We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, February 26. 2014
Mom and her kids visit an art gallery
Does the 1st Amendment apply to students?
How is your state doing with its government pensions?
Long but good: What Killed Egyptian Democracy?
Extracted from our commenter Taquiya
Venezuela Violence and Latin America's Divide
The Stakes in
The story of a remarkable reporter: Political Hatred in Argentina - An Interview with Uki Goñi
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I don't know what Tea Partiers Taqiyya knows, but the ones I know are quite different from his. All of them would be more than happy to see the government's largesse (and their taxes and 'subsidies') cut dramatically.
I am not a Tea Party member, but I can tell you what I'd like to see taken from me in exchange for lower taxes:
1. My mortgage benefit (why do I get one? It doesn't promote home ownership, and if taxes are cut enough, I'd still benefit from the lower tax rate - it would be a wash)
2. My commuter benefit (why do I get one? Public transportation should be sold off and privatized. I get one because they want to promote mass transit, but I don't know a single person who takes it because they get the tax break)
3. Student loans (we get very little in this respect, but we do get some. I'd much prefer to see these programs shuttered)
4. Bailouts and subsidies of all kinds.
But I won't give any of these up without a severe reduction in my tax rate to at least come close to being revenue neutral for me. It can be done. It won't lead to anarchy. It will lead to common sense accounting, which is non-existent in Washington today.
Oh, by the way, all my Tea Party friends are business owners. All receive many government benefits in the form of tax breaks or subsidies. All admit it creates an incentive to malinvestment.
Perhaps Taqiyya just lives amongst a group of people who are less inclined to think logically about their circumstances.
I'm not sure what Taquiya's point is. Politics is the mind of the 5-yr old, black and white without much longterm contemplation. Not to mention, often fanciful. Look at the Progressive call for taxing the 1% more even though they are the only ones who now pay more than they get in return in taxes. And the shock, when many learn they are in that 1% or at least the income that has to be included to raise enough money to talk about. Or that the wealthy won't cut back on work due to higher taxes but the poor will stop working (yea, for them) if doing so will mean they will keep their subsidy, the loss of being the equivalent of a high marginal tax rate.
I loved arguing with the very earnest believers in over-population. These same people were also for gun control, medical research and anti-war. How better to combat over population than to see every thug has a gun, halt efforts to combat pandemics, especially ones affecting the young and wide spread legal murder? The world was being overrun but no one wanted to give up their safety, medical care or have bombs dropping on their city.
That cutting taxes is unlikely is not a reason not to believe we should. Eventually, someone will figure it out. It is foolish to think that just because no one now can see a way, that their isn't a way. I remember Bruce Schneier's statement on cryptography, it can be used here, Anyone can create an encryption they can't break. That's where we're at, we've created a tax-spend situation we can't solve but that doesn't mean we shouldn't expect it to be solved by someone. Not to mention, the Tea Party is the party of lower regulation. Regulation is one of the most insidious taxes as it raises the cost of or taxes out of existence the innovation that generates the wealth that can pay off the debt. All dependent upon the small minds of the bureaucrat.
I too am somewhat baffled about Taqiyya's comments about Tea Partiers he knows but then, I'm not in a local Tea Party group so he might have a point.
However, the Tea Party was started as a response to Obummer's "Stimulus" package that just a redistributionist scheme. There are certainly a lot of subsidies that most Tea Partiers would support ending and it doesn't take long to come up with a list. That list may get larger as the government decides that there isn't enough money to take care of our armed forces (who willing put their life at risk for us) but there is plenty money to pay people in various ways not to work.
You might get some push back on Social Security or Medicare - especially from the older Tea Partiers but the same argument - vis a vis what the government has money for and what it does not - applies even though it is muddied a bit by the structure of those programs.
If Taqiyya's Tea Party friends don't have a specific list, I suspect they are reacting mostly to the general principle that they are paying for somebody else's mistakes in addition to their own. But I also suspect that if you gave them a list of subsidies, they would have no trouble picking out a rather large list that they would do away with.
