How tea party message became toxic

“Fragging: To intentionally kill or wound (one’s superior officer, etc.), esp. with a hand grenade,” Kathleen Parker writes in the Washington Post.

“Take names. Remember them. The behavior of certain Republicans who call themselves Tea Party conservatives makes them the most destructive posse of misguided ‘patriots’ we’ve seen in recent memory.

“If the nation defaults on its financial obligations, the blame belongs to the Tea Party Republicans who fragged their own leader, John Boehner. They had victory in their hands and couldn’t seem to bring themselves to support his debt-ceiling plan, which, if not perfect, was more than anyone could have imagined just a few months ago. No new taxes, significant spending cuts, a temporary debt-ceiling solution with the possibility of more spending cuts down the line as well as their beloved constitutional balanced-budget amendment.

“These people wouldn’t recognize a hot-fudge sundae if the cherry started talking to them.

“The tick-tock of the debt ceiling debate is too long for this space, but the bottom line is that the Tea Party got too full of itself with help from certain characters whose names you’ll want to remember when things go south.

“They include, among others, media personalities who need no further recognition; a handful of media-created “leaders,” including Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips and Tea Party Patriots co-founders Jenny Beth Martin and Mark Meckler; a handful of outside groups who love to hurl ad hominems such as “elite” and “inside the Beltway” when talking about people like Boehner when they are, in fact, the elite (FreedomWorks, Heritage Action, Club for Growth, National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Prosperity); and elected leaders such as Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, head of the Republican Study Committee, and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, who grandstand and make political assertions and promises that are sheer fantasy.

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

72 thoughts on “How tea party message became toxic”

  1. Jeff,

    Still waiting for anyone to explain why the bi-partisan “Cut, Cap and Balance” plan was sheer fantasy.

    Seems to me, the ones living in a dreamworld are those who think we should continue doing what we have been doing in Washington DC.


    1. The Tea Party will be remembered for “The Great American Debt Ceiling Hoax”…the clown car full of hysterical crazy…the nation and the world are not impressed…

    2. It was a sheer fantasy only in the political sense, only in the sense that it never had a chance in hell of making it through Congress, and events bore that out. So it was perplexing to watch Boehner waste our precious time with it.

      On the other hand, it was a real set — not a fantasy set — of disastrous policy proposals, as was the unpopular Ryan Plan.

      CC&B would have:

      * Locked in cuts (as a percentage of GDP) over the next 10 years as severe as those in the Ryan plan.

      * It would have required a Constitutional Amendment that would have made all revenue proposals unconstitutional unless they secured a 2/3rds super-majority in both houses of Congress.

      * It would have enforced a constitutional limit on federal expenditures of 18% of GDP.

      As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities concludes:

      “The “Cut, Cap, and Balance Act” would require cuts totaling $111 billion immediately, in the fiscal year that starts 75 days from now, despite a 9.2 percent unemployment rate. These cuts would equal 0.7 percent of the projected Gross Domestic Product in fiscal year 2012 and would thus cause the loss of roughly 700,000 jobs in the current weak economy, relative to what the number of jobs otherwise would be.

      “The bill overturns a feature of various bipartisan budget laws over the past quarter century, by subjecting programs for the poorest Americans to the specter of meat-axe across-the-board cuts. It does so even as it protects tax breaks and tax subsidies for the wealthy and powerful by erecting a constitutional barrier to any measure that would raise any revenue.”

    1. Jeff,

      That was why the cuts were only what was promised in the election, the cap over five years into the future and the balanced budget left up to three quarters of the states: Again, what is radical in that compromise.

      Remember, the hard-line position is don’t raise the debt limit which would force reductions of 40% immediately, put spending below the cap and give us a balanced budget.

      The Cut, Cap and Balance Plan” had all the makings of a grand compromise, had the democrats not be such obstructionists!


