Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Tea Party politics can be summarized in a joke - seriously

For months, I've been trying to boil my perception of the Tea Party down to a very simple concept. I can say, almost certainly, that the only common ground I share with the Tea Party is that we should not have bailed out the banks during the financial crisis of 2008. For everything else, it seems that if the Tea Party were a hammer, every problem is starting to look like a nail, a tax cut.

Judging by the votes in Congress, they seem genuinely in love with their idea that cutting government spending is going to boost the economy and free us all from such a terrible master. But pretty much every study has shown that government spending has helped the economy.

Notice that after the financial crisis, the only people who really recovered were the one percent. The rest of us, the 99%, continue to struggle in the doldrums. As ThinkProgress has shown, the top 1% own 40% of the nations wealth, they earn 60% of the national income, they own half of all securities sold (stocks, bonds, commodities), and they only owe a mere 5% of the outstanding personal debt.

I believe that the following joke summarizes the Tea Party rather well:
Two campers are walking through the woods when a huge brown bear suddenly appears in the clearing about 50 feet in front of them. The bear sees the campers and begins to head toward them. The first guys drops his backpack, digs out a pair of sneakers, and frantically begins to put them on. The second guys says, "What are you doing? Sneakers won’t help you outrun that bear." "I don't need to outrun the bear," the first guy says. "I just need to outrun you."
Guess who owns the running shoes in the joke? The 1%. Everyone else gets the bear. This is what I thought about when I voted - yes, I did my voting early. I didn't want to wait until the the last minute and find that I didn't have time. So my wife and I both voted early.

Maybe the Tea Party isn't at all like I make them out to be. If there is compassion in the Tea Party, I haven't seen it. Most certainly not in Congress. If there is a sincere desire to help the middle class, sorry, I haven't seen that, either. Their attitude is plainly evident in their votes on Obamacare. I do see that the Tea Party seems to have been co-opted by the 1%. You know, the Koch Brothers. That seems rather obvious now.

So when you vote today, remember that the 1% is wearing fully paid-up Nikes while running from the bear.
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