There are a lot more issues that the "Tea Party" is concerned with and maybe his Tea Partiers are more interested in those than the financial. I certainly can't say that Taqiyya is wrong in his characterization but I get a lot of "Tea Party" email and I listen to what "Tea Party" politicians and candidates say and they seem to have some ideas about subsidies.
Speaking of subsidies, it's useful to point out that the art gallery Mom and her kids visited was probably subsidized - or at least the art was.
In every culture, the good art is a very small portion of all the art but it seems that the more art is subsidized, the smaller that ratio gets.
Take an average American and ask them what they want from government and you'll get some vague platitudes and bumper sticker blurbs. Try to screw down on specifics and ask about what trade offs they'd tolerate to get to what was important to them and they're into hummannammumannahummanna land right quick. This is not, by any means, limited to "tea party people".
Theoretically, we elect people to go figure out the details.
I am not quite a flat tax proponent but close. I can live with those of us who make a little more paying a bit higher rate. Everyone should pay federal taxes. Rates and boundaries are open to discussion but I'd lean toward seeing a tax code that was something like 5% for $1- median income, 8% for median income - $200K, and 10% above $200K. Nobody should be handing 1 of 4 dollars or, worse yet, 1 of 2 dollars of income over to government. That is confiscation and tax slavery.
Most, if not all, deductions should be eliminated. I have some issues with just getting rid of the mortgage and property tax type deductions. To me those tend to somewhat smooth the federal tax burden for those being strangled by local/state taxes and living in high cost of living/high income areas. A husband and wife making a combined income of somewhere near $200K in the NY metro area (or most other major metro areas) are doing just fine but they aren't exactly on the yacht when they're not at the country club. And homes and property taxes are much higher. You make the money but you also pay the money.
I think those things would need to be phased out carefully. I understand the argument that if you want to live where you make more money that's your choice and paying more is part of the cost. Over time, eliminating these deductions would, perhaps, influence some people to move to less onerous tax areas but maybe those places don't want the population influx. People flee tax heavy CA for AZ and then want to turn it into CA. People flee tax heavy MA for NH and then want to turn NH into MA. I don't like watching that happen. Those tax deductions are tough to just get rid of but, if rates are low enough and all other deductions are also eliminated then perhaps it world work OK.
I would also remove the tax exemptions on religious and educational, and charitable organizations. Why am I paying taxes through the nose but those clearly wealthy temples, churches and mosques are not? I'll gladly give up my property tax deduction for this. The only building happening in my town for the past 3 years or more is churches and synagogues. And they are palaces. If their worshippers can afford to build those houses of worship they can afford to pay taxes on them like everyone else.
Review every employment contract that exists between governments at all levels and government workers. This should be a legitimate financial review to determine what our f'in long term obligations are to government employees and whether or not we can meet those obligations. If not they must be revised.
Send every citizen a list of every taxing authority that is reaching into their pocket and a list of how taxes are being spent. IIRC there are 7 local taxing authorities reaching into my pocket. I want to know the average cost of a pencil for those authorities. Last I looked into this local governments were spending $2 for every $1 of goods and services received - and this was not due to corruption, just sheer inefficiency and piss-poor planning. No reason to believe the feds do any better. Let's get that down to $1.50 per $1 of value - a 25% savings.
I don't believe we can support a system of benefits that hands them out to 50% or more of the population. Our welfare system should be a safety net for those who legitimately cannot do for themselves (10% or less of the population?) and those who need a very temporary hand after making legitimate contributions (short term unemployment - 6 months tops). The nation is not "for the children" - it is for all of us. If you have children they are yours to support, not my responsibility.
5% cuts to all government budgets each of the next three years. No exceptions. Everyone can figure out how to get by with 5% less spending; and do that again next year and the year after. 10% immediate cuts to IRS, EPA, FCC, and Depts of Energy and Education - for at least 2 years, preferrably three. These organizations are out of control and headed in a facist direction.
