Tea Party views on the economy and the safety net: Taking us back to the 19th century

If you’re wondering about the wish list of policies behind the Tea Party rhetoric, ponder these snapshot examples of the positions of two newly-elected, Tea Party-supported Members of Congress, drawn from an Associated Press piece by Charles Babington (link here, via Yahoo! News).

Save the rich, punish the unemployed

Here’s the economic platform of first-term GOP Representative Allen West of Florida:

In southeast Florida last week, first-term GOP Rep. Allen West, a tea party favorite, called for changes that some might consider radical: abolish the Internal Revenue Service and federal income tax; retain tax cuts for billionaires so they won’t shut down their charities; stop extending unemployment benefits that “reward bad behavior” by discouraging people from seeking new jobs.

Does this Congressional newbie not understand that we simply don’t have enough good jobs (i.e., those that pay a living wage) to go around? Does he realize that tax rates on the wealthy already have plummeted from their high point during the post-WWII era, when America’s economy happened to be at its zenith?

Hey, let’s stop brainwashing these kids!

Another first-term GOP Representative, Trey Gowdy, sees sinister things being taught in our schools:

According to a Greenville News account posted on his website, Gowdy “described a recent school classroom where most children indicated they think it’s the government’s job to provide health care, Social Security and education. ‘We’ve got to do something about the sense of entitlement,’ Gowdy said.”

OK, I get the debate over government-sponsored health care, but this guy is suggesting that public education somehow is wrong???

America, meet your deep end

This is a very different Republican Party than the one that once hosted the likes of Senator Mark Hatfield of OregonRepresentative John Anderson of Illinois, and — going further back — Governor Robert LaFollette Sr. of Wisconsin.

We are dealing with folks who want to take us back to the 19th century, and that’s no exaggeration. Voters are electing extremists who want to do away with the very safety net that many of them would want to access if they found themselves facing hard times. They are empowering those who want to eliminate retirement and disability benefits and to privatize education.

The Tea Party folks are pushing the GOP off the deep end, and I’m afraid they’re willing to take a lot of everyday Americans with them.

3 responses

  1. It amazes me that all these tea party folk are so against socialism when the US military is just that –a socialistic system, full of entitlements like an excellent retirement after 20 years and health care paid for by the taxpayer for life, and tax free disability payments whether you are injured on the job, in combat, or by a vacation skiing accident. Not to mention a tax free housing allowance, and free “public” schooling for the kids — world wide, and subsidised food and department stores. Why are we not demanding to get what the military have — socialism in it purest form. Instead these tea party lemmings will hurt themselves, their friends, neighbors and grandchildren so they can get a $500 break on taxes, while the fat cats who are funding the “movementt” laugh all the way to the bank. Wow.

    • Dear Trish,

      US Military men and women protect and help keep us safe, even more so in the times we are living – They lay down their lives for us; Come home maimed; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder , etc. In my opinion, they and their families are even entitled to a great deal more especially in times of war/s.

      The US Military was not the best choice to use.

  2. First of all — to base one’s opinion of who feels “entitled” on a group of young school children is rather idiotic.

    Additionally, there is no one who acts out “entitlement” more than any politician who makes decisions based on personal gain rather than well-known desires of a majority of their constituents.

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