Trouble In Tea Party Paradise

Will the Tea Party Movement grow up?

With the new Congress set to convene in only a few days, there are already signs of tension between the Tea Party movement and the people they put in power:

As Tea Party politicians prepare to take their seats when the 112th Congress convenes this week, they are already taking issue with Republicans for failing to hold the line against the flurry of legislation enacted in the waning weeks of Democratic control of the House of Representatives and for not giving some candidates backed by Tea Party groups powerful leadership positions.

Just a month ago, Tea Party leaders were celebrating their movement’s victories in the midterm elections. But as Congress wrapped up an unusually productive lame-duck session last month, those same Tea Party leaders were lamenting that Washington behaved as if it barely noticed that American voters had repudiated the political establishment.

In their final days controlling the House, Democrats succeeded in passing legislation that Tea Party leaders opposed, including a bill to cover the cost of medical care for rescue workers at the site of the World Trade Center attacks, an arms-control treaty with Russia, a food safety bill and a repeal of the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military.

“Do I think that they’ve recognized what happened on Election Day? I would say decisively no,” said Mark Meckler, a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, which sent its members an alert last month urging them to call their representatives to urge them to “stop now and go home!!”

“We sent them a message that we expect them to go home and come back newly constituted and do something different,” Mr. Meckler said. “For them to legislate when they’ve collectively lost their mandate just shows the arrogance of the ruling elite. I can’t imagine being repudiated in the way they were and then coming back and saying ‘Now that we’ve been repudiated, let’s go pass some legislation.’ ”

“I’m surprised by how blatant it was,” he added.

But Tea Party activists did not reserve their criticism for Democrats. “The Republicans, frankly, have been a disaster,” Mr. Meckler said. “They stood strong on some things, but the only reason they stood strong is because we stood behind them with a big stick.”

Over the next several months, we’re going to see this tension between the grassroots and the Washington leadership play itself out. In some ways, the Tea Party is in the right to keep the pressure on Republicans like spending and the national debt. In other ways, however, the people in the grassroots are failing to recognize that they are walking into the 112th Congress with unrealistic expectations and a complete misunderstanding of how things work in Washington. With a Democratic Senate and President, the ability of Republicans in the House simply aren’t going to be able to get their agenda enacted into law in a “pure” form. Either they’ll have to compromise, or they won’t get anything done at all.

This is what the debate of the extension of the tax cuts was all about. It wasn’t perfect for either side, but it was the best bill that could have been enacted into law at the time, and probably better than anything that could have been enacted this year, but even that simple fact seems to be evading the Tea Party:

Tea Party leaders scoffed at the Republicans’ greatest victory from the lame-duck session — the extension of the Bush tax cuts as part of a compromise with the White House. Instead, Tea Party leaders complained that Republicans had abandoned a push for a full repeal of the estate tax

As I noted last month, this argument about the estate tax was just sheer nonsense:

The first problem that many on the right seem to have with the deal is the fact that it would reimpose the estate tax, which currently doesn’t exist thanks to an odd quirk in the law, from a rate of 0% to a rate of 35%. What this argument ignores is the fact that, if nothing is done before December 31st, then the estate tax will be coming back anyway, and it will be far more widely applicable than it would be under the deal worked out between Senate Republicans and the President. Under current law, the estate tax would return in 2011 with a rate of 55% on estates worth $1,000,000 or more. Under the terms of the deal, the estate tax would return at a rate of 35% on estates worth $5,000,000 or more.  How anyone other than the most partisan ideologue cannot see this as a victory is beyond me.

If the Tea Party movement is going to have any impact on American politics in the years to come, it’s going to have to grow up and learn that sometimes you have to take a 50% victory and all it  a day.

FILED UNDER: General
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. Nick says:

    I wonder how many Tea Party activists truly thought they were getting a Revolution during the midterm elections. Granted I tried to stay away from the Tea Parties… mostly because I saw most of them as being Republicans, and not truly believing in individual liberty (just the liberty they agree with). However, from what I did see, there was so much comparison to the American Revolution… you have to stop and wonder whether some of them didn’t truly think they were playing the same part.