After 3 years, review this matter or "non-essential" government workers and start reducing their numbers by 10% each year for 3 years. That gives them 6 years to age out or find other work. We don't need them and we don't want to pay them.
Get rid of the "war on drugs". I just don't care if people want to be stoned. Let the pricing fall through the floor, the gangs go bust, and tax the stuff. I understand it will be complicated but it will give legislators something to do other than busting the balls of working stiffs and small business people.
Every law passed by legislators and regulation put in place by an agency must have an expiration date. I'd like 5 years. If it was a good law or regulation, pass it again. If not let it expire.
No government employee can ever be exempt from any law or program the government puts in place. Ever. No exceptions. If a law is good enough for John or Jane Q Citizen it is good enough for our employees.
Glen Reynolds has a suggestion for a 50% tax on any increased income for former government employees who go into the revolving door of lobbying. Sounds good. Let's try it.
That might be enough for the first 6 or so years of getting this beast under control. After than we can start getting serious about some tar and feathers and running out town on rails and stocks in the public square and such.
The extracted comment was specific to a reply from another commentator here regarding a previous comment by me about whether and when the gravy train of federal spending would get derailed. The gist of her comment was that the Tea Party, her Tea Party, would gladly cut "all spending". The gist of my previous comment posed the question, since the government subsidizes everyone, who would stand against the gravy train? Thus, why the Tea Party was mentioned. And thus, my straightforward retort.
But yes, of course there are many issues involved and of course all of the tea party people look at things a bit differently. Painting with a broad stroke will exclude or unfairly tarnish that guy down the street. Big deal, it doesn't change the fact that federal spending is mostly unopposed and will remain so. My salient point and oft stated pet peeve. I am glad to see that most of the comments above acknowledge that fact.
For those who claim some otherwise unobserved bravado regarding their brave resistance to the excess federal spending, please offer something besides propaganda and anecdotes about the fierce tea party people you are or know. Organize a march someplace. Conduct a sit in. Stand with candles. And, most importantly, declare exactly what you want cut in the federal budget. Good luck with that folks. I will help a bit, stop funding the teacher's pensions. Stop all payments to the higher education system, the agricultural sector, manufacturing, medical/health care. A good, if small beginning, no?
I am thinking Taquiyya's Tea Partiers are not really Tea Partiers. They came late to the party...don't like the current crop of Republicans, so they claim to be 'Tea Partiers' to disassociate themselves from the Repub Party.
I was a very early Tea Partier. Actually was an organizer in my previous state of residence for a time. This is what I wanted:
1) No government bailouts for any company that is failing. Let 'em fail. Banks, investment firms, car companies.
2) Get rid of unnecessary departments like the Department of Education & Department of Energy (just to name two). These huge bureaucracies do nothing and spend billions of taxpayer dollars to make it seem they are relevant--i.e. conducting worthless studies, writing endless policies, etc.
3) Simplify the tax code so it is fairer. This means remove almost ALL deductions. If it were fairer, we wouldn't need the deductions, now, would we? EVERYONE should pay something in federal taxes.
4) We should spend only what we take in. Borrowing money should be reserved for emergency reasons, like war. We should not be borrowing money to pay more out in disability payments to people...instead you CUT the unnecessary junk (of which there is a LOT) to cover the things you consider essential.
Those were probably my 4 biggest issues at the time I got involved with the Tea Party. I was so disappointed that Bush did not take the opportunity he had early in his presidency to make big cuts and changes to the government. That is when I realized that even the Republican Party had problems and needed to be redirected by those who were truly interested in fiscal responsibility.
