Occupy L.A.

Cathy Young On Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party


When you live in a tent you forget that there are, in fact, plenty of taxes.

In the Long Island Newsday, Reason contributing editor Cathy Young says the Tea Party movement and Occupy Wall Street shared some important traits — for better and worse: 

Both tea partyers and occupiers see themselves as true representatives of the people—"Middle America" or the "99 percent"—and as defenders of the country's core values: liberty for the tea party; equality for the occupy protests. Both see themselves as anti-establishment rebels. Both direct their ire at a ruling class that has usurped power and corrupted politics: economic and corporate elites for occupy activists, cultural and intellectual elites for tea party supporters.

The truth, too, is that each movement reflects some legitimate concerns that attract the sympathy of many people who aren't activists. Bureaucratic bloat and the fattening of the welfare state do pose a danger not only to individual freedom but to creativity, innovation and wealth creation. Shrinking opportunities for the middle class do threaten the American dream, with upward mobility stalled for too many.

Unfortunately, it's equally true that each movement's dark side is far more than just a radical fringe. The activists' rhetoric and actions, on both the left and the right, give ample ammunition to their enemies.

Full article

NEXT: Obama, President of Debt

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  1. Are we still talking about them?

    1. It’s Cathy Young. Reason has this odd thing going where they pay her for articles that are several months out of date.

      1. They have drugs for your condition.

  2. Tea party events are 100% rape-free.

    1. If the Tea Partiers had stayed together overnight rather than going back to their mansions to beat their wives, read their bibles, and fuck their maids, then they would have had some rapes too.

      1. It’s not rape because the maids find monocles a total turn-on.

        1. It’s true.

      2. Hmm… *seems* like a real mustard post…

    2. Well the OWS girls are cuter and less heavily armed.

      1. Hey, some of us like obese diabetics with conceal and carry permits!

    3. Every event I’ve been part of, we picked up our trash, brought in portajohns, hired extra cops we were told we had to have control us, showed up with real sound systems and, got permission to use the spaces we occupied. And, oh yeah, we paid our bills.

      Then we were told what terrible people we were. I had this one news reporter in DC tell me to my face that I didn’t care about other people. “These three other guys and I made almost a hundred pounds of pulled pork sandwiches that we brought in these backpacks to give away free today to do our part to make sure everyone here gets fed. Want one?” For some reason they didn’t air my answer.

  3. “the Tea Party movement and Occupy Wall Street shared some important traits ? for better and worse: ”

    The movements, and partisan hacks won’t admit it.

    1. True. As I have said, TARP gave this country PTSD. Then within a month of Obama’s election Rick Santelli became a raving lunatic in full-prevent mode to make sure Obama’s hands were tied yet all the bailouts (including the auto companies) had been funded by his fellow conservatives.

      OWS is poorly focused and confused. The Tea Party had the right idea but the wrong villain.

      1. Fuck you, shrike. Santelli’s rant was crucial to turning this fucked-up thing around.

        Here’s where you praise Obama for healing the economy with a touch of His Hand.

        1. Oh, and… fuck you, shrike.

        2. Santelli never would have gone ballistic if the Bushpigs had kept running up the debt through 2010. He went off on HAMP, a puny little mortgage modification program. TARP? He was jacking off to it because it came from the right.

          He is purely partisan and a total hack compared to someone with an education on CNBC (Insana or Liesman).

          1. Uh-huh.

            Go put out more Obama 2012 signs, so you’ll be ahead of the game come November.

            1. What about the debt Obama’s run up in the last three years?

              Funny how you only blame half the problem…

              1. http://www.politifact.com/trut…..istration/

                Other than the stimulus the deficits are a continuation of Bush policy.

                1. Uh-huh. Obama’s done nothing whatsoever to make things worse.

                  Half the blame, shrike.

                2. Other than the stimulus the deficits are a continuation of Bush policy.

                  So, either

                  (a) Bush was secretly planning to raise baseline government spending by, what 20%, or

                  (b) the stimulus managed to raise baseline government spending by 20%.

                  And when Obama says “we can’t raise taxes in the middle of a recession” and signs the extension of the Bush tax cuts, doesn’t that make them the Obama tax cuts?

                  Seriously, shrike, your guy has been in charge for three whole years now, with a nice supermajority in Congress for two of those years. About time he took a little responsibility, no?

                  1. No increase in baseline at all:

                    In a report to Congress released on Jan. 8, 2009 ? almost two weeks before President Obama took office ? the Congressional Budget Office projected that federal spending in fiscal 2009 would reach $3.54 trillion (the actual number turned out to be $3.52 trillion). In other words, that was the level of spending in effect before Obama took the oath of office (remember, fiscal 2009 had begun Oct. 1, 2008). (see Table 5, page 16 of Budget and Economic Outlook: 2009 to 2019)

                    Since then, federal spending has been flat. According to CBO numbers released Monday, total federal spending in fiscal 2010 was $3.46 trillion; in the recently ended fiscal 2011, it was $3.6 trillion.