    They seem to forget that the original Revolution required a war, and bloodshed, and sacrifice. Whether repealing the Federal Juggernaut we have today would require something of the same magnitude is certainly debatable, but to think that any Revolution could occur in a simple midterm election is laughable, and says quite a bit about those who participate in those Tea Parties.

  2. Steve Plunk says:

    Tension can be a good thing between citizens and their elected leaders. It keeps the pols on their toes.

    I expect the Tea Party to grow up. After all the movement has only been around a couple of years. Since it’s beginning there have been an awful lot of people predicting it’s demise yet here it is still.

  3. Tano says:

    In general your points are valid Doug, but you are wrong about the estate tax. For two decades now the right has pitched its opposition to the estate tax in absolutist terms. They did not decry the fact that the estate tax was too steep, or didn’t have a big enough exclusion – the opposition was existential. It was an inherently evil tax, on a moral level even. It is the ‘death tax”.

    The only outcome that could in any way be considered a victory for the right was to kill the estate tax outright. That is the only goal they pursued on this matter, and the only outcome they considered acceptable.

    Obama and the Democrats won a very big victory on this issue, because the forced the GOP leadership to accept, in fact and in principle, the continued existence of the estate tax, and thus an acceptance of the underlying rationale for such a tax. The Democrats were always amenable to an adjustment in the exclusion level (the level had never been adjusted for inflation) and the rate. While some Dems might be upset that it wasn’t 3 million and 45%, but rather is 5 million and 35%, that is a relatively trivial difference. The key victory is on the principle.

  4. Jay Tea says:

    Will the Tea Party Movement grow up?

    Interesting question from a guy who’s trying to strangle it in its crib…

    J.

  5. ponce says:

    Nihilism and hatred isn’t much of an ideology to govern with, but the Republicans have to try.

  6. steve says:

    The better way to phrase this is to ask if the Tea Party will develop a positive agenda. While out of power you can persist in opposition successfully. Once in power, you need to govern. The ten point plan that was advanced by the Tea Party a while back was not useful. Too much emphasis on symbolism. The reading of the Constitution is an example of their problem.

    They need to advance real solutions to the debt problem. They need to directly address entitlements, especially Medicare. How they accomplish this, which would be detrimental to the interests of many of their supporters, will tell us if the party will flourish. Until then, it is just a party of protest. As an aside, I think it will be difficult to keep the social conservatives happy if they do nothing for them.

    Steve

  7. RightKlik says:

    Good points. Especially the one about 50% victory!

    It’s a good thing nobody paid attention to the original Tea Party of 1773. God, those idiots needed to grow up! They thought you could run a country without a monarchy or any other crushing status regime. They were totally unwilling to compromise. They were all “Live free or die!” and “Don’t tread on me!” What a bunch of politically naive rubes…

    Modern American tea partiers so need to accept reality. We just can’t expect a future in which our children live with the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Five out of ten would be a pretty good deal. Get real … right?

    Unalienable rights? Surely you jest.

    The tea partiers also need to accept the fact that sooner or later, America will go the way of Greece. Bankruptcy is an inevitability. So if we’re going to go bankrupt anyway, why not go down with a few nice goodies like interminable unemployment benefits?

    Fiscal responsibility? What a absurd, juvenile idea.

    Those Tea Party racists can kiss my hairy yellow butt.

  8. Tlaloc says:

    Republicans have mastered the art of winning by appealing to “teh crazy”. They’re also not half bad at convincing the lunatics that there was just nothing they could have done to fix things once in power, golly shucks! Look at the entire history of the prolife movement for thousands of examples. The rhetoric is always at 11 while the actual effort rates about a 2.

    Similarly the GOP is not going to do a damn thing about any issue the dupes, by which I mean those who don’t recognize the tea parties as a 100% manufactured branding effort by the GOP, care about. Why would they? That’d only get rid of an issue to demagogue next election.

  9. Jay Tea says:

    The better way to phrase this is to ask if the Tea Party will develop a positive agenda.

    Depends on what you mean by a “positive agenda.” It’s arguable that the biggest problems we have were either caused or exacerbated by “positive agendas” — people who want to have government fix problems that aren’t problems at all, or aren’t the proper purview of the federal government.