"Analysis: Venezuela’s violence, Cuba’s ‘farce,’ and Marco Rubio’s milestone speech" On a more optimistic note, it seems that Mr. Rubio may have seized upon another of my pet peeves. And what better way to attract some political support from the Latino/Hispanic community than to oppose the repression of the commie government just 90 miles from our shores? It's smart politics and long overdue. Since I can remember the days when communism was the enemy, I have often wondered why we still tolerate Castro's Cuba? Those people are literally starving and America does nothing. Speaking of specific options, who can offer some creative and effective actions to liberate Cuba? My tongue in cheek suggestion has long been to send a battalion of cheerleaders to liberate the island. For reals though, would the commie government long survive well organized diplomatic pressure from all of it's neighbors? Do we have the political leaders with the skill and willingness to work on that? Not Obama, he is a commie.
Ok, we're being trolled.
This is Takky's idea of effort: "Organize a march someplace. Conduct a sit in. Stand with candles. "
Heh. I almost took the posts seriously...
I appreciate your tone and tenor, Taqiyya. What folks here miss - which they do with some tenacity of habit - is the principle of the thing.
...declare exactly what you want cut in the federal budget.
Probably not happening, at least not without politically ransoming benefits against taxes in a purely rhetorical and momentary catharsis.
Check your detractors' comments in this and the other thread. They are nearly united in their rock-ribbed Republicanism ... for example, that presumably mandatory and presumably righteous personal taxes must remain tied to existing federal programs and that to reduce the latter, only a reduction of the former qualify.
This is of course fallacious in the extreme. The principles of personal sovereignty, ownership, and sufficiency of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness had already been obliterated a hundred years ago and these sorts of arguments - they are really just impotent negotiations after the fact - merely haggle while standing in the ruins.
Consider the span of Wilson, FDR, and only more recently, LBJ. Consider hundreds of federal agencies and hundreds of thousands of laws. Consider your serfdom under the one party Two Party charade.
But no. We must justify Good Socialisms like the robbed blind, Ponzied, and utterly wrongly-named Social Security, and the benevolent and necessary but by now, hopelessly entangled and upside down hundred fifty trillion dollar boondoggle that has been the sum of Medicaid, Medicare, and now encroaching single payer under O-Care for decades and decades.
That's ten times the sum total of the nation's already unpayable 200 year old national debts.
We must not touch the trillion dollar a year DHHS. Or welfare. Or schools. The academy. Endless entitlements. We must not touch them as programs. Rather, we shall negotiate their miniscule reductions against a balanced budget and paid-down debt that shall never, ever actually come.
Too, never consider the three cent dollar and the decimation of the world's economies, all chasing the bottom in a fever of self-devaluation, a cancer involving a number of quadrillions of dollars of entirely unbacked political brinksmanship.
And this is conversativism.
You are correct. And these faintly emotional appeals to convention, anecdote, and false "conservative" moralities and ethics are just that.
"Organize a march someplace. Conduct a sit in. Stand with candles."
The Tea Party is not some band of ignorant college students and professional agitators. That is what terrifies Washington so. Why would they waste time and effort yelling like children in the street when there are ways to make change. They are slow but are most effective. Look to the local politics efforts. Waves that overrun the fortifications start with wisps of wind that drag on the water. The energy added bit by bit the longer the wind blows. To build their strength they must start from far away. Often they aren't even perceived until they encounter the shoals and are focused by the headlands. But when that happens they rise up with crashing power.
Yet, you advise the Tea Party run out and splash in the shallows.
But yes, we are all whores. We still pick up the money off the dresser even though we know what it means they will do to us. Worse, they take our earnings to pay for the use of us. We live in a society that mock those who seek not to take the "government" money. But if you can resist, you can experience true freedom, even if just freedom from paperwork and approaching hat in hand. Some have started going this hard route. That is why they are now working to make the taking of "government" money non-optional. Participation in Obamacare is not optional, especially if you qualify for a subsidy.
The TEA Party organized a pretty substantial march on DC, to protest taxes, back in (IIRC) 2009. It has since been vilified in the media ever since. The same was true of the "town hall" revolts of a few years ago. Politicians stopped having town halls meetings or controlled them so tightly that no opposition voices could be heard.
