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The Irony of the Tea Party

© Jen Sorensen

I am continually impressed that the Tea Party has gotten so many people to protest against their own interests.



  1. Guy wrote:

    I have never had a rich person or major corporation tread on me like the government does. Usually, when a huge corporation or rich person treads on the little guy it’s in response to some government regulation. It’s called crony capitalism, and that’s the kind of capitalism we have today. If we could get back to real capitalism, and the free market, not the government control of capitalism that we currently have, then we would see something really special

    Some examples;
    Walmart supports HCR because the legislation will run smaller competitors out of business. While Walmart can afford to absorb the cost, the local hardware store or toy store may not be able to extend insurance to it’s employees and will thus go under.

    Warren Buffet supports the death tax, not based on philosophy, but on profit. His empire includes life insurance companies. So people buy life insurance from buffet because they know that when they die, their heirs are going to have to pay so much in taxes that they aren’t going to be able to keep any of the old fellas money. Also, buffet makes money buying properties from people that have to sell off these properties to pay the death tax. How’s that make any sense? Old fella, lets say a farmer, dies. His Farm is worth $7 million, but the family doesn’t have the cash to pay the death tax, so they have to sell the family farm to pay the death tax for the family farm. Happens with lots of little businesses around this country. And Buffet loves it.

    All the jobs that are sent overseas are because the government charges too much taxes and imposes too much regulation. All the Chinese crap we have to buy at walmart, same thing. AIG bailout, subprime credit mess, caused by democrats? When has a big business or rich person ever done anything to me or you, without being caused to do so by big government in the first place?

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink
  2. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    “Real Capitalism” has never existed, especially according to Republicans and Libertarians. Therefore it would be impossible to “go back” to it.

    “Real Capitalism” is a theoretical construct. It is not a viable economic system in reality.

    Your reasoning for the dumping of jobs overseas is unbelievably naive and quite simply ignorant, much like the rest of the last paragraph.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink
  3. BTN wrote:

    Guy, I think that you are mixing up cause and effect. FOr example, “crony capitalism” is when those with money, power, connections, or other special influence use the governeme nt to help get their way. By definition, the government’s act is a **consequence** of big business. So while you may be right in saying that the governement treads on your rights more than big businesses, I think that you have to pull back the curtain on the Wizard to understand why.

    It’s also obvious that you completely missed the point of this cartoon.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Permalink
  4. Sammy wrote:

    @Guy: You’re so right. I hate that big government requires buildings to be built to a certain standard of safety. I hate that big government requires that produce and meat producers adhere to standards to protect the stomped-upon citizens from bacteria and poison. I hate that big government oppresses businesses by not allowing them to work employees 14 hours per day at $1 per hour. I hate that the freeways I drive on are maintained. I hate that the car I drive is required by the oppressors to have brakes that work.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
  5. Sammy wrote:

    And Guy, I had an employer once tell me to increase his salary by 120% so he could purchase a house 3 times’ the cost of his previous house. It was partially paid for by eliminating employee sick pay, eliminating 33% of the paid holidays, canceling the 401(k) match, eliminating the employee incentive plan and cutting medical insurance benefits in half. Anecdotal, yes. But also true. I was there. And there was no gov’t regulation that caused that action.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink
  6. BTN wrote:

    Guy, I’ll say that life insurance companies like Berkshire Hathaway do benefit tremendously by the Estate Tax. So WB’s endorsement doesn’t mean that much, I’ll give you that.

    However, here’s another point that those articles you posted brought up: rich people often pay have lower effective tax rates than the middle class because of tax shelters and other loop holes. What is your theory for why the government’s tax code has these loopholes in the first place? Is it that politicians were unable to protect the middle class from the government’s tax appetite, but at least they were able to heroically stand up (against themselves) and protect the rich? (And of course the fact that many of the politicians and their largest donors benefit from these loop holes is just poor coincidence)

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Permalink
  7. gsavage77 wrote:

    1032, I won’t disagree with you about real capitalism, so we can’t go back to it. Semantics. We’ve not had a government that really follows the constitution in I don’t know how long, so we can’t go back to that either. Point is, that is what I want. And what is wrong with my last paragraph.