    To me, a couple years of a “negative agenda” — get rid of this, that, and the other thing, when this, that, and the other thing are clear overreaches of federal authority and wastes of money — sound pretty damned good.

    J.

  10. michael reynolds says:

    Right:

    Not everyone should attempt sarcasm.

  11. michael reynolds says:

    Jay:

    Of course they sound good to you: you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Why don’t you make us a list of programs you just, plain want to get rid of. Then we’ll see if you’ve managed to balance the budget.

    Let’s hear your agenda.

  12. superdestroyer says:

    One has to love the progressives spin that a “positive governance” means more spending, more government, more rules, and more positions of power that can be used to advance their agenda.

    The way for the Tea Party to move their agenda would be to drag every Executive Department head in front of a committee and ask them how they are going to cut spending. When those executives fail to answer, the congress should just zero out their budgets until they make real proposals for real cuts.

  13. Jay Tea says:

    Here’s a starter, michael: abolish the Department of Education. Take half its budget, apply to the national debt. Take the other half, divide it among the several states, preferably on a per capita basis for students, and let the states use it to actually educate students.

    There’s one. Now offer a stirring defense on the great achievements of the Department of Education, citing its great effect on the education of young people in this nation. Show that it wasn’t just a sop to the educational unions and a colossal bureaucracy that’s actually made education worse (by choking schools with endless requirements and reports and forms and other types of red tape).

    Ball’s in your court, chump.

    J.

  14. RightKlik says:

    michael reynolds:

    Nice substantive response. Pithy, informative, thought-provoking. Of course I don’t agree with all of it, but it sure did make me think.

  15. Tlaloc says:

    “Here’s a starter, michael: abolish the Department of Education. Take half its budget, apply to the national debt. Take the other half, divide it among the several states, preferably on a per capita basis for students, and let the states use it to actually educate students.”

    Okay then. The DoE’s annual budget for 2010 was $56 billion. Half of that applied to the debt is a whopping $26 billion. That for those playing along at home means you just solved .17% of the debt issue. Not 17% or even 1.7% but .17%. By comparison in 2010 we spent over 100 billion just on the afghanistan part of our “war on terror.” In fact we spent 663 billion all told on defense this last year.

    As for what the DoE does it includes things like administrating financial aide 9you know that thing that lets the vast majority of people go to college) and collects data on us education (you know so we can identify what does and doesn’t work). If you think education in this country has problems maybe your first step shouldn;t be to cut the funds to the one organization that can provide the evidence.

    Unless of course you know that you’re full of it.

  16. Ben Wolf says:

    Michael asked you to specify all the programs you’d cut Jay. Then we’d see if you had gotten us a balanced budget. So far you’re about 3% of the way there.

  17. Tlaloc says:

    I wonder how many teabaggers know anything about the original tea party and how it was almost 100% the opposite of what they are trying to claim it to have been. Britain was trying to send cheap high quality tea to the US but various parties in the US were heavily connected to a black market smuggling of tea as odd as that sounds. They protested the fact that the colonies were about to get cheaper higher quality product then that they would not profit by. They were in their own sort of silly way the narcotics traffickers of their time.

  18. Tano says:

    JT,

    Abolishing the Dept. of Ed. is just the kind of mindless blather we kinda have come to expect from the right. Why not take these issues a bit seriously. Here is a summary of the DoE budget – please tell us which specific programs you would eliminate, or if you want to eliminate them all (including Pell grants?), then mount an argument for why it is that we can expect things to be better without these specific programs.

    LINKl

  19. Tano says:

    Sorry – bad link – try this LINK

  20. RightKlik says:
  21. Jay Tea says:

    Yeah, michael said “all the cuts I’d make.” I didn’t particularly feel like going through the whole thing, but gave one exemplar. And it’s a sad state of affairs when $28 billion (last time I checked, Tlaloc, half of 56 was 28, not 26, but then again I’m a product of the public school system) is considered chump change.

    It’s a START. And more importantly, it’s a good start.