Getting the working stiffs who pay the taxes to go do marches is not something that is likely to succeed beyond what the TEA Party has already pulled off. They are, after all, working and have to go to work tomorrow, or Monday, or whenever. They don't like to be the squeeky wheel, it isn't what they do well.
Things will continue to get worse until what cannot continue does not continue. Then things will get really ugly.
Well, there sure is some butt-hurt about who qualifies as a genuine TEA partier. It doesn’t matter. Address the issue in the context provided in comment #5 above.
Where are the significant and transformational cuts going to be made. Most folks, TEA or otherwise, just aren’t that well-versed in the FedGov budget. The anti-tax demi-hero Paul Ryan, an acknowledged wizard with the maths, put out a famous proposal that might balance the the budget in a couple few decades, IF all the projections were accurate.
If that’s fierce budget-hawkery, the spending chickens have nothing much to fear.
It’s easy to front off about “general principle”. But try making an actual budget. Eliminating departments sure is a good idea. But those departments have within them functions that most folks are going to find essential, so that spending and bureaucratic overhead just gets shifted to one of the remaining departments. (Or down to the States, which is a win on the FedGov level, and a draw at best on the how-much-of-my-paycheck-can-I-keep level.)
And another of Takiyya’s point that must be addressed is that if FedGov spending was cut in the transformational way, it would also cut overall USA economic output. All those bureaucrats and regulators would be out of work, and without much prospect of new employment in the private sector. Sure, after a year or two, the economy might re-normalize. But the month after the magical cuts, all the good businesses that are in effect second- and third-order welfare queens will have trouble making their payroll. When FedGov workers stop buying donuts and paying remodelers, the bakers and carpenters go out of work, too.
Only true “whackjobs” even acknowledge the massive follow-on costs of disrupting a FedGov-dependent economic system. TEA people laugh at Ron Paul and libertarians. But those types at least recognize that every Federal dollar spent is a dollar of GDP. They don’t have much of a sympathetic response to the fallout. “Tough it out, chappy, the economy needs to realign” is easy to say when you’re heat isn’t being turned off.
A plan needs to address not just the what, but the how. Who is going to get voted in on a platform of 25% unemployment for the good of the country?
" FedGov spending was cut in the transformational way, it would also cut overall USA economic output"
Now we're really being trolled. FWIW, folks from Insty to here and beyond have given spending/obligation thoughts for years. Ignoring them doesn't mean they haven't been posted.
Oh, and you want to know if you're having an impact? Simple - when people begin to take shots at you.
"Who is going to get voted in on a platform of 25% employment "
You mean like our current Chief Executive?
Uh, no, I don't think people here, on Maggie's, or people in the Tea Party, or Libertarians, or most of us in general miss that point at all.
We just disagree with it.
I challenge you to show where the divergence in any of those comments takes place. As Taqiyya himself noted, we seem to be on the same page. It was the tenor and context of his statement which apparently led to the 'disagreement'.
I would challenge Taqiyya (and you) further, and point out that many people are confused about government and what it provides for a single reason. All their life, this is what they've known. Even my wife says "well, you can't take XYZ away because people have grown used to the government giving it to them." So what? What do the past mistakes have to do with fixing the future?
Just because these people can't put a finger on what they'd cut, and I can, isn't their fault. It's the fault of government and mismanagement of expectations and (I'd add) public schooling. My kids have to be re-acquainted with consequences every day they come home from that public school they go to - and our is a 'good' school. That is, we actually do graduate smart, thoughtful kids, mainly because the parents put effort into raising them, as opposed to the schools in other locales which take my tax money and spend it on nonsense items "Because the rich schools have them". Which essentially means thousands of dollars of computers still sitting in boxes in storage. Lovely.
So in principle, you can't blame people for not knowing what they'd like to cut. Government is happy to have that - and the system is designed to keep it that way, because you keep the people fighting amongst themselves. This is how political machines survive through the years, hand out favors, curry favor, break a leg and hand a crutch and say you helped.