  2. John,
    It is a faulty comparison. No legislator could get away with arguing “don’t raise the debt limit.”

      1. John Stoos –
        I need to make an attempt at clearing something that has come up – as someone more knowledgeable than I of such things brought to my attention questions regarding your insistent presence on this blog in particular:
        Do you or your associated organizations in any way still receive, or expect to receive, compensation from the campaign coffers of Tom McClintock?

        I was aware of the ‘donations’ made back during the last campaign cycle:
        but, is this type of thing still going on?
        Is there still an expectation of compensation based upon your continued posting on this and other sites?

        I’ve wondered myself, as your tenacity in spouting the talking points on behalf of those that appear forced to keep you at arm’s length seemed curious – and I have never believed that McClintock was truly as clueless about your affiliations and beliefs as he claimed when daylight breached.

        It doesn’t really make a difference to me, as I’ve stated my distaste based upon much more than your being a shill, but I do think disclosure is somewhat in order if you just continue with the regurgitation, as some here have defended your interactions as being more impartial than I believe.

      2. “Do you or your associated organizations in any way still receive, or expect to receive, compensation from the campaign coffers of Tom McClintock?”

        Great question.

        ‘Twould be nice to see if Mr. Stoos answers (honestly).

      3. Peter,

        Fair questions: I have not received any compensation from Congressman McClintock or any of his committees since I left his employ at the State Senate in December of 2004.

        A ProLife ministry for which I serve as a board member received a donation from one of his state committees when they were shut down in 2007, but I am restricted from getting any compensation from that group as a board member.


      4. J Cutter,

        As to any expectation of future compensation, there is none whatsoever. Since all of the expenditures made by Congressman McClintock are public record you will easily be able to hold me to that promise!

        I will continue to defend the man that I had the honor of serving for over ten years, but that is not why I post here on this list. I think it shocked Jeff when I stuck around after the 2008 election.

        As I have said, I enjoy the list and think that Jeff keeps us all honest and engaged. You all certainly keep me sharp and I hope that I occasionally give you something to think about.


    1. Stoos –
      As my question was rather rhetorical, knowing that there are many loopholes through which you’d semantically jump, I appreciate the fact you are ‘on record’ for something unimpeachable (particularly in light of my hope and belief that you and yours are on your way out as a force in our politics).
      I could not source the original Folsom Tele article, so this must suffice (though I have no previous knowledge of the linked site), as others I found are potentially just too slanderous in nature, and I’m trying to keep it civil :

      As to your stated defense of direct utilization of ‘donated’ funds, I do not believe you are in it for the money. I believe you are motivated as any true believer would be, and that your religion is your personal salvation. I actually just wish that guys like McClintock would own their affiliations and honor their belief base, as do you – primarily so we could judge properly (for that is what an ‘election’ is to be). Everywhere I’ve looked into McClintock’s record, from the TPP, to you and the now-local Pruett, I smell hypocrisy and manipulation; and I am actually distressed and saddened that these are the state of our affairs. By criticizing these monies, links and implications, I am calling to account our elected representatives motivations and agenda rather than yours, as I believe yours are known, and ultimately more benign. I actually want you to have your full voice… so that more can see.

  3. The Tea Party is the “Corporate Frankenstein” created by the fevered dreams of Koch, Karl, and Grover Norquist and unleashed upon an unsuspecting middle and working class. It is a self-immolating monster as all “playing God” monsters are. Happy now GOP? Kate

      1. It’s not a “compromise” its a command…we don’t do “command” performances in the U.S.A. Kate

      2. Perry may consider himself the “ArchDuke of Texass”, but Imma hope to shout and tell ya, the Tea Party ain’t the “king of squat” round here…Kate

      3. What’s extreme about “Cut, Cap and Balance?”

        See my lengthy explanation above, but in short, there are only three extreme things about “Cut, Cap and Balance,” and those would be the cuts, the cap and the balance.

