After looking at what the Tea Party says it stands for, how can I not join? Let’s look at what the Tea Party Patriots’ website calls its core values.
- “Washington’s out of control spending has led to over 17 trillion in national debt. It is only fair and right to pay the debt we have incurred so our children and grandchildren are not stuck with our bills.”
Can’t argue with reducing the debt. And where is the money is going? It’s all those damn red states wallowing at the taxpayer trough, getting so much more of the federal government’s tax dollars than they pay in.
Like South Carolina, which got a whopping $7.87 for every dollar they sent to Washington. That makes it the worst of the worst, doesn’t it? North Dakota got $5.31 back for every dollar they sent to Washington. Louisiana $3.35, Alabama $3.28. That doesn’t seem fair, does it? Let’s turn off that tap. No more sucking the federal teat.
Compare that to the states that are a bargain for taxpayers: Delaware got only half its money back, 50 cents for every dollar sent to Washington. Illinois got 56 cents. New York, 79 cents. Seems to me those are the states that ought to be complaining the loudest about “Washington’s out of control spending.”
And eliminating “the debt we have incurred” is certainly a worthy goal. I know that Congress has seen fit to authorize and spend money, meaning we have incurred that debt. But let’s stop raising the debt ceiling, even though we have legitimately incurred the debt; we just can’t pay those debts. Of course, without money the government just shuts down. Isn’t that a good thing?
- “Our country’s tax code is unfair, punitive and out of control. The complicated web of loopholes and deductions hinders opportunity for Americans to save for college, retirement or other important quality of life concerns. Simply put, we want hard working Americans to keep more of the money they earn. When given the choice between paying higher taxes and receiving fewer government services, a vast number of Americans chose receiving fewer government services.”
Cut unfair taxes. Darn right. And get rid of loopholes, like the oil companies get. Last year the big five oil companies got $2.4 billion worth of tax breaks on profits of $93 billion. Putting that in perspective, our deficit was $680 billion last year, 37 percent improvement over the previous year. But if the oil companies had paid their fair share it would have reduced our deficit even more, certainly helping Americans save for the future.
And speaking of reducing the deficit, I’m sure the Tea Party must favor Barack Obama because he cut it more than any other president in my lifetime.
But even so, all taxes are unfair when we Tea Partiers agree we’d settle for less government service than pay more in taxes. Like those people in Atlanta last year who didn’t want government services until they got snowed in. Two inches of snow, 18 hours of gridlock. Babies born in trapped cars. The whole nine yards, as they would say in Atlanta. And, of course, Katrina in New Orleans or the whole east coast during Super Storm Sandy. Or all those firefighters as global warming turns our forests aflame? (Maybe we better hold off on that one for a while – at least until we know whether climate change is just a hoax as so many of us believe.)
- “Washington is too big, too powerful and too intrusive in our lives. … Americans from all political persuasions believe that security from threats, foreign and domestic, is not a valid reason for giving up their basic rights – like the right to privacy.”
Government intrusion in our lives – again, we’ve got to stop that. Whose business is it, anyway, if a woman wants an abortion? Let’s stop all those transvaginal ultrasounds. Sticking a foreign object in – oh, never mind. Gotta get rid of these intrusive steps by government.
And that leads us to the biggie: Health care.
- “Health care freedom means we can choose our own doctor and health insurance plans, without penalty from government if we do not choose unneeded options. We are capable of making our own choices when it comes to utilizing our hard-earned money to protect and care for our families and ourselves.”
We love it when only the insurance companies can push us around, telling us which doctors are covered in our plans. And if we choose not to have insurance, that’s our business. If we get sick we can always go to an emergency room. Why should the government have to get involved?
Yeah, Tea Party, here I come.
Focusing just on one of the Tea Party’s (or anyone’s) concerns – Taxes and Spending
Backwards and Forwards Linkage
With our country’s giant databases and computer simulations, Congress should be able to map the links between each item on a proposed spending bill, the amount each would cost and a list of possible funding sources. Then the various members of the House and Senate would have to vote both on whether or not to fund each item and which funding source to utilize for that item. No link, no passage of the line item.
Likewise, if services are to be cut, show and vote on the links between the reduced spending and a decreased funding source.
Prior to each election a simulation could show the money saved or spent by each candidate’s vote and how it affected their constituents. Given the power of the NSA, voters would be able to see how much their representative cost or saved them specifically. And how much they saved for the oligarchs or paid out to the welfare cheats.