    BTN, Those with money and power, whether businesses or politicians will always do what they can to get there way. And they seem to have a different set of rules, which allow them to not go to jail for their transgressions. The problem with the current situation is that these regulations and laws drag down small businesses and middle class people, but the big guys can get around it, or go off shore. I hear time after time about small businesses struggling with burdensome regulations, some make it, some go out of business. Also, why would the big businesses be causing the government to impose all these regulations. Are they being punished for being successful? Is that a good thing? I don’t understand. I accept as complete fact that jobs are being sent overseas because the taxes and regulations are too heavy here.

    Sammy, calm down. It’s not all the regulations, but some are quite ridiculous. Smoking is a big one. Can’t smoke here can’t smoke there. I went to a university where you couldn’t smoke on campus, not even outside. Ridiculous. Let the restaurant decide if they want to let people smoke or not. Then let the people choose which restaurant to go to. Like it used to be. Let the airlines choose which way to go. Let’s say American and United chose to be smoke free, but Delta and USAir chose to let people smoke. Then we could make the decision. I don’t smoke, I don’t care about that law, I’m just saying, I can see the bastards creeping in. Take a little more, take a little more.

    Oh, also, BTN, I didn’t miss the point of the cartoon, I got it. I got the irony. Trying to say that the big business is treading on us more than the government, which a complete farce.

    And yes there are a lot of tax loop holes that the rich benefit from, and that kind of ties back into my point that we need to reduce the size of government because the people that benefit are the rich, because they can get around all this crap, while the small businesses and the middle class suffer.

    But everyone is worried about revenue, forgetting that with less taxes the economy will surge forward, the tax revenue will actually increase, and charitable contributions increase as well, both because people are basically good and want to help (Not through the government, they want to help specific charities.) and because they get those evil tax breaks BTN was talking about.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Permalink
  8. Iron Knee wrote:

    Guy/GSavage77, there is absolutely no evidence that with less taxes the economy surges and tax revenue increases, and there is plenty of evidence that the opposite is true. Just because you keep repeating it, doesn’t make it any more true.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Permalink
  9. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    If what you want in reality is an economic theory that only exists in a vacuum, then you are delusional.

    The last paragraph you wrote is pure right-wing talking point BS. The jobs overseas thing alone is absurd. Businesses operate on profit margins. Even when hiring an employee in the US, they will generally hire people who will do a job at an acceptable performance level for the least amount of money. Period. That is why the jobs went overseas. Because people living in 3rd world countries are willing to work for $500 a year. It has nothing to do with regulations and taxes in America, unless the regulation you are talking about is a minimum wage…and even then only marginally.

    Stopping jobs from moving out of America is an incredibly complex problem. To boil it down to “TOO MUCH REGULATION TOO MUCH TAXES” is partisan motivated ignorance. There is simply no other way to describe it.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Permalink
  10. Sammy wrote:

    Regarding smoking laws. Until my state (Washington) made smoking in bars illegal, guess how many of them in my city chose to be smoke free? That would be zero. Guess how many have gone out of business because of the ban since the law took effect? Zero. I haven’t been to an empty bar since, but they are so much nicer to be in. Before the airline smoking ban, how many airlines were smoke free? That would be zero. And the smoke never stayed in the back of the plane.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Permalink
  11. gsavage77 wrote:

    What evidence is there that high taxes lead to GDP growth? Other than in the 50’s when Johnson had stupid high tax rates and the economy was roaring because there was no other major economy in the world, Europe was trying to put it’s ass back together after WWII and there was nowhere overseas to send jobs.

    In the middle years of Bush’s presidency, however the economy was going quite good. He put in those vilified tax cuts, and from 2003 until the subprime credit thing blew up the economy was strong.

    Some of these things are so common sense to me that I just can’t understand how things would work in y’all’s world.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Permalink
  12. Iron Knee wrote:

    Johnson? 50s? What planet are you from?

