Monday, April 19, 2010

The Tea Party Movement - Is it for Real?

I have been casually following the Tea Party Movement through news media reports. After all the Movement has a very enticing dream - less taxes and less government. How can anyone argue against those very desirous goals? Nevertheless there is a very troubling backdrop, exactly how are they going to achieve those objectives? I have yet to see any newspaper articles discussing what taxes they would reduce, what government programs they would cut, and how they propose to balance the budget.

One would think that developing a hypothetical Federal budget budget based on their principles would be high on the agenda for convincing people to join their movement. Surprisingly, the webpage purporting to be the official website of the Tea Party Movement is user unfriendly. You have to log in to read their content. So exactly how am I supposed to learn about their movement? (Yes, it is trivial to create a login account, but that is not the point. If you want to sell somebody something you have to make it as easy as possible for them to see what they are buying.)

While thinking about whether to post or not, I ran across the cartoon below on Against Monopoly. I realize that being a Libertarian does not mean that you would necessarily be a member of the Tea Party Movement or that being a member of the Tea Party Movement makes you a Libertarian. Nevertheless, the cartoon humorously makes a very succinct point, if you want small government and less taxes, you need to be committed to that course of action. One way of making that commitment is for the Tea Party Movement to provide a hypothetical Federal Budget.Getting a bit deeper into the commitement issue, the Washington Post wrote the following article: "For tea party, midterms present a choice between ideals, pragmatism". In that article, Amy Gardner discusses Stephen Fincher, a Tea Party Movement activist. The concern with Fincher according to Gardener is that "Fincher accepts roughly $200,000 in farm subsidies each year." Grardener notes Fincher's response as: "But Fincher said that without that money, his farm would have shut down years ago." This is supposed to be a capatalistic country and if you can't make it you go out of business. Based on the facts presented by the Post, Fincher is being a hypocritical. He wants less taxation and smaller government, yet he is willing to accept your tax dollars (in the form of welfare) from the big bloated government he seeks to streamline. Like the person (in the graphic above) standing in front of the burning house Fincher should be saying "No Thanks".

If the Tea Party Movement wants to be considered real, they need to publish a hypothetical Federal budget and obtain leaders who would actually commit to less taxation and smaller government.

1 comment:

Sonya said...

I'm all for less taxation and smaller government, but right now I would love to get my hands on an EBT card... (food stamps)
I wonder how many urban/micro-farmers are involved with the Tea Party? It seems like the general spirit of each is similar. Self sufficiency and self determination.