Candlelight vigils, protests, all that nonsense won't work. We need to just keep pushing back and telling the politicians to cut. The first cuts won't reduce taxes anyway because deficits are so burdensome! The first cuts have to be pure spending cuts to reduce deficit.
It's only after you've gotten down to the real nitty-gritty that the tax burden can be addressed.
However, the REAL POLITICAL ISSUE IS TAXES. Why? Because if you reduce taxes, you force the politicians to address the deficit - even if they haven't yet. They will have to (and are realizing it now).
For whatever reason, the tail wags the dog here.
After seeing Taqiyya's response, I realize he's not that far from our point of view. It was merely a contextual thing.
What I read you suggesting is that I specifically parse for you from these comments the basis of my assertion that the MF commentariat lacks a solid perspective on the principles of liberty.
I admit I don't much cotton to demands for proofs of the obvious - like "Google it!" I find them of low value - but when, for example, you lead off with
[quote]Perhaps Taqiyya just lives amongst a group of people who are less inclined to think logically about their circumstances.[/]quote]
-and two other commenters take moral stands defending amoral - and decidedly post- and arguably anti-constitutional - personal taxation, I know I'm not far from the mark.
You see, the structural American principle requires that virtually all domestic programs be ended. Not reformed a few percent by some vague negotiated rightist/centrist subjectivity, but halted. Then it requires that debts be repaid. Failing that - which it shall because it is an absolute mathematical certainty - it requires that currency be restored.
And given that all that is entirely off the table in favor of what I'd also said, which you ignored, which is that emotional, post-facto, Republicanesque, and nearly entirely uninformed opining about what, you know, kinda shoulda maybe constitute some meandering appeal to the Juggernaught for maybe a 10% redressing of these ills - to be negotiated down to a few bipartisan percent, at best - then I feel my point is made.
Without a grasp of such hardcore principle, all the vague appeals to solutions that cannot occur until their cancers are entirely cut out are wrong-headed.
What I think many here fail to grasp is primarily the nature of money and then the nature of not letting your head go under financially. We don't have the choice to trim our way back to solvency. Do you understand that, mathematically?
From there attacks on Taqiyya's entirely rational assertion that the ostensible right does not begin to grasp the gravity first of the problem and from that, the gravity of a solution are simply wrong. The solution - the only possible solution, mathematically and functionally - is just as lethal as the problem is. It's just a matter of the hows and whys.
It is true that nobody can afford to relinquish a dollar of what the system has trained them all to live on If that were to end the impact on the economy, even for a time, would be so monumental that we refuse even small cuts already today. Comb through these comments to see the evidence.
You're right: There was a lack of proper context. The man is entirely correct but even now I'm betting he's still one of a small handful in the room who understands why.
Diversity At Dartmouth: Physical Reaction should also be the Dartmouth administration policy.
Dr. S-F has severely mis-educated herself, expecting Anti-Semitism from right-wingers.
My comment about who Taqiyya knows is simply informative - basically his context is as flawed as mine, which is precisely why I said it. I didn't say it to make a case FOR the Tea Party being anything, just that who its members are or what they believe is going to vary radically.
So, from that standpoint, I'll move on.
I reject your notion that all this has to removed at once, and in total, purely on principle. While I AGREE with the principle, it is the hardcore facts of doing something like that which would be impossible and disruptive in the extreme, leading to societal upheaval.
Unlike others on this site, who you allude to (kind've in the fashion you criticized me, I'm going to criticize your commentary on the MF clientele - they are not as ignorant as you think), I DO have a background in understanding the items you discuss. Your root principle - restoring the currency, eliminating the programs, reconstituting the base, etc. - I agree with. In principle. In practice, not at all. It must be done in degrees or the upheaval will be too unmanageable.
