———— The TRIP to NOWHERE ———— on the TEA PARTY EXPRESS

The Tea Party Movement is neither a political party nor a political movement.  It is essentially a political tool of the Republican Party to run a series of anti-Administration trial balloons to judge each balloon’s political viability.

To-date,  the Tea Party has existed to promote events that have been exclusively, or some combination of:

1)  Anti-TARP

2) Anti-Tax

3) Anti Health Care Reform

                 or, flag-waving, quasi-patriotic celebrations, such as:

4)  July 4th events

5)  Tax Day events

6)  9/11 commemorative events

Protesting and waving flags seem to be the common denominator.  Screaming and outrageous signage is popular, too.

What is quite interesting is that prominent Republican, Sarah Palin, has jumped on the Tea Party Express.  One cannot help but wonder why.  I suspect that it is for one of two reasons.

 The first reason is that she continues to be shunted aside by the formal Republican establishment powers-that-be and is getting a little commupance.   I am quite certain that she is bitter about her treatment.  She has, of course, loudly complained of her rough handling by the Republican Presidential team during the 2008 election.    Quite to the chagrin of the Republican establishment, she continues to maintain considerable popularity among people of similar sentiment in spite of her bumbling, missteps, and lack of perceived political gravitas.  She, like most of the Tea Party people, feels that she has a score to settle with the establishment – Democrats, Republicans, and the corporate media alike.  This battle will probably not fare well.

The second reason, slightly at-odds with the first,  is that Palin wants to rehabilitate herself with the Republican Party by demonstrating that she can be out there in the midst of large groups of unhappy people and convert them to her cause and, thereby, the Republican Party.  In this way, by assisting the Republicans, she can be in-line for some sort of influential position somewhere down road.

I suspect that the Democrats are hoping that the Tea Party matures somewhat and develops its own identity.  If it does develop some sort of mature structure, one of two things will inevitably happen:  either the Party will disintegrate or be absorbed in some fashion by the Republicans.   The history of third parties and third-party movements in the United States has not been a good one.  The two-party system is so deeply politically and financially entrenched in American culture that it would take an unforeseen, almost cataclysmic, event to enable a third-party to take permanent hold.  And if that highly unlikely event or series of events would happen to occur, a more likely result would be the replacement of one party for another – a sort of dramatic substitution, rather than an addition.  A very nice history along with a wonderful little chart showing the disposition of third parties in the United States elaborates on this quite well at:


At this point, the best case scenario for Democrats is that by the time of the 2012 elections the Tea Party will have matured; and, that it and Sarah Palin do for the Republican Presidential candidate  what Ralph Nader and the Reform party did to Al Gore in 2000.

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70 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Where do you get your information? Or is it opinion?

  2. Thank you for your questions. My whole understanding of blogs and the blogosphere is that the medium is intended to be opinion. In accordance with that understanding, my articles/stories are just that – opinion.

    As to information sources, I have read extensively throughout my entire life and consider myself thoughtful and well-informed. I make no attempt at reporting news or new information but, instead, try to incorporate what I have assimilated into my own perspective.

    Hope that helps answer your questions.

  3. “On April 16, 2010 at 9:22 pm dirtyjerzangel Said:
    Where do you get your information? Or is it opinion?”

    Wow. Really? Just…wow.

    Well done Mr Funk.

  4. Well, thank you. But it is Professor Funk, not Mr. Funk. This is a university, you understand.

    • and you’ve been in a funk your whole life.

      • As an advocate of academia, I have noticed that those who pretentiously seek to be called by the title of Professor or Doctor tend to lack the indepth observational skills to properly percieve things objectively. In other words you are too centered to observed from outside the boxes which you have defined life. You bring up allusions that could be supported by historical context without properly noting the other potential end results in a two party system. This decries a stance of unwillingness to look at any option other than failure on the part of the Tea Party Movement. Dissolution or absorbtion are historically not the only options. Sometimes a 3rd party has become a dominant player and dissolved other factions. Though it becomes apparent that you are a liberal mindset person who is convinced of their superior powers of reasoning derived from academia, but you fail to integrate real life criteria and historical basis in a non-biased manner. I hope you can correct this when professing in the future. I would hate to see such slanted dogma accepted by any free thinking individual.

        Good Luck.

  5. The Tea Party is a flanker brand for the Republican Party.

    • Thanks for you comment. I couldn’t agree more.

  6. As a non-American, I’m struck by the fact that the people in the pictures I see of anti-tax and Tea Party rallies, seem almost all to be “white”.

    Is it that there is something in the “white” gene pool that makes “whites” allergic to tax?

