Back to the future

Thanks to the Christian Science Monitor for publishing a Tea Party agenda from one of its founders.

His vision is a return to government as it was in 1950 with primarily a Department of Defense.

The promise is that a smaller federal government will reduce the overall tax burden. That is supposed to provide individuals greater opportunity to determine their own future.

It may sound refreshing to some, but it is based on the false premise that eliminating federal programs will also eliminate the demand and cost for those services.

All social programs will end including two of the most popular, Social Security and Medicare.

That means the elderly will have to depend on their own savings and unregulated private health insurance to meet their needs.

What happens to the disabled, poor, and those who for whatever reasons can’t support themselves? Family and friends will have to step up at their own expense. Those that don’t have this resource will becomes responsibility of the states. That means higher taxes.

No disaster recovery programs either. States will have to build recovery funds and replicate the federal infrastructure. Individuals will need more insurance to their cover risks.

There were no environmental, workplace, or consumer protection agencies in 1950. So we ended up with Love Canal, asbestos-poisoned workers, thalidomide-deformed babies, flaming Pintos, and a nearly extinct American Eagle from DDT.

With states in charge in the 1950’s we had institutionalized discrimination even though the Constitution supposedly protected all citizens.  If “Tea Party” government had been in place, the voting rights act would have had to pass as a constitutional amendment.

It took the federal government to build and maintain our interstate highway system. Federal agencies also manage interstate trade, shipping, and immigration. Even if they can figure out how to organize this activities, States are certainly going to have to pay for them.

We just lived through a period of under regulated financial institutions. On their own, they became so large that their collapse nearly drove the world economy into depression. The Libertarian Tea Party’s response is to let it burn. They trust that what would rise from the ashes would somehow run better.  But if you look at the history of financial markets in this country prior to regulation, you see wild boom and bust cycles driven by the same sort of greed and power evidenced in the most recent bust.

Finally, there is this strange contradiction. The Tea Party rejects the government that has been built following the Constitution and 200+ years of judicial review. Instead they want a radical new form of government which better fits with their philosophy of how things should operate by modifying the document they claim to value.

The wonderful thing about our democracy is that every group that thinks they have a better idea has an opportunity to make their case to the American people.  While there is national facination with this group, when their proposed policies become more widely known, they will fade like all previous populist movements before them.

I already lived through the 50’s once. I have no desire to do it again.

11 Responses to “Back to the future”

  1. keith says:

    p.s. if we continue with these conversations at some point its all going to boil down to what you think the top marginal rate should be, how many should pay nothing at all, and how many you think should actually be paid by the govt……

    i’ll also have to get your comments on the cycle beginning in bondage and ending in bondage, by choice, a people experiance that i mentioned recently. also comments on “a democracy is doomed to fail when the citizens learn they can vote themselves shares from the public treasury” will be anticipated. (currently 45% – 47% pay no fed taxes)

    Futher: now the 45 – 47% are marching on Washington for HIGHER taxes, of which they pay none!!!!! Do you see what I talking about?


  2. Jeff Beamsley says:

    the 47% you reference paid no Income Tax. They still paid a lot of other federal and state taxes.

    The reason is that there is a HUGE gap between the rich and poor with a shrinking middle class.

    So it isn’t a case of people voting themselves shares of the public treasury.

    It is a case of the rich purchasing themselves advantages to increase their wealth at the cost of those who are actually doing the work.

    We have become a country where the most money gets made on financial gambling rather than making things that have value. All that money created an unregulated marketplace that nearly bankrupt the country. It continues to flow into politics making it difficult to institute the sort of financial reform intended to prevent a repeat of the most recent meltdown. Guess which side the republicans are on?

  3. keith says:


    Looking for what you and I can agree on.

    How about this?

    Theodore Roosevelt’s ideas on Immigrants and being an
    AMERICAN in 1907.

    ‘In the first place, we should insist that if the
    immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American
    and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an
    exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to
    discriminate against any such man because of creed, or
    birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the
    person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing
    but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here.
    Any man who says he is an American, but something else also
    , isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag,
    the American
    flag… We have room for but one language here, and that
    is the English language.. And we have room for but one sole
    loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.’
    Theodore Roosevelt 1907

  4. Jeff Beamsley says:

    No problem with what Teddy said. Statistics indicate that kids of immigrants speak english and 50% marry outside their ethnic community. After two generations, there is virtually no difference in either education or income. The big exception to this is African Americans from poor neighborhoods.

    Have to be careful about criticising ethic affiliation though. Just as everyone is Irish on St patricks day, these days everyone is Mexican on cinco de mayo. These are celebrations of diversity, not evidence of lack of patriotism.

    Bottom line is that the melting pot continues to work as well today as it did during Teddy’s day.

  5. keith says:

    the obama administration is opposed to the AZ bill.
    The list of those who have not read the bill include;
    Obama, Holder and Janet N. hummmmm
    from my reading of it it just supports the Fed laws
    so, why the opposition???

    libs never threaten in protest. read link,

  6. keith says:

    Another item in which you can weigh in on;
    Seems Joe S. was offered a job by the Administration to NOT run against
    Senator A. Spector…………..hummmmmm. If true………

    Meanwhile the oil continues to spill from BP’s rig and appearently its Bush’s fault.

  7. keith says:

    Now a gentlemen in Colorado is claiming the white house offered him a job to not run…..

    The baglovich trial is up coming….whats going to fall out of that tree…

    Obama is acting like a communitty organizer who really never did anything…we got what we voted in and what I hoped we WOULDN’T get!!!!
    Seems clear this is the case.

  8. keith says:

    and you can’t see any “spritual wickedness in high places.” hummmmm

  9. keith says:

    I tried…now I drawing a conclusion….I gave Obama the benifit of the doubt…someting you didn’t affort I will offically say Obama is lost, has no clue how to lead and is ineffective. Follow the link below, the coolaid drinkers are now jumping ship… i tried.

    one more time tell me what a communite organizer does..

    your comments please…

  10. Jeff says:


    Hope all is well.

    Any thoughts at all about anything, spritual wickedness or whatever?

  11. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Sorry for my absense.

    Work was consuming a lot of time.

    All is well.

    Stuff got done and I can return to this discussion.

    Obama is no different from any other President with regard to the challenges that he faces.

    The Republicans have been running a rear guard action pretty much from day one intended to undermine public confidence in the President and his agenda. So even though he was reluctant to embrace offshore drilling during his campaign and faced the “drill baby drill” drum beat from the Republicans as a result, now that we see the result of reckless offshore drilling, the Republicans are the first to criticize the government response.

    It’s just how politics get played in this country these days.

    I think that we are reaching an end of the Tea Party movement as the reality of their agenda becomes better known.

    Once the bloom is off that rose, the majority of clear thinking voters will make their decision based on who they think can get something done rather than unreasoning anger against the reality that we have to deal with problems rather than just blame those who happen to be in office when the problems occur.

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