    So, it would get rid of Pell grants? OK, fine. I was disgusted when the Obama administration took over all student loans anyway. It ain’t a legitimate area for federal involvement, anyway. Let the states take some of the money they’d be getting from the feds and set up their own loans and grants programs. Hell, in theory, loan programs should, after the initial startup, pay for themselves, so let them use the fed funding as seed money.

    Personally, I’d get rid of the Ed Department, then tell other agencies that they need to cut their own budgets by, say, 10% — while minimizing the impact on average Americans. If the heads of those agencies can’t do it, fire them and give the assignment to their deputies. Keep moving down the food chain until someone can actually do it.

    Or I’ve fired enough layers to reach that 10%.

    J.

  22. wr says:

    In other words, Jay Tea, like all the other loudmouth teapartiers, has absolutely no clue about what to cut out of the Federal budget beyond the tiny amount that makes up the Department of Education. And Jay? Simply blathering more about how terrible they are doesn’t actually add to the savings.

    And yeah, it really sucks that 28 billion doesn’t come close to solving even half a percent of our budet deficit. Great, we feel your pain. Now find the rest of the cuts. And don’t give “waste, fraud, abuse” or “tell agencies they need to cut their budgets ten percent.”

    That’s crap and you know it. You say the budget needs to be slashed — you say what needs to go.

    Or admit you, like all tea partiers, have no clue about anything and just like to whine.

  23. anjin-san says:

    WR -1
    JT – 0

  24. anjin-san says:

    > I’m a product of the public school system

    I know a lot of incredibly successful people who are products of the public school system – doctors, lawyers, CEO’s, generals, pilots, entrepreneurs, an astronaut, and so on. One has to wonder how often J had pulled out that little canard when he has come up a little short in his life…

  25. steve says:

    “There’s one. Now offer a stirring defense on the great achievements of the Department of Education, citing its great effect on the education of young people in this nation.”

    When you start to compare apples to apples, you see that our educational system works pretty well. I would suggest some caution in dismantling it.

    http://super-economy.blogspot.com/2010/12/amazing-truth-about-pisa-scores-usa.html

    A positive agenda can and should include cutting spending. A positive agenda would address what things to cut and how to go about it. Let me give you an example. Medicare Part D was passed w/o any funding. It adds trillions to the debt. Either repeal Medicare Part D or fund it. If you remove all non-defense nondiscretionary spending the debt will still grow out of control. You must address entitlements. When the first thing you name is the Dept. of Education I tend to assume that you are more interested in partisan ideology than seriously addressing fiscal responsibility.

    Steve

  26. anjin-san says:

    > It ain’t a legitimate area for federal involvement, anyway

    Clearly, banks are actively engaged in predatory lending practices directed at students, and have been for decades. You don’t want regulation of financial institutions, and you don’t want the government in the loan business. What do you want – graduates to be saddled with a near hopeless debt situation just as they are trying to get their lives started? Is that your version of the American dream?

  27. Jay Tea says:

    So, wr, what’s YOUR solution? It’s easy to sit back and bitch because the other side doesn’t do ALL the work. So far, your side has put up the solutions of “borrow more, spend more, and hope it goes away” as well as “find them that has money, and take it away from them.”

    We’re currently at just under 13.9 trillion, and closing in HARD on that. (So much for the Democrats’ “paygo” promises. What kind of idiots actually thought they meant that one?) In 2007, the debt ceiling was 9.8 trillion. How did the Democrats manage to jack it up to almost 14 trillion in just three years?

    Yes, I said “Democrats.” The Constitution says all spending bills start in the House, and they took over both Houses in 2007, then the White House in 2009. So they own it.

    You folks are sounding an awful lot like teenage boys talking about how they promise not to get their girlfriends pregnant. Hey, folks: “hope” is about as good a fiscal policy as it is a contraception method.

    J.

  28. superdestroyer says:

    Steve,

    All the data shows is that the white and Asian kids in the U.S. do fine. The problem is that the number of asian and white kids is going down and that the number of black and Hispanic kids is going up. The blacks and Hispanics do fine compared to the rest of the Hispanic and black world but are horrible versus the whites and Asians.