    • I’m not sure about the gene pool aspect of it, but I believe that being wealthy has a great deal to do with it.

      Thanks for your comment and question.

      • I couldn’t disagree more. The Tea Party’s genesis is being fed up with taxes, nothing more.

        Being a productive person, not a wealthy person, has everything to do with it.

        According to recent polls, the average Tea Partier income is certainly not in the “wealthy” category.

        My hispanic husband and many of his family members couldn’t be more excited, along with me, about the push the Tea Party will give the Republicans towards fiscal responsibility. The Tea Party will help clean house.

        It has everything to do with keeping our politicians accountable to the entitlements, pork and unbalanced budgets instead of raising taxes without restraint.

      • Professor Funk,

        Here is a link that gives some interesting statistics on the tea party “movement”.


    • The reason why you see pictures of mainly white people is because the United States is predominantly white, if you don’t already know that. There are other races involved, it’s just that there aren’t as many in America to begin with. Maybe you’re looking at pictures from the north too. Try looking up pictures of tea parties in the southern states. Don’t be so quick to jump to conclusions.

  7. Nicely written, Professor Funk. I have been telling my friends for some time now that the best thing for Democrats in 2012 is the Tea Party Express. In fact tne very best thing would be for Sarah Palin to get the Republican nomination, which is possible given that it is the extreme end of both parties that tend to vote in primaries. The way I see it they will build momentum over the next two years. Then on election day mainstream republicans will stay home, having no one to vote for, conservatives will vote for Sarah, moderates and independents will lean democrat, and democrats will come out in droves to vote against Palin. Final analysis: Palin hands Obama a second term on a silver platter.

    What say you, Professor?

    • Thank you for your comments.

      As to Sarah Palin receiving the Republican nomination, I find that highly unlikely. The mainstream Republicans don’t want to have anything to do with her. Their problem is that they don’t quite know what to do about her popularity.

      I believe that Obama will be re-elected, and I think that Palin will cost the Republicans the election again. I believe that she will be a wildcard Perot or Nader spoiler. She’s that stupid.

  8. Unfortunately I disagree. I think that she has the potential of doing what Nader did but they are smart enough to figure that out. That is why you will see Repubs dropping out to let the Conservatives or Tea Party candidates run against the Dems either as Repubs or not; to prevent the Nader effect.

    But I do like your thinking.

    • But the President will still be re-elected. Who could really win?

      Romney is out. Palin would be a disater. McCain is a no-no. I could see Huckabee doing ok. Cheney would be my dream come true.

      • The ideal 2012 Republican Presidential candidate needs to be someone with very broad popular appeal. Quite possibly that candidate is out there, but has not yet had that perfectly opportune time to make the big plunge and hopefully, splash. There is still plenty of time. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out.

  9. Nicely written.

    @ dirtyjerzangel: If you need to ask a blogger whether his article is opinion or not, then you are putting yourself at an intellectual disadvantage before you even start!

    The observation about the Tea Party’s members being primarily white middle class folks that have been duped into being the mouthpiece for the GOP is spot-on!

    Keep up the good words!

  10. Thank you for your gracious comments. I greatly appreciate them.

  11. Thank you Comrade Funk for your insightful and well thought out piece. You and your great President are doing much to further the Peoples Republic of America. Down with capitalist tyrants!

    • Look, the Tea Party is what it is. Maybe, some people want it to be more than it is, but both the capitalist tyrants and the PRA, to which you refer, have effectively rigged the system for the two-party kind. Neither bunch wants a third bunch.

  12. You are overthinking this.

    If the tea parties are engaged in “class” warfare, it is the productive (tax paying) class verses the government’s hand over fist expansion of things that will need to be paid for by….the productive class.

    Surveys show our incomes are higher than average, but that means we work harder than average.

    As a working mother, my income was subject to the higher and highest tax brackets. That meant I paid over 50% in taxes on every $$ I earned, when they are all added up.

    To hire a babysitter at a somewhat living wage, say $24k, I had to earn $40k (nannies are not tax deductible). Due to my tax bracket, I can only keep half of what I earn after $40k. This means I could only keep a whopping total $25k or so of the first $100k I earned ($30 = half of the remaining $60k, minus commute, lunches, wardrobe). In this country, one still has to work pretty doggone hard to earn $100k.

    After carrying that kind of tax burden for over 10 years, now I don’t need a nanny anymore. But wait, the government is spending our future with outrageously brazen indifference to the increased tax burden and consequences to the productive class. The prospects of taking home a fair share of my earnings is evaporating before my very eyes.