We are reaching a turning point. Either we begin to scale back aggressively (not all the way, all at once, as you seem to imply), or we continue to move forward the way we're going. Both ways will cause hurt and upheaval. The first way, much less. The second much more. A third way, which is what I believe you are suggesting, the hardcore principled way, will be far worse.
Doing that is often compared to 'taking away the credit cards and chopping them up'. It's not, though. It's really 'taking away the credit cards, stopping all the purchases of any kind and doing away with the revenue'. Which basically means casting the baby out with the bathwater.
The aggressive approach(and if you look at what I wrote originally you'll see I was hardly mild in my approach, though I was deliberately incomplete because a complete list would be too long), would be to cut in areas we know we can cut and have an immediate and long term effect without major disruptions in society. Such as all corporate subsidies, while restructuring the corporate tax code.
From there, we can take further steps such as eliminating the income tax and making it, once again, unconstitutional, while moving to a small financial transactions tax (which I've written about on Maggie's before and would have a major revenue benefit with limited impact on society).
Want more? Email me. I've thought long and hard about this.
At the core, however, and I agree with you on this, the currency MUST be restored. We need a gold standard in the worst way. Or some kind of standard. But we're doomed with the fiat currency.
That said, don't think MF'ers are so unconscious of the reality, or that Tea Partiers are, either.
The reality is - whatchoo gonna do about it? At this point, most of us can do very, very little. The political structure is designed to keep people like us from doing anything of value.
I agree with pretty much all of your comment/proposals. Especially about all laws/regulations/whatever having expiration dates, which I have been saying (excepting murder, and perhaps "high" treason). At the very least, they would be kept so busy with old laws there would be time only for really important new stuff.
Not allowing them to exempt themselves gets a bit tricky: it has been done for reasons that simply do not stand up (like exempting Congressional pages from minimum-wage laws), and exemption has been so common as to be assumed even if not in the law (the legislature in my State passed a law against smokig in public buildings, and was embarrassed three years later when it was discovered that they continued to smoke in "legislators only" rooms) but a [very few] may be valid albeit I cannot think of one.
The purpose of defining your target, i.e. the tea party, in a negative way then attacking what you defined is simply that you cannot deal with the reality. The tea party is made up of 5 million people. Probably some of them think exactly alike but surely most diverge somewhat. But there are things from the original group that most of the 5 million agree with:
1. The ferderal government, all three branches, should follow the constitution and enforce it.
2. Reduce the size of government. Not by 1% or even 10% but 50% would be a good start.
3. NO DEFICIT SPENDING!
4. Reduce taxes for everyone.
5. Reduce and sunset laws and regulations.
None of this is hard to understand.
Of course none of you know the tea party people I do, nor do I know yours. Not really relevant. The auditors of this site posted a portion of a reply to a reply to a comment I made about a previous post some days ago. It is not in context and for your elucidation, especially regarding the anarchy reference, I suggest you check out the previous commentary. It was a post about the gravy train of spending, if and when it may get derailed, etc. And I still say most tea party folks are only willing to nibble around the edges of federal spending and that those cuts would not dramatically impact them. As stated by some here, they want a trade off in cuts to spending and tax cuts for themselves. Not a bad idea, but also not a winning platform when it comes to forming a political coalition. The nation, and everyone in it, is just plugged in too deep. However, it is fun to stir the pot and help to spark some debate. And I'm not unhappy that this site's auditors love to provoke it's readers.
There are reasons people don’t campaign on the truth.
Not trolling, confronting. By the way GDP is measured, cutting FedGov spending must reduce output. Simple math.
Either we cut slowly enough to for a gradual realignment, faith in which is politically silly. Because no cuts endure long in a democracy. Or we cut quickly and suffer a very, very difficult couple of years of realignment. Also politically impossible.
So then you have to beef that USA is not a democracy, it is a Republic. Have you noticed that the Constitution isn’t followed much any more? How long do you really think hungry sheep will go before re-electing representatives who promise them candy?