “golden” days of California. Open your eyes and notice that California has been sliding towards the cliff for over a decade. The 2/3 majority rule has nothing to do with it.

  21. Gerry W. says:

    “Other priorities” like war and not paying for it. The MIlitary Industrial Complex. Of course we can take care of every country in the world. So both democrats and republicans want to sit on their ideologies. It works both ways.

  22. Juneau: says:

    “Other priorities” like war…

    Protecting our citizens comes above every other priority when Federal efforts and energy is expended. That’s why it is specifically enumerated in the Constitution as a primary responsibility of the Federal Government. You’re talking apples and oranges.

  23. Gerry W. says:

    It was one thing to go to Afghanistan. Going to Iraq, as a president made it, his priority. He never had enough troops, ignored Afghanistan, and he could have paid for the war by having other countries contribute to the war, just like his father did.

    But beyond this, each president has his priorities and with Obama, it is healthcare. Whatever the case, we need to make our infrastructure a priority and not spend trillions elsewhere.

    As I posted this before.
    http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/

  24. Juneau: says:

    California isn’t Alabama. It’s a great place to live — and it costs money to keep it that way. People are willing to pay a premium to live here.

    I’m not from Alabama. But I still am struck by your foolish comparison. Your arrogance and elitist statements are rather disgusting. Only a liberal could show their underwear with an accompanying lack of good manners. I’m sure that Alabama is quite pleased with the fact that they are not going bankrupt like California. You are a perfect example of why California is going down the tubes. Stay classy…

  25. Juneau: says:

    Gerry:

    But beyond this, each president has his priorities and with Obama, it is healthcare.

    I understand that infrastructure is something that you feel strongly about, based on past posts I have seen. I also understand you want to take a neutral position as far as the relative priorities of various administrations.

    However, I have to respetfully disagree with you on the neutrality position and treating these issues as though they are are relative and equal. Health Care is not a Federal responsibility. It is not specifically enumerated in the Constitution as something that is equal to national defense. It is a responsibility falsely assumed and unconstitutionally implemented by the federal government.

    Additionally, the two cannot be compared from an economic standpoint; wars end and the related expenditures are finite and quantifiable. Obamacare, as designed, is forever – and the related cost to our economy will be exponentially more than both wars, impacting not just today’s economy, but generations to come.

  26. Gerry W. says:

    I don’t know which way we go with healthcare, but what I can tell you is that we are losing the middle class. Both parties have failed us, and I fault the republicans more as they are supposed to be the party of economics, but they rely on failed ideologies. Now, we are losing our jobs to cheap labor countries, we are losing our middle class wages, retirements, and healthcare. And then you have morons like economist Veronique De Rugy of George Mason univ., who was on C-span, saying that it is fine that we lose our high paying jobs and that it was better to work for WalMart.

    And then you have Carlos Gutierrez, former Commerce Secretary under Bush, saying dynamics have not changed. Well, the dynamics have changed and it is 2 billion cheap laborers that want our jobs.

    These people sit in Washington or on Wall Street and they do not see the picture or don’t want t see what is going on. They are destroying the middle class.

    Now, we have a country to take care of. Everything from the middle class to our infrastructure. We see the neglect. While democrats seem to be lost, the republicans just go on with their NRA and bible thumping. And we have a military sitting in over 100 hundred countries. We can’t do it all and we certainly cannot ignore our problems and globalization.

    The republicans of late have been representing the rich and the middle class is losing. So, if we have healthcare, then fine with me. Because people are losing their jobs in which they may have had healthcare coverage. And we cannot let the middle class lose their jobs, their pensions, and their healthcare as it is not healthy for our country.

  27. Juneau: says:

    The republicans of late have been representing the rich and the middle class is losing.

    The GOP establishment and political class is entrenched, by and large, in “politics as usual.” This is one of the reasons why I believe that the fiscal conservative movement which is now beginning to sweep the country, is something that both established parties are uncomfortable with.

    As the title of the article infers, while the liberals are going to be politically slaughtered over the next two election cycles, the GOP is about to be shaken up significantly as well.

  28. anjin-san says:

    “Other priorities”

    Multi-billion dollar tax breaks for oil companies?

    Multi-billion dollar giveaways to pharmacutical companies?

  29. sam says:

    “This is one of the reasons why I believe that the fiscal conservative movement which is now beginning to sweep the country Republican base.”

    Gallup: Tea Party: Rebranding Republicanism

    A new Gallup report finds that 79% of Tea Party supporters consider themselves Republicans and 62% consider themselves conservative Republicans. As Gallup’s Frank Newport writes: “Their similar ideological makeup and views suggest that the Tea Party movement is more a rebranding of core Republicanism than a new or distinct entity on the American political scene.”

    Just 6% called themselves a pure independent and 15% placed themselves somewhere on the Democratic spectrum.

    Polling shows Tea Partiers are just as enthusiastic about voting as conservative Republicans and 80% said they would vote for a Republican in November — though that’s lower than the 95% of conservative Republicans who plan to vote GOP.

    “Republican leaders who worry about the Tea Party’s impact on their races may in fact (and more simply) be defined as largely worrying about their party’s core base,” Newport notes. “Additionally, GOP leaders eager to maximize turnout this fall may do just as well by targeting the more traditional voting category of conservative Republicans as by expending energy and effort to target those who identify with the Tea Party movement.”

  30. wr says:

    Juneau: It’s fun to repeat Republican talking points, but would you like to post a link showing all the businesses fleeing California? Not the anecdotes from guests on rightwing talk radio, but actual statistics. Because it’s a crock, along with the fancy that rich people are moving out of the state.

    As for Alabama, what makes you say they’re not going broke?

    And forgive me if I choose not to live in a state whose government is designed to keep a permanent underclass poor and uneducated.

  31. wr says:

    Juneau: The “fiscal conservative” movement that you see rescuing the middle class has one purpose and one purpose only — to keep the rich from having to pay any taxes at all. You’ll notice none of the “fiscal conservatives” are interested in cutting where the real spending is — on the military. They only want to gut Social Security and Unemployment and education and health care and infrastructure.

  32. Juneau: says:

    And forgive me if I choose not to live in a state whose government is designed to keep a permanent underclass poor and uneducated.

    Then why do you subscribe to a political party that has the same goal?

  33. Juneau: says:

    t’s fun to repeat Republican talking points, but would you like to post a link showing all the businesses fleeing California? Not the anecdotes from guests on rightwing talk radio, but actual statistics. Because it’s a crock, along with the fancy that rich people are moving out of the state.

    How many links to MSM sources do you want? You’re a bit out of touch…

    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/business/Cost-of-Living-Sucks-Everyone-Leaving-California.html

    Title: Cost of living sucks; everyone leaving California

    Quote: The number of people leaving California for another state outstripped the number moving in from another state during the year ending on July 1, 2008. California lost a net total of 144,000 people during that period — more than any other state, according to census estimates.

    From the Orange County Register – February 24, 2010
    http://jan.ocregister.com/2010/02/24/list-names-100-companies-leaving-california/31805/

    This links to a list of 100 companies that have moved facilities, closed factories, and relocated from California, including Toyota, Northrup Grumman, and Kaiser Aluminum.

    Quote: Keep in mind that these departures are on top natural business attrition (closures, mergers and acquistions) and bankruptcy filings: Orange County has the 5th highest in the nation, according to Equifax and eight of the 14 top metropolitan areas are in California.

    This can hardly be dismissed as right wing talking points, unless your name is Dorothy and you insist on ignoring the man behind the curtain.