    I’m exhausted of working so hard for such little return.

    And that’s why I support the tea party’s efforts and the movement itself.

    • First, thanks for your comments. I do agree with you that the United States is headed for a big showdown on tax policy. I don’t believe that the answer is anti-tax, however. I believe that the problem, since the early 1980’s (read Ronald Reagan) has been the flattening of progressive tax rates. If we move to a more graduated system as was the case in the roaring 1950’s thorugh the 1970’s, we would regain the middle class that made our country so strong for so long. Right now, under our current tax system, the middle class is just being eviscerated. Your case is as good an example as any.

      When Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, the richest 2 guys in Ameerica say that the graduated tax system needs to be changed (i.e. that the rich are paying way too little tax), the media needs to take note. They don’t though. They just ignore it. It’s incredble.

      • You have a great board. It’s great to have cordial responses in disagreement.

        Right now our tax structure is rigged against women working. I’m disappointed women’s rights groups haven’t made more noise about this.

        If we unflatten the tax structure, then each earner should start from $0 in their own tax brackets – we all have the same worth – don’t take more of my wages than my husband’s.

        Secondly, steepen the curve at a reasonable point…say after $200k per earner. This allows our middle class to not be taxed out of any wealth they could hope to accumulate. The $250k per family only takes even more from women, since their earnings are usually the ones pushing the family income over $250k.

        Thirdly, fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets. Fix the vast spending on special interests, entitlements and pork. Our politicians have our treasury at their personal disposal to perpetually re-elect themselves.

        Fourthly -> (oversimplifying to keep it short), fix our education system (it’s so political and many parents need mentoring) and fund every low income American citizen’s BA or BS who wants one (using work study as part of the pkg).

        A great education and a fair tax structure will give every American a head start in life (vs. a hand out).

        But the government doesn’t want to fix entitlements, pork and special interests >>> they’d rather just keep raising my taxes. That’s why I love the Tea Party. I feel it’s the only hope to move the Republicans where they need to be. Sorry for the long post!

      • Professor I really like your thinking and this blog. It’s the first blog I’ve been on that everyone gives an intellectual response to what is being said. Keep up the good work. You’re saying much of what I’ve been saying for awhile now. We as American’s need to look at the broad picture and keep it real and realistic. Thank you.

    • The highest tax bracket doesn’t pay 50% of their income to taxes…and working mothers don’t either…what I don’t understand is for the last 10 years you’ve been working hard and not seeing the fruits of your labor…and that is why you support the Tea party movement?….well, why is that? when the majority of this burden was during the Gop administration(with a GOP Congress)?…Now, your fed up (with good reason)…and you are going to support the folks that initially put you in that situation?Because, we all know that the tea party is an extension of the GOP…

  13. One clarification to my comment above:

    I want the tea party to work with the Republican party, not to become a 3rd party. A 3rd party formation would be a death knell to fiscal responsibility and open the gate wider to the Democratic spending shenanigans.

    • furthermore–regarding “democratic spending shenanigans”…on 1/19/09 our National Debt was 10.7 trillion dollars…of that , 9.4 was contributed during reagan and the Bushes….so I think you meant Republican spending shenanigans

  14. The out-of control spending to which to refer is, sadly, a characteristic of both parities. It just depends who your friends and supporters are as to who gets the money.

    There will inevitably be fierce infighting for control and power within the Tea Party as it develops. Huge schisms and rifts will occur over time as real policy issues are discussed. Currently, the Tea Party is not politically driven, just driven in an anti-political way.

    • Great comment – many Republicans have sadly disappointed me with participation in pork and lack of fervency in their fiscal responsibilities.

      I hope the Tea Party will give the Republican party a firm kick in the correct direction…and hold Republicans more accountable to fiscal responsibility.

      I think the Tea Partiers know that a third party formation would be a death knell for their cause, so their most effective direction is to push the Republican party in their direction (vs forming a third party). And the Republicans know they need the Tea Party votes, so I hope they behave accordingly.

  15. Oh, and just one short note about all your tax and income numbers: horse hockey. I’m sorry to call you out like this, but a single-income filer with dependents making $40k can’t possibly have a tax burden anywhere near that high.

    Here’s a nice chart of the overall burden among income quintiles: http://www.truthandpolitics.org/fed-tax-burden-cbo.php

    Not even the top 1% of earners pay anywhere near half their income in taxes. You’re probably below 20% at that income level. And before you start, no, state and local taxes don’t come close to making up the difference.

    Thanks for trying.

    • Wowjustwow: you didn’t understand my post.

      I’m a working mother (second earner). ALL my income is taxed in the high brackets because my husband works also.

