I just wanted to give my 2 cents on this.
I’ve heard many people - tea party members included - say, alternatively, that the tea party is about low taxes, or small government, or smaller government, or less spending…et cetera.
I also think it’s about these things.
However, I just wanted to say that I don’t think its primarily about them; I think those things, while very important, are secondary.
There is something more fundamental that embraces all of these things and, moreover, will embrace a much larger swath of people by focusing on it, rather than those things above.
And that is this: that the Tea Party is fundamentally about adherence to the Constitution.
Now, I know this^ is obviously complicated - however, I think most Americans will agree that, in general, we have gotten so far away from the enumerated powers that distinctions about original intent, plain meaning, strict constructionist, etc. are almost quaint at this point.
And perhaps even more fundamental: that we believe fundamentally in the rule of law.
I think that is what separates “progressives” from a huge swath of people who might easily embrace the Tea Party, were this (and not taxes, small government, etc.) our rallying cry.
(Of course, progressives/far left libs will say they believe in the Rule of Law. But that is why when an issue is brought up - say healthcare legislation, I first ask that we pause first in our discussion; and then ask whether the person believes in the Rule of Law or Rule by Men. Invariably they say, the Rule of Law. Good, I answer, so show me where in the Constitution I might find a mandate/authority for this legislation. Usually, they then reveal in so many words that they really aren’t for the Rule of Law after all. Then you have them. LOL. )
Any polls of TP’ers about the approval/disapproval of Medicare and SS’s existence? [/quote]
I don’t know Sloth, but my sense is - and this is just gleaned from spending time around them - is that 1/3 of the TPers want to abolish everything in sight, and 2/3rd are just clamouring for reigning in spending and reducing taxes. There’s whole range of people - some quite sophisticated, others who quite frankly seem to be very confused.
Politics is adding peope up and bringing them together - so I guess what I’m saying is that, in my view and experience being among them, focusing on the Constitution/rule of law would be a very big and effective umbrella. My brother says it’s too abstract though. I’m not sure.
Here’s a question I’d love to see go around at TP gatherings.
In order to meet our future obligations, would you rather:
A. Institute deep medicare/SS cuts
B. Institute large Tax increases
C. Institute more moderate cuts to SS/Medicare alongside more moderate tax increases
I’m betting C by a respectable majority.[/quote]
My guess is if you let them answer the question open-endedly, they’d go with the tried and true “Eliminate all that waste in the federal government answer.” because everyone seems to think that 50% of the money collected each year gets lost int he waste of inefficient government. And I’m serious.
It’s plane as day when you look at the federal budget what eats up most of the money: social security, medicare, defense, medicaid, and welfare/“other” entitlement spending.
These five money sinks need to be drastically reduced in size. All of them. Each and every one. But half the country won’t let you touch social security, medicare or defense spending and the other half won’t let you touch medicaid or welfare/“other” entitlement spending… so what do you think happens?
Ironically, if you look at the actual budget breakdown, the self-proclaimed “small gubbermint” crowd is responsible not allowing 51.16% of the federal budget to be significantly cut/touched, while the “typical” BIG GOVERNMENT DADDY STATE programs the left considers “off limits” only make up 24.32% of the federal budget.
Still, we’ve basically got 75% of the budget that one side or the other considers “sacred”.[/quote]
Ratchet. Effect. Or, as AlisaV put it: “structurally persistant legislation.”
Across the board cuts so that no one can claim advantage/disadvantage?