                    1. Half the blame, shrike.

                    2. No, he gets full credit for stopping baseline spending at $3.5 trillion for two years.

                      If I believed any of the shit that came out of Hannity’s mouth I could understand “half the blame”.

                    3. Nice try, prick, but I don’t watch/listen to Hannity. Far as I’m concerned, he’s as full of shit as Ed Schultz.

                  2. He’s proposed more deficit reductions than the Republicans… who as shrike noted are by far the worse offenders on deficit spending. So I’d say he’s taken responsibility.

                    1. Oh, and Tony shows up to shine shrike’s shoes.

                      Fucking wonderful. Now we have TWO morons who think Obama is some kind of free-market-friendly super-genius.

                    2. No, Tony is a progressive and I am a classic liberal.

                      Actually, many progressives are not happy with Obama.

                    3. You sound alike, shrike.

                    4. We’re not happy because Obama is too right-wingy to meet our standards.

                      Too capitalisty, too.

                    5. Of course they do. One dumb cunt is much the same as another.

                    6. I am a classic liberal.

                      Like fuck you are. Unfortunately, shriek, words have meaning.

                    7. http://www.oregonlive.com/poli…..ns_de.html

                      OBAMA: “Number one, we inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit. … That wasn’t me. Number two, there is almost uniform consensus among economists that in the middle of the biggest crisis, financial crisis, since the Great Depression, we had to take extraordinary steps. So you’ve got a lot of Republican economists who agree that we had to do a stimulus package and we had to do something about the banks. Those are one-time charges, and they’re big, and they’ll make our deficits go up over the next two years.” — in Missouri.

                      THE FACTS:

                      Congress, under Democratic control in 2007 and 2008, controlled the purse strings that led to the deficit Obama inherited. A Republican president, George W. Bush, had a role, too: He signed the legislation.

                      Obama supported the emergency bailout package in Bush’s final months — a package Democratic leaders wanted to make bigger.

                      To be sure, Obama opposed the Iraq war, a drain on federal coffers for six years before he became president. But with one major exception, he voted in support of Iraq war spending.

                      The economy has worsened under Obama, though from forces surely in play before he became president, and he can credibly claim to have inherited a grim situation.

                      Still, his response to the crisis goes well beyond “one-time charges.”

                      He’s persuaded Congress to expand children’s health insurance, education spending, health information technology and more. He’s moving ahead on a variety of big-ticket items on health care, the environment, energy and transportation that, if achieved, will be more enduring than bank bailouts and aid for homeowners.

                      The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated his policy proposals would add a net $428 billion to the deficit over four years, even accounting for his spending reduction goals. Now, the deficit is nearly quadrupling to $1.75 trillion.

  4. On the one hand, this topic is fairly interesting.

    On the other hand, it’s written by Cathy Young, so is sure to come to no conclusion beyond mealymouthed “on the one hand/on the other hand” platitudes.

    1. I always like when reporters say, “critics claim…”, or “there are those that say…”

      Oh yeah, there are, suuuure. Well then why don’t you fucking cite them you lazy-ass waste of space.

      1. Do they teach you those goddamn phrases in journalism school? Or that passive voice bullshit?

        “The suspect was killed by police gunfire…”


        1. “The suspect was killed by gunfire which occurred in the course of a police investigation…”

  5. I find the sign that says “ethnic education = equal education” to be fascinating.

    It’s as though OWS just became this sort of catch all for the perpetually aggrieved. Was anyone seriously taking about cutting funding for the local JC Chicano Studies dept?

    1. It’s as though OWS just became this sort of catch all for the perpetually aggrieved. Was anyone seriously taking about cutting funding for the local JC Chicano Studies dept?

      The anti-Iraq War crowd was just as unfocused as well.

      1. @Mulatto

        I didn’t have time the other day, but as your attourney I’d advise you to look up the story behind that Curta calculator. The guy who invented it was imprisoned at Buchwold by the nazis and his inventive nature is what kept him alive. He had previously made large tabulating machines, and the nazis got wind of his attempts to produce a handheld adding machine. The reason was that with their new giant artillery the calculations on the battlefield were tedious and often wrong.

        They had a big write up on the guy in SciAm, or something similar, about a decade ago.

  6. Irregular casing is a symptom of schizophrenia. All but one of those signs show it. That “Ethnic education is = Equal educatioN” one looks like Sirhan Sirhan made it.

    On the other hand, psychology is a Jewish conspiracy.

    1. Irregular casing is a symptom of schizophrenia.

      Great. When it comes to handwriting, I’m very irregular with casing. Although I case perfectly while typing. Is there any diagnosis that fits with that? Or are you too gentile to know?