      For the first 100k I make, $40k went to the nanny ($24k for her, the rest to taxes and she is not tax deductible). After that, of the remaining $60k, I only get to keep about 1/2 due to my tax bracket. That’s how I can make $100k and come home with $25k.

      • Your nanny is not a tax..it’s a privelage..actually it’s a luxury for people that earn pretty much more than 100k, unless you’re from Mejico, donde todos tienen una criada, y son parte de la familia…

    • Wow, federal tax rates are only a part of the math.

      There is also social security, medicare and state income taxes. If you file with a 1099 (consultant), as I did for many years, there is yet an additional 7.5% self employment tax.

      If you factor property taxes, sales taxes, and governmental “fees”, studies show that much more than 50% is given up to the government if you are working class like me. To me, working class means your paycheck supports the bills and the family vs. is being used to build wealth.

      • I disagree with your definition of working class here; by your definition, everyone who has bills that they pay for out of their paycheck is “working class”.

        You claim you are working class because your paycheck “supports” the bills, but you’ve already said that your husband earns much more than you. So what does your family do with his paycheck?

        On one hand you complain because your husband makes so much money that all of your income is subject to the highest tax bracket, but then you turn around and call yourself “working class” and act like your income is your family’s sole means of support. It can’t be both.

        I’m a single mother with 2 kids (their father passed away). I work 50-60 hours a week as a manager and I gross around $50K annually. After I pay taxes, a small monthly charitable contribution, medical insurance, daycare, the mortgage on my (very modest) home, gas & electric, phone bill, car insurance and groceries, I have almost nothing left over. I spend the last few days of each month hoping I have enough gas to last until pay day. I buy my clothes at the Salvation Army. My family eats meat maybe 3 times a month (ground beef or chicken). My children have never been on a vacation.

        If I were to lose my job tomorrow I would be in foreclosure within 6 months, and my gas and electric would be turned off well before that.

        I am solidly working class.

        I am also extremely thankful that I make as much as I do, and I am grateful for the opportunities I have had. A lot of people in my situation are not nearly as well off as I am.

        I’d strongly recommend taking a moment to appreciate the things that you do have, instead of worrying about the things you don’t have, or complaining because you feel you should be entitled to more. Life is very short, and it’s so much more fulfilling when you can be happy.

  16. Dear Wow: First, you may feel free to call me out on anything you want. That’s one reason I bother to write some of this stuff.

    I assume that you are referring to the quote that Warren Buffett made (in another story I wrote) that his secretary pays taxes at a rate less than he does. I wasn’t sure I believed it either when I first heard him utter it on the Charlie Rose show. However, I did some follow-up and discovered that he was correct. Warren Buffett paid income taxes at a 17% rate. The vast majority of his income is derived from long-term capital gains, which are taxed at a maximum rate of 15% and, of course, are not included in the Social Security or Medicare tax base. I would assume that his secretary, while not an earning superstar, probably made more in Omaha than your average bear – maybe $ 75,000 or so. No matter, her average income tax rate (not her marginal one, which was probably 25% or more), was at least equal to her Boss’s. Plus, 100% of her salaray would have been subject to a flat tax of 7.65%. So, it is almost a virtual certainty (Warren Buffett is certain and he should know the exact numbers as her boss) that his secretary’s overall tax rate, when social security and medicare taxes are included is higher (probably much higher) than his.

    It’s just arithmetic, wowjustwow!

    • Hi Prof Funk – I think wowjustwow was discussing Mathilda’s post, not yours. I agree with wowjustwow, it seems to me that Mathilda is trying to portray herself as “working class” when she is not. It’s obvious that she is so much better off than the babysitter/nanny whom I would consider to be working class unlike Mathilda, despite her attempts to define herself as working class.

      I was bothered by Mathilda’s assertion that higher incomes are equivalent to working harder. Does that mean that her babysitter/nanny doesn’t work hard? How about janitors and maids? Do they work any less harder than the Goldman Sachs bankers? This language is just an attack on people who make less or pay less in taxes than the Mathildas of the world. And despite her denials, this is class warfare. It is the “productive class” ( I always see this language in the tea partier’s rhetoric ) attacking the less fortunate in this society.

      I would be curious to know if Mathilda was a recipient of Obama’s tax cuts. If not, I would say that she is definitely NOT part of the working class.

      • Do you notice that the end result of a woman making $100k is that she takes home only $1k more than the nanny?

        How is that not working class?

        Secondly, my comment about working hard to earn $100k did not say that if you make less than $100k you’re not working hard. I only pointed out that it takes a LOT of hustling to earn $100k as a consultant – impossible on 8 hour days, at least with the consulting work I was doing.