    The high taxes in the 50s were the work of Eisenhower. A Republican, btw. They were instituted to pay down our war debt, but they stayed around after that, until Reagan and others after him started cutting taxes on the rich. So lemme see: Before Reagan, high taxes on the rich and the best ever years of our economy; After Reagan, low taxes on the rich, and the economy has recession after recession.

    Obama also lowered taxes (even though you probably don’t believe that), but that somehow didn’t seem to help revive the economy fast enough. Hmmmm.

    Note that I am NOT saying that high taxes lead to GDP growth, although there have been some good opinions that they do. What leads to GDP growth is what you spend those taxes on. The space race led to technological advances that still benefit us, and also put a strong emphasis on science education in our schools. Spending on education, technology research, and infrastructure is what led to GDP growth. Anyone who has ever run a business (like I have) knows that.

    And finally, you say that in the 50s there was no other major economy in the world? What are Japan and Russia — chopped liver? Who put the first satellite into space? Some third world country? Who overtook our auto industry?

    Guy, I’m almost sorry to say this, but you would be laughable if it weren’t so sad.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Permalink
  13. Patricia Andrews wrote:

    This “Guy” is probably the beneficiary of some fact-free fantasy passed off as “information”, “history” books that are pure fiction and a complete lack of exposure to any “idea” not approved by those who run his ideologically driven universe. Sad to say, that if this type of revisionism wins out in the end, the “true believers” will find out what kind of “master” they have served and not only will they not like it very much, they’ll have no idea of how to change it for the better.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Permalink
  14. gsavage77 wrote:

    Johnson, Eisenhower, oops, my bad. Sorry, I was a little off on that one. Actually, I knew that, I just had a little stupid moment. And yes Eisenhower was a republican, but I’m not talking about R vs D. I’m talking about the fact that that 90% tax rate would be a disaster today, but back then it didn’t really matter. I was kinda surprised to realize that was an R that put that in, though.

    Where did Obama lower taxes?

    If the gument spend their tax revenue wisely, then yes there would be GDP growth. Problem is I don’t trust the gument, especially this one, to spend that money wisely. Where is the benefit from the $1T in stimulus money? Why is there so much gument bureaucracy wasting so much money? But if you let people keep their money, then that question doesn’t come into play. I believe in the good of the American people and that American employers will hire American workers if we lower the barriers, like taxes and regulations. Plus, when you keep the money at home, it gets spread around, boosts the economy and eventually some of it will come back to the employers. And they know this. I also disagree, philosophically, with the idea of high tax rates from a big government. And I think the constitution disagrees with the concept as well. We got rid of the big government of King George, and now we have the big government of Obama.

    Russia and Japan? Are you serious? Could you even buy a Japanese car in America in the 50s? Wikipedia says Honda didn’t even make a car until 63. Toyota was making cars. But could you buy either one here? I know you couldn’t buy a sony or a toshiba. Plus we had just bombed them to hell. And Russia, if they are a major economy, what is the most recent Russian product you’ve purchased? Stolichnaya? Not implying you have a drinking problem, I just can’t think of any other Russian product in the stores today. Oh, Caviar, right. They did make it in space first, but that was their big national accomplishment along with their military (but I’ve read that there planes sucked compared to ours. That was just a Dale Brown novel, but it must have been based in some sort of fact.) and other than that their economy has trouble feeding their citizens. (Maybe they are doing better now since the split, but the soviets sucked at little things like getting food on the table. We can agree on that, right?)

    But more to the point, was their anywhere in the world that employers could send jobs in the 50s to escape the high taxes? NO

    I would love to see some of the “good opinions” that you said say that high taxes lead to GDP grouth

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Permalink
  15. Iron Knee wrote:

    > Where did Obama lower taxes?

    > Where is the benefit from the $1T in stimulus money?
    Over one third of that was tax breaks. But you didn’t know that.

    > Could you even buy a Japanese car in America in the 50s?
    Of course you could. Toyota made their 1st car in 1936. Mazda in 1931. Isuzu in 1918. Later on came Datsun (Nissan), Suzuki, Honda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and Daihatsu. Seriously dude. Open your eyes.

