Below The Beltway

I believe in the free speech that liberals used to believe in, the economic freedom that conservatives used to believe in, and the personal freedom that America used to believe in.

A Question For The Tea Partyers

by @ 5:06 pm on April 15, 2009. Filed under Politics

It’s fairly clear what your against and, by and large I agree, but what, exactly, are you for:

Protesting government spending is meaningless unless you say what you’d cut.


All protests against spending that do not tell us how to reduce it are fatuous pieces of theater, not constructive acts of politics. And until the right is able to make a constructive and specific argument about how they intend to reduce spending and debt and borrowing, they deserve to be dismissed as performance artists in a desperate search for coherence in an age that has left them bewilderingly behind.

It is, I think, an entirely fair question.

17 Responses to “A Question For The Tea Partyers”

  1. It’s not out-of-the-question that the 2009 TEA party participants could someday be regarded by history as patriots who made a difference- same as 1773. This sort of public outrage might be just what’s needed to break through the media’s manufactured reality.

    And you can believe that Obama and the left are plenty scared of the TEA party movement- how else to explain the dubious timing of his “everything is under control” speech on the economy, and (on the same day before the protests) the wierd DHS report warning of “right-wing” radicals and their propensity to violence? Now ACORN is deploying thugs to confront these protests at the street-level? What’s next, bring-in the Crips? Or the next year, the mandatory Obama youth corps or his new, private militia?

    Barack Obama is rapidly liquidating everything that made this country great… and needs to be put back-on-his-heels with a major embarrassment that puts an end to the myth that everybody just loves Barack and his wacked-out agenda… because millions of us DON’T.

  2. James Young says:

    No, it’s not a fair question, and here’s why: it is not the responsibility of people who want to retain the fruits of their labor to justify doing so; it’s the responsibility of those who would take another’s property at the point of a gun to justify THEIR position.

    It’s truly disappointing when a self-styled “libertarian” concedes the rhetorical high ground to the far Left.

  3. James Young says:

    And another thing: government shouldn’t seize another’s property for unconstitutional spending, which most Federal spending is.

  4. James,

    The tea partyers that I’ve been listening to keep saying that this isn’t just about taxes, it’s also about government spending and debt.

    So, if that’s the case, I think it’s only fair for them to tell me exactly what they would cut.

    I know where I would start, I just wonder if they do.

  5. James,

    You and I both know that no Court is going to agree with that statement no matter how true it is.

  6. For me, James, the answer to the question will tell me just how serious these people are.

    Republicans generally are great about talking about lower taxes and limited government, but they never implement it when they get into office.

    Even Reagan failed to follow through on many of his promises in that area.

    So, if this is going to be a serious movement it needs to get serious about reducing the size of government

  7. Vast says:

    Not all government spending is bad. The Interstate Highway System for instance seems like a good place for tax dollars. Public Schools is another. Having a military is generally a good idea, however they need to stop buying $1000.00 screws.

  8. DR says:

    The first thing I would get rid of is the Department of Education; there is no need for my tax dollars to be sent to the Federal government to run a system that the states can run more effectively and cheeper. Next I would get rid of the Department of Agriculture, and then I would get rid of most of the rest of the departments of waste the federal government upholds.
    No money for AIDS research, no money for stem cell research, no money for the sciences, except NASA because it serves a military purpose.
    No more foreign aid, no more money for the arts (if your art is so bad people won’t pay money to buy and see it, my tax dollars do not need to support it), next I would get rid of PBS and NPR if you want to make T.V. and radio, then compete, if people want to watch and hear they will.
    The Federal Governments job is to protect its people, protect them from foreign invaders through an army, protect them from criminals locally, and protect the contracts they make from fraud; everything else can and should be left to local and state governments. It is asinine to give my tax dollars to the Federal government so they can take a percentage to feed off of and then give it back to the state.

  9. Matt says:

    I can’t speak for the GOP, but I did go to the protest. Here’s some of what I’d cut:

    All foreign aid to countries that hate us, most notable Egypt and North Korea.
    All funds for the useless/pointless United Nations.
    All funds for propping up private businesses that have failed.
    All funds for welfare recipients, if they want money they can do the jobs that “Americans don’t want” which are currently going to illegal aliens.

    Hmm, what else? I’d need to do more research. I’m sure there’s plenty more non productive spending to be cut.

  10. Cargosquid says:

    It’s not a fair question. The protests are the result of YEARS of overspending. It is up to the government to justify its priorities. There is already an instruction manual. The Constitution. It’s anger about the government giving spending authority to the Sec. Treasury with no oversight. Its about Congress living high on the hog with no accountability. In general, the protests don’t like the INCREASE in spending that is tripling the deficit this year alone. Its about the nationalizing of industries and bailouts with tax money. No Reagan did not make the cuts. He tried and failed. Congress would only pass his military budgets if they got their goodies too. Most of the protesters are not politically minded. Most are just happy to have a venue for their displeasure. We’re tired of the incumbents in Congress ignoring the voices of the people. I talked to both liberals and conservatives, both GOP and Democrats. Each person has his/her pet programs that they would like to see cut. Mine? Simple. I’d just like to see a freeze in spending. Pick a number and freeze it for 4 years. And put EVERYTHING into the budget. NO automatic programs. Soc. Sec. Medicare, etc. In the budget. Make our representatives prioritize and actually work for a living. If they believe Medicare is more important than the Education Department, let them figure it out. We object to the philosophy that government only grows; that it can have everything it wants if only it gets more money. We object to the government’s philosophy that money given to the States or the the People are gifts,albeit, one with strings, instead of the return of OUR money. Deficit spending may be necessary. But justify it. There is nothing in the Constitution that allows bailouts. That is what we are protesting.

  11. Cargosquid says:

    I’m sorry. Just re-read your question. What am I for?

    More responsive government. Term limits. Politicians that uphold their oaths of office. A strong military and the will to use it. A strong State Department that is confident and defends and expands the values of the USA. A more educated voting populace. One that ignores a pretty face and actually looks below the surface and votes on the issues.
    A simpler tax. 10-15% flat tax, no exemptions, on all that make 2X poverty rate and above. If it forces us to prioritize, that’s a feature, not a bug. I’d say Fair Tax, but, asking Congress to give up the income tax is like asking a crack junkie to just say “no.” While he’s robbing you for money for his fix….

    And lower the drinking age to 18. Either you are an adult or you are NOT.

  12. brad says:

    Simple, $60 billion called the Dept. of Education would be my starting point.

  13. Okay, that’s a good start.

    However, 80% of the Federal budget consists of entitlements, defense spending, and interest on the national debt. That’s where the cuts need to be.

  14. Lance says:

    Is it a fair question? Maybe, although the Left sure hates to take the question “how much tax money is enough?”

    But it’s a tone-deaf question. Conservatives have railed against government spending for decades, but the Tea Parties didn’t happen until Obama quadrupled (is it still only quadrupled?) the deficit. Anybody who needs to ask “what would you cut” is either ignorant of current events, hasn’t thought those events through, or is deliberately ignoring them because it hurts his argument.

  15. [...] Mataconis over at Below the Beltway has splendidly criticized the movement to describe not only what precisely they are for, but the outright hypocrisy of not opposing the massive expansion of government under President [...]

  16. [...] up on my reading, and finding a dumb question Doug Mataconis at Below the Beltway posted this on Tax Day (and I just read it last night): A Question For The Tea [...]

[Below The Beltway is proudly powered by WordPress.]