Monday, April 20, 2009

Tea Party Movement!

E. Thomas McClanahan wrote an excellent column for the KC Star on the Tax Day Tea Parties. He attended the Tea Party at Liberty Memorial and he had some things to say about the movement in general.

Here are some excerpts:
Bloggers at Playboy, noting how quickly the movement grew, figured it must be backed by some secret group. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the whole thing was “AstroTurf” — not a genuine grassroots effort. Liberal actress Janeane Garofalo suggested tea-party attendees were racists with substandard brains.

What we’re seeing is a center-right populist outpouring prompted by the long-term implications of President Barack Obama’s gargantuan budget, his spending plans, the massive tide of red ink those plans will generate — and, most important, what all that implies about the future balance between the government and the private sector.

I attended the tea party Wednesday at Kansas City’s Liberty Memorial, and I couldn’t find anyone who thought the event was about partisan politics. “Both parties are corrupt,” said Brian Stednick of North Kansas City.

Those with whom I spoke were mostly concerned about the rising national debt, ballooning federal spending — and the threat of higher taxes. Some mentioned the risk of future hyperinflation, given the huge sums of money flowing out of the government and Federal Reserve.

Those who criticized President Bush and the GOP Congress for fiscal irresponsibility were correct; when the Republicans were in power, they spent with little restraint. But as the graph shows, the deficit under Bush was shrinking until the housing bubble popped and the economy tanked.

By comparison, the coming Obama deficits are in a league of their own. On average, Obama’s plan would generate trillion-dollar deficits for the next 10 years, with chilling implications for future tax rates and the government’s financial health.

“There are too many issues embedded in this single protest,” said political scientist George Connor of Missouri State University. “I don’t see these numbers generating a national wave. I just don’t see it.”

Maybe, maybe not. Obama’s budget and his radical agenda have triggered an angry, nationwide protest. The next several months will provide hints as to whether the leaderless Republicans, still casting about for fresh ideas, can translate some of that anger into real support for candidates.
To read the rest, go here!

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