      1. You have inverse schizophrenia. There’s probably something in Obamacare that would fix it… for a trillion dollars.

      2. Me too. Especially the letter N. I barely know which way it’s going to come out of my evil left hand until it’s written. When they tried to force me to learn cursive I resisted mightily. Good thing I almost never need to write by hand anymore.

        1. I use lower-case-height Ms and Ns when I print. It’s just easier for me.

          I wonder what my mental disease is, based on that…

          1. The sharp corners of the uppercase letters make you think of sharp things to cut yourself with? Is it that you’re a cutter- did I get it right?

            1. I nick myself shaving now and then, which is why I have the soul patch, so as not to have to nick my ENTIRE chin.

              But, no. Must be something else. Nice try, though.

    2. You’ll get a kick out of this then:

      http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=duke protest study&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCAQFjAA&url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/19/black-students-duke-study_n_1216878.html&ei=iesZT5TbK4PfgQexsvnwCw&usg=AFQjCNHieXzpkcdXN-vwDfK3jLfqzd_GHg&cad=rja

      1. brrr

        Black Students At Duke University Protest Recent Study On College Majors


        1. The stoopid… it burns…

    3. Interesting, I have been diagnosing schizophrenia for over 25 years, first time I have ever seen that referred to as a symptom. Do you have a link?

      1. Oh, and P.S. schizophrenia is a disease of the brain, treated by psychiatrists. Psychology has very little to do with its origins.

    1. They forgot to put preserving medicare/SS in the middle.

    2. They put Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook as… areas where Tea Party and OWS members converge? What does that even fucking mean?

      They could have also put Toilet Paper, Toothpaste and Electricity and telephones…

      God I want to strangle kittens every time some journo-hack considers the use of Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr a high-minded ideal instead of websites people use for daily chatter.

    3. And Talk Radio goes to the TPers? Air America not around anymore?

      Oh shit, just checked it. I guess it’s not. Ok, I’ll give ’em that one.

  7. Common Cause solicits donations to fight Citizens United:


    Common Cause Education Fund – a corporation:


    1. Oh, look, the IRS link didn’t work. Well, it can be searched if you’re masochistic.

      1. I’d sooner take a peek in the Ark of the Covenant than view the IRS website.

    2. My books were warnings, not bloody instruction manuals.

      1. What the what??

  8. This one time? At band camp? We occupied the tea party? And practiced our upspeak?

    1. …an’ I made a new friend, an’, an’, his name was Tommy, an’, an’, an, we went to the big place.

      1. Gavin from KITH is the best upspeak of all time.

        “These guys? They smoke.”

  9. You guys notice the sign about trickle down economics? You should also take note that it is precisely the American Progressive who has adopted trickle-down economics with alarming zeal. They believe that every dollar spent by DC (or any government anywhere) trickles down (and picks up speed and multiplies, even!) to every out-of-work Tom, Dick and Sally-sob-story praying for hope’n’change.

    1. Team Blue just wants to be the one pissing on our heads.

    2. Other than the philosophies being pretty much the exact opposite of one another, yeah…

      1. You’re right for once… they are opposite: One at least gives lip service to economic and social liberty, while the other wants a government-controlled economy and the only “liberty” would be to be gay.

      2. Other than the philosophies being pretty much the exact opposite of one another, yeah…

        One was based around private investment, venture capitalists etc., the other built around stimulus by investing in politically connected companies. I’m not sure I’d call that exact opposite aside from the results.

        The former got us Apple, Microsoft, Google. The latter got us High Speed Rail and Solyndra.

  10. And that other sign… Ethnic Education Equals Equal Education?


    1. Paul, try to understand. The Occutards like words like “equality” and “ethnic” (well, they’d probably prefer something more PC but alliteration is hard when you’ve been lacking an ethic education your whole life, ok?). These words make them feel all warm and squishy inside so they write incoherent signs combining really any assortment of their chosen words and away they go. “Peace = Polar Bears” “Green Jobs = Feminism” and so on.

      All this stupid “movement” has done is to ensure that we now have a younger generation of people with firsthand reason to hate hippies.

      1. Dibs on Peace=Polar Bears as my new band name.

  11. “Each has elevated hate to civic virtue. And in doing so, both movements have damaged the fabric of our public life.”

    Nonsense, politics has never been a gentleman’s game of polite debate.

    1. Haters gonna hate.

      Not to mention that, for some people, hatred is the only decent response.

    2. I agree withe the author. People who use hyperbole are worse than child killers.

      1. Exactly, cap. I, myself, avoid cliches like the plague.

        1. It’s a tie. Both of you win the thread.

  12. I generally like CY’s writing, but this piece was just chock full of teh stoopid.

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