  29. superdestroyer says:

    It would be nice if anyone of the left would ever state where they would raise the $1 trillion in taxes or cuts to baqlance the budget. Since the left requries a large government to maintain power, they need to raise $1 trillion in taxes. What is the left willing to give up to fund our massive government. What is the impact of raising a trillion in taxes versus making $1 trillion in cuts.

  30. ponce says:

    “You folks are sounding an awful lot like teenage boys talking about how they promise not to get their girlfriends pregnant.”

    JayTea,

    Why can’t you be man enough to admit the whole Tea Party thing was just a scam to get the big-government Republicans back in power?

  31. Jay Tea says:

    Because, ponce, it wasn’t. That’s just projection on your part — the left has to astroturf everything, so they can’t even imagine that a movement might come up that wasn’t.

    By the way, it might have escaped your notice, having your head so far up your ass, but quite a few “big-government Republicans” got taken out by Tea Party candidates. And several who did manage to win got “scared straight.” Here in NH, our new Senator was the establishment GOP candidate — but the Tea Party guy came close enough that she started talking Tea Talk right after the primary.

    As the saying goes, it ain’t necessary that the see the light, so long as they feel the heat.

    And they did.

    Which is why folks like you, Doug, wr, anjin, and your ilk are so desperate to bring them down.

    J.

  32. steve says:

    @Superdestroyer- Which basically shows that the problem is not so much the ability of our schools to educate, but rather the kids they are given to educate. We are higher than average in our spending, so you can argue about our ROI.

    “It would be nice if anyone of the left would ever state where they would raise the $1 trillion in taxes or cuts to baqlance the budget. ”

    As I stated above, I would start with Medicare Part D. It was never funded. I would reinforce the ability of the IPAB to keep Medicare spending closer to GDP growth, preferably the GDP plus 1 suggested by Ryan. I would means test Social Security. I would eliminate most of our military bases in Europe and drastically reduce most of the ones in Asia, including Korea. I would press for a CT approach to Afghanistan that would greatly reduce the number of troops there.

    On the revenue side, I would eliminate the deduction for home mortgages ad health insurance.

    Your turn.

    Steve

  33. Troke6 says:

    Balancing the budget is quite simple.
    Cut 20% off all expenditures; SS, medicare, fed salaries, fed pensions, everything cut 20%

    Increase gov revenues by 20%

    Cut Defense by 50%, tell the World they are on their own.

    Now that kind of handles the Feds, more or less.

    Now for the States, the counties, the municipalities etc.

    Anybody that thinks that we can get away by doing less than what I have proposed is a liar or a fool.

  34. sam says:

    @Jay

    “In 2007, the debt ceiling was 9.8 trillion. How did the Democrats manage to jack it up to almost 14 trillion in just three years?”

    Don’t be stupid. Some of that was Republican-induced: Don’t Blame Obama for Bush’s 2009 Deficit.

  35. steve says:

    ““In 2007, the debt ceiling was 9.8 trillion. How did the Democrats manage to jack it up to almost 14 trillion in just three years?”

    The first step is by ignoring 2008.

    Steve

  36. narciso says:

    It’s a Zernike piece, so it’s bound to get most things wrong, that’s her charm, to think that ponce,
    sam, tano, wr, are about honest debate is a mug’s game. Now Doug just plainly doesn’t understand what is involved; that’s why he uses the same memes that the Journolist left over.

  37. superdestroyer says:

    Steve,

    Why have Mediciare that pays for surgical procedures but does not pay for outpatient drugs. Paying for impatient drugs but not paying for outpaitent drugs makes no policy sense. If you limit reimbursment for medical proceudres, how do you plan to hold down costs that medical providers have to pay?

    You are proposing minor cuts in defense and would still be left with a $400 billion dollar defense budget. The military has been reducing spending in Germany and Korea.

    Eliminating home interest deduction would due massive harm to the housing industry and cause a massive collapse in the housing industry. If you are doing to means test Social Security, you just create the same problem that currently existing for Medcaid and nursing home care.

    You ideas are politically impossbible, would have massive economic consequences and would still have the problem that no one would want to do business in the U.S.