    Russia was never a consumer economy. Just because they didn’t make products for you to buy in your local store, doesn’t mean they didn’t have a big economy. If they were such wimps, why did we fight a freakin’ cold war for so many years?

    Norway currently has some of the highest taxes in the world, and yet their economy is doing well, and they have a higher rate of startup company formation than we do. Explain that.
    I’m not saying that we should become more socialist like Norway, I’m just saying that there is plenty of evidence that high taxes — if spent right — can increase GDP.

    You totally crack me up. I hope you stick around, because it is going to be fun once you start to realize all the crap you have been believing.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 12:52 am | Permalink
  16. C.S.Strowbridge wrote:

    “If the gument…”

    At this point, you can stop reading his posts.

    “Problem is I don’t trust the gument…”

    I don’t trust people who can’t spell government.

    But on a serious note, you are arguing against economic laws based on your mistrust of the people in charge. In that case, your real problem isn’t high taxes, but corporate control of elections. If you publicly funded elections, you would have a lot better government in place.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 3:42 am | Permalink
  17. ebdoug wrote:

    Am I totally wrong in thinking that small businesses in no way have to offer health insurance? People are unemployed and looking for jobs. as of 2014 all those employees can apply for the government health insurance depending on their income. Now doesn’t that give the small businesses a “leg up” over the competitors? I watch my grocery bill go up and up and up because of the rise in health insurance. 1% goes to tort, 3% goes to the investors in the health insurance company.

    gsavage77: IK asked me last spring if I was going to travel when I retired. I can’t. Since this site started, I have kept my mouth shut about smoking. I’m a Public Health nurse and a Tax preparer. (retired at 66) Small businesses can not have my business because I was sensitized to cigarette smoke as a child. In my late 50s after wheezing for 30 years, I started having asthma attacks. Four. All from second hand smoke. I asked the drs “This is all mental isn’t it?” The reply “no it is not mental, it is statistically true.” You can actually kill me with an asthma attack if I’m near you when you light up. Last year, I client came with smoke on his clothes. Even with my $3000 worth of meds a year, I went into an attack. Your second hand smoke causes pregnant women to pass carbon monoxide on to the fetus causing the child to have brain damage which increased my taxes to pay for the care of the child and its education. You are certainly treading on my rights and everyone else’s. Obese and smokers (and second hand smoke inhalers) cause more health problems; hence my insurance goes up.
    So I can not shop in small businesses as people smoke outside. My last trip to a restaurant was 2008 because I don’t know who is coming in with smoke on his clothes.
    I am extremely fortunately that I have 1000s of acres around me that I don’t own but in which I can ski daily in the winter and walk when the snow goes. I am extremely fortunate that I can shop on line for all but a few things.
    So you are treading on my life big time with your cigarettes.
    Oh, and I’m also an ex smoker even though I’ve never had a cig. One allergist asked me if I smoked. “Never, but my parents did.” “Same thing,” she replied.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 7:33 am | Permalink
  18. PatriotSGT wrote:

    IK – you hit the nail on the head “there is plenty of evidence that high taxes — if spent right — can increase GDP”

    Problem is we don’t seem to have a government that knows how to do that, regardless of the political party. So I am for not giving them more money to frivilously squander until the show me fiscal responsibility and that they can actually oversee anything. Once they establish, like in the nineties under Repub congress and Dem president I’ll be glad to open my checkbook again. I think thats the point most fiscal conservatives are trying to make. We’ll pay more, but we want it used effectively.

    Ebdoug – my older sister has similar health issues to yours, however she developed allergies to diesel exhaust. She now has to live way out in the boonies to cut down on illnesses. Everytime she ventures up by the big city for more then a day she gets sick and has to retreat.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink
  19. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    One person’s fiscal responsibility is another person’s frivolous spending.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink
  20. PatriotSGT wrote:

    1032 – your right, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so are important programs.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Permalink
  21. Sammy wrote:

    Back to the smoking issue: I went snowboarding today. I don’t prescribe to the thought that smoking outside should be prohibited, but even on a mountain ski lift the cigarette smoke from the guy two chairs ahead of me made it to my nostrils. Don’t tell me your outdoor cigarette smoke doesn’t affect me, even if it’s just disgust.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Permalink
  22. Effisland wrote:

    What the ‘gument’ could do that might instantly make everyone happy while causing national chaos?

