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Colorado Tea Party information:

Contact information for some of the April 15 Tea Parties on the Colorado Front Range is here, on the website of the Colorado Union of Taxpayers (of which I am a member of the Board of Directors). Note that this is a non-exclusive list; I believe that there are also Tea Parties in Grand Junction and Colorado Springs.

As you will see, the state legislature's Republican Study Committee is climbing aboard the Tea Party bandwagon. The RSC chair, Senator Kevin Lundberg, has a strong record on taxpayer issues, compiling the 3d-best rating of any Representative in 2008.

Suzy (mail):
Are you being taxed without representation? Are you a follower of Ron Paul? I'm honestly trying to understand where this comes from, because I'm quite sure the Tea Bag protest was Ron Paul's take on the Revolutionaries.
4.14.2009 3:52pm
SFJD (www):
Will they be providing tin-foil hats or should I bring my own?
4.14.2009 4:07pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Whoops. David has apparently been taken over by Fox News in its attempts to overthrow our government (see previous thread on tea parties for details). It appears that some other group named "Freedom Works" that appears to have some connection with Ron Paul, is also implicated. Maybe they pass the control of David's mind back and forth.
4.14.2009 4:10pm
monboddo (mail):
Thanks for the link David! I too am fed up with a government that wants to raise my taxes to .... oh ... the level they were at in the mid-1990s.
4.14.2009 4:16pm
Hovsep Joseph (mail):
There is a seeming total lack of self awareness of how ridiculous this is. Its like the electoral experience of 2006-2008 have left conservatives completely unmoored, grasping at any gimmick, not realizing how unserious it makes them look.
4.14.2009 4:17pm
Houston Lawyer:
I'll have some of whatever it is you are smoking if you believe that taxes won't soon be considerably higher than they were during Clinton's term. I haven't attended one of these parties, but from what I see, the participants are upset with the level of government spending and waste. All of that spending must be paid for by somebody, and they believe it will be them, their children and grandchildren.
4.14.2009 4:25pm
JP22 (mail) (www):
David -- You mean you weren't persuaded to see the light by Krugman's insightful column on Sunday?!
4.14.2009 4:34pm
NE2d:

I haven't attended one of these parties, but from what I see, the participants are upset with the level of government spending and waste.



Yes, and these same people apparently had no problem with the level of government spending and waste during the eight years that George W. Bush was in the White House. That is why it's very hard to take them seriously.
4.14.2009 4:37pm
JP22 (mail) (www):

these same people apparently had no problem with the level of government spending and waste during the eight years that George W. Bush was in the White House



Some of us had a big problem with spending during the Bush administration. If someone in my city had organized a tea party then, I would have attended.
4.14.2009 4:40pm
pdxbob:
Jinkies, what happened to the VC comment section?

How sad it must be to have nothing better to do than troll libertarian and conservative forums, getting your gloat jollies.
4.14.2009 4:40pm
Mikeyes (mail):
What is striking about the tea parties is that it is somewhat amorphous/ambiguious as to the reasons why they being held. In many respects this sounds much more like Democratic gatherings in the past in which every left wing cause was exhibited at a protest even when those causes might be in opposition to each other. The final result was that these demonstrations looked unfocused and had no gravitas.

No one has been able to point to a single unifying philisophical or practical point other than a) they don't like the present administration very much and b)they predict dire unspecified consequences as long as Obama is President. This is nothing new in the political atmosphere of the right.

The original Boston Tea Party (and similar events) seemed to have had both a satirical and political focus - taxation without representation.

All the present effort seems to be doing is causing a lot of mirth on the left about "teabagging" and some hope on the right that something will come of it.

Is there a central focus for these events and is there a goal that they are trying to achieve?

I am not a big fan of the present administration and have found fault in a lot of what it has done, but I just don't get it.
4.14.2009 4:42pm
JP22 (mail) (www):

Is there a central focus for these events and is there a goal that they are trying to achieve?


I don't know. I'm planning to attend one tomorrow for the first time. In my own case, I want to express my alarm about the size of the (increased) deficits the party in power is racking up. (BTW, I'm not a Republican or Fox TV watcher or Limbaugh listener.)
4.14.2009 4:52pm
Houston Lawyer:

these same people apparently had no problem with the level of government spending and waste during the eight years that George W. Bush was in the White House


Bush was a piker compared to the current administration. People keep pretending that the proposed levels of spending are not unprecedented. It would be cheaper to refight WWII than pay for all of the Administration's promises.
4.14.2009 4:56pm
Guest for now:
I can imagine that if 10% of the taxpayers who pay 90% of the taxes are being forced by the 90% of the voters who contribute the other 10% to shoulder most of the tax burden, the fact that they are nominally represented isn't that meaningful. Sure, they are represented more than their Colonial counterparts, but how meaningful is that representation when the representative's power is determined by who has the most votes?

I'm not suggesting these things are worthwhile. They seem kind of silly to me, because they will not accomplish anything. But those who support the "progressive" taxation model seem to want to ignore the obvious problem with wealth redistribution in a democratic environment. While there may be an optimal level of redistribution for society, why does anyone believe that the majority would disregard its short-term self-interest to stop at this optimum level rather than taking as much as it can get? Or maybe you think people vote with long-term self-interest in mind? The annual deficits we run up under Republican and Democratic Administrations would seem to suggest otherwise.
4.14.2009 5:00pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Is there a central focus for these events and is there a goal that they are trying to achieve?

I am not a big fan of the present administration and have found fault in a lot of what it has done, but I just don't get it.
I don't think that there is really a "goal" as such. Rather, I think right now that these protests are more for blowing off steam and expressing their opposition to the levels of taxation and spending.

But I don't see that as any different from the anti-war, etc. protests of the left that we saw over the last eight years. What were they trying to accomplish? Certainly, the previous Administration wasn't going to take them seriously, esp. since few, if any, of their participants had voted for Bush in the first place.

