Monday, April 12, 2010

My take on Parties of Tea

The results of this poll illustrate why I think the tea party movement will ultimately find little success as a political movement. Bemoaning high taxes has always been popular, as well as cutting government size and spending. Accompanying this was a poll asking what the American public thought was the best way to reduce the deficit, 65% replied "cutting programs" as opposed to 5% who said we should raise taxes.

The problem comes when a party becomes organized enough or a serious enough contender to actually have to put in a platform of what programs they will cut to lower taxes while also lowering budget deficits. Take a look at the graph and you'll see that not a single area of spending has more than 1/3 of the country in support of cutting it. Except, of course, foreign aid. But unless the tea party wants to run on a reducing foreign aid campaign (which counts for less than 1% of the budget), they are going to have to stick to very vague populism to gain a majority of support. That will be increasingly difficult as the economy recovers.


  1. Tim,
    I'm so grateful for this post. I really get scared of these people. Even in massachusetts there will be a massive turnout for Sarah Palin's Tea Party on the common in Boston. Even newly elected on the coat tails of "tea partiers" Scott Brown is avoiding it. Your post gives me some good perspective. You hit the point exactly, with the tax revolution in CA in the 70's people are now kicking themselves because there is barely any place to raise revenue. I wish that more people could read this blog. Send a letter to all the major news papers for me tim please?

  2. I find it truly sad that 71% want to cut foreign aid when we don't even give enough to begin with. Sad, sad, sad. I would rather my tax dollar go to a poor woman in Somalia then to a homeless veteran in Provo (not like they don't deserve it though either)


    I think that you and tim should both submit something here! Jezebel is a great place for woman's issues and topics and you guys both certainly have super interesting and IMPORTANT things to say.