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Monday, April 13, 2009

Krugman: Tea Party GOP "Embarrassing"

With the fundagelicals admitting political defeat, Dr. Allen Unruh and other conservative types will skip work and attempt to salvage some shreds of their collapsing worldview with a little tea party in the park on Wednesday.

I'd suggest not pointing and laughing... but I can't resist. Neither can Nobel laureate Paul Krugman:

One way to get a good sense of the current state of the G.O.P., and also to see how little has really changed, is to look at the “tea parties” that have been held in a number of places already, and will be held across the country on Wednesday. These parties — antitaxation demonstrations that are supposed to evoke the memory of the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution — have been the subject of considerable mockery, and rightly so.

But everything that critics mock about these parties has long been standard practice within the Republican Party.

Thus, President Obama is being called a “socialist” who seeks to destroy capitalism. Why? Because he wants to raise the tax rate on the highest-income Americans back to, um, about 10 percentage points less than it was for most of the Reagan administration. Bizarre [Paul Krugman, "Tea Parties Forever," New York Times, 2009.04.12].

And lest we fall for the marketing line that the tea parties are just God-fearing patriots standing up for the common man:

Last but not least: it turns out that the tea parties don’t represent a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment. They’re AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events, manufactured by the usual suspects. In particular, a key role is being played by FreedomWorks, an organization run by Richard Armey, the former House majority leader, and supported by the usual group of right-wing billionaires. And the parties are, of course, being promoted heavily by Fox News [Krugman, 2009.04.12].

Party on, Wayne... party on, Garth.


  1. I don't have a problem with Obama taxing the rich, but it's his definition of Welathy is what I am concerned about. During his campaign it changed 3 times and the amount kept getting lower and lower (which also included small business).

    If you want to raise taxes on the Donald Trumps and Bill Gates of the world, go for it. Just don't hit the little guy. With record unemployment and forclosures, I don't think taxing someone who is making middle income wages and working for small businesses is the way to go.

  2. Obama is also taxing future generations with unprecedented government spending.

    $4 trillion spending to date and plans for $8 trillion in new spending in the next few years... growth of government ultimately translates to socialism.

  3. I can see that Cory is part of the groups that are attempting to sabotage the tea parties. Not surprising. We citizens have a right to protest peacefully when the gov't runs amuk of common sense, and I think Cory realizes this even if he doesn't agree with it.

    But surprising is that he falls for the line that Obama is only taxing the rich. Obama's plans for cap and trade will result in higher energy costs for everyone, i.e. higher taxes. He raised taxes on cigarettes (and no, I don't smoke) to pay for SCHIP; I gotta love the irony or whatever of this! His programs of reckless spending and printing money will result in huge tax increases in the coming years. States are raising taxes on everything possible to fund their bloated budgets. And these taxes hurt most those least able to afford them. Those who think a tax on food is terrible have only seen the tip of the iceberg if things continue.

    But keep your heads in the sand and pretend all is well. Those of attending tea parties are not content to bury our heads. We can see what the coming tax burden will be. And no, I'm not blaming soley the Dems. Dems and Reps have overspent like it's Christmas year round, but now it's Obama's presidency and it's all on his watch. He is expanding gov't, which will necessarily raise taxes to pay for it.

    We just started working for ourselves just today I think after working the earlier part of the year for Uncle Sam and his cohorts. In the coming year or so we will be working for Uncle Sam until sometime in May. If you like this, fine. I don't. It isn't necessary that the gov't run everything. And it isn't necessary that the gov't taxes us excessively.

    See you at the Sioux Falls tea party!!!!

  4. Well, people said they wanted a change. I guess record spending and the largest deficit anyone has ever seen is a change. The next time a candidate uses the phrase "Vote for Change", we better ask for specifics huh?

  5. Many people did try to get voters to realize the "change" they were voting for with Obama. Trouble is that not enough voters really looked at what he meant by change, they were just thinking of all the freebies he was promising. And many people still don't look past the gimme philosophy. But, and here's the rub for everyone, even the gimmes are going to get hit hard with his reckless spending and subsequent tax hikes.

    And don't forget, only slightly over half of the voters were fooled by Obama. Many, many voters saw through the rhetoric. He doesn't have any mandate with only that much of a majority of the votes.

  6. When a rock group comes up with a latter-day version of the Beatles' classic "Tax Man" and it tops the charts, then we'll all have a real tea party.

  7. Let's remember context: It seems people were approaching the stimulus package with a mindset more attuned to crisis, not Christmas. Yes, there's a lot of big spending going on. There's also the biggest economic crisis going on. Did anyone throw tea parties during World War II, when income taxes on the highest bracket went to 94%? No: folks recognized they needed to sacrifice to solve problems. Now a return to something less than Reagan-era tax rates causes this uproar. So much for the Greatest Generation: try the Greediest Generation.

  8. Oh, and what "groups" am I part of? Sounds like someone has his mass-persecution hat on, imagining vast conspiracies of opponents to make himself/herself/itself feel braver and more heroic. You're not fighting King George; you're pretty much just whining... which you have every right to do.

  9. I'm not greedy! And I resent that!

    I AM for sensible spending, for letting the markets take care of themselves, which they will do, and not for planning huge socialist type programs that will bankrupt the country during the time you proclaim an economic crisis.

    Social Security was declared "broke or bankrupt" for future generations before Obama even took over. And now with Bush's (& Kennedy's) Medicare prescription bill, O's plans for nationalized health care, bailouts for everyone, global spending, etc on top of the gov'ts responsiblity for Social Security, you think this is sensible????

    We (the U.S.) doesn't have any more money, but that doesn't seem to bother lots of people. China owns us via our debt. I for one don't think that's a healthy way to run a country.

    States are bankrupt. The news yesterday was stating that many cities are going to be facing bankrupty. And of course, the feds are bankrupt.

    Something is wrong here!

  10. O.K., Anon, I think we're talking past each other. Back to the original point Krugman made: please explain to us where to tea-party-worthy tyranny lies in asking folks to pay taxes that are still lower than what Reagan charged.

  11. And I supposed the spa vacation before Congress had their big vote on the stimulus plan was a necessity at tax payer expense. Wasteful spending...

  12. Taxes include a lot more than income taxes, and those are being raised all around. Food, cigarettes, gas, state income taxes, pop, candy, not to mention the "wonderful" cap and trade that will be passed on to all us little people. Obama can keep promising no tax hikes for those making lses than $250,000, but the facts belie that.

  13. I have a problem with your calling the tea parties simply GOP sponsored. There was an Obama voter from down south who was organizing a tea party. This is truly a bipartisan effort of people concerned about the tax and spend philosophy. But spin all you want.

  14. Bipartisan effort? Ha ha ha ha! Bring me numbers, not your single spin example. (And feel free to bac up your claim with a reliable source.) Poll the folks there tomorrow: you will find Republicans, Libertarians, and Constitution Party members, not necessarily in that order. Democrats will be a small, perhaps curious minority.

  15. "I have a problem with your calling the tea parties simply GOP sponsored."

    O.K., Anon, I will beg your forgiveness for my spin... when you can explain teaparty.gop.com... and when you can find a similar link anywhere on any official Democratic Party website.


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