But to some extent, the anti-war crowd was instrumental in getting Obama and the current Democratic majorities in Congress elected. And they did it without really that much organization. I think that a lot of participants in the tea parties hope for the same thing, but with probably a higher probability for success. Anti-tax has always resonated in this country, and esp. as compared to anti-war, not long after the first attack against U.S. soil since the Japanese in WWII.
4.14.2009 5:04pm
Angus:
I watched a video of one of these tea parties. Evidently, we are all being mind controlled by Acorn, George Soros, and liberal professors. The solution is to overthrow the government by force and "burn all the books." Or something.
4.14.2009 5:05pm
PC:
What is striking about the tea parties is that it is somewhat amorphous/ambiguious as to the reasons why they being held.

I think it's rather focused. Republicans are always up for getting a good tea bagging.
4.14.2009 5:05pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

I can imagine that if 10% of the taxpayers who pay 90% of the taxes are being forced by the 90% of the voters who contribute the other 10% to shoulder most of the tax burden, the fact that they are nominally represented isn't that meaningful.

It is utterly meaningless to count each taxpayer once regardless of how much he makes. You're saying that each individual should pay a constant dollar amount regardless actual income. It would make more sense to say the taxes on X% of the income generated make up Y% of the total tax revenue.
4.14.2009 5:08pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Bush was a piker compared to the current administration. People keep pretending that the proposed levels of spending are not unprecedented. It would be cheaper to refight WWII than pay for all of the Administration's promises.
And this is key - Bush (43) was faulted for fighting two wars without raising taxes. The present Administration is on track for raising taxes, spending, and borrowing, at a rate we haven't seen since WWII, all with a the war in Iraq winding down.

Hertiage has a graph that illustrates the borrowing side of this fairly well.
4.14.2009 5:11pm
Guest for now:
"It is utterly meaningless to count each taxpayer once regardless of how much he makes. You're saying that each individual should pay a constant dollar amount regardless actual income. It would make more sense to say the taxes on X% of the income generated make up Y% of the total tax revenue."

Only if you believe that the money just magically becomes income due to no effort of the person receiving it. Yes, in that alternate universe, what you're saying makes perfect sense. On the other hand, if you think income has some relation to work or effort expended, it makes lots of sense to count each person once, as that person's ability to protect the income he or she has earned is limited by the fact that he or she gets the same number of votes as persons who can join votes to redistribute that income to their benefit.
4.14.2009 5:12pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
It is utterly meaningless to count each taxpayer once regardless of how much he makes. You're saying that each individual should pay a constant dollar amount regardless actual income. It would make more sense to say the taxes on X% of the income generated make up Y% of the total tax revenue.
On the other hand, you have the current situation, where the percentage of those paying income taxes is nearing half. Obama and many Democrats seem bound and determined to make the current tax system even more progressive than it already is, in the name of "fairness". But why is it the least bit fair for those of us not in the half that don't pay income taxes subsidizing those who are?

Some sort of flat tax would be fine. Ditto for the "fair" tax proposals. The problem is that fewer and fewer are being asked to pay more and more to subsidize the rest.
4.14.2009 5:16pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Whoops. I meant to say
On the other hand, you have the current situation, where the percentage of those paying no income taxes is nearing half.
4.14.2009 5:17pm
Tim J.:
Dear Trolls,

I see you are out in force today. Good job! I see you also insist on calling these "Tea Bag" parties, which is an important step, because it shows that you are a force to be taken seriously.

However, you have made a number of rookie mistakes. In the future, please try to refer to it as "Faux News," not "Fox News," otherwise people might mistakenly think they show real news. In addition, after explaining how Faux News is orchestrating all of this, it would be good to end with a "WAKE UP SHEEPLE!" The caps make sure the sheeple pay attention.
4.14.2009 5:42pm
Derrick (mail):
On the other hand, you have the current situation, where the percentage of those paying income taxes is nearing half.


Talking points sure move fast on the Right. Noted philosepher, Ari Fleisher writes a column and a day later everyone's concerned that poor people don't pay taxes. Those lucky poor people.
4.14.2009 5:45pm
trad and anon (mail):
I've always thought the tendency of the left to respond to everything they don't like by holding a protest rally was incredibly stupid, so I'm glad to see the right has decided to jump on the bandwagon too.

Also, I should remind you that the Americans who are being taxed without representation are not located in Colorado. Conservatives tend to oppose representation for the people who are except (maybe) by claiming to support the method that (a) is least politically feasible and (b) produces the smallest possible amount of representation.
4.14.2009 5:47pm
Guest for now:
Derrick,

It isn't about whether anyone is lucky. The point of making everyone pay taxes is that it discourages (though not nearly enough) the artificial demand created for any service when a group receives that service without cost. If you give everyone the "right" to healthcare without making them pay for it, the demand for that service will obviously grow. That will in turn require either rationing of the service and/or increased burdens on those who are paying for the service, both of which are problematic. Or do you not think that such free riding exists?
4.14.2009 5:49pm
Derrick (mail):
I see you also insist on calling these "Tea Bag" parties, which is an important step, because it shows that you are a force to be taken seriously.


Yes, "tea parties" of people who protest our Marxist/Socialist/Facist/Racist/Muslim President and who took to the streets when our last President took us from a surplus to a trillion dollar deficit should be taken very, very seriously.
4.14.2009 5:50pm
Mongoose:
The Tea Party rallies will be attended by many people who oppose Republicans, just as the rallies against the war were supported by many people who are not Democrats. This is not a partisan issue!
4.14.2009 5:56pm
Recovering Law Grad:
The people attending these get togethers are not rich people angry about what they perceive to be an unfair distribution of the tax burden. (In fact, a majority of wealthy Americans voted for Barack Obama knowing that he would raise their taxes.) Instead, they are people who (a) stand to have their taxes cut by Obama and (b) stand to benefit most from liberal ideas like EFCA, the stimulus bill, etc. Now, the beautiful, wonderful story people like Glenn Beck like to tell is that these people know that they stand to benefit under Obama, but are nevertheless standing on principle against bigger government. The real story - as can be seen by visiting youtube - is that a large number of these people are totally insane. They believe that Obama is a Kenya-born Muslim who was sent here by Islamo-commu-fascists as a Manchurian candidate to dismantle American society by instituting abortions, gay marriage, and FEMA camps.

I'm sorry conservatives, you can't run away from the fact that, while you may be normal, the base of the Republican party has become totally radicalized.
4.14.2009 6:40pm
loki13 (mail):

The Tea Party rallies will be attended by many people who oppose Republicans, just as the rallies against the war were supported by many people who are not Democrats. This is not a partisan issue!


Agreed. Teabagging should never be partisan. I think everyone (with the possible exception of J. Slater's wife) is for it.

Oh, wait. Is that not... Uh... nevermind. Moving along.
4.14.2009 6:41pm
Recovering Law Grad:
I'd add that no one is arguing that anyone would be "crazy" to protest against the stimulus or higher taxes. Go for it. The point is that, while such issues are being raised at these rallies, a large, large portion of those attending are raising issues such as (1) FEMA camps and (2) Obama's citizenship.
4.14.2009 6:50pm
Angus:
The point is that, while such issues are being raised at these rallies, a large, large portion of those attending are raising issues such as (1) FEMA camps and (2) Obama's citizenship.

Not to mention the mind control beams coming out of our cable boxes, as put forward by a speaker at one event.
4.14.2009 7:19pm
trad and anon (mail):
The Tea Party rallies will be attended by many people who oppose Republicans, just as the rallies against the war were supported by many people who are not Democrats. This is not a partisan issue!

They are? Unlike anti-war rallies, which were about a specific issue, these rallies seem to be a generalized expression of opposition to Obama and his policies. I don't think you'll be getting many non-Republicans to such things, except maybe libertarians and conservatives who think the Republicans are too far to the left.

I haven't seen any statistics, but I'd be surprised if there were many non-Democrats at antiwar rallies, except people who aren't Democrats because they think the Democrats are too conservative.
4.14.2009 7:21pm
levisbaby:
Wow - kind of sad that a supposedly educated person is baaaah-baaahing about this nonsense.

It was a pretty quick descent from being the party in power to being a joke.
4.14.2009 7:32pm
RPT (mail):
SaveTheRich.Com has all the facts. An Bill O'Reilly is getting ready to take on Glenn Beck. It's time to pour a tall PG Tips and take a seat.
4.14.2009 8:12pm
RPT (mail):
"Bruce Hayden:

It appears that some other group named "Freedom Works" that appears to have some connection with Ron Paul, is also implicated."

No, Freedom Works is a Dick Armey venture. Texas is the home of astroturf, you know.
4.14.2009 8:20pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
It appears that some other group named "Freedom Works" that appears to have some connection with Ron Paul, is also implicated."

No, Freedom Works is a Dick Armey venture. Texas is the home of astroturf, you know.
Sorry, I missed that. I have a hard time keeping all of the conspiracies straight.
4.14.2009 8:28pm
Derrick (mail):
Sorry, I missed that. I have a hard time keeping all of the conspiracies straight.


Don't worry, I'm sure they'll be passing out pamphlets.

"Sir, would you like the pamphlet on how the Tri-lateral commission will create one world currency or the one on how Obama will re-educate your children to hate God, raise your taxes 2% and love socialized medicine."
4.14.2009 8:37pm
PC:
Sorry, I missed that. I have a hard time keeping all of the conspiracies straight.

Wait until someone brings ACORN into it.
4.14.2009 8:39pm
Guest-aholic:
The base of the Republican party has been radicalized? Have any of you ever been to the Daily Kos? Attend any rally of any partisan group and you'll see plenty of nutjobs on both sides.

The intellectually honest among us know this, but those who cling to the notion that their side is "superior" seem to ignore the yahoos on both sides. And there are plenty of them. And the lefty yahoos can be found on youtube or even college campus faculty lounges (anyone remember the idiot from Colorado that compared 9-11 victims to Little Eichmans?).

Tiresome.
4.14.2009 8:46pm
Guest-aholic:
Yes, no one has ever talked about vast right wing conspiracies or anything.

Delusional doesn't even describe some of you.
4.14.2009 8:47pm
Guest-aholic:
http://www.scrippsnews.com/911poll


In 2006, a third of this country believed that 9-11 was a government-orchestrated conspiracy. You think those were predominantly Bush voters? Somehow I doubt it.

As I said, plenty of nutjobs to go around.
4.14.2009 8:56pm
corneille1640 (mail):

I can imagine that if 10% of the taxpayers who pay 90% of the taxes are being forced by the 90% of the voters who contribute the other 10% to shoulder most of the tax burden, the fact that they are nominally represented isn't that meaningful.

So the legislators who vote our taxes have been elected by 90% of the people and the legislators who voted against those taxes were elected by only 10% of the people? By the way, I'm not a big fan of majoritarianism, but doesn't 90% constitute a supermajority?
4.14.2009 9:40pm
ArthurKirkland:
I was surprised to see this reference to the Tea Parties on this site.

I would have expected educated and sensible conservatives and libertarians to avoid the issue. As someone mentioned, there are goobers on the left and on the right. The Tea Parties appear to be conducted by and for the goobers on the right.

For some reason, the major Tea Party in my locale was conducted over the weekend. I noticed it while driving nearby, so I stopped to observe for about 20 minutes. The signs and references ranged from "Stop Obama" to assorted socialism riffs, from questions about Obama's citizenship to support of the fair tax, from anger regarding bailouts to anger about federal spending and deficits. A few wild cards (anti-abortion, pro-Palin, anti-UN, pro-gun, etc.)

Concern about bailouts and deficits is reasonable, but it appears the precipitate to the anger and event was more the election of President Obama than any general or particular government spending. That, and stoking ratings for some television and radio personalities.

Because I believe our two-party system functions best when both parties are functioning, I want to see conservatives/Republicans regain their footing. But ranting about socialism? Leaping to action when the deficits begin to be overseen by a Democrat (after years of staggering Republican deficits generated in part by grotesque foreign policy failures)? Demanding to see a birth certificate? Nothing about the "Tea Party" project strikes me as helpful if the objective is a Republican Party ready to resume contributing to governing and worthwhile debate.
4.14.2009 10:31pm
Bruce Hayden (mail):
So the legislators who vote our taxes have been elected by 90% of the people and the legislators who voted against those taxes were elected by only 10% of the people? By the way, I'm not a big fan of majoritarianism, but doesn't 90% constitute a supermajority?
Maybe, but that still doesn't make it right or "fair".

Actually, though, we are closer to the situation where 53% vote to take more money away from the 10%. Majority yes, but super-majority no.
4.15.2009 2:10am
Bruce Hayden (mail):
Concern about bailouts and deficits is reasonable, but it appears the precipitate to the anger and event was more the election of President Obama than any general or particular government spending. That, and stoking ratings for some television and radio personalities.

Because I believe our two-party system functions best when both parties are functioning, I want to see conservatives/Republicans regain their footing. But ranting about socialism? Leaping to action when the deficits begin to be overseen by a Democrat (after years of staggering Republican deficits generated in part by grotesque foreign policy failures)? Demanding to see a birth certificate? Nothing about the "Tea Party" project strikes me as helpful if the objective is a Republican Party ready to resume contributing to governing and worthwhile debate
At the time, of course, we all thought that the Bush (43) deficits were "staggering". But not in light of the Obama deficits. Once again, from Heritage: Bush Deficit vs. Obama Deficit in Pictures.

I don't think that it was the election of Obama that triggered the tea parties. Rather, it was his "stimulus" package, and then his budget. That is why the tea parties did not really start until after he was inaugurated, and have ramped up as Obama and the Democratic Congress have spent more and more money, making Bush (43) look thrifty in comparison.

But by claiming that it was his election that triggered the tea parties, you are trying to delegitimatize the movement by calling it anti-Obama, and maybe even racist. Won't fly. The time line doesn't match your hypothesis.
4.15.2009 2:21am
Suzy (mail):

I see you are out in force today. Good job! I see you also insist on calling these "Tea Bag" parties, which is an important step, because it shows that you are a force to be taken seriously.


Pardon, but the http://teaparty.gop.com/default.aspx has a site here that features your choice of Tea Bag to send. I could not have dreamed this up if I tried. It's another way of saying "our party has become a sad joke, at a time when it would be helpful if we could make some serious criticisms of fiscal policy rather than looking like childish hypocrites."

I am outraged by much of what has been going on during this "bailout", but sending a Tea Bag is not my idea of a sensible counterargument. And yes, teabagging. Hello? If the goal was to invite mockery, it's a major win.
4.15.2009 2:25am
Reaganite Republican Resistance (mail) (www):
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 the DHS report warning of "right-wing" radicals and their propensity to violence?

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.

http://reaganiterepublicanresistance.blogspot.com/
4.15.2009 7:40am
Mikeyes (mail):
"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 the DHS report warning of "right-wing" radicals and their propensity to violence?"

There are several rational explanations for the DHS report that don't involve a vast left wing conspiracy to destroy the right. One is that this study was started a year ago, when President Bush was in charge, and the report was finally finished and published on time. This information is from Little Green Footballs, a conservative blog.

Another is that there are white supremist and radical right groups whose purpose is the overthrow of the government. Unless you have been in a coma for the past century, you probably heard of some of them and or Timothy McVey. This has been a concern of law enforcement for a long time.

A third is that the timing of this report coincided with the need for certain bloggers and TV "news analysts" to up their ratings. If you read the nine page report, it does not mention anything about placing all Republicans in FEMA camps and executing them. The concern is about homegrown radical revolutionary groups that are planning terrorist attacks on the United States.
4.15.2009 7:58am
Floridan:
In South Florida, the local newspaper ran an article on an organizer for a local tea party protest. She said she was inspired by Glen Beck, but the real reason she was protesting taxes was her children:
O'Brien, 24, said she was inspired by concern for her two children, ages 3 and 9 months.

Even though she'll be on the front line protesting taxes and government spending, O'Brien said her husband's earnings as an apprentice electrician aren't enough to cover family health insurance. So their two children get their health care through the government's Medicaid program.
Since her name is O'Brien, and not Martinez, we won't have to ask why she is having children she can't afford and expecting the government to help pay for them.
4.15.2009 8:46am
Patent Lawyer:
I'll be attending the New York protest. NYC residents are, if all the proposals go through, about to have a >50% top marginal rate just on income (~39% federal, ~12% state &city), and then further payroll, sales, and property taxes on top of that. The new taxes are going to pay government union pensions, bail out homeowners while I rent, and bail out car companies while I take public transportation. Instead of using my salary to help out my mom and help put my sister through college, I'm paying to bailout irresponsible morons. So yeah, I'm a little annoyed with government taxes right now.
4.15.2009 9:25am
ArthurKirkland:
If the tea partiers genuinely champion fiscal responsibility (instead of broad right-edgery), should not Bill Clinton -- who presided over surpluses -- be their saint, and Sarah Palin -- who unapologetically perpetuates a system in which Alaskans lap the field in sucking at the federal teat -- their enemy?

Or, one could simply note that Dr. Alan Keyes is handling keynote duty at tea parties and have all the information necessary to reach reliable conclusions.

The tea partiers rant, sensible conservatives wince and shudder, and most Americans dismiss or mock. Whom are these events designed to benefit?
4.15.2009 9:28am
corneille1640 (mail):

Maybe, but that still doesn't make it right or "fair".

Actually, though, we are closer to the situation where 53% vote to take more money away from the 10%. Majority yes, but super-majority no.

You're right, of course. That's why I'm not a big fan of majoritarianism, at least in its crude "the majority is always right because they are the majority and therefore stronger" form. Still, presumably the oppressed 10% can vote and, I suspect (though I have no evidence at my immediate disposal), vote and have more influence in politics and in government than do the rapacious 53% percent.
4.15.2009 10:11am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hayden:

Once again, from Heritage: Bush Deficit vs. Obama Deficit in Pictures.


As I pointed out here, someone should explain why Obama is responsible for deficits in 2017, 2018 and 2019. If Obama wins in 2012, he will leave office on 1/20/17. If he is responsible for 2017, 2018 and 2019, then Bush should be considered responsible for 2009, 2010 and 2011. Is that what you're suggesting?

Unless your point is that you expect Obama to have an 11-year term.

Many people (like Heritage) are promoting those CBO numbers in a misleading manner.
4.15.2009 10:13am
Recovering Law Grad:
Guest-aholic -

I don't disagree: there are crazies on both sides in relatively equal amounts. The difference is that the mainstream actors on the right have made the right-wing crazies the face of their movement. This isn't to say that left-wing thinking is necessarily "superior" to right-wing thinking. Rather, it is simply to acknowledge reality: the current leaders on the right are people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. The delusion is in thinking that that's not a problem.
4.15.2009 10:18am
Joseph Slater (mail):
Loki13 writes: Agreed. Teabagging should never be partisan. I think everyone (with the possible exception of J. Slater's wife) is for it.

Oh god, I am in so much trouble. . . .
4.15.2009 11:40am
ohwilleke:
The only countries with lower taxes a percentage of GDP in the OECD are Japan (almost the same), South Korea, Mexico and Turkey. The other couple dozen developed countries have higher taxes. Unduly high taxes in the U.S. are not the problem.
4.15.2009 12:16pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Oh yeah, one more thing about Heritage et al suggesting that years 2017, 2018 and 2019 are part of the "Obama deficit:" if those years are properly assigned to Obama, it's not just that the deficits in 2009, 2010 and 2011 should be assigned to Bush. It's that the relatively favorable numbers in 2001, 2002 and 2003 should be assigned to Clinton, not Bush.
4.15.2009 1:33pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Oh yeah, one more thing about Heritage et al suggesting that years 2017, 2018 and 2019 are part of the "Obama deficit:" if those years are properly assigned to Obama, it's not just that the deficits in 2009, 2010 and 2011 should be assigned to Bush. It's that the relatively favorable numbers in 2001, 2002 and 2003 should be assigned to Clinton, not Bush.
4.15.2009 1:33pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Oops, sorry about that mouse-bounce.
4.15.2009 1:34pm
Suzy (mail):
Mikeyes: I am scared of the tea parties not because I'm a leftist, but because I find it disheartening that the main voice that could rise up and oppose the excesses of the bailout plan is choosing such a ridiculous method. This is not a joke that should inspire people to mail tea bags; this is about serious harm to our capitalist democracy when people who follow the rules, save money, and don't overextend themselves wind up being punished, while people who do the opposite end up with financial rewards. I can make some allowances for emergencies, but the general policy of the land now seems to be supporting this backwards behavior! The only bright spot is that people who have been doing a good job paying off their mortgages can now refi for some savings.

Floridan: This is exactly the problem. The "serious protest" against horrible tax abuses is supposed to come from people who mostly are milking the system or simply refusing to pay taxes altogether? Check out what these partiers are actually saying. Many of them think it would be terrific if millions of people simply did not pay their taxes. Thanks, I appreciate that not only would the govt. take my tax money, but that other citizens would literally steal from me by not paying their own share. And good luck with that plan, too. This is what the right is reduced to?
4.15.2009 3:37pm
DCP:

The article isn't assigning 2017, 2018 and 2019 Budgets to Obama it is merely projecting what those budgets will be, regardless of who is in office tomorrow or ten years from now based on current initiatives.

It's very simple - you can enact legislative and fiscal policies that will impact future budgets (read: deficits). Bush's Plan D Medicare entitlement is a perfect example.

That's the whole genesis of this tea party movement. This ain't monopoly money people. At some point somebody has to hit the brake pedal instead of the gas.
4.15.2009 4:02pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dcp:

The article isn't assigning 2017, 2018 and 2019 Budgets to Obama


The implication of the graphic near the words "Obama deficit" is to assign the "2017, 2018 and 2019 Budgets to Obama."

you can enact legislative and fiscal policies that will impact future budgets


If that's the perspective you want to apply in this analysis, then Bush gets responsibility for 2009, 2010 and 2011. And Clinton gets credit for 2001, 2002 and 2003. But of course Heritage et al don't acknowledge that (except partially, in a "CLARIFICATION" they were pressured to add). The implication of the way they present the data is to apply one set of rules to Obama and a different set of rules to Bush.

That's the whole genesis of this tea party movement.


The "tea party movement" is a joke, because it's made up of born-again budget hawks who sat on their hands while Reagan tripled the national debt, and while Dubya almost doubled it. Tell me about the "tea party movement" that rose up when Cheney said "deficits don't matter."

An odd thing about the GOP is that it seems to have no problem with spending lots of money on nation-building, but only if the nation is someone else's. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that colossal contract shenanigans are much easier to hide when they happen on the other side of the planet and are obscured by the fog of war.
4.15.2009 6:35pm
sobi:
Yea, you all make as much sport of tea parties as you want. Btw, foil hats are not required as there is no greater protection against new information than the human skull.

I tell you the Giant is awake. And for those of us who want him fully awake and operative, we will not let him lay down. We will poke, prod, cheer, support, remind, organize, repeat daily, and then we'll do it all again tomorrow.

I cannot promise you that this is the day, but I can promise you that I am not alone in wanting it to be. Sometimes, that's all it takes to roll the ball.
4.15.2009 7:16pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
the Giant is awake


Keep Hope Alive.
4.15.2009 7:23pm
sobi:
You know, if crazy people roll the ball--it still rolls.

My understanding of the tea parties is that it is angry people who associate the idea of giving away money to business as likely linked to raising taxes on individuals.

My guess is that it is a logical link. As far as partisan goes, I hated it when Bush did it, I hated it when Obama did it.

I am experiencing non-partisan hate. When hate bands together, ugly things happen.

Wait till you see the 4th of July.
4.15.2009 7:30pm
Suzy (mail):
So hate-filled people, doing "ugly things", apparently on the 4th of July, is supposed to inspire us with high regard for this "movement"? Wow. I feel sorry for you.

I too am not happy about giving taxpayer dollars away to businesses that don't deserve to receive it, but I think on the 4th of July I'll be having a picnic with my family, teaching my children something about the history of their nation, and feeling lucky that I was born here. I don't think I'll be "experiencing non-partisan hate."
4.15.2009 11:49pm
Guest for now:
Typical jukebox post. Ignores the fact that Bush's approval ratings were so low precisely because Republicans were frustrated about the excess spending. It stands to reason that they would be even more upset when someone tries to outspend Bush and by a large margin. But don't let the facts get in the way of the narrative you hold so dear.
4.16.2009 2:05pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Bush's approval ratings were so low precisely because Republicans were frustrated about the excess spending


Really? That's precisely why his ratings were low? You have shown precisely this much proof to support that assertion: none whatsoever.