    Provide only those services that they can pay for, without going further into debt.

    It would make people happy because its the same simple standard that an average household must abide. If you spend more than you earn, you will soon go bankrupt. Who better to set an example than those who make the rules?

    It would cause chaos because of the simplest reasons: loss of order from no military or infrastructure or governance.

    Now you may not like what your mammy says and you can survive without your paternalistic nagging pappy, but fact is that in a nation of over 300 million people you do need some governance. What, you think a nation this size runs itself? Let’s say that even if the nation consisted of like-minded people as yourselves, you would soon find something to disagree about. Who would keep y’all from killing each other?

    The temptation to rant on this is great, but I will not succumb and instead leave you with a link that might enlighten on the debt. Sorry, requires reading skills…

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Permalink
  23. C.S.Strowbridge wrote:

    I love it when libertarians defends second hand smoke. I thought their whole philosophy was, “Your rights end where my nose begins.”

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink
  24. Iron Knee wrote:

    Effisland, I generally agree with what you are saying, but it is not true that a household cannot spend money they don’t have. Most people who “buy” a house are spending quite a bit of money they don’t have, but they borrow (in the form of a mortgage) to make up the difference. Same with the US. We don’t simply spend money we don’t have, we borrow money. So it isn’t a great analogy.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Permalink
  25. Bert wrote:

    Big business doesn’t tread on us because of the government. If you did allow it, we would be working children, owing our future income to the company store, and sleeping in the workplace so that we can do a few extra hours.

    These issues were addressed in the courts early in the 1900s. It isn’t justified to assume that the government is bad because it is currently more oppressive than business. It is the role of government to enforce laws, draw taxes, and limit peoples roles.

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink
  26. starluna wrote:

    Bert – just FYI, the federal child labor restrictions were not put into place until 1938 under Roosevelt as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

    The “company store” is a type of crop-lien system. I am not aware of any law that prohibits it, but if you have information about that, please share it.

    Unfortunately for friends of mine that work in Public Works, there has been plenty of sleeping at work with our weekly snow storms this winter.

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Permalink
  27. Mad Hatter wrote:

    I think Bert was referring more to mining “company stores” and “owing your soul to the company store”.
    Although probably not illegal, I think the unions forced mining companies to quit the practice of paying in scrip that could only be used in the “company store”.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink
  28. Bert wrote:

    Yeah, MH, that’s the idea. I was listening to a podcast recently that discussed a lot of the issues raised to the Supreme Court early in the last century.

    The company store issue wasn’t part of it, but it was part of the problem with companies trying to control every aspect of people’s lives so they couldn’t separate themselves from the company. That took different forms for different business types.

    Starluna, yeah, I don’t think it is still prohibited, but we can insist on pay in US dollars.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink
  29. starluna wrote:

    Bert – do you remember the podcast that you were listening to? Or do you have a link? This sounds interesting.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Permalink
  30. Bert wrote:

    I’ve been listening to (off an on) three Supreme Court podcasts.

    Supreme Podcast at

    Supreme Court Classics Podcast at

    Supreme Court of Washington Podcast at

    I don’t recall which one touched on the history, but it was fairly recently. [Or I woulnd’t remember it so well. 😉 ]

    If you’re into that sort of thing, they are very interesting.

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink
  31. Bert wrote:

    I looked around and didn’t see what looked reasonable. It must have been related to one of the cases discussed.

    Now I’m wondering if it could have been one of the history podcasts I subscribe to. The most promising one there would be:

    My History Can Beat Up Your Politics, which touches on the political issues in history. But usually not the legal side of them.

    Or “What You Missed in History Class” which touches on social upheaval and controversies.

    That probably won’t help a lot. I could then get into the philosophy ones which might…

    I’m addicted to podcasts. 🙂

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink