Politics

The Tea Party and the Value of Craziness

Extremism in defense of liberty isn't necessarily a vice.

|

Here's my first impression of the tea party movement: It's a rabidly right-wing phenomenon with a shaky grasp of history, a strain of intolerance and xenophobia, a paranoia about Barack Obama, and an unhealthy reverence for Fox News. Any movement that doesn't firmly exclude Birchers, birthers, and Islamaphobes is not a movement for me.

Here's my second impression of the tea party movement: We are lucky to have it.

That's because the tea partiers, who may not all agree on gay marriage or birthright citizenship, are united behind a couple of sound goals: curtailing the cost of government and refusing to live at the expense of future generations. Those are goals that, for eight years, had many rhetorical supporters in Washington, but few authentic champions.

Blame that on George W. Bush, who arrived billing himself as a compassionate conservative, a description that was accurate except for the adjective and the noun. Whatever his ideology, his policy was to expand federal spending at a rate unseen since President Lyndon Johnson, the architect of the Great Society.

He didn't do it alone, though. Had Bush been a Democrat, Republicans would have fought his budget plans at every turn. But since he was one of theirs, they joined in the spree with gusto, even as they cut taxes and piled up deficits.

The prevailing attitude was: Live it up now, and let someone else worry about paying for it later. Budget hawks were left wondering what happened to Republican tightwads, who thought every dollar spent by the government was a dollar that had to be justified as a vital necessity.

The tea partiers were dismayed to see these penny-pinchers replaced by poll-driven insiders with an appetite for earmarks. That's one big reason hard-right candidates have scored so many upsets in recent GOP Senate primaries—including Rand Paul in Kentucky, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Joe Miller in Alaska, and Christine O'Donnell in Delaware.

They didn't get nominated because they look and sound like the popular image of a savvy, experienced, well-informed, practical-minded U.S. senator. They got nominated because they don't.

They are often accused of craziness—one MSNBC commentator said Angle "sounds like a mental patient." But to the tea partiers, that's not a bug; it's a feature. If a $1.4 trillion federal budget deficit represents sanity, they would prefer a candidate who escaped from the psych ward.

These outsiders profited from a belief that established ways of doing things have led us off a cliff, as well as a widespread alarm at fiscal excess. This combination was neatly, though crudely, captured by Carl Paladino, who won the Republican nomination for governor of New York, in his promise to "take a baseball bat to Albany."

Paladino vowed to kill the Islamic center near Ground Zero by using the state's eminent domain power to seize the property—not exactly a small-government approach. With his incendiary rhetoric and fondness for racist jokes, he exemplifies the ugly side of the movement. But he would not have won the primary without his demand to curb public employee unions and slash state spending.

Conservatives are sometimes accused of being more interested in finding heretics than converts. Tea partiers offer a wrinkle on that. They are determined to root out RINOs (Republicans in Name Only), who they think have betrayed the party's economic principles. But in their own ranks, they seem happy to have everyone with an aversion to the enlargement of government, no matter how crackpot they may be on other issues.

Back in the 1990s, there was a cranky, conspiracy-minded Texas billionaire who had nightmares about free trade with Mexico and imagined that fixing government was as simple as fixing a car. Like Angle and Paladino, Ross Perot sometimes sounded as though he had gone off his meds.

But railing against budget deficits, he captured a staggering 19 percent of the vote as a third-party candidate in the 1992 presidential race against George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The movement he inspired helped force Democrats and Republicans in Washington to restrain expenditures, balance the federal budget, and generally stop acting as though there was no tomorrow.

It would be a great thing if sensible, temperate, consistently libertarian citizens would mobilize en masse to force similar changes today. Until then, the tea party will have to do.

COPYRIGHT 2010 CREATORS.COM

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

483 responses to “The Tea Party and the Value of Craziness

  1. Good morning reason!

    Another Palin attack? Keep keeping it classy, reason. Thanks for the Democrat wing of the Libertarian party perspective.

    1. You lost me. Where is Palin mentioned?

      1. If you can’t refute an argument, the default fallback is either “You have an unhealthy obsession with Palin” or “Why do you keep blaming Bush?”

        An actual reference to Palin or Bush was not required, it was just implanted as a false memory during the rebuttal as self-defense.

        1. “If you can’t refute an argument, the default fallback is…

          …fuck you, douche!”

          “Die in a fire!” is also acceptable, as is “Go fellate a cop, you fascist cum-sucker!”

          Hooray, internet!

          1. Remember: any call for internet civility is a sign of shoddy arguments and general cowardice.

            Politeness is for the weak.

            1. Obscenity is the last refuge of the incompetent.

              1. Go fuck a duck

                1. that’s fowl…

          2. That is all.

        2. “An actual reference to Palin or Bush was not required, it was just implanted as a false memory during the rebuttal as self-defense.”

          Split personality with false memories? Wow.

          1. “Split personality with false memories”

            That’s a blatant Palin bash. Why are you so obsessed with Palin?

          2. Your ban wasn’t long enough.

    2. Another Palin attack? Keep keeping it classy, reason. Thanks for the Democrat wing of the Libertarian party perspective.

      Let’s see:

      1. Nothing about Palin
      2. “Democrat Wing of the Libertarian Party”? What does that even mean?

      1. 2. David Weigelism.

      2. “liberaltarian”

    3. Keep keeping it classy, reason.

      Drink?

    4. That’s a picture of Christine O’Donnell, not Palin, you moron.

      1. No, that’s the human manifestation of awesome smiley.

    5. this.

      “They are often accused of craziness (including by us here at reason) … But to the tea partiers, that’s not a bug; it’s a feature.” News Flash: the tea party folks don’t buy into the “crazy” line that you and the rest of the media like to spew forth for these candidates. So to call it a “feature” for them is completely mistaken.
      You have the largest anti-government/small government grassroots force in a lifetime and a government that is increasing encroaching on our liberties (especially economic). You have some candidates who aren’t as “polished” as usual standing up against this and a libertarian magazine wants to continue attacking because the candidates don’t say “yeah, smoke dope!” Glad I canceled my subscription.

      1. and I know this posting says we are lucky to have the tea party. But the continual vibe around here is “they’re teh crazies!”

        1. Just because you’re crazy doesn’t mean you aren’t right.

        2. Hence the democratic wing of libertarians as mentioned above.

          All of the TP = crazies is pure left wing agit prop bullshit based on the idea that anyone wanting smaller government must be crazy.

          It reflects very poorly on the “libertarian” writers at reason, that they play along with this establishmentarian meme.

          1. Do you conservabots even bother researching a goddamn thing before you comment?

            Steve Chapman is a syndicated write. He is not a member of the reason staff.

            It reflects very poorly on the “libertarian” writers at reason

            I assume by the scare quotes that you presume that any maligning of this ridiculous TP movement means one is not libertarian. Well, screw you, jack, I don’t like the yokels at lewrockwell and I don’t like the yokels that populate the Tea Party. And guess what? I’m still libertarian.

            1. I assume by the scare quotes that you presume that any maligning of this ridiculous TP movement means one is not libertarian.

              No I’m saying that spouting journolist talking points proves your not libertarian.

              Being edgy, but still enough of the establishment to hang in the “right” social circles and get invited to cool cocktail parties makes you a pet not a libertarian.

              If the shoe fits wear it.

              1. Yes, yes, yes.
                Chapman is libertarian ‘lite’, a liberal Repug or whatever label of half assedness you care to use.
                That said, he is the closest to ‘hard core’ you will find in many major market rags like teh Chi-town Tribune.
                Many more people read that than Reason, LewRock and AntiWar combined … and that’s worth something.

                1. There aren’t many writers who have done more to expose the general population to libertarian ideas than Steve Chapman. Is he sometimes off the mark? Yes, he is, a flaw he shares many other writers.

                  Exposing people to to libertarian ideas is the only way that you will get them to even come close to questioning the liberal or conservative indoctrination they grew up with.

              2. Saying “journolist” proves you’re an idiot.

                Koch sucker.

                1. Oh my! I see you have received your latest Ten Minute Hate mint issued from Rachel Maddow. It’s so shiny and pretty.

          2. They are a bunch of culturally ignorant religious nuts. This O’Donnell wack job wants to ban masturbation. These tea party folks are rabidly social conservative and there is nothing libertarian about them…

            1. This O’Donnell wack job wants to ban masturbation.

              Link

              I think lying is immoral, that doesn’t mean I want to make it a crime.

            2. “This O’Donnell wack job wants to ban masturbation.”

              …starting with the Reason comment section.

              1. Ouch!
                To be fair, it’s masturbation and narcissism.

              2. That was funny and maybe correct.

            3. Reducing the size and scope of the federal government has to be considered some form of banning masturbation.

            4. No, she doesn’t. She just thought it was “motivated by lust” (no duh) and “immoral.”

          3. TP = crazies because of the candidates homophobic, islamophobic, and xenephobic rhetoric. Those are the things that libertarians have a problem with.

      2. All that matters is that the average voter thinks they are crazy. And the average voter thinks the particular wide mouthed woman in the picture is crazy.

        Voters thought Perot was crazy too; hence the reason he won zero states.

        1. Maybe we need a little ‘crazy’. ‘Sanity’ sure isn’t working out that well.

        2. The average voter thinks they are crazy?!? The average voter IS a tea partier. Chapman should refrain from writing about things he knows nothing about, which obviously includes the tea party phenomenon.

      3. Thank you! You summed up the problem with the reason type libertarians nicely. Some of the dumb bastards on here can’t see a good thing from it’s scattered flaws. Would you all rather have a socialistic pig ignorant welfare loving protest movement akin to any of the ones which regularly paralyse functional society in the Euro welfare states any time their governments tentatively decide to cut spending by anything more than 0.000001 percent over 10 years?

        The only country on earth where a firmly entrenched ANTI spending movement is building momentum, and you all deride it because it isnt 100% lockstep with some ideal of libertarianism!

        1. The above was in reply to smz|9.16.10 @ 8:59AM… not the message above my previous message… Damn server squirrels..

        2. I don’t care if they are socially conservative as long as they don’t think the government should be stripped to bare bones, except for the moral police.

          If the candidates are willing to say “Look I don’t agree with this or that behavior, but I don’t agree even more with the idea that we in the government should be regulating said behavior”, then I’ve got no problem with them.

  2. …no matter how crackpot they may be on other issues.

    This is my problem. The two established parties have candidates or legislators who are crackpots on “other issues”.

    For some reason, we’re judging the TPM – its candidates and voting members – on a different metric. There is no Republican who, before his handlers can stop him, articluate some notion of governance so unsavory that it should set his supporters about distancing themselves? There is no Democrat whose private life and personal finances are fraught with such sordid details that should make him a unelectable public figure?

    1. Same metric. I view the Republicans and the Democrats as my sworn enemies for the same reasons I do the Tea Party.

      1. “Sworn enemies?” Who still has sworn enemies? Are you Richard III?

        1. Oh, I don’t know. Can’t think of very many literal enemies, but I have a list of ideological enemies as long as my arm…

      2. Same metric. I view the Republicans and the Democrats as my sworn enemies for the same reasons I do the Tea Party.

        Republicans and Democrats are in power. Tea Party is not. So, you want to maintain the status quo?

        1. I would consider a Tea Party in power to be equivalent to the status quo until their actions prove otherwise.

          And then depending on whether those actions involve reducing government or expanding it, I would decide whether the old status quo was less bad or not.

    2. The group outside the norm is always on a different metric, usually a much more scrutinized metric.

      1. With 40% of the population, the TEA Party can hardly be called “outside the norm”, nor can they be labeled as “extremist”, as Mr. Chapman is wont to do.

        1. But the Reason staff is cool. And that 40% is not. And that is what matters.

          1. Shhh, ‘tal. The Cromagnums are talking.

        2. Maybe 40% of white Christians over the age of 50.

        3. 40% of the population? Maybe 40% of Republicans.

    3. Our current Treasury Chief is a petty criminal tax cheat. One of our Supreme Court justices believes she is by virtue of her race more capable at judging than others. Another Supreme Court justice believes that it is within the power of the federal government to forcibly dictate everyone’s diet. A former head of the DNC thinks that it is a respectable position to believe that the government knew about the 9-11 attacks before they happened. The Congressional Budget Office uses models that have never been tested against reality to claim that government spending saved or created jobs. Various Congressional Staffers and government employees owe billions in back taxes.

      But it is O’Donnell who is crazy. Fuck you Steve Chapman.

      1. Oh and I forgot to add, another Supreme Court Justice believes that police are so professional that there is no risk of them abusing discretion no matter how much of it courts grant to them.

        The whole fucking world is nuts. It belongs to the Geittners and the Scalias and the Magic Latins. We just live in it.

        1. Credit where due. A GOP shill would not be slammin’ Judge Tony.

        2. Are you serious? Are you serious?
          You forgot to mention Fancy Nancy and Pete Stark.

      2. John every Republican says about 10 false or ridiculous things before breakfast every day. You’re really having to strain your bowels to come up with some of that shit.

        1. We Democrats, on the other hand, NEVER lie.

          1. And we do suck cock. Any takers?

            1. Lips on your cock and hands on your wallet now thats the democrat cocksuckers for ya.

        2. WTF, Scalia AND Sotomayor are NOT police state apologists?!?
          There are plenty of real and substantive disagreements you or i can have with John but there is no reflexive ream Red rhetoric here.
          *shakes head*

  3. That’s because the tea partiers…are united behind a couple of sound goals: curtailing the cost of government and refusing to live at the expense of future generations. Those are goals that, for eight years, had many rhetorical supporters in Washington, but few authentic champions.

    And you believe that it’s authentic now…because? Go to a Tea Party even and poll everyone on making major cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and on reducing our military footprint. See how they feel about passing along the bill to our children when you propose actual cuts to things they like.

    The stuff they want to cut now is they stuff they always said they wanted to cut, and doing so would barely make a noticeable dent in the budget or the deficit. That’s before all the stuff they want to spend MORE money on.

    1. Let’s see your proof.

      1. http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/…..ontentBody

        Overall, do you think the benefits from government programs such as Social Security and Medicare are worth the costs of those programs for taxpayers, or are they not worth the costs?

        Yes: 62%
        No: 33%

        Also, Bush has double the favorable rating, 57%, of Ron Paul, 28%.

        1. That’s a pretty wonderful poll. I wish they had asked about cutting defense spending too. Then we’d really see that these people aren’t actually serious about cutting spending. They say that want less government and lower taxes, but when it comes to the three biggest expenditures that must be cut to make that happen, they don’t want cuts.

          1. That’s a pretty wonderful poll. I wish they had asked about cutting defense spending too. Then we’d really see that these people aren’t actually serious about cutting spending.

            Yes, that would be great if they had. Oh wait, they did.

            q23 Suppose a smaller government required cuts in spending on domestic programs such as Social Security, Medicare, education, or defense — then would you favor a smaller government, or not?

            Total Tea Party Responder
            Favor 58 73
            Not favor 36 20
            DK/NA 6 7

            73% of tea party responders favor a smaller government even if it means cuts to Social Security, Medicare, education, or defense.

            That clear enough for you?

            That has to be the single most important question in the survey, and yet it is not mentioned once in the summary. Instead they make sure to point out that a majority of tea partiers support Social Security (forgetting to mention that they also would support cuts if they are necessary.) I have to say, I’m shocked, simply shocked that CBS News and the NYT would bury the lede like that. If I was a more cynical person, I might conclude they had an agenda or something.

            1. It’s not clear at all. Way too broad. Break that question into it’s four component parts and then I’ll be interested in the results.

              1. Is this a “No True Scotsman” fallacy? The question asked is pretty clear. “Would you support cuts to SS, Medicare, defense…” and a large majority of people who identify as TP supporters say “Yes”. However you argue that the question is meaningless because if doesn’t ask about all four individually?

                1. Have you ever used sugar…or PCP?

              2. It’s not clear at all. Way too broad. Break that question into it’s four component parts and then I’ll be interested in the results.

                You’ll be interested in the results as long as it supports your preconceptions.

            2. “programs such as … education … ”

              Yep. That’s clear as a bell.

            3. Missed that when I skimmed it. I would still like to see defense as a category alone without the “such as” language. I also don’t know how you reconcile that answer with the 63% who says SS and Medicare are worth their costs.

              1. I also don’t know how you reconcile that answer with the 63% who says SS and Medicare are worth their costs.

                Well for example, I might think that a Lexus is worth what it costs. That doesn’t mean I can afford to buy one.

              2. Also, 58% of ALL polled agreed with cuts “if necessary” So the Tea party folks are not that far away from the average citizen on this. Not sure what that means.

        2. I’d also like a question where they fill in what they think are the percentages for major federal expenditures. That would be pretty telling.

        3. EXCELLENT post, Mo. The poll you pointed to makes me think a large chunk of the tea party are a bunch of dipshits. 56% claim to never have heard of Ron Paul or don’t know about his ideas/platforms.

          Some real informed folks these tea partiers, you betcha!

    2. See how they feel about passing along the bill to our children when you propose actual cuts to things they like.

      Well Guy that’s because a lot of people (not just TPM types) think that the stuff they don’t like (Mexicans, Gay Marriage, something about Democrats, non-Church goers, people who don’t love ‘Merica) somehow take the lion’s share of our tax dollars when the big ticket items like War (Building shit we don’t need, overpaying contractors, blowing up people with “smart” weapons, subsidizing and infuriating a lot of countries with our military presence for cold war reasons) and Welfare (bankrupting future generations so “old” folks who “deserved it” can sit on the couch for 20 years watching the MTV and eating the Jello Puddin’ Pops, Medicare/Medicaid) are the cement shoes that are drowning us in the Hudson. Taking off our shirts and gold-plated watches will not magically let us rise back to the surface. Alas, we are almost out of breath and we don’t even know it.

      1. See my post above. 73% of the tea party responders favor a smaller government even if it means cuts to Social Security, Medicare, education, or defense.

        1. See my statement: not just TPM types. I wasn’t just calling out the Tea Partiers, but Americans/humanity as a whole for being the unprincipled, hypocritical fucks they are. And 73% saying they support those things is great, but would they actually reduce any of it significantly enough to avoid the smoking ruin situation we face? I’ll believe it when I see it. God, sometimes it seems to me like an advanced species should just wipe us out of the universe’s asscrack already. Fuck.

          Regardless, good on them for talking the talk. If they actually gain any power, let’s see if they can strut. I just can’t help thinking this is all pointless and I should be learning how to blow away potential rapists/thieves/murderers away with a shotgun from my heavily fortified basement instead of pretending to care.

        2. Unfortunately there’s an “even if” in there.

      2. You did see where the entire cost of the wars in Afghanistan and and Iraq to-date has been about equal to last year’s “stimulus” bill, and about half of this year’s deficit, correct? And you think the only thing to cut is the military. At least we get utility out of the military. Can you name one thing we have gotten from the “stimulus”?

        1. Are you fucking kidding me? CUT IT ALL. Obamacare is a huge pile of horseshit. Bailing out banks and auto companies is equally egregious, if not more so. Welfare, “education”, “environmental protection” have become lucrative rackets for the savvy. Let it all burn. I want unemployed bureaucrats cleaning my goddamned toilet. AND WE HAVEN”T GOT SHIT FROM THE FUCKING STIMULUS.

          Regarding these wars, if our goal/the only productive outcomes thus far were removing the Taliban(temporarily) and Saddam Hussein, we should have done that and gone home. Screw this rebuilding crap. And so what if they attack us again? We’ll just annhilate their next government from space. What’s the point of paying for all this technology if we have to send Johnny Crew Cut to die with his boots on in a god forsakened desert? Oh and let’s completely disregard the fact that our government has propped up oppressive regimes, created untold numbers of pissed off people seeking revenge, and somehow believes it is right to impose democracy on people. We gave them democracy, and they voted in some of the hardcore Islamic types that “are out to kill us”. Whoops.

          This isn’t just about money. There are some moral reasons to oppose this crap. Jesus Christ, I hate the whole goddamned leviathan, not just the part that has killed a bunch of brown people in the last 20 years. Fuck.

          1. Okay, but how do you really feel, Drax?

            1. Thanks zeebs. That reminds me, where the hell is my blood pressure medicine?

          2. Almonds! Pray cheese us! Kill the body and the head will die, mighty pamphleteer!

          3. Cutting “Obamacare” would increase the debt, you moron.

            1. Okay, Nostadamus.

    3. They want to cut waste and fraud obviously 8-|

    4. you weren’t The Nation reporter at Cato the other day when Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe were speaking, were you?

    5. I have a theory: I’ve noticed a lot of conservatives have been adopting the libertarian label lately, without really altering their views on key issues (military spending, civil liberties, victimless crimes, etc.). I think they’re doing it for two reasons. One: It just sounds cooler. “Conservative” conjures a fat white guys threatened by change. I’m not exactly sure what “Libertarian” conjures (Han Solo?) but it’s hard to be much worse than that.

      Two: libertarianism is based on a simple, hard-to-fuck-with principle: maximum liberty, minimum coercion. Conservatism has always struck me as a cluster of visceral, frequently inconsistent, knee-jerks.

      So IF the TPM candidates win, I desperately wish they WOULD implement libertarian policies (fewer policies, in other words). But I just really, really, really, really doubt they will. I hope I’m wrong, but I would bet money that if they come to power, they’ll spend all their time culture-warring and militarizing and (at best!) ignore the other stuff or (worse, and more probably) go exactly the way of Bush II and keep blowing my money on stupid shit.

      1. you could be right, but is it worse than the current crop that have gotten us into the black hole we’re currently in? you’re never going to get the perfect candidate, but if someone comes along and tries to repeal mandated health care and doesn’t vote for the next TARP … well, that’s a good start.

      2. Libertarian = Cool?

        hahahahahhaha. Stop, you’re killin’ me!

      3. I’ve noticed a lot of conservatives have been adopting the libertarian label lately, without really altering their views on key issues

        I noticed this in 2005.

        So IF the TPM candidates win, I desperately wish they WOULD implement libertarian policies (fewer policies, in other words). But I just really, really, really, really doubt they will. I hope I’m wrong, but I would bet money that if they come to power, they’ll spend all their time culture-warring and militarizing and (at best!) ignore the other stuff or (worse, and more probably) go exactly the way of Bush II and keep blowing my money on stupid shit.

        If there was a really good way of quantifying that, I would definitely make that bet (on the same side as you.)

      4. “I’m not exactly sure what “Libertarian” conjures…”

        Non-religious Republicans who like to smoke dope.

    6. Much truth SG. I say baby steps, move the ball, & ect.

  4. That’s because the tea partiers, who may not all agree on gay marriage or birthright citizenship, are united behind a couple of sound goals: curtailing the cost of government and refusing to live at the expense of future generations

    Hogwash. Ask a bagger what they are going to cut, and they just foam at the mouth, spewing it all over the room as they dodge the question again and again and again.

    If you DO get an answer out of them, it is incoherent, and either doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, shifts equivalent costs to the states, or in the rare case that they actually DO make a real cut to a substantial program, comes with no plan for how we are to deal with the consequences.

    Usually, though, you don’t get past the mouth foam.

    1. Ryan’s Roadmap is at least a starting point. Unless, I guess, you think the only answer is to tax the hell out of people for the benefit of the 40% and growing who pay no federal income tax at all and/or keep raising spending at multiples of the inflation rate.

      1. I read the Ryan article on the dailycaller, but he offered no consistent defense of smaller government and/or entitlement reduction that would enable him to win the political debate.

        1. At a philosophical level or at a numbers level?

          1. I guess both. He starts off with giving kudos to David Brooks: http://dailycaller.com/2010/09…..row/print/

            1. What problem do you have with his numbers?

              1. The numbers in the roadmap itself do look reasonable. But things like medical savings accounts do nothing to keep medical costs under control (as prices will increase relative to the tax subsidy).

                1. No Jerry MSAs *can* help control costs as consumers are given incentives to save. Now they really don’t because unspent funds are surrendered every year. But if they rolled over into future MSAs into 401Ks, then they would help control costs.

      2. Ryan is no tea-bagger.

        1. No, but some see his plan as at least a reasonable starting point and that doesn’t involve mouth foam.

          1. I agree with that.

          2. I agree with that.

      3. Ryan’s “Plan” in a nutshell:

        1: Really huge tax cuts on the rich, including no taxes on capital gains

        2: Tax increases on the middle class

        3: Don’t score the elements above, because they are actually on net blow a huge hole in the budget

        4: Promise that our kids and grandkids will make huge (and stupid) spending cuts, but don’t make any meaningful cuts now.

        Presto! The budget is “balanced” in a mere 75 years!

      4. How many of the tea party candidates have supported Ryan’s plan? Most completely ignore the question of what specific spending they’ll cut, except for maybe citing “earmarks”.

    2. Let’s see your proof.

      1. Olberf?hrer and MadCow said so. That’s all the proof that is needed.

    3. At it again, “spewing” out your own uninformed crap. Because anytime someone disagrees with statist expansion of government it’s “incoherent, and either doesn’t amount to a hill of beans” to you. It’s not that you cannot understand the principles of liberty. You simply refuse to understand.

      1. Oh Chad understands them alright – he just doesn’t approve of them, not for most people anyway.

    4. I get the feeling you don’t talk to many people outside your own circles, which I’m pretty sure reinforce your own ideas and prejudices.

      1. And your feeling would be wrong. My whole family mostly consists of baggers, and obviously, I don’t shy away from them online (or anywhere else, for that matter).

        You guys are more fun than preaching to the choir.

        1. Don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll work their way up to produce soon.

          If they don’t, file a grievance with the union.

    5. If you seek out morons to support your belief that your opponents are morons, you won’t be disappointed.

      1. Hey, now it’s getting personal.

    6. It’s adorable how people have default vomit spewing reactions to Chad. However, his point is sound. Concrete spending reduction proposals are few and far between among both the Tea Partiers and the GOP.

      1. *sigh

        I hate Chad.

      2. Are you as daft as he is? Actually spent any time with “Tea Partiers” and asked them how and where to cut spending? Probably not. Just assumptions that they are, by and large, just venting without any concrete ideas.

        1. Examples please. Specifics are few and far between in the campaign literature I’ve read.

        2. Please link to a single tea party plan with specific proposals to cut federal spending substantially in a way that doesn’t shift equivalent costs to states.

          1. I’m not sure what you mean by this.

            Perhaps you should link to a single tea party plan with specific proposals to cut federal spending substantially in a way that does shift equivalent costs to states.

            Of course, this brings up (to my mind, at least) and interesting question.

            Since all federal revenue comes from the states, why does anyone believe that the states can’t afford to provide these “essential sevices” to their residents?

            It’s not like any state has any genuine “excess” that can be transferred to states that don’t have that “excess”. Oh, I know that there are numbers that show some states are net taxpayers while others are net tax consumers but the numbers still don’t balance.

            What is it that purportedly makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts?

            1. It’s obvious what he means by this.

              If a bagger says “eliminate the Department of Education”, then the bagger needs to explain how we are going to replace the billions of dollars in special ed spending, for example, that DoE does. Are states now expected to pick up the tab, or are we actually going to drop these programs? If the latter, what is the replacement plan? Most baggers who spew this particular spending cut have less than half a frickin’ clue what DoE spends its money on in the first place (eg, Pell Grants, Special Ed, school construction, and research, generally).

              It is very common for baggers to dump costs and problems onto states, and pretend this somehow makes it ok for them to ignore it.

              1. If the money comes from the states originally (whence it has to come unless we are going to continue to borrow ourselves into collapse) why shouldn’t the states be paying for these things, if they are “essential”?

              2. Excuse me but isn’t that the way the Founding Fathers set it up.

                Communism in the community if you will, vote with your feet.

          2. It seems that you’re saying that the Tea Parties want to cut things that you feel are important enough that they must be continued even after the fed says ‘this thing is stupid, we don’t need to pay for it anymore’.

        3. The trouble is that in any large group of people you can get broad consensus on some general proposition but fail to get substantial agreement on specific components of that proposition.

          Hence, nearly everyone wants to “cut spending” (even Democrats). Finding a majority that wants to cut SS, Medicare, Medicaid, military spending, spending on national parks…you name it, is the hard part.

          1. I appreciate the challenge of that. But you have to start somewhere. One would think therefore that the Tea Party and the GOP would have an array of competing budget cut proposals. Yet there’s no such thing. Paul Ryan’s proposal is the the only clear voice amongst the cacophony of “spending is out of control!” rhetoric. Which is why I agree with Chad on this point.

            1. But you have to start somewhere. One would think therefore that the Tea Party and the GOP would have an array of competing budget cut proposals.

              This is your error. The “start somewhere” point is “cut the budget”. Once that agreement is reached, we can proceed with fighting over how to accomplish it.

              As a bonus, sending a bunch of whack-jobs to congress pretty much ensures gridlock while the rest of the country fights about where to make cuts.

              1. Everyone wants a pony for every little girl, and a chicken in every pot, too. Just like everyone wants more for less, and with the budget balanced!

                1. Yeah, but some of us think that people should buy their own ponies for their own little girls and their own chicken to go in the pot rather than thinking that someone else ought to be paying for it.

        4. You’re absolutely right. The GOP recently came out with a budget plan, and the defense budget wasn’t cut. We cannot restore our budget without military cuts.

          1. Well we’ll never be able to make any significant military cuts until we get over the notion of being the ultimate defender of truth, justice and freedom for everyone in the world.

            And that’s not going to happen until we tell other countries that they need to defend themselves because we won’t do it for them anymore, and mean it.

            Yes, our military budget is many multiples of the rest of the world’s but that’s as much because they are spending to little as it is that we at spending too much.

            Of course, it’s every other country’s business how they allocate their government spending bu it’s time we stopped giving them an excuse to skimp on defense because Uncle Sugar is always there to lend a hand.

          2. Well you’d have to end the wars first, and then you can cut the military. And then you can have people scream that you’re anti- “the troops”. As if it’s the troops getting all those hundreds of billions.

      3. And non-existent among the Democrats.

        1. What do we want?

          Fiscal responsibility!

          When do we want it?

          Now!

          How are we going to do it?

          [crickets]

    7. If you DO get an answer out of them, it is incoherent, and either doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, shifts equivalent costs to the states, or in the rare case that they actually DO make a real cut to a substantial program, comes with no plan for how we are to deal with the consequences

      Covered all of your bases on that one, did you not? After all, if I said “We need to make cuts to Social Security”, you would just file me under one of these categories above and ignore the proposal.

      And, besides, how is this a criticism of Tea Partiers coming from you anyway? You don’t believe in cuts, so you and the TPers are, on practical terms, one and the same.

    8. I can tell you what should be cut, Chad:

      Everything.

      And, for the record, I’ve only attended one tea-party gathering. Was not impressed and am not voting for any of the candidates endorsed by them.

    9. In those last two paragraphs, are you sure you’re not describing Tony…or yourself?

    10. Hogwash.

      And of course a douchebagger like yourself has asked so many. LOL

    11. There are two types of people in the world: tea baggers and tea baggees.

      We know exactly what Chad is.

  5. I think that your impression of the TEA Party is flawed, Mr. Chapman.

    I also believe that you’re displaying some of that “shaky grasp of history” you accuse them of having.

    You wrote:

    “He didn’t do it alone, though. Had Bush been a Democrat, Republicans would have fought his budget plans at every turn. But since he was one of theirs, they joined in the spree with gusto, even as they cut taxes and piled up deficits.”

    Now, the fact that the GOP lost Congress in 2006, and got cleaned out in 2008, is proof that your claim may not be entirely true. Maybe the Congress critters in the GOP went along with “crazy, spend it like it’s going out of style”, but apparently the GOP voters did not follow suit.

    Conservatives and Republicans out number liberals by a very wide margin in this country, consistently about 2 to 1, as shown by Gallup (1) and the roughly 2/3rds of the country that has been against Obama’s agenda since day one. McCain would have beaten Obama if he hadn’t suspended his campaign and run off to pass TARP. His loss, and Obama’s vicotry, was based solely on the conservative majority being unwilling to continue to show up at the polls and vote for lying scumbags in the GOP.

    Yes, the Government deficit exploded under Bush. But he created $4trillion in National debt over 8 years and Obama has created $3 trillion dollars in National debt in just two. The TEA Party is the physical representation of the fact that the conservatives have realized that they cannot “silently protest” by simply sitting at home and not voting for crappy candidates, now they’re motivated and active in trying to find really good candidates for whom we can all vote.

    These are normal, average, not crazy people, as you make them out to be. They’re moms, dads, and grandparents, not tin foil hat wearing nutjobs. You are doing the same thing to the TEA Party the liberals are guilty of doing, namely: taking a very small percentage of the total population and judging everyone else by it.

    With the TEA Party showing 40% approval in the total population (undecideds will not break for the Democrats this election cycle, so the number of TEA Party voters will rise in November), you’re trying to tell us that 120 million people are nut cases. That 120 million people are “intollerant”, “xenophobic”, and “paranoid”.

    This simply cannot be true because it isn’t at all logical. 40% of the population can’t just be written off as crazy like that, sir.

    It’s no different than claiming that all Muslims are terrorists because of a few violent radicals. It’s wrong, and you should apologize to those of the TEA Party who ARE “sensible, temperate, and consistent”. They’re by far the vast majority.

    1 – http://www.gallup.com/poll/120…..group.aspx

    1. With the TEA Party showing 40% approval in the total population (undecideds will not break for the Democrats this election cycle, so the number of TEA Party voters will rise in November), you’re trying to tell us that 120 million people are nut cases. That 120 million people are “intollerant”, “xenophobic”, and “paranoid”.

      There are varying degrees. Supporting some undefined idea is different than standing around with a sign that says that people you disagree with are Hitler.

      This simply cannot be true because it isn’t at all logical. 40% of the population can’t just be written off as crazy like that, sir.

      40% sounds low. Bush and Obama both have approval ratings around 40% and I doubt there is much overlap, so that’s about 80% right there.

    2. It’s no different than claiming that all Muslims are terrorists because of a few violent radicals.

      It’s a difference between someone who believes in the same fairy tale about a supernatural father figure as a terrorist, and someone who goes to a rally chanting death to America.

      The people who say they support the Tea Party but aren’t extremists will simply be disappointed by the results.

    3. His loss, and Obama’s vicotry, was based solely on the conservative majority being unwilling to continue to show up at the polls and vote for lying scumbags in the GOP.

      I call bullshit. The overwhelming majority of conservatives I know were so damn infatuated with Sarah Palin that they turned out in droves to the polls, much moreso than in 2006.

      The reason Obama won was based on the public’s opinion of the Iraq war. Obama said the right things, while McCain was pushing his 100 years bullshit.

  6. I remember back in early 2008 on Libertarian forums about organizing for tax day protests. But by that time in 2008, it was too late to really organize anything substantial. So we were deferring to the next year.

    Then Obama gets elected and Republicans are dealt a major blow in Congress. All the while, Congress is passing huge spending bills. People are getting mad. So, the idea of a tax day went out of the hands of Libertarians and fell in a bunch of different Conservatives.

    The Tea Party is really just a bunch of different people from different walks of life with a lot of different ideas on how they want the government to behave. The common factor is that they are fed up with an out-of-control government spending away money we never had and selling us massive debt for generations to come.

    I’m not a member of the “Tea Party”. I don’t believe in everything that comes out of it. But I do like what they are doing. I just wish more people would show more outrage at what is happening to this country.

    1. My take. When talking about large movements, you need to look at the overall trends, not the details. You will *always* find ideas/people to disagree with. Nothing and no one is perfect. The Tea Party types are pissed off. They still can’t identify speicific causes; they just know something is very wrong. Many prefer to just criticize or not get involved because they might meet people they don’t like. Big mistake and pretty damned childish.

  7. 90% of birthers are just saying they don’t think Obama was born in the United States because they enjoy annoying his supporters.

    1. Just like the time that I cut off my nose to spite my face.

      1. Just like the time that I cut off my nose to spite my face.

        It worked, didn’t it?

  8. Slighty OT. That picture of O’Donnell reminds me of something…oh shit! I think she was in Fucked Up Facials 8. Well, if I lived in Deleware, she might get my vote. Plus crazy chicks will do nasty stuff in bed. If only I could get her and Palin in a room together…Drunk. I like me some old, stuffy, conservative ginch.

  9. I believe that’s the same photo that cable-news lefty lesbian hack Rachel Maddow used last night in her smear of O’Donnell. We’ll be seeing it a lot over the next two months. A word is worth a thousand pictures.

    1. Lefties are also incapable of finding a picture of Obama that depicts him as anything other than godlike.

      1. The attack dogs are out in force. Just saw MSNBC glamor-girl Norah O’Donnell lay into Christine O’Donnell with a viciousness unusual even for that odious network. Certainly they don’t fear that she will win the Senate seat. That isn’t the motive of their concerted smear campaign against this new victim. They are doing it purely out of malice.

  10. The 3 areas where Tea Party types tend to agree funding should be cut are:

    1. Department of Education (they want it eliminated.)

    2. EPA (should be, if not abolished outright, damn straight cut back.)

    3. Obviously, a repeal/defunding of Obamacare, with, in many cases, a rollback of the planned criminalization of our HCSAs.

    You can agree or disagree, but none of those ideas strike me as Peter-Bagge-esque, frothing-at-the-mouth ambitions.

    I’d never describe the DMV as a Libertarian paradise, but if you were around here ’95/’96, when the Repubs + Gore really did cut spending, it was fascinating. I was 24, had a job editing the transcripts for a broadcast network, and had not one but four separate lawyers did the typing for me, ‘cuz it was the only work they could find.

    What was it, 1,500 6-figure Dem staffers set to lose their jobs if the Repubs take over? I’d call that a good start, and, hey, maybe it’ll take a Mitch Daniels type to really cut government down to size.

    1. If the Tea Party took over the country and eliminated the Departments of Education, Labor, HHS, and HUD, it would be fantastic. But Libertarians would still be bitching and moaning and pining for the Democrats because DOD was still there. I will take whatever cuts I can get.

      1. They would be bitching and moaning because the deficit would still be massive. Increase the age limit on SS to 70 and reduce the defense budget to only the next 10 countries’ defense budgets combined and then we can talk about small government. Changing the SS age limit alone would fix the budget for today and the next 20 years. Reducing defense spending would give us enough of a budget surplus that we could meaningfully cut taxes without borrowing money.

        1. See below. There is a lot more money there than you think. And further, those programs like EPA and HUD and agriculture do more than just spend more than just spend money. They distort the economy and generally mess with people’s lives and freedoms. Cutting those programs would do more to restore freedom in this country than anything you could do.

          You want to cut defense? Sure. But understand that you better be ready if a war comes. Because you can’t just build an army over night. But unless you are willing to talk about the other $500 billion to the deficit, you are just as bad as your opponents.

          1. We are ready. They’re called nuclear weapons and we have more than anyone else. And we’ve shown we’re not afraid to use then.

            I would handle defense thusly:

            Tell every country we have soldier based that we are removing them. However, make certain they know that if anyone threatens our national interests now that they’re gone, we simply push a buttom.

            1. QFT.

              Also, tac nukes like SUBROC to take out enemy subs or carrier groups means we can mothball some of our own..

        2. There is also another $500 billion in “other mandatory programs”. That means welfare. All together that means there is over a trillion dollars in mostly pork and welfare in the budget before you even get to defense, SS and medicare and medicaid.

          You have a point about defense. We can cut it. But until you are willing to go after that trillion, you are not serious either. And you need to stop lying and saying that the parts of the budget that are not defense or entitlements are one or two percent. That is a bullshit myth put out by liberals who don’t want to give up their goodies.

          1. Welfare (food stamps, AFDC) is only part of other mandatory spending. Also in there are VA benefits, military and federal civilian pensions, and unemployment (maybe you consider that welfare).

            1. Unemployment is definitely welfare. And you are the one bitching and moaning about VA benefits. Stop obfuscating. You want to cut defense and entitlements fine. But there is nearly a trillion dollars of other spending out there. What of that do you want to cut? If you won’t talk about that, then you are not being serious. You are just pretending the whole budget is Social Security to millionaires and the war in Iraq. You are no better than the worst stereotype of your opponents.

              1. I wasn’t making any argument in my comment. I was just pointing your factual mistakes (“There is also another $500 billion in “other mandatory programs”. That means welfare.)

            2. Unemployment compensation is welfare!

              1. Unemployment and social security are not welfare, because (in theory at least) they are funded by the people they help. They are both government mandated insurance programs.

                Actual welfare is taxing the rich and giving to the poor and is different.

                Personally, I’m in favor of all of the above, because I’m not in favor of turning the US into a third world nation with starving beggars living in tin shacks in every city, but I’m not a libertarian. But I think even libertarians should be able to tell that SS and unemployment are different than straight out welfare (food stamps and the like).

                1. “Unemployment and social security are not welfare, because (in theory at least) they are funded by the people they help. They are both government mandated insurance programs.”

                  Unemployment is only an insurance program for the first 26 weeks–after that it is welfare.

                  Social Security is a tax, not an insurance program, as Flemming vs. Nestor established.

                  1. Unemployment is funded by the individual states. The extension is funded by the Federal government.

                    SS is a Ponzi.

                    1. That is to say – a scam.

                  2. Re: SS

                    Also a Ponzi scheme.

            3. AFDC no longer exists. Since welfare reform in the 1990s, we now have TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families).

        3. “Reducing defense spending would give us enough of a budget surplus that we could meaningfully cut taxes without borrowing money.”

          No, it wouldn’t. With annual structural deficits of $1.5 trillion, you could cut every single penny of defense spending and you’d still be short by about half.

          One or more of the other “Big Five”–Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment/other discretionary spending–has to get cut as well. I’d love to see the EPA, Dept of Education, etc., get cut, and it would help, but percentage wise they don’t come close to the Big Four.

          And of course, massive cuts in defense spending would simply result in higher unemployment in the short term, at least. So you’d simply be shifting costs from one column to the next, rendering a good portion of the defense cuts irrelevant for a period of time. It could become longer if there is no economic engine for those workers to transition to.

          I agree that we can’t balance the budget until we cut defense spending, but asserting that it would create instant budget surpluses is not supported by the math.

          1. I meant cutting defense on top of reducing SS and Medicare, by increasing the eligibility age for example. I was a bit unclear on that, my bad.

        4. Sure the federal deficit would still be massive, but think of all the money over & above federal spending that would be saved with the elimination of those depts., if enforcement was cut out with them. If people could easily disobey the rules, it wouldn’t matter so much even if the rules were still there.

      2. No, we would be bitching and moaning that we still haven’t had a complete audit of the Fed.

    2. That would reduce the budget deficit by all of 1 or 2%. If you don’t talk about reducing spending in defense, SS and/or Medicare as part of your budget proposal then you are not being serious about the deficit.

      1. The defense budget is 663billion or at least that is what DOD wants.

        http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=12652

        Your liberal hobby horses are a lot more than one or two percent of the budget Mo.

        # $78.7 billion (?1.7%) ? Department of Health and Human Services
        # $72.5 billion (+2.8%) ? Department of Transportation
        # $52.5 billion (+10.3%) ? Department of Veterans Affairs
        # $51.7 billion (+40.9%) ? Department of State and Other International Programs
        # $47.5 billion (+18.5%) ? Department of Housing and Urban Development
        # $46.7 billion (+12.8%) ? Department of Education
        # $42.7 billion (+1.2%) ? Department of Homeland Security
        # $26.3 billion (?0.4%) ? Department of Energy
        # $26.0 billion (+8.8%) ? Department of Agriculture
        # $23.9 billion (?6.3%) ? Department of Justice
        # $18.7 billion (+5.1%) ? National Aeronautics and Space Administration
        # $13.8 billion (+48.4%) ? Department of Commerce
        # $13.3 billion (+4.7%) ? Department of Labor
        # $13.3 billion (+4.7%) ? Department of the Treasury
        # $12.0 billion (+6.2%) ? Department of the Interior
        # $10.5 billion (+34.6%) ? Environmental Protection Agency
        # $9.7 billion (+10.2%) ? Social Security Administration
        # $7.0 billion (+1.4%) ? National Science Foundation
        # $5.1 billion (?3.8%) ? Corps of Engineers
        # $5.0 billion (+100%) ? National Infrastructure Bank
        # $1.1 billion (+22.2%) ? Corporation for National and Community Service
        # $0.7 billion (0.0%) ? Small Business Administration
        # $0.6 billion (?14.3%) ? General Services Administration
        # $19.8 billion (+3.7%) ? Other Agencies
        # $105 billion ? Other

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2…..ral_budget

        That is about 500 billion dollars give or take. You can bitch about defense all you like. But unless and until you and other liberals are willing to talk about that $500 billion along with defense you are not being serious.

        1. Cutting Medicare and Social Security is a liberal hobbyhorse? On what planet?

          1. Read the post. Medicare and SS are not what I am referring to as “liberal hobby horses”. The hobby horses are the programs I list below. And also the $500 billion a year in “mandatory welfare programs”.

            Tell me what part of that trillion you are going to get rid of or shut the fuck up.

        2. Most of the spending for the Department of Energy is primarily around the nuclear arsenal, that’s defense. The VA is medical treatment for soldiers, also defense. The EPA and the Department of Education make up $57.2B less than 9% of social security, less than 9% of the defense budget and about 1/8 the Medicare budget.

          BTW, the link showed defense grew by >12%. That’s $74.7B on growth in defense alone. That’s more than any discretionary item except for HHS, which includes the spending on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. So yeah, defense and entitlement spending are the anchor on the budget.

          1. But the rest of it sure as hell isn’t one or two percent. And even if you take out Energy and the VA, you still are left with $900 billion dollars in spending.

            You want to cut defense and entitlements. Ok. But that won’t get you there. Which part of the above $900 billion do you want to cut? If you won’t talk about that, you are just as unserious as you accuse your opponents of being. Further why should we cut social security and tell veterans to fend for themselves but then keep all the bullshit I listed above?

            1. I didn’t say the rest of the budget was 1 or 2 percent, I said the specific areas dmoynihan mentioned DoE and EPA were only a couple of percent. I’m well aware that defense and SS/Medicare are about 3/4s of the spend.

              1. Oops, not 3/4 rather 2/3

              2. A couple of percent? It would be awesome to cut a couple of percent from the budget.
                the budget is about 3.5T so 2% is about 70 billion dollars. Thats a GREAT start.

            2. Further why should we cut social security and tell veterans to fend for themselves but then keep all the bullshit I listed above?

              Why should old people and veterans be any more entitled to a big, fat welfare state than the rest of us? Saying this as a veteran, the amount of gravy that gets ladled on us for doing our jobs is almost embarrassing. Even worse, most of us gladly take it in exchange for being used by politicians as both shield (for their own programs) and sword (to accuse others of not “supporting us”)

              Face it, John: defense spending has become one big old welfare state – Service Members are compensated well above and beyond what, on average, they could pull in the free market. Don’t get me started about contractors, either.

              1. So lets cut that welfare state but we will keep HUD and all the other bullshit.

                You miss the point. It is not that we shouldn’t cut defense. It is that there is a hell of a lot more to cut. And MO and you are doing what you accuse the tea party people of doing. If they are not serious for not considering defense, you are not being serious for not considering the other trillion dollars I listed above.

                You strike me as being everything you accuse your opponents of being. No, it all has to be cut.

                1. You just assume that I am somehow an anti-“DOD only” liberal, because…? Well, what’s your proof of that again?

                  The only reason I make a specific case against DOD/VA spending is because, as it stands, it is popularly sacrosanct, and somebody has to tell the emperor he has no clothes.

                  1. John find liberals under every bed and roaming the corridors of his fevered mind TAO…

                2. So what if there’s a hell of a lot more to cut? At least they’d be cutting something, rather than increasing everything.

          2. A number of the agencies in here also get their funding from dedicate revenue, not general fund. For example, most regulatory agencies have some sort of charge on the regulated entitities that funds all or most of the agency. If you did away with the agency, that revenue source would also go away, and you’d be revenue neutral instead of cutting the deficit.

            1. A number of the agencies in here also get their funding from dedicate revenue, not general fund. For example, most regulatory agencies have some sort of charge on the regulated entitities that funds all or most of the agency. If you did away with the agency, that revenue source would also go away, and you’d be revenue neutral instead of cutting the deficit.

              Aside from the USPTO, what agency earns truly significant funds from “fees?” Even approaching operating costs? C’mon, like they’re running a bidness…

              But hey, if we want to claim they’re doing things like a business, let’s start cutting salaries now that times are tough. Everybody GS-5 or lower gets a 10% pay cut, everybody GS-8 or higher gets a 25% pay cut. Abolish COLAs and Step Increases. No more holiday/Sunday pay. Active duty military excepted. (And only Active Duty.)

              Hopefully we can survive a rash of Cooley Law Grads running to the private sector where arms are no doubt open wide for their peculiar brand of “competence.”

              1. The Interior makes loads of money off of fees from the MMA. The FAA makes money off of airport fees. SEC off of fees and fines from broadcasters. I believe Ag gets some stuff through fees in the FDA. Granted, some of that stuff would flow into the general fund. However, part of the role of the agency, such as the MMS is to collect those fees while partying with the people they’re regulating with hookers and blow.

                1. Yeah, you could throw in the LoC as well, they must do a ton in copyright registrations. FBI+DEA+ATF (or whatever) might bring in some coin on asset forfeitures. For that matter, the IRS might just be self-sustaining (only on tax penalties + interest.)

                  But, again, how much are we talking about compared to the cost of operating these agencies? I’d think in most cases it’d be petty cash, only without accounting controls like the private sector has.

                  Speaking of cuts, for smaller agencies, I have the Bad Baseball Theory. As a long-suffering fan of the Baltimore Orioles, I at times listen to them on the radio here in DC, and, given that the club started this year 2-16, no real business advertises between innings/frequent calls to the bullpen. So while “enjoying” a Kevin Millwood start, I got all this nanny crap (“in partnership with The Ad Council”) explaining to me how I should improve myself.

                  I figure you could cut every agency that’s advertised on the O’s this year. So, the Choose to Save people, the eat healthy people, the buzzed driving is drunk driving people, the no sexual harassment in the workplace people, the lift smart people, the walk to get thin people–after Education, EPA + Obamacare are taken care of–every portion of the government who’s advertised on Orioles Radio in DC needs to be eliminated.

                  And then cut the salaries of the remaining (non-Active-Duty military) Feds by 10% for GS-5 or lower; 25% for GS-8 or higher, eliminating Steps, COLAs, holiday increases and Sunday pay (and freaking overtime pay–salaried workers getting overtime pay, can you believe that?)

                  Seriously, if government had suffered pay cuts two years ago, they’d have been a lot less ambitious on curtailing my salt intake and outdoor smoking.

                  /Note: apparently ratings for the Os are up substantially, either since the Showalter signing or after they swept Matt Welch’s Angels in the season series, so we might have to tune in to The Wizards to find who to cut, or maybe Redskins talk after they go 2-4 and McNabb gets hurt.

                  1. And then cut the salaries of the remaining (non-Active-Duty military)

                    Why exempt Active Duty? They are just as lazy as other federal workers, when they are not in an Occupied Territory, that is.

              2. Everybody GS-5 or lower gets a 10% pay cut

                There are grades lowers than GS-5?

                No more holiday/Sunday pay. Active duty military excepted. (And only Active Duty.)

                Screw that. Get rid of 1/4 of the Active Duty Soldiers. Make the Post 9/11 GI Bill eligible for veterans, not just people who spent their 4 years of service at CRC at Benning or in the Training Division.

                Active Duty is about worthless, anyway.

                1. you’re leaving out marines, airmen, and sailors with that comment, dude. Gotta put them on there as well, not just soldiers.

                2. I don’t know enough about the military to make that decision. I’m sure there’s a lot of country club going on, but they’re not my primary target, and things like BRAC to reduce spending were handled… better than usual gubmint.

                  1. Ha, BRAC is unlikely to reduce spending. The moves already have huge cost overruns.

                3. or how about doing away with the 2-year rotations. Stop sending people all around, spending millions in transportation costs to send them to a base for 2 years only to ship them off elsewhere for another two years… rinse and repeat until retirement. That’s a few thousand every move (times that by hundreds of thousands of soldiers). If the move is OCONUS, you can multiply the figure by 10 or 15.

              3. Every law firm in the country is after our peculiar bipartisan brand of “competence.”

              4. OCC, OTS, FDIC, SEC, Fed, NRC to name a few off the top of my head. Plus you have a number of transportation programs, like the Highway Trust Fund, Inland Waterways Trust Fund, Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, and others that are funded by specific user (often fuel) taxes.

        3. Well, it’s not necessary to cut all of these programs. You’ll have a large fallout, especially with unemployment suddenly skyrocketing from people in those programs along with contractor provided support.

          I work for the DOD, specifically the DA. I see waste and abuse daily. Millions of dollars constantly wasted on things.

          Nobody wants their budgets cut. Many organizations and units have money left over when the end of the FY is near. But having money left over is a BAD thing. Why? Because they do not get to keep it. Too often, money is diverted to other areas with budget shortfalls, or they just go on a spending spree to get rid of every penny.

          Another waste of money is JWOD. Government agencies are required by law to comply with JWOD, even if it means paying 50-100% more for items than they could going to Wal-Mart or other suppliers/retailers.

          I hear about wanting to find ways to save tax payer money, but they are not honest about it. They want to spend every dime to ensure they keep the same budget or get a bigger one next year.

          I am 100% for cutting defense spending, even though I work for DA. We really could save billions in tax dollars by a complete audit across the board, but such an undertaking is daunting and probably unrealistic.

          1. I work for a DoD contractor.

            If I do work that has not been specifically authorized by some government numbnut, it is considered waste, fraud and abuse.

            If I sit around and get paid to do nothing while I wait for some government numbnut to authorize work for me to do, it is not considered waste, fraud and abuse.

            Government itself is the cause of waste, fraud and abuse.

            1. Hey, you don’t have to tell me twice. I know exactly what you mean.

            2. Here Here!

        4. ESPN has an NBA thingy where you can trade players and see if the trade is possible under the salary cap and rules etc…

          Could some crafty liberation tech geek please make something where people concerned with the deficit could play with the budget in similar fashion here at Reason. Drink!

  11. Here’s my first impression of the tea party movement: It’s a rabidly right-wing phenomenon …

    I move that we give “rabidly” a rest for a while. A long while.

    1. What if it was literally rabid? How incredible would a literally rabid Tea Party protest be?

  12. Islamaphobes (sic)

    I don’t know who your proofreader/editor was, but I suggest you find a more competent one.

  13. Penis goes where?!!

    1. But…that’s where my poop comes from.

  14. Not here! Icky!

    1. I hate penises! But anything that looks and feels like a penis, is preferably made of latex or rubber, and has realistic veins/pubic hair wielded by my butch girlfriend is a go. I named my favorite the Billy Dee Williams Special.

      1. Oh baby, you’re turnin’ me on.

  15. In my opinion, ideologically, the Tea Party should be treated the same way we treat the Democrats and Republicans. All three “parties” are full of idiots, wrong on most things, and have one or two redeeming ideological premises. The Democrats are socially liberal (sometimes), the Republicans are fiscally conservative (sometimes), and the Tea Partiers want limited government (sometimes). Two parties have been around longer and have a bullshit aura of respectability, so the third gets labeled “crazy” or “rabid.” By specifically referring to the Tea Party as these things, we are perpetuating “the popular image of a savvy, experienced, well-informed, practical-minded U.S. senator.” And why? Simply because we have become accustomed to the idiotic rhetoric of Team Red and Team Blue.

    The Tea Party should not be dismissed as a fringe group, but it should not be accepted as a reliable anti-government movement either.

    1. It’s still not really a party, though. Nobody controls it. It’s an authentically anti-establishment movement. It will never become what the Republicans or Democrats are; it will probably vanish, though, after a couple of election cycles.

      Unless there’s like a depression or something, which would suck.

      1. It’s not a party, but it is a political group organized to some extent.

        And it certainly isn’t anti-establishment in all respects.

    2. +10 Tillion Yen. That’s about Tree-Fitty.

    3. Other than abortion and gay marriage, what issues are the Democrats socially liberal on? And even gay marriage only a small part of the Democratic Party is socially liberal. Large majorities of Hispanics and Blacks oppose gay marriage.

      If we are going to kill the myth that Republicans are for small government, we need to kill the myth the Democrats are socially liberal. Yeah, they give it lip service. But when they are in power I don’t see how the country gets any more or less socially liberal. Porn is still prosecuted. Drugs are still illegal. The FCC still goes after people who say naughty words on TV. And our first lady spends her life telling Congress that it needs to give her billions so that she can force people to eat what she thinks is a healthy diet. That doesn’t sound very socially liberal to me.

      1. “Other than abortion and gay marriage, what issues are the Democrats socially liberal on?”

        Affirmative action.

        1. Ask what even “liberals”, let alone Democrats, are socially liberating on.

      2. Should we put that into context, John? Are you really prepared to argue that Democrats are no more socially liberal than say, Christian Conservatives? Stop trying to blow smoke up my ass.

        1. A few years ago in the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick proposed a bill that would send people playing poker online to jail for two years. In case you haven’t heard about him, Mr. Patrick is a liberal Democrat.

          And in general, Democrats in Massachusetts never ever argue for legalizing gambling because some people enjoy it and when people gamble they don’t hurt others. Not only don’t they act as social liberals but they don’t even pretend to be such.

        2. “Are you really prepared to argue that Democrats are no more socially liberal than say, Christian Conservatives? ”

          Yes I am. What do Democrats actually do in power that is more socially liberal than Christian Conservatives? I am not talking lip service I am talking real changes because I don’t see any. And further, thinking the government can tell you how much salt you can eat and where you can smoke is socially conservative. Democrats are just as big or bigger social scolds as Christian Conservatives. They just have a different idea about what constitutes sin.

          1. So libertarians have never sided with the Democrats on any issue? Remember we are talking about ideology here, not just the actions of those who were elected.

            1. Sure, libertarians sided with Democrats (and Republicans and independents) on invading Afghanistan in 2002, to get Osama bin Laden. There are tons of unpopular proposals that libertarians along with everyone else, including Democrats, oppose. Just check out some polls. Libertarians side with Democrats (and everyone else) on not bringing back alcohol prohibition, for example.

              1. It was a rhetorical question…

          2. Also, the same criticism can be put towards Republicans. They haven’t exactly been supportive of the free market lately.

            1. Yes that’s what he was saying I think.

              1. No, John always avoids criticizing the right whenever he can do it without seeming like a Republican shill.

          3. It’s not necessarily what the do, it’s what they don’t do. The difference is, that Democrats at least try to back it up with science, and Christians back it with faith. A faith which I do not share. At least science is backed in logic. Don’t get me wrong, I still abhor Nanny State bullshit, but I would rather deal with that then Sodomy Laws, even though I’m not gay. It is much easier to argue with a Democrat with logic, than it is to argue with a Christian and faith.

            1. “The difference is, that Democrats at least try to back it up with science”

              hahahahaha!
              Anthropogenic Global Warming! Their belief in the AGW is based on faith BUT they think it’s science.

              1. Their belief in the AGW is based on faith BUT they think it’s science.

                No. It’s based on faulty science. There’s a difference.

            2. You mean Democrats try to back up their beliefs with scientific-sounding bullshit, instead of biblical-sounding bullshit.

              1. Right. It’s much easier to dispel a false scientific argument than one based in faith. Just look at how many different interpretations of the Bible there are. Can anyone logically argue that one interpretation is right, and one is wrong?

          4. For Southern social liberals at least, it means basically cursing the Confederacy and anyone remotely involved in it.

        3. In practice, sure, if “Democrats” means the people that actually wield government power.

      3. John notice the part where I said “(sometimes).” If Obama was a liberal Democrat instead of a moderate one, he would have followed the socially liberal promises he has made, such as ending federal marijuana raids.

        1. Your error is in assuming that “liberal” in “liberal Democrat” has anything to do with Liberty. “Liberal Democrat” is simply a code word for Socialist. Seen in that context the rest of the thread should make more sense. Obama is not remotely moderate – he is just not a “liberty” liberal in any sense. Nor is anyone else in power in this country.

          Several posters have been trying to make the point that both major parties pay lip service to one of their core ideals, but never follow through in practice. In the case of the Democrats, it is the “socially liberal” idea. Sure, they’ll talk up gay rights or some other fringe idea that affects 2% of the population, but when it comes to trimming the police state’s powers that impact everyone? Not so much.

          That’s why they call these ridiculous things like gay marriage and flag burning “wedge issues”. They don’t make a hill of beans of real difference in the world, but they get people all worked up.

          With filibuster-proof majorities across all of the federal government the Democrats could have easily passed any number of social reforms of a “liberal” nature – gay marriage, medical marijuana, legalized prostitution, legalized gambling, legalizing all drugs, outlawing torture, outlawing rendition, outlawing warrentless wiretaps and everything else in the patriot act, forensics reform, protection for all speech – even porn, on and on… They didn’t even attempt any of that. Heck, they even made some of the patriot act stuff worse.

          No, for some reason once they get their hands on the levers of power, nobody seems to want to diminish that power.

          1. Even most people who don’t have their hands on the levers of power don’t want to diminish it. It’s not as if grass roots Democrats are much better than Democrat politicians.

          2. Your error is in assuming that “liberal” in “liberal Democrat” has anything to do with Liberty.

            I never said anything like that. I said if Obama was more liberal he would pursue socially liberal policies like decriminalizing marijuana use.

            Obama is not remotely moderate

            But you just argued that all Democrats in power are moderates…

          3. Wrong, Cyto. YOU are wrong in that your pathetic limp-dick idea of “liberty” only means “freedom from government” rather than a much broader amalgam of possibilities and abilities.

            The lone man starving on an island is not more “free” than a Wall Street tycoon. Your ideology concludes the reverse.

            1. If you define freedom as being unconstrained by other people from doing what you want with your person and your stuff, the lone man starving on the island surely is more free [minus scare quotes] than a Wall Street tycoon. Of course, I’m talking about political freedom, not philosophical free will, not statistical degrees of freedom, not flapping in the wind, not an open calendar, not just out of a bad relationship, etc.

              And I’m certainly not talking about possibilities such as dictating terms of exchange or the ability to make others, like it or not, the means to your ends. Though I do enjoy Zappa’s formulation in Teenage Wind:

              Free is when you don’t have to pay for nothing
              Or do nothing
              We want to be free
              Free as the wind

              Your example does illustrate the fact that freedom is not everything. Many of us, however, do think it’s kind of a big deal.

              1. Freedom isn’t everything, it’s just the first thing.

                1. Let me clarify:

                  In order for humanity to be both free from force AND free from want, freedom from force must occur first.

                  It is possible for people in a libertarian world to be both free from force and want.

                  Chad’s world, on the other hand, can’t have both. Since Chad holds that freedom from want trumps freedom from force, his utopian society would use force to ensure that people are free from want.

                  This is the inherent problem of negative and positive freedoms. Negative freedoms MUST come first in order to have both.

                  1. In order for humanity to be both free from force AND free from want, freedom from force must occur first

                    That is obviously NOT true, or no one on this earth would have any freedom, because none of us have “freedom from force”.

      4. Right. Which is why those of us who are definitely social liberals get tired of social conservatives and other big government right-wingers pretending to be libertarians. Do you know how sick it makes me to see all the Rand Paul love in libertarian circles? The constant reiteration of the myth that Reagan really believed in small government? I think my favorite is when libertarians try to co-opt anarchists as if they were fellow travelers. Hating the federal government because you don’t like taxes isn’t the same as supporting individualism over the power of any government.

        1. Heck, it used to bother me when “anarchists” co-opted the term!

  16. My mother always warned me about Delaware Republicans…

  17. Any movement that doesn’t firmly exclude Birchers, birthers, and Islamaphobes is not a movement for me.

    I’ll take them – any day – over the assortment of socialists and Marxists that make up the “movement” currently in control of our govt.

    1. I guess it’s too much to ask that I might have none of the above.

  18. They are often accused of craziness?one MSNBC commentator said Angle “sounds like a mental patient.”

    Like Angle and Paladino, Ross Perot sometimes sounded as though he had gone off his meds.

    It looks like psychiatric survivor is the new Black. Please don’t perpetuate stereotypes about psych patients.

  19. I never understand why for some stories I have to click twice; and once more for comments.

    1. I always right-click on the “comments” link, and open the page in a new (background) tab. The full article loads (unless reason has idiotically broken the article up into two pages with the one last paragraph on the second page in an attempt to get more ad views), although the focus us in the comments.

  20. Man, these outspoken conservative ladies sure do have the knack for driving the establishment elitist types stark driving raving mad! They come off as virulent woman-haters.

    1. Rachel Maddow hates women? I am getting so confused!

  21. From personal experience, I find the Tea Party movement nicely populated with Ron Paul supporters who do, in fact, advocate large cuts in DOD spending. Their views are certainly not popular with all Tea Party types, but at least they are being vocal and the other TPers hear them — and can begin to wonder about the cognitive dissonance between small government views and policing the world.

    1. It seems as though the C4L has allowed their Tea Party to be taken over by religious, “patriotic” fundamentalists. But hey, they win, and that’s the most important thing, right?

  22. Remember when Reaon used to write a barrage of articles about Code Pink, the Black Panthers, and the Earth Liberation Front?

    Yeah, me neither. They seem to have a bunch of opinions about how crazy Tea Partiers and Glenn Beck are though.

    Way to let the Left of the media control the narrative, Reason!

    I already understand that the Tea party is a mass movement. It’s politically necessary, but by the nature of mass movements, it’s irrational and subject to vituperation. What’s befuddling to me is that Reason seems unable to figure this out, and treats the whole phenomena as if it’s some great mystery.

    The Left is somehow entitled to this as a matter of course. The same behavior on the Right though is somehow regarded as being a greater imminent threat to liberty, worthy of repeated scrutiny.

    No double standard here. Move on.

    1. DING! DING! DING! We have a winner.

    2. Remember when Reaon used to write a barrage of articles about Code Pink, the Black Panthers, and the Earth Liberation Front?

      Yeah, me neither. They seem to have a bunch of opinions about how crazy Tea Partiers and Glenn Beck are though.

      Yeah, those are definitely equivalent entities when it comes to power, influence, and size.

      Gosh, do you think that a larger entity or entities might generate more commentary? Perish the thought – there are windmills at which to tilt.

      1. Yeah, that’s right. There’s never been any collectivist entity on the Left with power and influence comparable to the Tea Party. They don’t exist. What was I thinking?

        1. Name it, then.

          1. The Democrat Party.

            1. Which Reason hates far more than the Tea Party.

            2. Yeah – a Party funded and controlled by wealthy businessmen, that supports massive defense budgets and imperial ventures overseas, disdains trade unions and that can’t even garner support internally for a tax increase on the rich. Wow, that’s pretty left wing you dumb-ass hillbilly fuck. Today’s Democratic Party is to the right of Richard Nixon.

              1. Wow, that’s pretty left wing you dumb-ass hillbilly fuck.

                Yeah. Silly me. I mean, what could possibly give me the notion that a party that advocates for cradle-to-grave entitlements, progressive taxation, wealth redistribution, open borders, ever-expanding bureacracy, class warfare, multiculturalism, and international law trumping our Constitution is found on the Left of the political spectrum?

                Oh, and let’s not forget that that party just elected a president who has spent his entire life surrounded by assorted socialists and Marxists, from his childhood mentor Frank Marshall Davis, life-long member of the Communist Party USA…to Jeremiah Wright, an adherent to the Marxist-based Black Liberation Theology…to Bill Ayers, radical Marxist terrorist and “neighbor”.

                Thanks for clearing that up, Einstein. Let us all know when you start the petition to have your face carved on the moon’s surface so that we can all bask in your brilliance forever.

            3. The Democrat Party.

              “Comparable to the Tea Party”? The various Tea Party ‘organizations’ are not even close. They don’t control any media,governments, etc. The only thing they have at the moment is numbers, and many would like to undermine even that to keep the Replublican and Democratic machines in power.

    3. “Remember when Reaon used to write a barrage of articles about Code Pink, the Black Panthers, and the Earth Liberation Front?

      Yeah, me neither.”

      Enter any of those in the Reason search engine and you’ll get plenty of hits for articles.

      1. “Enter any of those in the Reason search engine and you’ll get plenty of hits for articles.”

        Fair enough.

      2. “Enter any of those in the Reason search engine and you’ll get plenty of hits for articles.”

        Fair enough.

  23. The trouble is, how many Tea Partiers are willing to restore fiscal sanity by winding down the empire? From the looks of it, damn few.

    1. Exactly. The Tea Party movement has nothing to do with cutting government.
      They just want to cut government programs they don’t like. That’s about as libertarian as a liberal who wants to cut defense spending.

      1. “They just want to cut government programs they don’t like. That’s about as libertarian as a liberal who wants to cut defense spending.”

        People who want to cut defense spending or government programs they don’t like is exactly what I want. Both are libertarian moves.

      2. “They just want to cut government programs they don’t like”

        Sounds great! Lets cut those programs they don’t like then! You are falling into the perfect being the enemy of the good. They want cuts, lets help them gets cuts. If the left later wants to cut wars, lets help them cut wars.

    2. From the looks of it, damn few.

      Compared to how many in the Democratic or Republican parties?

  24. “I’m ready for my facial”

  25. Want to know why it is so hard to rein in spending? It isn’t that people aren’t sincere in their desire to cut the budget, it’s that any money spent will find a lot of people(red/blue/tea) vociferously defending the expenditure.

    Also, I have noticed a trough mentality in regards to spending; i.e. that if you pay in you may as well get something out of the system. Which is fine and good, but it just means that nothing will ever be cut, at least substantially.

    An example I found this morning while looking up “tea party” candidates was this little bit that I found on Joe Miller’s website…

    Contrary to his critics’ caricatures of his position, Republican US Senate Candidate Joe Miller categorically rejects the notion that his election would result in an end to federal spending in Alaska. “Given our current deficits, we, as a nation, will clearly have to curb overall federal spending over the course of the next several years,” Miller said. “But concurrently, the federal government needs to honor the promises made at statehood, and transfer control of our land and resources to the people of Alaska. Until that process is complete, I will fight for Alaska to get necessary federal dollars; however, it is imperative that we as Alaskans not settle for a few paltry crumbs from the federal table. We must vigorously fight for the future of Alaska, and that is bound up with control of the land and resources of our great state.

    Emphasis added.

    I think he means to say that until Alaska has the power(control) to tax the shit out of energy companies, that the federal teat is fair game. Also notice that the problem is, again!, pushed several years down the road.

    1. It is because no one ever puts forth a comprehensive plan to cut spending. And people don’t trust the government. If people knew that the spending cuts that affected them were part of an entire program to re-order government that was requiring sacrifices from everyone and would restore the government’s fiscal footing, they would support cuts. But without a comprehensive program, people figure that the money saved from cutting their program will just go to some other program and we will be bankrupt anyway. It is one thing to sacrifice for the good of the country. It is quite another thing to sacrifice so some other group can get theirs.

      1. It is because no one ever puts forth a comprehensive plan to cut spending.

        You don’t need a comprehensive plan. Honest money and sound banking will automatically limit what politicians can spend. There’s your plan. Return to a gold standard, and eliminate the Federal Reserve. Done.

      2. I completely agree. One problem with Ryan’s plan is that it isn’t comprehensive enough. It has to address taxes, entitlements, put in safeguards so that they can’t be manipulated be small groups at the expense of the whole, and put up a better structure for discretionary spending. The Congressional Budget Act was a start on getting a hold of the appropriations process, but it’s not good enough.

    2. once you legalize public theft, everyone must get into the game. that, in essence, is the problem. Unfortunately, the voters will not vote for someone that says otherwise.

    3. Alaska already gets well more than it’s fair share of Federal dollars. Most red states do-taxes from blue states go to pay for stuff in red states.

      1. What precisely do you consider a “fair share”? Specific numbers, please.

        1. For every dollar citizens of a state pay in Federal taxes, they should get appoximately one dollar of Federal spending in return (or if the government runs a deficit, a dollar plus a prorated share of the deficit on top).

          Almost all red states get much more than that dollar, while almost all blue states get less. That is, red states pay x% of total Federal taxes but get x+y% of Federal spending. I can troll the liberal blogs to find the multiple graphs pointing out this fact if you need me to.

          1. If this math is true, why send the money to the federal government in the first place? Why not just cede that power back to the state where it belongs? You don’t see too many folks on those liberal blogs making that very obvious next logical step.

            In fact, if the logic is that at the state level every state should get back exactly what is paid in terms of tax dollars, why stop there? Why not do the same measure at the county and city level?

            And that of course leads us to the logical and inescapable conclusion of the “For every dollar citizens of a state pay in Federal taxes, they should get appoximately one dollar of Federal spending in return” argument: Every citizen should get one dollar of spending in return for every dollar of taxes spent – therefore don’t take the dollar from him in the first place. This will ensure a balance in the dollars spent and dollars collected on a per citizen basis.

            Somehow I doubt that this is the conclusion those lefties were hoping to argue for…

            1. The reason liberals don’t mind this sort of spending pattern is that they are okay with paying taxes so the whole country is a nice place to be. What galls them is the fact that the red states seem to keep hatin’ the Federal Gubmint and all these big money programs… all while their own pies get higher at the expense of their neighbors.

            2. Not to mention that Federal taxes aren’t just limited to what’s taken out of a paycheck–how does one track those for submission? Oh, I see, it allows the creation of yet *another* bureaucratic government for paper-pushing Social Worker graduates. Brilliance–just what our economy needs, more additions to the managerial class!

              And you’re right, with the type of zero-sum argument that’s being presented, that money might as well just go to the states and cut the Feds out of it completely.

    4. The reason Alaska needs federal money is because its a large rednecky cold shithole where no normal person would want to live unless it was economically advantageous. Plus we didn’t want the Russians or British to take it.

      1. …where no normal person would want to live unless it was economically advantageous.

        I take it you’ve never been there.

        1. Yeah yeah. I’m sure its beautiful to look at some times, but that gets old after a couple weeks.

        2. I stepped off the plane, saw a mosquito with an elk in its mouth, and stepped right back on again.

    5. You do realize that the vast majority of Alaska is owned by the federal government?

  26. What do we want?

    Fiscal responsibility!

    When do we want it?

    Now!

    How are we going to do it?

    [crickets]

  27. What do we want?

    Fiscal responsibility!

    When do we want it?

    Now!

    How are we going to do it?

    [crickets]

  28. Somebody pointed out on another blog that

    1. She is against premarital sex.
    2. She is against masturbation.
    3. She has never been married.

    That makes her a 40 year old virgin whose hole has never been penetrated, except maybe by an Ob/Gyn.

    1. Re: Mr Whipple,

      That makes her a 40 year old virgin whose hole has never been penetrated, except maybe by an Ob/Gyn.

      She’s 40 years old??

      Wow.

      1. Yeah, not having been married, and never having kids, keeps you looking young.

      1. It really is a case of sexism. If she were a man, no one would make her talk about her sex life. But since she is a woman, the media feels free to obsess about it. Unless she proposes a bill to make premarital sex illegal, I really could not care less about her views on the subject or how man drunken frat boys she got it on with in college.

        1. Oddly, it’s often women themselves* who are passing judgment. Granted, they’re leftists who don’t count conservative women as part of their collective.

          *And half-men like Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz.

        2. I’m pretty sure an unmarried guy that came out against masturbation and premarital sex would get made fun of too.

          1. Indeed.

        3. Like Bill Clinton’s sex life, right?

          1. Bill Clinton was married and had an entire team of bimbo squashers to deal with the train of women who accused him of sexually harassing them. If Bill Clinton had been single and never accused of running around with his staff like O’Donnell, his sex life never would have never been an issue.

            If you can’t see the difference between Clinton and O’Donnell you are lying or just stupid.

            1. And if you add Bill Clinton campaigning for abstinence and a ban on masturbation, then yes, his sex life would have been heavily scrutinized.

            2. If Bill Clinton had been single and never accused of running around with his staff like O’Donnell, his sex life never would have never been an issue.

              Yeah, right. Then they would have accused him of being gay.

        4. Lefties are open-minded. They make fun of the sexual habits of Republican males AND females. They used to talk non-stop about Crist being gay until he became their only hope against Rubio.

      2. Sure, I know a few recovering drug addicts that are completely against drugs…now.

      3. There ya go. See my mea culpa below.

        I always say I’ll admit when I’m wrong.

        But I disagree on the humor issue. It’s funny whether it’s true or not.

        As someone noted below, her ideas about masturbation and even chastity are extreme. She deserves to be mocked about them

    2. Yeah, that was me, seems I was wrong though.

      Turns out Christine O’Donnell was kind of a slut in college (ok I’m exaggerating) but now she’s on a mission to tell young girls that have fun like she did is really fun at all.

      Hey, whatever, there’s a shitload of emotional maladjustment and “issues” going on there but, you know what, none of that’s going to be made law. If she’s the deciding vote for one spending cut in the Senate it would be worth having her there.

      Can’t be bothered to find the story that set me straight about her, you guys google for yourselves.

      1. Also, I don’t see how her sleeping around in college and now repenting is any worse than Obama freely admitting to snorting coke or Bush to drinking for years and then later reforming.

        1. But geez, John, isn’t the repentance a little extreme?

          It’s one thing to counsel restraint and, yes, even chastity but trying to eliminate all lust and telling young people they’re going to hell for a little relief is going too far. 🙂

          Methinks this broad is just a little frustrated. But, then, it’s her choice, so it’s really none of my business.

          1. And just to be really clear, all my comments are mostly less than serious, so do take them in that spirit.

        2. Bush relapsed badly while in office, but at least he didn’t go around telling everyone not to drink.

          Nothing is more annoying than “reformed” religious conservatives who go around telling everyone not to have the fun they had–which was usually a lot skankier and seedier than even your typical college student.

          1. And Obama’s DOJ sends people to jail every day for “doing a little blow” just like he did when was in college or God knows how much later. If Bush had campaigned for prohibition, he would be as bad as Obama.

            1. It’s not a federal offense to “do a little blow”. It’s prosecuted at the state level.

          2. “Bush relapsed badly while in office”

            Citation needed.

            1. Common knowledge.

              1. A bunch of weird looking pictures posted on Daily Kos isn’t “common knowledge”.

              2. Yeah. Just like the “common knowledge” that Obama is not a US citizen. No difference.

    3. 1. She is against premarital sex.
      2. She is against masturbation.
      3. She has never been married.

      So she’s going to propose laws against premarital sex, masturbation and marriage, then? Is there some point to this?

      1. Exactly. This is all to try to scare you into being a good party line voter. That’s why Rove is helping destroy her image(which isn’t hard to do). He wants her to lose to a Democrat to teach us a lesson. “Vote establishment Republican or wind up with a Democrat”. That way they can continue doing whatever the hell they want.

        Well fuck that! I’m glad she won the primary and I’ll still be glad if a Democrat beats her. It’s we who should be teaching evil fucks like Rove a lesson. “Expand government and we will render you and your party obsolete!”

    4. Hmmm. I was taught by women like this. They were called nuns and they were pretty tough. Of course you may be implying her opponent is a jack off. Him too came back from Kenya as a marxist. Kenya must do that to people

  29. Odd choice for a picture. See’s not particularly funny looking, just kind of sexual. I take it that Chapman wants to suggest that O’Connell performs a lot of oral sex?

    1. D’oh. “See” = “She”; “O’Connell” = “O’Donnell”

      1. Chapman had nothing to do with that photo. It’s Reason being edgy. Or sophomoric.

    2. I take it that Chapman wants to suggest that O’Connell performs a lot of oral sex?

      Thank you for sharing your fantasy.

  30. Hey, Steve:

    Repeat after me: THE BUDGET WAS NEVER BALANCED in the ’90s. The best they ever did was a $9B deficit in 1999 or 2000, during the frenzy of Y2K spending in the private sector.

    This includes the T-Bonds held by Social Security (which are still payable by the tax-payers) which are ignored by those who proclaim “balanced budgets/surpluses” at the time.

    1. This. In no fiscal year during the 1990s did the overall obligations of the US Federal Government decrease or fail to increase.

      1. You’d think all the people claiming those “Clinton surpluses” would be able to look up “Public Debt Outstanding” on the Treasury’s own website and see how mistaken they are.

        We haven’t actually lowered the national debt since 1957.

    2. Actually, if you go to the monthly data, there was a period of a few months where we were in a true surplus. However, neither fiscal nor calendar years 1999 and 2000 were balanced.

      1. And since the only thing that put the budget into surplus for any of those months was FICA the Federal Debt grew and grew.

        1. No, there were a few months where the general fund was balanced *without* FICA money. There were entire year-long periods where it was balanced WITH the FICA money.

          1. But the debt still grew.

            Ah, the magic of the Social Security “Trust Fund”. That debt the government owes itself that can only be redeemed by hitting the taxpayers or the credit markets all over again.

            1. No, Isaac. The debt actually was shrinking for a little while.

  31. *caption*
    Invisible Ron Paul…

    1. Is that the absolutely last time you’ll post on this websight, Max? Or will it be your NEXT post?

      1. HAH!!

        Gotcha…

  32. “Here’s my first impression of the tea party movement: It’s a rabidly right-wing phenomenon with a shaky grasp of history, a strain of intolerance and xenophobia, a paranoia about Barack Obama, and an unhealthy reverence for Fox News. Any movement that doesn’t firmly exclude Birchers, birthers, and Islamaphobes is not a movement for me.

    “Here’s my second impression of the tea party movement: We are lucky to have it.”

    Here’s my first impression of Steve Chapman: He labels “rabid” those who are passionate about their convictions when they don’t mesh perfectly with his. He calls “intolerant” and “xenophobic” a preference for properly defended borders and well enforced ingress and egress rules. He thinks Barack Obama is probably well-intentioned despite the mass of evidence against him. And he’d prefer to root out “crazies” rather than assemble a mobilized and energetic coalition.

    Here’s my second impression of Steve Chapman: He’ll learn better, whether he likes it or not.

  33. I’m going to post this again, because it’s important.

    In this poll, 73% of tea party responders still support smaller government even if it means cutting Social Security, Medicare, education, or defense.

    I suppose that commenters can be forgiven for missing this. CBS/NYT did their best to bury it, but there it is, right in the poll.

    1. Actually, the question was:
      “Suppose a smaller government required cuts in spending on domestic programs such as Social Security, Medicare, education, or defense — then would you favor a smaller government, or not?”

      Note the “such as” and the disjunctive “or.” A person would answer yes to this question if he wanted cuts in education only, but not in SS, Medicare and defense. Or, he could have some other domestic program in mind since the question says “programs such as.” It’s a badly worded question.

  34. Virtually everone on this thread is either a liberal or a conservative.

  35. What’s striking about the hostility is that it comes from armchairs. Where have big-L libertarians, via grassroots or mainstream politics, succeeded over the last 10-15 years?

    I thought the Tea Party would be ephemeral, too, but now it’s currently building a back-to-basics third party within one of the two major parties. Some libertarians, I presume, wanted to accomplish that themselves; and now that someone else is in the process, they’re calling sour grapes.

  36. I am quite surprised that with all the political mayhem out there since the inevitable economic meltdown, the Libertarians weren’t able to step into the vacuum, and instead we have the Tea Party. I guess it shows that typical Libertarians are just as “lazy”, or couch-revolutionary, as any other people, and it took people with real animated passion to actually create a public stir. Sadly, to me, alot of that passion seems to go hand in hand with fundamental religiosity.

    It is my opinion, that the day that libertarians, Tea Partiers, folks with a true interest in Hayek, von Mises, and true liberty, finally dump the religious rhetoric from the movement, that will be the day that huge swaths of intellegent people across the nation will stand up and take back our self-governence from the corrupt 2-party monster. But until religious nonsense is dropped (we all know there is no supernatural God, no spaghetti-monster, no tooth-fairy), that day of a broad movement will never come, as truly rational people will never join an organization or movement with theocratic potential.
    Found this atheist-Libertarian website as a start… http://libertarianatheist.com/

    1. yeah, keep thinking that.

      1. ?

        1. My guess is that he thinks you are going to hell or something, so the idea of secularizing the free marketeers is abhorrent to him. Disclaimer: Just a guess.

          Regardless, it’s a nice little fantasy that would be nice to see come to fruition.

          1. I was hoping he meant the latter, but somehow doubt it. I am sincere in thinking a secular libertarian movement, with good leadership, could attract a much bigger following, as there are plenty of younger, free-market, free-thinking people out there who are fed up with the current 2 party system, and who have gone to the logical place of rejecting big government, big corporations and big god, but have no place to go.

            1. “the day that … folks with a true interest in Hayek, von Mises, and true liberty, finally dump the religious rhetoric from the movement, that will be the day that huge swaths of intellegent people across the nation will stand up and take back our self-governence from the corrupt 2-party monster.”

              What I’m saying is that I think you’re wrong and very much overestimating the the “huge swaths of intellegent people.” I don’t think the number is all that great actually.

            2. Yeah, RNR on some days when I get 8 hours of sleep and am drunk or on cocaine, I can almost be as optimistic as you are. Unfortunately, when I can’t even count myself among intelligent people (considering my sorry self-imposed station in life) despite my Libertarian bent, I find it difficult to believe there are enough of us to make a positive impact on the wasteland of power. But soon enough, I’ll be old and broken and that SS check in the mail will start looking like a good idea. Plus, Obamacare will give me free “happy endings” because it’s “preventative” “health” “care” for my prostrate. Sigh…

              1. I just think that a big group of skeptical people who until now would call themselves “progressives” (Wanting Progress), are alot closer to Libertarianism than you would think, they just lack much exposure to what it actually represents and wants to achieve (ie Austrian economic ideas, anti imperialism, etc). These people reject the mainstream Democratic old-school party, but also the Republicans due to their clear hypocrisy, war-mongering (more out front than establishment Dems), and generally mean-spririted or ignorant appearance.

                If the religious aspect can be toned down, or rationally removed from this political movement, I think many of these people might find a new home they currently don’t think exists. Its normal to be skeptical of apparently small new movements, and if there is a bunch of bible-thumping associated with it, it’s that much easier for the libertarian-leaning progressive to turn away.

                I think the Ron Paul/Dennis Kucinich cooperation on anti-war machine, anti-Fed, is a perfect example. I do think LOTS of people can get on board with that.

    2. Ironic then that we were originally given our “self-governance” by men steeped in “religious nonsense” while our descent from self-governance has been brought about by a political ideology that loathes religion as much as you do, ain’t it?

      Also, what kind of “broad movement” to “take back our self-governence” do you think is going to be brought to bear with 20% of the population, which is the percentage of the American public who don’t believe in God and when an overwhelming percentage of that 20% consists of collectivist Leftists?

      1. This is what I’m talking about. This response is why Libertarianism, or the good ideas of the Tea Party will stay in the minority.

        Loath? If you hold a rock out and drop it, do you “loath” the idea that it will go into the sky? I doubt it, you probably have seem empirically that it falls to earth, and simply have no time for people who suggest it will fly, and I certainly think you would have trouble getting behind those people to help shape our self-governance. Thats all I’m saying. Alot of people who could share alot of Libertarian sentiment are turned off by people who make a point of talking about flying rocks. If they could keep that to themselves, maybe we could grow the movement.

        The religiosity of the Founding Fathers is such a lame debate. And arguing for a “pure” answer to their personal opinions is inane. What I do know, is that one of core components of the Constitution is Separation of Church and State, and that they were wise to keep the passions of peoples spiritual philosophies our of the political power equation. The founding fathers, in their wisdom of observing history, and looking into the human character, didn’t want Theocracy, they wanted Democracy.


        1. This response is why Libertarianism, or the good ideas of the Tea Party will stay in the minority.

          No. Libertarians are the reason your ideas stay in the minority. Too many display the same kind of pompous arrogance that you exude.


          Loath? If you hold a rock out and drop it, do you “loath” the idea that it will go into the sky? I doubt it, you probably have seem empirically that it falls to earth, and simply have no time for people who suggest it will fly, and I certainly think you would have trouble getting behind those people to help shape our self-governance.

          So the fact that someone can’t prove that something they believe in is exists as objective, observable reality should disqualify them for office? I guess that means that anyone who believes in a border between the US and Mexico is unfit for office, eh? Or the fact that they love their children, huh? Believe that there may be life elsewhere in the universe? Sorry, whacko.


          The religiosity of the Founding Fathers is such a lame debate.

          Only for the intellectually dishonest.

          Who established our system of limited, Constitutional govt? Religious men or atheists?


          What I do know, is that one of core components of the Constitution is Separation of Church and State…

          It is? Care to point to the text in the Constitution that states that?


          The founding fathers, in their wisdom of observing history, and looking into the human character, didn’t want Theocracy, they wanted Democracy.

          Wrong. They wanted to avoid tyranny – of any kind – by limiting the primary apparatus of tyranny, i.e., the state.

          Also, they didn’t want “Democracy”…they wanted a Republic, whose leaders were democratically elected by the citizens. There’s a difference.

          1. “So the fact that someone can’t prove that something they believe in is exists as objective, observable reality should disqualify them for office? ”

            Not my point at all. My main point is that in-your-face evangelical and fundamentalist religiosity is a turn-off for many decent, family-loving, country-loving, freedom and Liberty-loving Americans, and can obstruct the growth of the Libertarian/Tea Party.

            Of course people have the right to believe what they want, show me where I said otherwise. And of course I see the irony of me coming on here bringing up the idea of toning down religion, as potentially in-the-face of the faithful.

            Show me how the Founders were evangelical, fundamentalist Christians, not just deists in a broader sense, or appealing to the faithful among them, or anywhere on the spectrum of philosophy/spirituality that neither you, nor I, can ever prove today.

            “They wanted to avoid tyranny – of any kind – by limiting the primary apparatus of tyranny, i.e., the state.”

            Did they want tyranny of the mob? Tyranny of a religious majority? No, as you note, they wanted to protect us from tyranny of any stripe. And some people today (atheists, agnostics, “moderate” religious people), fear Religious tyranny. Muslim taliban, Christian taliban, many freedom-loving Americans want none of it, and are skeptical of fundamentalists.

            What saddens me is the vehemence of your response, and how clearly you would cast me out, instead of working toward finding our common ground in trying to expand the influence of Libertarian thinking.

            This is the kind of stuff this country needs to get over, not by all becoming atheists, or all being born again, but by keeping philosophies of faith personal, and out of the political sphere. The stupid, perpetual battle between “heathens” and “religious nuts”, is a distraction our great country can’t afford. And all I am saying is that there is a religiosity sometimes associated with Libertarianism, and big time with Tea Partyism that needlessly makes it more difficult to move forward together based on rational libertarian ideas.

      2. “20% of the population, which is the percentage of the American public who don’t believe in God and when an overwhelming percentage of that 20% consists of collectivist Leftists?”

        Whether or not that apparent correlation represents the same 20%, let alone the numbers themselves needs to be researched.

        But on a substantive note, the folks on that Atheist Libertarian site ( http://libertarianatheist.com/ ) were talking about the idea of how many of the people of the 60’s/70’s heyday, were very free thinkers, and thus it wasn’t hard to get from that to atheism or agnosticism. At the same time, they felt that to bring true equality of justice to the country required a statist type approach. But today alot of these people, while maintaining their value of personal liberty, are starting to see the failures of the centralized approach. They are not going to give up their athiesm and their personal liberty, but they may be ready explore Libertianism economic priciples as well.

        So even it there was a correlation between the “Left” and “Atheists”, the times they are a changin’! Dare I say, people Evolve.


        1. Whether or not that apparent correlation represents the same 20%, let alone the numbers themselves needs to be researched.

          They have been.

          Percentage of non-believers: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories…..6042.shtml

          Atheists voting for the Left: http://www.visandvals.org/I_m_Pagan_and_I_Vote.php


          But today alot of these people, while maintaining their value of personal liberty, are starting to see the failures of the centralized approach. They are not going to give up their athiesm and their personal liberty, but they may be ready explore Libertianism economic priciples as well.

          They still only make a small percentage of the population. You need those who believe in God to “explore Libertianism economic priciples”. If you could keep your disdain for their personal beliefs to yourself, “maybe [you] could grow the movement.”

          1. The “disdain” complaint is fair, not because I have it for anyone, but because it is so difficult to talk about this without appearing that way. Most “atheists”, realists, whatever, have no problem carrying their view of the world humbly. Its when evangelical types, and demagogues start trying to define fundamentalist christians or muslims as the only worthy people on earth, that people raise their defenses and stand up for not believing in things that have no evidence. We can play the “you did it first!” game all day of atheists stirring up the faithful or vice versa, but I would say that when politicians and TV hosts and other demagogues pound us every day with faith-soaked references that imply the wrong-ness of everyone else, raising these issues is fair. That’s alot different than the personal disdain you speak of.

          2. “They still only make a small percentage of the population. You need those who believe in God to “explore Libertianism economic priciples”. ”

            Very True. I’m just saying if the faithful and non-faithful can remain humble, and keep their spiritual philosophies out of the political sphere, and out of any core “principals” of a libertarian movement (I would never propose an “atheist’ plank of a political platform, unlike republicans who shamelessly pander to the faithful), then the movement will grow bigger.

    3. Sadly, to me, alot of that passion seems to go hand in hand with fundamental religiosity.

      That’s because atheists can’t have passion about anything. It would be too irrational.

  37. Many posts don’t seem “Reasonable” nor libertarian when I read them. “Reason” needs renamed to “Need to resort to foul language and insults to prove I am Free.”

    Constitutionalism trumps libertarianism.

    1. Calls to “drink” in three…two…

      1. DRINK!

        1. Oh man …. WAY to early.

          On a workday at least.

          1. Then do a bong hit, instead.

            1. Let me qualify that some more.
              On a workday … AT work. And unfortunately it’s not a coffee shop, garage, record store, etc.

              1. OK. How about a sneak-a-toke?

              2. You mean I’m still around? Holy s—, that’s awesome!

                1. *and then does the Chuck Berry walk over to the bong*

    2. “Constitutionalism trumps libertarianism.”

      I don’t think anything is getting trumped. From where we are now the path to liberty would cross constitutionalism before it crosses libertarianism.

    3. Dedication to a dead set of rules trumps dedication to the objectives they were intended to realize?

  38. I’m not sure how a movement which is not an organized entity can “exclude” anyone, using the term “Birchers” means you are stuck in the 60s (does the John Birch society even exist anymore?), and “Islamaphobe” is a term used so freely it has lost any meaning.

    The closest thing to a platform of the tea party is the following:

    1.Identify constitutionality of every new law: Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.

    2.Reject emissions trading: Stop the “cap and trade” administrative approach used to control carbon dioxide emissions by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of carbon dioxide.

    3.Demand a balanced federal budget: Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax modification.

    4.Simplify the tax system: Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words ? the length of the original Constitution.

    5.Audit federal government agencies for constitutionality: Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in an audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities.

    6.Limit annual growth in federal spending: Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth.

    7.Repeal the health care legislation passed on March 23, 2010: Defund, repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    8.Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above’ Energy Policy: Authorize the exploration of additional energy reserves to reduce American dependence on foreign energy sources and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation.

    9.Reduce Earmarks: Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark.

    10.Reduce Taxes: Permanently repeal all recent tax increases, and extend current temporary reductions in income tax, capital gains tax and estate taxes, currently scheduled to end in 2011.

    Other than #4, which would not work, is there anything that is that shockingly radical?

    1. Well, it’s completely unrealistic. To balance the Federal budget while still cutting taxes is impossible in the real world. Now, I know that’s what libertarians want too, but it ain’t gonna happen. Also, once somebody proposes a constitutional amendment on anything that doesn’t have wide bipartisan support is the moment that I know somebody isn’t living in the real world. And #1 will just say “Commerce Clause” on every bill, with the Supremes agreeing. #9 would require a constitutional amendment too.

      1. you could balance the budget while still cutting taxes if you reduced spending, which of course as everyone keeps telling us is a metaphysical impossibility

        realistic? no, but still good ideas

      2. Which is why they need to repeal the commerce clause too.

    2. There are too many. This is often what happens. People start off with a few core goals. These then get converted into policy prescriptions which are not the same as ‘principles’. They get too detailed and inflexible and end turning off large sections of potential supporters. However, I also acknowledge that if not detailed enough, the actions may not match the initial goals. Note: You will *always* have people asking for more details (no matter how much you’ve already given them).

  39. It is impressive how many regular contributors on here are unable to take any criticism whatsoever of the Tea party or Sarah Palin. It reminds me of Isaac Hayes leaving South Park because they made fun of scientology.

    1. much like the Ron Paul thing, it’s just over the top here on reason – a place that is usually better.

    2. what? have you even READ the comments?

  40. I wonder how many of your readers know where that ‘Headline’ was from?

  41. This kind of alliance could be the future. Intellectually honest people who love America, who can debate and disagree on some things but agree on the real threats to our nation. Short of an evil civil war at home that simpy kills the people you disagree with, this is how true progress will be made.

    Ron Paul/Dennis Kucinich

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..r_embedded

    1. Yes, I saw that the other night. Funny how both of them are the most principled members of Congress, yet both get treated like ugly step children by their respective parties.

      1. Hopefully you’re not surprised by that Mr W.

  42. this entire article is garbage and a waste of time. the tea party movement is about limited and responsible government. period.

    1. So, Miss O’Donnell can explain the difference between monetary inflation and price inflation? How about fiat currency and commodity currency?

      1. Exactly. I guess it’s just not that easy to mix rational arguments that require critical thinking and somewhat sophisticated basic education, with the raw energy and passion based on “gut-feeling” displayed by those in the Tea party, but what other choice do we have but to figure out how to? Because that passion is the only thing that seems to have a chance of shaking up the 2 party monster.

        1. Libertarianism is based in logic, not emotion. That is a cross we must bear, or sacrifice our principles, like the other 2 parties.

          1. A tricky conundrum. But what does that mean for changing the status quo; if only grass-roots passion can buck the system, but we want to be purely logic-based in our approach (I certainly sympathize with that!), where will it come from? Raises difficult questions. To follow well-reasoned, logical arguments about the economy, to read Hayek, to read history, decipher the Fed etc etc, takes a certain level of education. But it seems possible that the less educated and rational among us are the easiest to provoke passion from? Hence the prey of demagogues. Clearly the 2 parties prey on peoples passions as a means to re-election. So I guess the Libertarians just need do come to terms with what/what level of passion provoking is acceptable to realistically compete? Thoughts?

            1. Well, the fact that Austrian economics isn’t even taught in most colleges, even at the PhD level, doesn’t help. I think this recent financial crisis has brought a few to AE, but unfortunately, it will probably take a monetary meltdown, (or a Minsky Meltdown), for people to start to understand. We may simply have to wait until hyperinflation hits before people really start to listen. Unfortunately, that may be too late.

              What the Tea Party doesn’t seem to understand is, it’s more than just cutting spending. Politicians will never cut spending in any meaningful way. And if they do, they will make up for it someplace else, like war. That’s part of the left/right dichotomy. How do we convince people that the best way to limit spending, is to eliminate the ability of politicians to spend. “Honest money and sound banking”, doesn’t seem to be catching on.

              Personally, I will continue to vote LP, and try to spread the message.

              Here’s an encouraging development across the Pond:

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..r_embedded

              1. Nice link, great to see. Thanks for the thoughts.

              2. What the Tea Party doesn’t seem to understand is,…

                Then educate them. I see so many assuming that if one doesn’t currently understand something that they never will understand it plus that it’s also necessary to understand something in order to influence it. Neither are true.

              3. There is nothing to teach. Austrians economics is nothing but math-less hand-waving. And btw, the Austrians were entirely wrong about the after-effects of the housing collapse, and the Keynsians were right. Your pet theory failed yet again.

                Or perhaps those invisible bond vigilantes are just hiding behind the bushes….

        2. so that sums up the tea party movement? raw energy and passion based on a gut feeling… that’s it? Of course none of them would be able debate in a rational manner with any critical thinking whatsoever. Hubris. You should change your name to “Irrationality and Religion”.

          1. I definitely don’t want to make that kind of blanket statement, and know the Tea Party is diverse. But you must appreciate the point? I’m not saying the “gut feeling” is necessarily wrong, its often right, but their are alot of unsavory leaders and ideas out their designed to stir your gut, and I think we need to be wary of that.

            1. yes most leaders (of ANY party or movement) will maintain unsavory ideas and attempt to appeal to ignorance. the tea party movement is embracing anti-establishment candidates which is the first step to limiting power of the ruling class.

              1. “the first step to limiting power of the ruling class.”

                I can appreciate that. And it does seem wise and realistic to admit this will all have to happen step by step. I just hope there are more steps ready to step in, that are based on rational liberty principles, and an educated understanding historically of what really has gone wrong. And that the people who force the change from the grassroots can articulate why for example Austrian school ideas have merit. If it just means a No Taxes and More God anarchy, I’ll be a bit worried.

                1. As in all cases of this kind, the Austrian school needs to be explained in simpler language. I don’t think charts and mathematical equations are going to help too much. Hayek did a very good job of this. Someone needs to say it more succinctly and I don’t think this is that hard. Much I’ve read on it I consider common sense.

                  1. Lol! Austrian economics HAS NO MATH. It’s merely hand-waving.

                    1. Fascinating. What other ideas that have no math are merely hand-waving to you, Chad?

                    2. None involving economics or science.

                      Art, maybe.

      2. I doubt any politician in washington would be able to even comprehend your questions. We are talking about people who have never even heard the term “Austrian school”. They believe that Keynesian economics is a legitimate science that has been proven.

      3. She doesn’t need to. She only needs to explain that irresponsible borrowing and spending eventually leads to disaster, whether it be in govt or your own bank account.

        1. Sure she does. Because the only real way to limit borrowing and spending is to return to honest money and sound banking, and to eliminate the Central Bank. Doing that will automatically limit the ability of politicians to borrow and spend. It would also eliminate the need for most banking regulations, because banks would automatically be forced to deal with the real threat of bankruptcy.

          1. Does she need to explain the minutiae of nuclear fission to advocate for nuclear energy?

            Does she need to explain the vertical thrust of the Joint Strike Fighter to advocate for a strong national defense?

            IOW: politics thrives on principles, not white papers.

            1. Um, fractional reserve lending and a gold standard are pretty basic stuff in economics. Very basic. I wouldn’t expect her to explain the Labor Value Theory or Marginal Utility, but yes, I would expect her to know the difference between money backed by gold, and money backed by nothing.

              1. Why? Most of the population has no idea of the difference between them. Most of the population has no idea that only the gold is actually money – all the paper is just essentially IOUs, markers, credits, hot checks, etc.

            2. I would expect her to know the basics of fission and the basics of why we need more of a particular type of weapon and how that weapon operates.

              1. I would expect her to know the basics of fission and the basics of why we need more of a particular type of weapon and how that weapon operates.

                Wow. You must live a life of disappointment.

                1. DLM, can you expand on your point? Of course we go on principles, but the reality is at some point there needs to be nitty gritty. Do you expect that she will hire nuclear experts after? Is that too bureaucratic? Just asking. Otherwise, it is scary to imagine a nuclear power plant with nuclear waste issues being carried out by policy makers who don’t know what an atom is.

                  So the question is, after the Tea Party people get positions in power what next? Will they turn over power to “experts”? Or is that against their whole point? A Grizzly Mom may be a great person, but I won’t put her in charge of a nuclear power plant.

                  Just hoping to flush things out, instead of all the snarky one liners around here. “Wow. You must live a life of disappointment.”

                  1. “Wow. You must live a life of disappointment.”

                    Although that did make me chuckle.

    2. Intentions and actions are two very different things.

      1. right, and the road to hell is paved with good intentions. so why don’t limit the power of those with “good intentions” as much as we possibly can.

        1. Sounds good, I just think some people fear “mob rule” as much as they fear corrupt or statist rule. I don’t want a bureaucrat telling me how to live my life at every turn, and I don’t want a group of zealots burning my house down if I don’t pray to their god, or don’t accept viewing/legislating the world through their God-colored glasses.

          1. “I don’t want a bureaucrat telling me how to live my life at every turn, and I don’t want a group of zealots burning my house down if I don’t pray to their god, or don’t accept viewing/legislating the world through their God-colored glasses.” – you already have the former (bureaucrats telling me how to live your life) however when has the tea party movement EVER demonstrated that they are a “group of zealots that will burn peoples houses down if we don’t pray to their god”? That is beyond irrational.

            1. That is a fair point. Actions are more important than words. But I still think there is plenty for true liberty loving people to be wary of, when it comes to religious fundamentalists of any stripe, particularly ones who mix their religion into their rhetoric. That is my main point, and what I see as an obstacle to growing the Libertarian base.

              If I believe that their are benevolent martians living in the woods, that can show us the true way to live, do you want me bringing that to the public sphere, shaping public policy. Lets keep evidence-based concepts at the core of our public policy decisions.

              1. “But I still think there is plenty for true liberty loving people to be wary of, when it comes to religious fundamentalists of any stripe, particularly ones who mix their religion into their rhetoric.” — i completely agree.

        2. I think around here we call that gridlock. Sweet, sexy, tax saving gridlock.

          At this point, I only trust politicians and those with political aspirations who have sworn to die trying to roll back the size of the government. So in other words, no one.

  43. Every law firm in the nation is looking for our peculiar bipartisan brand of “competence.”

  44. Every law firm in the country is looking for our peculiar brand of “competence.”

  45. “Open wide and say, ‘AHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.'”

  46. I for one think a little “craziness” is good for our political process. We need to be wary of some of these far-right Republicans passing themselves off as tea party candidates however. Quite a few of them advocate government intrusion into our bedrooms and houses of worship with the same fanaticism that Obama advocates with our hard-earned money and choice of healthcare.

  47. I mostly agree with Mr. Chapman, but in the first paragraph, I think Mr. Chapman confuses a “movement” with an “organization.” Outside the core issues of limited government and less spending, the movement has neither tolerance nor intolerance. It is not an entity, it is a movement. In a movement, different folks from different viewpoints on outside issues come together with agreement on the core issues.

    There may be substantial agreement on other issues among differing members of the movement, but the movement is about its core issues and its core issues only.

    I will illustrate the logical fallacy in the article’s first paragraph. Suppose I learn that a local pedophile supports my favorite candidate, because my candidate wants to cut taxes. I’m still going to vote for my candidate. That does not mean I embrace pedophilia.

    Just because one embraces the core tea party issues, that does not mean one embraces all issues of all tea party supporters.

    Smearing all tea party supporters because of the fringe beliefs of some is the job of the media, not the act of reasonable persons.

    http://www.conservatarian.net

    1. Here’s my first impression…

      Doesn’t sound to me like he’s attempting to put forth a logical argument. In fact, he is saying that what follows in that paragraph is a personal belief, not necessarily backed with logic.

    2. Your blog has more written about Don Imus than Ron Paul.

      Don’t ya think Conservetarian is a bit of a misnomer??

  48. Dangit I need to improve my reading skillz.

    they suxxor

  49. The “tea party” movement is, in my view, a mirror image of the Republican Party generally. There are some diverse, heterodox factions which compose a small, inconsequential minority of it (various libertarian, independent, and Reagan Democrat types), but it is dominated — in terms of leadership, ideology, and the vast majority of adherents — by the same set of beliefs which have long shaped the American Right: Reagan-era domestic policies, blinding American exceptionalism and natavism, fetishizing American wars, total disregard for civil liberties, social and religious conservatism, hatred of the minority-Enemy du Jour (currently: Muslims), allegiance to self-interested demagogic leaders, hidden exploitation by corporatist masters, and divisive cultural tribalism. Other than the fact that (1) it is driven (at least in part) by genuine citizen passion and engagement, and (2) represents a justifiable rebellion against the Washington and GOP establishments, I see little good in it and much potential for bad. To me, it’s little more than the same extremely discredited faction which drove the country into the ground for the last decade, merely re-branded under a new name.

    1. Glenn, play identity politics if you like, I am not going to make assumptions about thousands of peeps i haven’t met.
      While the MSM lefties focus on O’Don or Paul II and other ‘bleeding’ leads (and maybe somewhat correctly as they are running for Senate) other VERY principled candidates are being ignored.
      Between the TP and C4L, Rahmbo’s old House seat may be go to someone who could represent a return to Goldwater Republicanism.
      http://www.ratowitzforcongress.com/

    2. I think there are still many RP C4Lers in the Tea Party. They were the ones who started it. They allowed the social and religious conservatives in, similar to the way Murray Rothbard brought in Pat Buchanan to the Libertarian Party, or tried to, in the 80s.

      1. They allowed the social and religious conservatives in,…

        How do you ‘allow’ someone into something you don’t have any control over?

        1. If your platform included personal liberty you would keep the religious right out.

    3. What a fantastic comment. I’d like to second everything Glenn just said, and note how awesome it is to have a New York Times bestselling author whose book was read on the floor of the Senate commenting here at Reason.

    4. I completely agree, Rick. It’s super-awesome to have a New York Times bestselling author, whose book was read aloud on the floor of the Senate, commenting here at Reason.

  50. …our descent from self-governance has been brought about by a political ideology that loathes religion as much as you do, ain’t it?

    I have no firm numbers to back it up (as you don’t for any of your assertions) but based on the people in the great land with whom I have spoken on the topic, far and away the vahhhst majority of persons advocating the welfare state and all the coercive taxation and intrusuveness that it entails do so in the firm conviction that it is justified by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Even atheist welfare advocates use scripture to justify the “compassion” of the welfare state.

  51. But in their own ranks, they seem happy to have everyone with an aversion to the enlargement of government, no matter how crackpot they may be on other issues.

    Isn’t this what politics is all about? You’ll always have crackpots in any large group of people. You either tolerate them, or consign yourself to minority irrelevance.

  52. “Here’s my first impression of the tea party movement: It’s a rabidly right-wing phenomenon with a shaky grasp of history, a strain of intolerance and xenophobia, a paranoia about Barack Obama, and an unhealthy reverence for Fox News. Any movement that doesn’t firmly exclude Birchers, birthers, and Islamaphobes is not a movement for me.”

    If that’s your first impression, you are a nitwit of the highest order.

    It doesn’t matter what your second impression is.

    There have been Tea Parties within walking distance of your office. Did you attend to find out what the participants were like? Of course not.

    And we’re supposed to pay attention to you?

    1. I’ve been to plenty of Tea Parties and Chapman is rather accurate from what I have seen. Everyone has their own subjective view of the Tea Parties. When people want to see principal, they do. When they want to see crazy, they’ll find it. It’s because there are always a little of both at a Tea Party.

      Unfortunately, it doesn’t take that many wackos to get the whole group labeled as such. If the Tea Partiers are upset at how they are being portrayed, they have no one to blame but themselves because they haven’t engaged in image control very well.

  53. Gotta wonder how many RTFA beyond Chapman’s ‘1st impressions’.
    Again, with any luck many people who also get the same impressions will continue to read. He doesn’t just write for the libertarian faithful but for a much larger audience…

    1. A much larger audience that needs a lot of convincing to cast off their statist notions.

  54. What do you think she is going to do? Break down your door, confiscate your porn, and arrest you for masturbating? Better her than a big govt, income redistribution pet of Harry Reid.

    1. Speaking of O’Donnell

    2. to answer your question?????? YES

  55. Goddamn. The tea party versus libertarian purity thing has become our own version of the culture wars, and every bit as ugly. Fuck that shit, got bigger things to worry about.

  56. Although a registered Libertarian, I have come to the conclusion that the party is wholly irrelevant from an electoral perspective. The Tea Party has done more for fiscal conservatism in 20 months than the Libertarian Party has done in 30 years.

    1. They might be louder and get more attention, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to result in anything substantial. Not since Coolidge has any Republican President or congressional majority reduced the size of government. It’s gonna take more than talk to convince people that it’s actually going to happen this time.

    2. My feeling is that the T-Partiers and the Republicans will do nowhere near as well as people think they will in November….

  57. John, thanks for that budget layout, you just saved me a google.

  58. Your’re calling the Tea Party crazies? Have you ever seen a national Libertarian Party convention?

  59. The Tea Party is just a classic populist movement, and thus some libertarians will be suspicious of them.

    They do appear broad based though, and by some counts include 20-40% Democrats and Independents. They’re whacking incumbent Republicans, so they’re not partisan, and Castle’s scalp is indicative of the fact that power isn’t foremost on their agenda. That’s a good sign.

    Their upshot is a push for a more limited governance, and libertarians should favor that, unless they’re elitist nimrods.

    1. Studies have shown “independants” to be more partisan than people who claim party affiliation.

      1. I, of course, claim immunity from the evils of partisanship, because it’s okay when WE do it.

  60. ESPN has an NBA thingy where you can trade players and see if the trade is possible under the salary cap, rules etc…

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine

    Could some crafty liberation tech geek please make something where people concerned with the deficit could play with the budget in similar fashion here at Reason. Drink!

  61. Carl Paladino is off his rocker! What a jackass!

    Talk about eminent domain abuse

  62. I’ll believe it when I see it. For now, the tea party just looks like a bunch of partisan quackery against a president and Congress with D’s next to their names rather than a truly grassroots movement. Has everyone already forgotten that the FIRST tea parties were astroturf rallies set up by groups like Freedomworks, which is co-owned by long-time Republican former House Majority Leader Dick Armey??

    Of course, with a GOP Congress nonetheless, all that would really happen is just keeping more spending from happening, but it wouldn’t likely cut much. It would just save face, which is what libertarians have had to deal with for DECADES.

  63. Does anyone else notice libs have venereal mouths/keyboards? Why is it libs can’t debate without hissing, spewing,namecalling with foulest of language — as if that strengthens their point? It is then a very weak point. Really, why is it the liberals are all so bitter? Can’t make a point without punctuating it with obscenity? To pump up a limp one? A short one. No point at all…. You wonder, are all of the body parts as small as their brains, their arguments, and/or just as dirty.

    1. Yikes, you shot down your own point. Whoops.

  64. I have to give credit to ‘Mo’ upthread for posting the results of this poll. I think it has some telling results about their views.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/…..ontentBody

    I would recommend checking out page 5. There are more Tea Party supporters who have a favorable opinion of George Bush and John McCain than Ron Paul.

    Real small government types, eh?

  65. I think the point that is being missed here is that the tea party movement is transforming itself into a libertarian movement. People who were once die hard Republican are now seeing “policy issues” through the lens of economic liberty and small government principals rather than as individual “issues”.

    This shift in philosophy is slow, but it is happening and it is important for one reason. People on both sides of the political spectrum, especially the deep ends of each side have had a sort of cognitive dissonance they have had to deal with when it comes to various social, economic and military policies that forces them to justify their positions rather than to challenge them. The tea party movement is forcing people who viewed certain issues like war, military spending, immigration reform, marijuana legalization etc. . . through the new lens of economic and individual liberty rather than through the old lens of Republican dogma on these issues. When I say they have a sort of cognitive dissonance, I mean that on one hand, they can see that allowing gay people to marry for example probably isn’t going to result in people getting married to chickens, but in order to justify their support for certain politicians and personalities, they rationalize their beliefs or at least willingly accept the standard Republican rationalization without question. The tea party is embracing libertarian ideals because of people like Glenn Beck, and many are now moving it up to the next level and getting their opinion from Judge Napolitano and John Stossel who hold considerably libertarian points of view on social issues. The people in the tea party are now having to test their new found economic and individual liberty principals on these social issues and they are finding that they finally have a true outlet to resolve their cognitive dissonance.

    The new tea party candidates are for most part new to the game of politics and so they tend to put more of their own real personality on display. As a result of these candidates lack of a political persona they come across as wacky cartoon characters to many people, but especially the press and the established (tempered) political class. They are freaking out the squares and the squares are having a hard time adapting.

    I personally dont want anyone who has any political experience running this country, because it is becoming all too evident that political experience isnt worth a shit.

    Also, I am not so sure that the description of tea partiers presented in the first paragraph of this article is necessarily descriptive of the majority of participants in the movement. It is easy to spot the crazy nut-job in the crowd but you cannot assume that because you found a few weirdos that they are all like that. I’m not like that and I am one of them.

    1. Yeah, a “libertarian” movement where two-thirds think the state ought to force women into unwilling labor to satisfy religious values.

      These aren’t “libertarians,” they’re just confused and angry conservatives. Once they get bored yelling about taxes, they’ll go back to demanding that the state impose their religious values on others.

      1. Confusion leads to discovery. Discovery leads to truth.

        Or would you prefer people just remain unengaged so that you can have your special libertarian club and feel nice about being a minority.

        I am an independent. I believe in individual liberty, that means gay marriage (though the govt should have nothing to do with marriage period) Legalized drugs (all drugs, not just pot) and I believe that what a person does with their body is their own responsibility, but they have the right to do as they please. Abortion is not exactly the same as pot. There are ethical issues involved that are subtle. An pregnant woman is not just a woman, she is herself plus a child. A child that yes, is dependent on her for all nourishment, but nonetheless an individual. Now, I am not totally against abortion, there are circumstances where it is appropriate, but there is no such thing as total liberty when a child in the womb reaches a certain state. A pregnant woman is two people at a certain point in time. I am not going to pretend that I know when that time is, but it is certainly before birth as we now know that cognition begins before birth. In my opinion, the fetus is a separate human entity (despite being tied to the mother for sustenance) as soon as it exhibits neural activity. Neural activity is a tipping point in the human brain, once it begins, it escalates into higher intelligence (barring any retarding factors) and this is essentially what it is to be human.

        Just because there are some people who do not understand abortion the same way I do (I am adopted) that doesn’t mean you just dismiss them. No, instead, you engage them. You treat them like human beings and you try to understand their point of view and maybe, just maybe they will try to understand yours. It is a give and take thing. You cannot change a mind without dialogue.

  66. The “cognition” of a fetus is less than that of an adult mouse. You apparently agree that “higher intelligence” is what constitutes a “person,” so then I assume we both agree that a fetus is not a person. This means that you’re not defending the life of a person when you demand that a woman engage in unwilling labor, you’re defending your own moral or religious values. It cannot be said that you are defending the fetus in any morally meaningful sense, because the fetus is not a person; it doesn’t have goals, desires, or interests to defend.

    In short, you want the state to force individuals to work, against their will, for the purpose of satisfying your own personal goals.

    1. One can be a libertarian and believe that abortion, homosexuality, and doing drugs is morally wrong. Libertarianism isn’t necessarily committed to a position on these points.

      I don’t see how one can be considered a libertarian, however, if they want the state involved in drug wars and forcing women to carry fetuses to term.

      1. “One can be a libertarian and believe that abortion, homosexuality, and doing drugs is morally wrong. Libertarianism isn’t necessarily committed to a position on these points.”

        A stated position? Probably not, but the practical outcome of individual liberty is that it doesnt matter if these things are morally right or wrong as long as the people engaging in these behaviors are not infringing on the liberties of others. As long as both parties consent, two dudes can butt-fuck each other while sniffing coke off each other in their own living room until their anuses and noses bleed as long as nobody else is harmed by the activity. I have no issue with these things so I dont really understand why you brought it up.

        Drug war and “forcing women to carry fetuses to term” are not the same thing. If a fetus can be considered human at a certain point in its development, then it is forcing a woman to respect the liberty of that human in the same way you cant go into the coma ward and start pulling the plugs on patients who have a statistically significant chance of returning to normal consciousness. There is a fine line between abortion and murder, that line is defined by the potential humanity of the fetus.

    2. You must be one of the retarded ones. A mouse is different in that the brain never reaches a state of sentient consciousness. The consciousness of the fetus may be insignificant, but the only thing keeping it from escalating into a fully sentient mind is external factors, and faulty genetics. Furthermore, if we are to accept that an unconscious human who has a statistically significant chance of returning to normal consciousness is still a human and therefore protected by law from murder, then why shouldnt a fetus with the same or better chances be protected?

      I am not against a womans right to choose, but at a certain point, her choice will directly impact the liberty of another human being. Chuck Norris can do whatever he wants with his body, he can roundhouse the fucking air till his legs fall off, but if he lands a kick on another person, then he is no longer doing as he wishes with his own body, and he is now infringing on somebody elses right to not get a round house to the head.

      All I am saying is that abortion is not an absolute right for a woman. The right ends when the human being inside is affected, because like all other humans, that baby has the right to live.

      If you do not define humanity, then you cannot pretend to say humans have rights since you cannot define a human. If you want rights, including a womans right to her own body, then you must define a human by its only unique characteristic among other mammals and that is the sentient mind, otherwise abortion becomes a slippery slope. Can one kill a baby before the umbilical cord is cut? What about after? How old must the baby be before we decide it is a person. Does it need to be able to communicate? Do we have to have some sort of test?

      I dont have any personal goals concerning abortion. I am not an activist and I dont even go to church. I am simply explaining that abortion is not a clear cut case of individual liberty because it involves two individuals.

      1. Ok, so then you believe it’s consistent with libertarianism to hold that the state has the right to force individuals to work against their will in order to protect the life of a member of the species homo sapiens?

        1. Only in so much as their decisions would lead to the death or harm to another homo sapien.

          I think there are five things the government should enforce and really these are the only things.

          1. Protect individuals from harm inflicted by the actions of other individuals. In cases like murder or assault, this would be preventative intervention (whenever possible) at the moment it can be reasonably determined that harm would be caused. In most cases, the state would have to intervene after the fact and justice would be served to those who have done harm.

          2. The state should protect private property from theft or damage by others (including the govt.)

          3. The state should enforce contracts in so much as those contracts do not force someone to infringe upon another persons liberty.

          4. The state should prevent monopolies. This is a tricky thing to do, but with some simple ground rules, it can be done fairly. I personally think that most monopolies or quasi monopolies are created by the government (AT&T is a good example of how to define and break a monopoly).

          5. Basic protection of individual liberties like expression, religion, association, self defense (use and ownership of weapons of any kind for this purpose).

          These should be the only laws, as you can see some liberties would be surrendered, but these “liberties” do nothing to promote a civil society as they are unnecessarily violent or deceitful.

          I also do not believe we should have a legislature or even an executive. These affectations are leftover ideas from our various heritage forms of government. All we really need is a police force (public or private), a military (public or private) and a Judiciary (public) and representative oversight of these elements. These elements can help maintain basic order and protect individual liberty. Other directives could be written that prohibit the government from intervening in certain ways or making certain legal decisions that could create a new obligation of the government. For example, the government could not take over land or private industries to enforce a contract or “protect” the property from harm.

          This is the minimalist government I believe in. If we are to say killing any homo sapien is a violation of that persons liberty under part 1, then we would necessarily have to consider it murder if direct action by another (abortion) should result in harm or death of that homo sapien.

  67. this country is fucked. Start stocking up on ammo, because we’re all going to need it.

  68. Now the left needs a similar movement. Anything citizens can do to break the two party system is a move in the right direction, they are both united in maintaining the monopoly and keeping the working class down. No single election is worth following this precedent, the power must be dispersed. Third party or bust America!

  69. “birthers”?

    You mean, non-baby-killers?

  70. “Extremism in defense of liberty isn’t necessarily a vice.”

    Thats what the brown shirts thought.

  71. I don’t understand this guilt by association that constantly dogs the Tea Party. As part of many democratic organizations I can find people that believe that government should confiscate all property and income, disband the military, and that Bush orchestrated 9/11. If that’s the standard, Moveon.org and Acorn should also be called out. It seems like an unreasonable expectation that any grass root organization police its members in this way.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.