Yup, Republicans sure were "frustrated." That's why at the end of Bush's term, when he had the lowest ratings of his presidency, he still had 64% approval among Republicans. Yup, that demonstrates how "frustrated" they were.

And the Republicans who controlled Congress during most of Bush's term showed how "frustrated" they were about "the excess spending" by doing this: fully supporting it.

I also remember all the tea party protests that were organized by Republicans, to protest the fact that Bush increased the national debt by 84%. I can recall this many such protests: zero.

You apparently live on a fantasy planet where those protests took place. Back here on Earth, the GOP gave Bush's spending habits plenty of support. Cheney said "deficits don't matter," and Weekly Standard chimed in to tell us how smart Cheney is, and that he's "onto something."

It stands to reason that they would be even more upset when someone tries to outspend Bush and by a large margin.


It stands to reason that the GOP's track record means that it's in no position to preach about spending. Hearing a sermon from the GOP about spending is like hearing a sermon from Rush Limbaugh about how wrong it's to use drugs illegally. Or a sermon from Larry Craig about how it's wrong to seduce strangers in an airport bathroom. Or a sermon from Mark Foley about how it's wrong to make passes at teenagers. Or a sermon from Bill Bennett about how it's wrong to blow lots of money on gambling. Those are sermons no one is going to take seriously, and right now no one outside the GOP is taking the GOP seriously.

don't let the facts get in the way of the narrative you hold so dear


If you have any "facts" to support the claim you made, I hope you'll let us know where they're hidden.
4.16.2009 5:11pm
sobi:
Suzy,

I can't imagine what inspires you to publicly declare your sympathy for me, and were it not tinged with a hint of presumed superiority, I would be compelled to admire your humanity.

As it is, perhaps we could confine ourselves to issues. I neither require your sympathy, nor am I inclined to see you as in a position to offer it.

I'm certain with your highly developed insight, you can read the meta message.
4.16.2009 5:23pm
Guest for now:
Jukefraud,

You pulled up one month of Bush's approval ratings. Care to give us the rest? I don't doubt that the approval ratings were more inflated right after the election of an opposition candidate. What, however, were those ratings in the year before?

Moreover, what are they compared to the average approval rating for a party's candidate? It's not shocking, genius, that Republicans would support Bush more than other groups given that he was a Republican. But did they support him like they supported Reagan? Did they support him like Democrats support Obama or Clinton?

I suspect 64% was the high-water mark for Bush during his last few years in office, which is why you probably used that number. Even then, a third of the man's party disapproved of the job he was doing. That's not exactly a blanket endorsement.

I don't begrude deficits following 9-11 and were you intellectually honest (which you're decidedly not), you wouldn't either. But I do begrudge the size of those deficits and the fact that they were never reigned in during his term. And many other Republicans felt the same way. Had Bush had better approval ratings among Republicans, his historical numbers would not have been so low.

You're seeing these tea parties now because Obama is not only outspending Bush -- which is an accomplishment -- he is also raising taxes and raising our debt to a level that will require ever more taxes. And some of those tax increases aren't even guaranteed to raise revenue. Obama wants to raise capital gains rates, and he has acknowledged that doing so might not increaase revenues but that the raise is still needed for the purpose of "fairness."

You consistently ignore what Obama plans to do in terms of spending by talking about what Republicans have done. There are two problems with your typically narrow view of the world. First, you act as if the Republicans controlled every aspect of government during the Reagan and Bush I years as well as during W's term. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Republicans did not control the House during the 12 years of Reagan-Bush I. Start spinning all you want, but Democrats played a contributing role in the deficits during those years given that spending bills originated in the House they controlled. Bush also didn't have carte blanche authority to reign in spending. He didn't have Senate control for most of 2000-2002, and he had control of neither house from 2006-2008. Did Democrats not vote on the spending bills during that time? And even when Bush and the Republicans had a majority from 2002-2006, it was far from a filibuster proof majority. If you disagree, call Miguel Estrada and explain to him why he isn't a federal judge, because I'm pretty sure it wasn't due to a lack of Republican support.

The second problem is that, at best, your argument is that because Republicans spent money imprudently (a shocking claim about politicians of any party!), it's apparently okay for Obama to do the same.

What I think we'd all like to know is what you've done to contribute to society? You apparently don't mind higher taxes, but that's probably because anyone who trolls as much as you do on this site doesn't have "income." So tell us, jukebox, how much did you contribute to the federal pot last year? And please don't count FICA taxes, assuming you paid any. Remember, you'll receive social security later for that contribution, right? After all, it's a government IOU -- how could that go wrong?

Then again, maybe your contribution to society is all the trolling you do. How would we make it without you!
4.16.2009 5:54pm
Guest for now:
Another striking thing you didn't mention is approval/disapproval of Congress. As with deficits, you seem to actually believe in the unitary government, where the only branch is the Executive Branch. But there is this place called "Congress" that also has a small say in legislation (crazy, huh?). And believe it or not, people actually have opinions about how they do their job!

So, here is an example of those opinions:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,287195,00.html


It's from 2007, and notice how barely half of Republican voters approved of Republicans in Congress. 37% disapproved. And remember, these are their core supporters. So to act as though Republicans were just fine thanks for asking about Bush and the GOP during the last eight years is, well, typical for you.
4.16.2009 6:13pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
You pulled up one month of Bush's approval ratings.


I picked the end of his term, because that's when his ratings were lowest. Both in general, and among Republicans.

Care to give us the rest?


Care to learn how to do your own googling? That would help you avoid making a fool of yourself.

What, however, were those ratings in the year before?


Pew, 6/4/07. Bush approval rating among Republicans: 65% ("the lowest mark of his presidency").

I don't doubt that the approval ratings were more inflated right after the election of an opposition candidate.