  38. sam says:

    SD, the entitlements are what any serious budget-cutting will have to address. You can cut out every penny of non-discretionary spending, completely do away with the departments of education and energy, slash the military budget, cut government salaries, and you will still have the problem. As I said before, when the Republicans move to cut entitlements, then they will demonstrate some seriousness. Until then, not so much.

  39. sam says:

    Sorry, that should have been, “every penny of discretionary spending”

  40. Jay Tea says:

    sam, don’t be dumber than absolutely necessary. I didn’t “blame Obama,” I blamed Democrats. More specifically, the Democrats in Congress.

    Congress holds the purse strings. Congress passes the budget. More specifically, the House has to start all spending/tax bills.

    J.

  41. steve says:

    “Why have Mediciare that pays for surgical procedures but does not pay for outpatient drugs. Paying for impatient drugs but not paying for outpaitent drugs makes no policy sense. If you limit reimbursment for medical proceudres, how do you plan to hold down costs that medical providers have to pay?”

    Because we are in debt. If we had lots of money to blow, sure, keep Part D, but even then, you should fund it. What Part D does is redistribute more money to the part of the population already receiving heavy entitlements. We cannot keep having the younger generation pay for all of the older generations wants (not needs).

    If the defense cuts get us down to $400 billion, that would mean I cut out $300 billion, which would be pretty good. I dont think they would get that far.

    I would phase in eliminating the mortgage deduction and health care deductions. Countries w/o this deduction have viable housing markets. I dont see why we should subsidize homeowners and continue to distort housing markets. Same with health care.

    Would this be politically feasible? Here is what you said.

    “It would be nice if anyone of the left would ever state where they would raise the $1 trillion in taxes or cuts to baqlance the budget. ”

    Yet when the kinds of cuts we need to make are suggested, and these will not be popular, they are said to not be politically feasible. Instead, what I hear from Tea PArty folks, is let’s cut earmarks and the Dept. of Education or foreign aid. How can I take such people seriously?

    Steve

  42. sam says:

    “sam, don’t be dumber than absolutely necessary. I didn’t “blame Obama,” I blamed Democrats. More specifically, the Democrats in Congress.”

    Must be quite a trick for you to type with that knee jerking up under the keyboard and all. (Did you read the piece at the link? It’s from the well-known left-wing Cato Institute site.) Are you seriously asking us to accept that the Republicans are not complicit in creating the mess we’re in? If you are, it’s pure hackery.

  43. Jay Tea says:

    Complicit? Yeah. Accessories. Aiding and abetting. But they weren’t in the driver’s seat, and quite a few of them got spanked. More should.

    But the main culprits? Reid, Pelosi, and their enablers.

    J.

  44. sam says:

    Horseshit. Unfunded Medicare part D, two wars fought without a tax to pay for them (with a tax cut, no less) etc. C’mon – who was in the driver’s seat, as you say, then? My point is simply that both parties are to blame for this mess, and the mess has been a long time building. It didn’t suddenly spring into being on inauguration day, 2009.

  45. anjin-san says:

    > Congress holds the purse strings. Congress passes the budget

    In other words,”we are not taking any responsibility whatsoever for any of the multiple disasters under Bush”.

  46. wr says:

    Jay Tea — I’m not coming up with answers because I’m not the assclown who claimed he could balance the entire budget. I’m not waiting for “the other side to do all the work” — I’m asking that you, specifically, back up the idiotic claims you’ve made here.

    You say that congress can cut spending until the budget is balanced, and when challenged you come up with the Department of Education.

    This is the standard Tea Party line — not one of you wil take responsibility for the changes that you are demanding. You insist the budget be slashed, but you can’t or won’t say what should be cut.

    And then you start flailing around, blaming those politicians you don’t like and ignoring two wars financed on credit cards by Repubicans.

    And then you start whining because it’s hard.

    Welcome to the real world, buddy.

    But I’ll be nice and tell you my solution — I’m going with someone who actually knows what he’s talking about here, a recent Nobel winnner in economics. A man you no doubt despise because he’s been right about every idiot move the Bush administration made.

    And what Paul Krugman has to say is that deficits are a long term problem, not an immediate one, and that the best way to bring them down is to get people spending now. Which requires spending money now — on infrastructure projects, on scientific research, on state governments (that hire people), even on unemployment insurance, which puts money into the pockets of people who will spend it, thus getting companies back to work manufacturing and selling products.

    Get people working, get tax revenues back up, then focus on the deficit.

    Oh, and what he doesn’t say and I do — put in a real graduated income tax scale with many brackets above the current top one, with a top marginal rate of about 75% on anything over, say, twenty million dollars. Not only raising revenue, but reducing the incentives of plutocrats to loot their companies.

    So there’s my plan, little friend. Now that you’ve cut the Department of Education and decided to slash trillions more — where are you going to cut?

  47. michael reynolds says:

    Jay:

    I honestly thought you might have more game than that. Abolish the Department of Education? That’ll take care of the deficit.

    You’re an idiot. And a dishonest one to boot.

    In budget terms the Dof E isn’t even a rounding error.

    You fraud.

  48. michael reynolds says:

    This is Tea Party classic. A bunch of loudmouths who haven’t spent ten seconds thinking about anything. Just like their heroine Sarah Palin. The spoiled children of politics.

  49. anjin-san says:

    > Instead, what I hear from Tea PArty folks, is let’s cut earmarks

    Of course there is Michelle Bachman. Her plan for cutting earmarks is to change the definition of what “is” is…

  50. An Interested Party says:

    “When those executives fail to answer, the congress should just zero out their budgets until they make real proposals for real cuts.”

    Indeed! When food stops getting inspected, when seniors can’t get their healthcare, when soldiers don’t get paid, when safety inspections are halted and bad things happen to people…well, all that will show everyone how serious this tea party rhetoric is, won’t it…

    “So, wr, what’s YOUR solution?”

    Tsk, tsk…you are the one whining about how horrible the federal budget is, so it is your responsibility to bring up real, substantial cuts…you could start with how you are going to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Defense…you know, the four areas that most of the federal budget covers…

    “It would be nice if anyone of the left would ever state where they would raise the $1 trillion in taxes or cuts to baqlance the budget.”

    It would be even nicer if anyone of the right would ever state where they would cut the $1 trillion or so in the budget to “baqlance” the budget…I mean, if would have to be done with cuts, since tax hikes are usually off the table with this crowd…

    “That’s just projection on your part — the left has to astroturf everything, so they can’t even imagine that a movement might come up that wasn’t.”

    Oh absolutely! Just ask the Koch brothers…

  51. michael reynolds says:

    What a shock to discover that Jay “Tea” has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. Him and every other Tea Partier. This is the most fraudulent, full of sh*t bunch of loudmouths I’ve ever seen in American politics. (And damn, there’s some competition in that category.)

    So now the Republican Party has an extra wing. It used to be the big three: Money, Bombs and Jesus wings. Now its Money, Bombs, Jesus and Imbeciles.

  52. anjin-san says:

    Jay and bit are pretty much cut from the same cloth. Jump to a conclusion, and then build build a rickety structure of what passes for logic and facts in their universe for it to rest upon. Disprove one of the “facts” or the alleged logic and they simply insert something else. They end up like the little Dutch boy, desperately trying to plug all the holes as their argument springs leaks.

    When they can’t, they simply declare victory, pat themselves on the back for being clever boys, and move on to another thread where the party starts all over.

  53. superdestroyer says:

    Michael,

    If you are going to insult Tea Party types, please tell us how you would raise $1 trillion in taxes to fund the nanny state. Or explain how you would sustain 6% annual growth rates to raise the income while maintaining open borders, unlimited immigration, and failing schools.

    If high taxes lead to balanced budgets, then New Jersey, California, and New York would not be having fiscal problems.

  54. Rock says:

    A while back I read somewhere that if the government confiscated all the wealth of the rich or super rich that it would only fund the government for a few days. How will higher taxes solve anything?

    I think that in Economics 101 we were taught that you should never borrow more money than you can possibly pay back. If you do then sooner or later debtor’s prison awaits.

  55. sam says:

    “How will higher taxes solve anything?”

    You will admit, I think, that launching two wars and cutting taxes might not have been the wisest thing to do, no?

  56. michael reynolds says:

    Superduper:

    I’m not proposing either of those things. I’m proposing means-testing medicare, raising retirement ages, raising the contribution limit on SS, reforming government pensions and cutting the defense budget.

    But that’s because I feel the need to remain in contact with reality, unlike Tea Party Jay there who can talk bullshit about the Department of Education and think it means anything.

  57. Rock says:

    Yes, Sam, it was stupid for Al-Qaeda to bomb our buildings and kill our people with purloined aircraft. That act more or less forced us to bomb their buildings, kill their people and shoot their goats with our aircraft. Instead of raising taxes to pay for the war, Congress borrowed the money from China . . . and others, violating Economics 101. But even if congress had raised taxes, most of it would have been spent on things other than Defense.

  58. If the Tea Party movement is going to have any impact on American politics in the years to come, it’s going to have to grow up and learn that sometimes you have to take a 50% victory and all it a day.

    That’s funny, because if Democrats had compromised at all there would probably be a veto proof Obamacare firmly entrenched as law right now.

  59. michael reynolds says:

    Superduper:

    A budget shortfall as high as $25 billion is projected as lawmakers head into the 2011 legislative session, according to estimates from economists and the comptroller’s office. Texas writes budgets biennially, or in two-year terms, so the shortfall affects the 2012-2013 state budget.

    I guess low taxes aren’t magic, either.

  60. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***I’m proposing means-testing medicare, raising retirement ages, raising the contribution limit on SS, reforming government pensions and cutting the defense budget.***

    lol… **** a government pension, who the **** gets a pension lol…

    raise the contribution limit on SS? that’s ******* brilliant, how about we find and put back the money that’s been completely stolen out of it first?????

    How about we means test the retirement age of lazyass govement workers and teachers. lol means test…..

    lol cut the Defense budget, also ******* brilliant. We should quadruple that $hit, defend ourselves properly and pay and take care of the people who protect us!!!! The function of the ******* US government.

    C’mon Harry!!!!!!

  61. wr says:

    Rock — Econ 101 in an introductory class, in which students who have absolutely no understanding of the subject are first exposed to the basic concepts. Since it is only an introductory class, it cannot tackle the complexities of, say, funding and running a government. Unfortunately Tea Partiers who napped through the course and bought the lecture notes feel they have a complete grasp on economics, and therefore don’t need to listen to those who have spent their lives studying it.

    All this to say, when you constantly refer to what you learned in Econ 101, it doesn’t make you sound smart. It makes you sound like an idiot frat boy who got a B on his first quiz and thinks he should run the Fed.

    Next up — “I took Russian 101, so I get to negotiate the next arms treaty!”

  62. sam says:

    Rock says:
    Monday, January 3, 2011 at 10:25

    How is that in any way responsive to the question I raised?

  63. Ben Wolf says:

    Phillips,

    So you want us to increase the defense budget to $4 trillion per year? Outspending the other 194 countries isn’t enough for you, now you want to outspend the galaxy?

  64. Rock says:

    Sam, I answered your question. I admitted that Al-Qaeda wasn’t wise was to launch a war against us. However, it is always wise to cut taxes. Didn’t president Obama just sign a new tax cut bill into law?

    Wr,you are right of course. Obviously most of congress failed their Econ classes too. But they got a D – !

  65. An Interested Party says:

    “I think that in Economics 101 we were taught that you should never borrow more money than you can possibly pay back.”

    Where you also taught that to balance budgets, taxes have to be raised as well as cutting spending? Many of your ilk seem to not know this…

    “Yes, Sam, it was stupid for Al-Qaeda to bomb our buildings and kill our people with purloined aircraft.”

    Indeed! A pity we invaded and occupied a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11…

    “That’s funny, because if Democrats had compromised at all there would probably be a veto proof Obamacare firmly entrenched as law right now.”

    Umm, except for the fact that they did…maybe you heard of that thing called the Public Option? It was in all the papers…oh, and for the most part, HCR is already veto proof…

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  67. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***So you want us to increase the defense budget to $4 trillion per year? Outspending the other 194 countries isn’t enough for you, now you want to outspend the galaxy?*** yup:)

  68. Ben Wolf says:

    And you’re willing to pay greater taxes to support it?