        Because I have an incentive based business structure (the more I work, the more I earn) I certainly do equate working harder to earning more and paying more taxes. Those who chose to be on a salary work harder and don’t get paid more. I didn’t say my scenario was the ONLY scenario, it’s just my scenario.

        Please clarify how stating the facts in my life is an attack on anyone else’s?

        Both my nanny AND I worked very hard. I worked more hours than she did by far (worked many evenings and hours after the kids had been put to bed including a substantial number of “all nighters”) but we both had about the same take home result. If anything, that is class warfare against me, the higher gross earner, not against my nanny.

        Please clarify how you see this as “fair”.

        One of my points is how unfair this is against working women. As the second earner in our homes, much more of our pay is seized for taxes than our husband’s pay.

        Your whole poste reeks of oversensitivity, to the point of drawing many conclusions that were not stated or implied.

  17. Those of you talking about taxation must accept that your “story” and numbers derive from your choice to play ball. You got regular jobs; you probably accepted the various things attached to those: you get some kind of pension, medical insurance, pay SS, etc. I.e., you bought into the social reality that was proposed to you. The point is, you didn’t have to but you chose the hypothetical “security” instead of freelancing it and, as it were, “staying off the books.” It was evidently your choice. Live with it. There was another option, and you didn’t take it.

    • I chose to report my income because the other choice is jail when the IRS catches up to you.

      What other option are you speaking of?

      If you freelance it for enough money to support your family, the payer will fill a 1099 on you, and the IRS will be looking for your return.

  18. A very good review of the Tea Party movement. You omitted one very important reason for Sarah Palin getting involved in this movement. That is money. I think she has gotten a taste of big money and will do or say anything to keep it coming her way

    • Money, fame, attention – she’s getting it all, or so she thinks. What is missing, of course, is wisdom.

  19. Aloha Professor!

    I’ve read your article, but I’d like to give you an inside perspective. Being and intelligent and well informed individual, I would expect that you’ve heard an illustration of a false perception of cause an effect. The one my philosophy professor told me involved an alien from another planet, with no knowledge of our culture, observing people buying gifts throughout November and concluding that excessive gift buying causes Christmas.

    I share this because the Tea Party movement was not an idea generated by the Republican party as a sort of GOP Labs (Beta). It is the continuation of the Ron Paul campaign which itself was a reaction when the Bush administration forced many Republicans to rethink their political ideology. Many came to realize that they shared more with libertarians than the mainstream GOP. Unfortunately, the Libertarian Party is typically too absolute to be electable. The Ron Paul Campaign => Campaign For Liberty => Tea Party was essentially formed by disenfranchised Republicans who found leaders in the dusty Barry Goldwater corner of the party.

    It was not a deliberate move by the GOP, but rather a perfect storm that allowed 1000’s to unite to try to change the GOP’s course from the frightening Bush-era policies. Now, the injection of Sarah Palin, looks like a move by the GOP to try to regain control. Most of us who were around in the philosophical stages think she’s just as much of an idiot as the rest of this country does. I’m just sad to see something rooted in sound economics and classic liberal political philosophy get destroyed.

    As for your observation about the types of rallies that are held, it is because the things you listed are of the greatest concern at the moment. Honestly, most of us would love to live in a world where everyone had health care, jobs were plentiful, and businesses never failed. We just recognize that we live in a world of finite resources and we’d rather let the market decide than the government. Money, like justice, is blind. It may not seem fair to those who have not earned as much as others but I would rather have the ability to earn what I need by my own merits than to leave it to the discretion of a corruptible political establishment. Our positions on most issues, while extreme at first glance, are extensions of a very simple core philosophy. If you want to understand more, I urge you to google “Philosophy of Liberty” and watch the YouTube video. It explains some of the core and was created by a libertarian econ professor at my school.

    • I would agree with your comment that the Republican Party most likely did not create the Tea Party as a Beta. I hope that I did not infer that in my article. I did, however, state that the Republican Party is now using the Tea Party as a sort of test model for various schemes to float. You used the term ‘beta,” and I would not hesitate to use that term in describing what is currently occuring.

      I am not sure what to make of the various statements you make in your final paragraph. I think that you are restating in your own terms what you believe is the core libertarian philosophy to which you ascribe in some form or other. As to your specific statement that, “As for your observation about the types of rallies that are held, it is because the things you listed are of the greatest concern at the moment,” I ask if you have considered whether your statement is a falso illustration of cause and effect?

  20. Mathilda complains because she’s making $100,000 but taking home only $1,000 more than the nanny. No one has pointed out that she’s including the $40K she pays the nanny as one of the deductions from her overall pay.

    Paying a nanny $40K is entirely a choice. Mathilda chose to have children, and she chooses to spend $40K a year on a nanny for her children. (I’m a working single mother, and I can tell you I have never paid anywhere close to $40K a year for my children to attend daycare.)

    Sorry Mathilda, you can’t blame the government because you made the choice to have children and then hire a nanny for $40K a year. That’s all on you.

    • I only paid the nanny $24k, but I had to earn $40k (pretax) to pay her $24k in after tax dollars.

      My other option was to keep more of my $100k and pay the nanny a poverty wage so she can be on public assistance while she works all day, too. I preferred to pay a fair wage if I could.

      It worked out to be almost a 50/50 split of $100k.

      This is not a complaint; it’s simply stating a fact.

      • I would like to state a fact: If you wanted people to come around to your way of thinking then you should have left out any and all costs bore by childcare – it’s out of place in the discussion. You are not special because you have kids, I have them too as do many others (they are a blessing no doubt, nothing to complain about).

        To be completely frank, it’s none of my business (or the gov’t for that matter) whether you choose to have children or not, and certainly not whether you choose to have someone else raise them. Besides, the gov’t does actually give you a childcare deduction!

        Either way, if you earned $100,000, congratulations to you and your family – you’re doing fairly well and don’t have to worry about what you will eat tonight or where you’ll stay.

        The simple facts about your tax burden:

        If you filed head of household then you were in the 25% bracket. IF you were married then you were in the 28% bracket. You did not let us know what you did to earn that money however, but depending on what you do, many of us know that it’s very possible to actually earn quite a bit more than that to actually show $100,000 on paper (as your Warren Buffet ex exhibits). And if you own a business, then it’s possible you bought a company vehicle or deduct gas mileage which take away from your earnings (many people “cheat” on that). And say you own some rental property, it’s easy to legally show a loss on paper when one was not incurred – which you guessed it – lowers the amount your are taxed. There are many loopholes, if you are showing $100,000 earnings on paper I’m having a hard time understanding what you have to complain about.

        >I only paid the nanny $24k, but I had to >earn $40k (pretax) to pay her $24k in >after tax dollars.
        >My other option was to keep more of my >$100k and pay the nanny a poverty wage so >she can be on public assistance while she >works all day, too. I preferred to pay a >fair wage if I could.

        It worked out to be almost a 50/50 split of $100k.

        This is not a complaint; it’s simply stating a fact.

  21. Funk – you are an assclown and this is why.

    Tea Party “movement” is nothing more than a reaction to the reckless accumulation of debt and unfunded obligations, which equates to a direct attack on America’s middle class via direct and indirect (inflation) taxes. There are tangent issues, that debt and deficits are the core. From time to time, your small mind is fed lines from your circle of friends at Huff Po that paint the Tea Party as gun totting, anti-abortion, war mongering, inbreeds that may as well be drooling zombies waiting for Glenn Beck to tell them what to do. To you the Tea Party is Sarah Palin followers and nothing else.

    But if you look deeper, you’ll see the real meat and potatoes of the movement – independents that lean libertarian and are fiscally conservative and socially liberal. We are above average in terms of education and income, and in the past we left the realm of politics to banana heads like you, Beck, Huffington, Obermann, and O’Reilly. Not anymore. We are scared to death about the direction of this country. Our balance sheet is an unmitigated disaster and we are reliant of vendor financing from China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia. While we have let you and the most selfish generation in the history of the world (the boomers) have your welfare state experiment for the last 40 years, we know it needs to end before we America goes the way of Greece (if we are lucky). The Neocon war monkeys like Cheney, Kristol and Frum deserve a heaping portion of blame too for bogging us down in two expensive and unconstitutional wars, so the “right” is to blame as well.

    In short – we want results, we are funding candidates (particularly Rand Paul) that will give us results and we will get it. I am the tea party. I am an over educated and well paid 30 something with a dislike for both political parties and no time to waste with the ladder thinkers in the mainstream. I am giving my money and time to support a new movement (tangent to the “Tea Party” but often mistaken for it) and I’m here to tell you we are fired up and grounded in the realities of today and what will be tomorrow (a nightmare) with everything we do. I think a little protest music is appropriate – don’t you? Good luck.

    “Come writers and critics
    Who prophesize with your pen
    And keep your eyes wide
    The chance won’t come again
    And don’t speak too soon
    For the wheel’s still in spin
    And there’s no tellin’ who
    That it’s namin’.
    For the loser now
    Will be later to win
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don’t stand in the doorway
    Don’t block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There’s a battle outside ragin’.
    It’ll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin’.”

    • First, thank you for your comments – I always like Dylan lyrics. As to the remainder of your rambling, I guess the best that I can do is to characterize it as as somewhat vituperative. You do a fairly good job of making my point that the Tea Party is little more than a rant. No matter, the Tea baggers will have some vociferous days and then end with a whimper.

      By the way, have you heard from Ross Perot or Ralph Nader lately? Now, if you had a candidate like Pat Paulson, you might get me interested. Oh, wait, you do – you just don’t realize it yet.

    • if you dislike both parties?, how can you like the tea party..or its real name the JV Republican Party?

  22. I came upon this blog by accident, as a link from a commentator to our newspaper. Thank you so much for your factual and cordial discourse. Usually it turns out to be “us” versus “them” on these boards with a few exceptions. Not only have you presented what I mostly feel, but I can’t see that anyone could be offended by your presentation.

    I, too, at one time was a single parent with 4 kids (college educated, homeowner, worked 2 jobs, etc.) My income was not nearly as good as the other lady’s but we managed. I do believe she considers herself to be in the majority of working people today, but she’s not. The Tea Bag Party is a friend of no one–just using all it’s “members” or should I say the Republican Party is do doing so. Follow the money, people. Wait till you’re “over 50”, your employer offers no insurance or retirement plan, you have a pre-existing condition (stroke or Cancer), you’ve lost your stocks and pension through “big business mismanagement”, and you also have a small business to carry you through your retirement, hopefully. What will the Tea Party have to offer you then? Oh, yes: get off your butt and get a job, no more entitlements, no socialized healthcare, and on and on. What a country of selfish whiners we are becoming, folks.

    • Thank you for your comments. I especially appreciate your compliment with respect to my cordiality. I try.

  23. Oh, one more thing: I’m not sure if you yourself posted on the Dayton Newspaper or if someone else did. But I tried to make a polite comment and put up some links to debunk the Tea Party myth at least 4 times today and they won’t publish it. The DDN is very biased about some things. Or they are tired of my side of things. 😉

    • Some online publishers limit multiple postings in one day or within a certain time period. I am not sure what parameters the DDN has, but they are probably booting your comments as spam rather than actually reading each of them. Just my $ .02.

  24. have some fun see “tea party crasher deprogramming
    program” youtube

  25. I have read all the comments on this article. Some made me think, and others, in the case of TC’s assclown comment, made me laugh.

    I am not nearly old enough nor do I have the intelligence for my opinions to hold any sway, but since I am relatively new to the political realm, I think my vantage point may help out a bit.

    It won’t be easy to convey what I am thinking because typically what I am thinking is, to me, much more expansive than my vocabulary.

    If I was oblivious to all of the notions of entitlements and handouts and working class and taxes etc., and I asked someone what it was that they truly needed, what would it be? I am assuming their answer would be food, shelter, and if they aren’t living in the tropics, clothing.

    If your answer is different, ask yourself why that is. Do yo feel that you are better than everyone else that you deserve more?

    Why does your consulting job deserve more food and shelter than another job? Is it really because you work harder? Have you taken a different job as an experiment to find out if this is true?

    Some time ago, I read a book entitled “Ishmael” I can’t remember who wrote it. It may have been fairly popular at the time. But, in essence it shaped the way i think today.
    As an inhabitant of the western civilized world, I can’t help but wonder what caused us to think that we are entitled to so much. For example, the romans, English, colonists all took what land and wealth they desired based on the assumption that they were “better” than the people they took it from…

    Have we changed any in the last 2,000 years? Has the past really not helped us? Yes, Rome and England fell. They were based upon imperialistic, capitalistic agendas which haven’t and never will work. If you think that America’s agenda is any different than you are sorely mistaken. It may not be solely American anymore but rather more commercialized corporations that are driving the agenda, but the agenda is still moving.

    I may be an ideological punk that may or may not grow out of it. I hope that I never do for the sake of our planet.

    Business does not produce food, the earth does.

    If anyone understood that bit of rambling more power to you!

    • Yes, it’s food, clothing, shelter, and then . .


      They all take a lot of money. And there’s the rub.

      • Why do they cost so much money if they are necessary? Shouldn’t everyone be entitled to it? If you say no, that is ok if thats your philosophy, but somehow I don’t think it is…

  26. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Christian, iwspo.net

    • Thank you for your compliment, which is much appreciated.

  27. All you casual commentators have no real clue as to the animosity between the Republican establishment and the tea party citizens at large… The tea people know that the Republicrats are as much to blame as the commie democrats(statists…)and despise them with as much vigor, if not more than the dems…
    Intellectual sloth enables many people to keep up the chant: Tea Party is just the radical wing of the Elephant party.
    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
    They are libertarians at heart.
    Both major parties left these people long ago. Alot of folks have just started to open their eyes to this unpleasant fact.
    Unfortunately, most people know that this nation is in a “predicament”, not a problem, as problems have solutions….. Predicaments only have “outcomes”. Some good. Some Bad. Some very bad.
    In the collective gut of the American people, they know this predicament is going to have a very bad outcome. This is where the anger is boiling up from…
    Neither party has told them the real truth.
    Neither party has dealt honestly with them.
    Utter disgust with the parties and the “system paradigm” is what ushered in this most authoritatian of regimes, B. Hussein Obama….
    In the end, Americans get the government they deserve.

  28. The other thing Mathilda is glossing over is that while *she* may be grossing $100k a year, her husband is grossing enough to put them into the highest tax bracket.

    The tax system is alleged to favor families. It wouldn’t surprise me if Mathilda had a mortgage and can deduct her mortgage interest and as business owner the costs of doing business are deducted. Home office, travel – all that. So if Mathilda is netting $100k a year, that’s a pretty sweet net. Add to the deal that state income taxes, property taxes and even vehicle tabs are deductible from your income tax – and these figures of *half* your income don’t add up.

    Taxes are the cost of civilization. We either set up a fair system or we don’t. If you manage to use the system to earn more than $250k a year, then the cost of doing that currently is another 3%. If we worked on at the same rates as the 1950s, people making 2.8 million a year would pay 90%.

    It’s the cost of privilege, and that kind of wealth
    is just that, privilege.

    Our hearts are bleeding for you Mathilda.

    • News flash. Our tax system is broken. It is filled with both vertical and horizontal inequalities. While we argue about the scraps on the floor we have been robbed blind by those feasting at the table and creating the menu of tax policies set forth to choke to American middle class. It’s the “politcal contribution class” both domestic and foriegn that have the attention of oligarchs in DC. God Bless the Tea Party and it’s true grass roots conservative activism. The left has been trying to plant seeds of grass roots activism for decades but have only managed to recycle yellowing ficuses. Time to weed the garden.

  29. “It is essentially a political tool of the Republican Party..”

    Sorry Professor Flunk but your analysis is 100% backwards.

    The Tea Party has seized control of a demoralized and weakened Republican Party. It is currently dismantling the corrupt GOP encumbency and rebuilding with its own preferred choice of candidates.

    It is not inconceivable that they will have an impact on Democratic and Independent candidate selection also.

    In November you will see a radically changed congress perhaps under the leadership of Ron Paul which will hopefully deliver the ‘change’ which is badly needed namely the reform of the broken American system.

    It is good to see the American people waking up and taking back the government from the swarm of lawyer thieves.

    Please stop bashing the tea party and instead tell us how your Democrat heroes in Washington are doing such a great job.

  30. Thanks for your comments.

    They aren’t my Democrats, and they are not my Republicans. And for the sake of your Tea Party, let’s hope they don’t trot out the fossil of Ron Paul. Everyone has seen enough of that act.

  31. The Tea Party movement was started by libertarians who despise the corrupt farcist (not a typo) stooges of both Republican and Democratic Parties. Both major parties claim to be acting on behalf of American citizens, then turn around and conduct graft on an epic scale.

    To Hell with both parties: in tandem with the Federal Reserve and Wall Street they’re just one giant organized crime ring. Asking Bush or Obama for help is not much different than asking Capone for protection.

    Our Farcist government is just that: a big farce, and the joke is on us as they use the age-old divide and conquer strategy to maintain power.

    • And if you didn’t get my implicit point – the Republican Party’s attempt to co-opt the Tea Party movement is exactly how Divide and Conquer works. Associating the Tea Party with Republicans, rather than disillusioned independents, is an attempt to neutralize the potential threat that the growing Tea Party might pose to establishment politics.

      Deceitful tactics are used to trick liberals into believing that a group of independents are their enemy. So then liberals fight with the Tea Party rather than realizing that they have more common ground with each other than with the scumbags in D.C.

  32. Did you see Hyperion is paying Megan McCain “high six figures” for a book? I know we’ll all rush out and buy that.

    But what an “in your face disgrace” for Sarah Palin.

    I wonder if the Tea Party will shortly start grumbling about high advances from publishing companies.

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