I don't doubt that you have a really hard time paying attention. The poll I cited in my prior comment was from 9/08. Obama had been elected by then? I had no idea.

And Bush's approval rating of 64% (among Republicans) in 9/08 was definitely quite "inflated," compared to his approval rating of 65% (among Republicans) about a year earlier. Provided you have a peculiar concept of the word "inflated." But you obviously do. Just like you have a peculiar concept of the word "elected."

You are implying that there was some period during Bush's term when his approval (among Republicans) was significantly lower than 64%. Really? Let us know when you're ready to show some proof to back that wacky assertion.

Here on planet Earth, that never happened (his approval among Republicans falling much below that level). Which helps us understand just how deeply "frustrated" Republicans were with his "excess spending."

It's not shocking, genius, that Republicans would support Bush more than other groups given that he was a Republican


It's not just that they supported him "more than other groups." It's that the vast majority of Republicans supported him despite being allegedly "frustrated" with his "excess spending." Which means they weren't that "frustrated."

Thanks for proving my point. What history shows is that Republicans are perfectly willing to approve of a president who is guilty of "excess spending," but only if that president is a Republican. Which means that the teabaggers are conducting a cynical partisan stunt.

I suspect 64% was the high-water mark for Bush during his last few years in office


I suspect that you're full of shit. Actually, I don't suspect that. I know that. You've got it backwards. According to Pew, 65% in 6/07 was "the lowest mark of his presidency" (with regard to approval among Republicans). As I said, feel free to demonstrate when the number ever went significantly below what you're claiming was "the high-water mark."

Even then, a third of the man's party disapproved of the job he was doing. That's not exactly a blanket endorsement.


Keep in mind that there were lots of other reasons to disapprove of him (even for Republicans who loved his Iraq policy), aside from "excess spending." Maybe I need to make you a list. Katrina? Harriet Miers? Dubai ports deal? Immigration? Alberto Gonzales?

37% [of Republicans] disapproved [of Republicans in Congress]


So what? That's almost identical to the number of Republicans who disapproved of Bush. Which means you're trying to make a big deal about a piece of information that tells us nothing beyond what we already know: that most Republicans approved of the Republicans in Congress and the White House, despite all the "excess spending" being done by those Republicans.

your argument is that because Republicans spent money imprudently … it's apparently okay for Obama to do the same.


No, that's not my argument. I'm simply pointing out that the GOP has no credibility on this subject (not that that they have any on any other subject). Which means that GOP claims and arguments on this subject need to be treated with great skepticism. Advice from the GOP about fiscal responsibility is not advice that anyone outside the GOP is inclined to take seriously.
4.16.2009 8:17pm
Guest for now:
Jukefraud,

Intersting how you ignore the fact that only half of the GOP supported the Republican Congress (or maybe that was because of Katrina, huh?). You say that because 37% disapproved, that means almost as many approved of Republicans in Congress as they did the President, but that's not true, as the approval ratings for Congress were 13% below that of the President. When only half your party supports its own candidates in Congress, that might tell you something about the dissatisfaction with spending. Of courst, it won't tell you anything because you're a moron who thinks that all spending eminates from the Executive Branch and that the Legislative Branch plays no role in these things. Notice you completely ignored that as well.

And we're all still waiting to find out how much you've contributed to the national debt reduction or the social programs you care so much about. But of course, that would require employment, not living off the rest of us. Seriously, what have you contributed to society other than your trolling?
4.17.2009 7:50am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
the approval ratings for Congress were 13% below that of the President


Big deal. If you look the history of Congressional approval polls, the ratings are consistently lower than presidential approval, for all sorts of reasons.

you're a moron who thinks that all spending eminates from the Executive Branch and that the Legislative Branch plays no role in these things


From 2002 to 2006, the GOP controlled both "the Executive Branch and … the Legislative Branch." Tell us about the great fiscal restraint we witnessed during that period. And feel free to explain why most Republicans continued to approve of their leaders during that period, despite the absence of fiscal restraint. And feel free to tell us about all the tea-party protests that were held during that time, to respond to the fact that Bush and the GOP were in the process of increasing the national debt by 84%.

we're all still waiting to find out how much you've contributed to the national debt reduction


What I pay in taxes is both irrelevant and unprovable. But we realize you'd like to try to direct attention away from this bogus claim you made:

I suspect 64% was the high-water mark for Bush during his last few years in office


I proved that you're wrong. If you had a shred of intellectual integrity you would have acknowledged this. But you don't, so you haven't.
4.17.2009 10:36am
Guest for now:
You haven't proven a thing, free-loader. You've proven that you need a review civics course and that you haven't made any contribution to society. You still apparently don't understand the whole "filibuster" rule and conveniently omit the fact that over the last 30 years, Republicans have only had nominal majorities in the Executive and Legislative Branch for four years. Everyone has shared in the responsibility of our spending habits, and yes, that includes the Republicans. I wish Republicans had thrown these "tea parties" during the Bush years, and they should have. But it's one thing to accept spending that is beyond what you consider a sound level if you think it's better than the alternative (and, clearly, it was); it's another to see someone even more reckless decide to have another binge after you've already amassed more debt that is healthy. I think it's fair to say that tripling an already horrific debt load would constitute a tipping point to many people.

But you're a delusional person who doesn't have a job, pays no income taxes worth speaking of, and apparently thinks that legislation passes about three days after a bill is sponsored without any concern for what the other party thinks or what moderate spendthrifts in your own party believe.
4.17.2009 10:48am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
You haven't proven a thing


You made this claim:

I suspect 64% was the high-water mark for Bush [regarding his level of approval among Republicans] during his last few years in office


Here's Gallup, 12/11/08:

Conservative Republicans Still Widely Support Bush


According to that poll, his approval among "Conservative Republicans" was 72%.

I already cited Pew, 6/4/07, showing that Bush's approval rating among Republicans was 65% ("the lowest mark of his presidency").

Here's Gallup, 5/8/06:

Bush's fall is being fueled by erosion among support from conservatives and Republicans. In the poll, 52% of conservatives and 68% of Republicans approved of the job he is doing. Both are record lows among those groups.


Here's Gallup, 11/15/05:

A large majority of Republicans -- 80 percent -- approve of Bush's performance


We're still waiting for you to show us when Bush's support (among Republicans) was significantly lower than 64%. But you can't show us that, because the claim you made ("64% was the high-water mark for Bush") is nonsense.

So I've proven that you made a bogus claim, and you're also doing a nice job of helping me prove that you lack the integrity to take responsibility for making a bogus claim.

You still apparently don't understand the whole "filibuster" rule


Please feel free to tell us specifics about the Democratic filibuster that stopped GOP efforts to cut spending between 2002 and 2006, when the GOP controlled both houses of Congress.

tripling an already horrific debt load would constitute a tipping point to many people


If you're concerned about "tripling," then I guess you had a real problem with Reagan. Here's what he did to the national debt: he tripled it. 77% of our debt was accumulated during these three GOP administrations: Reagan, Bush and Bush. The debt is 11 times higher than it was when Carter left office.

And you're continuing your regular practice of making bogus claims backed by no evidence whatsoever. Feel free to document your claim that Obama is "tripling" the debt. You're exaggerating by a large factor.

you're a delusional person who doesn't have a job


You're making it really obvious that you don't understand the difference between speculation and fact. Which is a pretty good description of "delusional."
4.17.2009 11:22am
Guest for now:
Jukefraud,

You aren't very bright. You rarely get to the point of filibusters because the supporters of a bill know they don't have 60 votes. The effects of a potential filibuster are incorporated into the underlying legislation based on the knowledge that you can't pass legislation without making certain compromises.

Also, as someone who actually is employed, I'm not going to troll through 48 monthly reports of two polling sites to see whether Bush polled lower than 64% (and you change from Conservative to Republican so I'm not even sure which you're measuring). If, as you claim, the poll with 64% was taken in September of 2009 when the Lehman episode went down and the market tanked, that may have been the low point. I don't know because I haven't looked at the data. I'd be surprised, however, if it didn't go back up toward the end of the year as elections have a way of making folks rally around their party.

But the overarching point that you missed (as you often do) is that Bush's approval ratings among his party were low by historical standards. You're recent citation only confirms this, yet you're too dense to realize that this is the central point: Bush didn't have the usual support of his party, and his free-spending ways had a lot to do with that fact. Perhaps no one threw a tea party, but that is likely the result of the fact that people didn't think that Bush wanted to spend that much money but had instead made a dumb compromise with Democrats in order to push the rest of his agenda.

When Democrats take power and then want to spend even more money, it's understandable that the frustration level would ratchet up, particularly in light of the spending.

And as to Reagan, you show once again your absolute idiocy and lack of basic understanding of the legislative process:

"Here's what he did to the national debt: he tripled it."


Please tell us during which years of the Reagan Administration Republicans controlled the House of Representatives? And since he and he alone "did" to the national debt what you claim, how did "he" do it? Did he introduce legislation? Do you even understand how a bill is introduced and becomes law? Did he suspend the Constitution and take over the legislative branch? Inquiring minds want to know.

Maybe when you move out of your parents' house you'll understand some of these things. Then you can start paying income and contributing to society. Still waiting to hear what your contribution is to the world other than trolling Pew's website.
4.17.2009 4:05pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
You rarely get to the point of filibusters because the supporters of a bill know they don't have 60 votes.


The only way to know for sure whether or not you have 60 votes is to take a vote. And the only way to know for sure that the minority party is willing to filibuster is to call their bluff and require them to actually filibuster. So I'll ask you again: tell us about the fiscal restraint measures that the GOP tried to pass in 2002-2006 that were blocked by a minority filibuster.

I'll be waiting patiently, just as I am still waiting for you to show proof for various other ignorant statements you've made. When are you going to explain why you said that Obama will triple the national debt? You have shown repeatedly that you are willing to present numbers that came directly from your butt.

The effects of a potential filibuster are incorporated into the underlying legislation based on the knowledge that you can't pass legislation without making certain compromises.


If the GOP in 2002-2006 really believed in fiscal restraint, they would have and could have presented bills which demonstrated fiscal restraint, and forced the Dems to filibuster to block those bills. Which would have exposed the Dems as the ones who are fiscally irresponsible. But this didn't happen. And you refuse to admit this, and you refuse to explain this.

If, as you claim, the poll with 64% was taken in September of 2009 when the Lehman episode went down and the market tanked, that may have been the low point.


You seem to be having lots of trouble making up your mind. Before you said this:

64% was the high-water mark for Bush


Are you finally admitting that you were blatantly wrong? Because if that's what you're doing, you're not being very clear.

I don't know because I haven't looked at the data.


In other words, you're just making it up as you go along. It's good for you to admit that, but it's already been obvious for a while.

the overarching point that you missed (as you often do) is that Bush's approval ratings among his party were low by historical standards


The overarching point is that most Republicans approved of Bush and the Republicans in Congress even while the GOP was in the process of increasing the national debt by 84%. As late as 2005, Republican approval of Bush was above 80%. That's not "low by historical standards." And he had that high support in 2005 even though it was already clear by then that he was a big spender. This history proves that Republicans believe in fiscal restraint only when the president is someone other than a Republican.

Perhaps no one threw a tea party


You're not sure? "Perhaps?" You think that maybe someone did? Here's a clue for you: no one threw a tea party. On the contrary. People like Weekly Standard were talking about how Cheney was right to say "deficits don't matter."

people didn't think that Bush wanted to spend that much money but had instead made a dumb compromise with Democrats in order to push the rest of his agenda


It's nice to know that Republicans are so committed to fiscal restraint that they're willing to give 80% support to a Republican president who tosses away fiscal restraint in return for "a dumb compromise."

Do you even understand how a bill is introduced and becomes law?


Do you understand how the federal budget process works? It begins with a budget request created by the president. Which means the president has plenty of control over federal spending, and therefore Reagan has plenty of responsibility for the fact that the national debt tripled during his term.

Maybe when you move out of your parents' house


It's obvious you have no evidence to support your various ignorant claims. And this becomes even more obvious when you try to hide behind puerile ad hominems.
4.18.2009 7:56am

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