        * Extreme cuts to programs supporting children, the poor, the unemployed, the elderly , the sick …

        * Extreme caps that is, extreme constitutional barriers to all revenue increases.

        * Extreme balance proposal would require balanced budget within this (depressed) decade.

        But a fantasy? No, in this age of extreme right-wing political success (and presidential capitulation), CC&B and the Ryan Plan are not fantasies. They’re real, substantial policy proposals that would go a long way toward achieving the right’s decades-long conservative wet dream of dismantling the New Deal.

  4. The Republicans keep on speaking of an “expanding government.” Their reasoning seems to be that the government is “going to be obligated to pay for more baby boomers, soc sec and medicare.”

    I’m sorry, “Going to” is the wrong phrase. The government in the PAST made the deal where they collected CASH from the American people, who AGREED to give it in EXCHANGE for those future benefits.

    Those are not “Entitlements.” They are the “TERMS of the DEAL.” If the Tea Party members want to complain, let them talk to the politicians of the past who then raided the piggy banks and stuffed them with IOU’s.

    In the meantime, bring home the troops, and set them to work fixing our infrastructure, and preparing sites for solar installations. We do not need any more dead soldiers out defending oil fields for the corporations who rig the laws via campaign contributions and lobbyists so they pay next to nothing in taxes.

      1. Could you speak to your congregation about the massive protests they are having in Israel–over wages, daycare and housing? They have 10,000 people at Bibis house and 100,000’s in 12 cities protesting about basic living conditions. Let’s wake up some. They are stating they are “loyal to Israel, but it isn’t loyal to them. These are ISRAELITES John…and are being fully supported by Israelites…all ages all strata. Tell the Tea Party too. Food, shelter…social security, medicare. Important. Kate

      2. Kate,

        I guess the question I would ask is, ‘who is going to pay for all that stuff?’

        In days gone past it was a combination of charity and taxes provided by the growing wealth generated under free markets… That all seems to be in the past with folks now asking for even more.

        Where does the money come from?


      3. From the documents Cutter produced, the only “Children Cherished” with copious amounts of $ and manlove were “child candidates” lil Tommy McClintock and baby Teddy Gaines. Are these documents official and on the level John? If they are, they look more like an illegal wingnut ponzi scheme than anything resembling an official election. Kate

  5. These democrats better straighten their spine and grow a set…seeing McConnell smile on CNN while wiping out the middle class has got to be the most chilling site on record. Kate

  6. Since when is the elction of 60 Tea People to congress, which is made up of 435 representatives, comprise a mandate? What about the other 375 Members of Congress, and the Senate, and the Executive branch? This is the type of destructive arrogance of power that the Tea freaks are supposed to be against.

    I have said it dozens of times, and it’s still true: the Tea Party is a destructive, anti-American influence in our politics because they do not respect our system, it’s institutions, and it’s traditions. Fundamentally, they are just a bunch of nativist know nothings.

    1. Steven,

      I would say your math is pretty close and some might argue that only the twelve that stood up to the Speaker are the real Tea Party members!

      So why haven’t the President and the leader of the US Senate put together a compromise plan that can win the support of 218 of the remaining 275 members of the house?

      My theory: They know the Tea Party folks are right about the run away spending and they do not want their finger prints on it: I.E. the failure of a single US Senator to vote for the Obama plan.


  7. Krugman states that if the Tea Party gets their way it will throw us into a worse recession abyss. Will continue the NO JOBS recovery. I believe it will relegate us all to something even worse: moral bankruptcy. The Grover Norquist School of Religion. Kate

    1. Dr. Krugman wants TRILLIONS more in stimulus: Ask any heroin addict and they will tell you that more drugs is always the right way to go… Until it is too late to get straight.


      1. Well, Paul Krugman, sad to say, didn’t win day. The Tea Party has. The end. Ce la vie John. Kate

      2. Krugman pointed out yesterday on This Week that he (and I’d add, many other economists such as Dean Baker, Robert Kuttner, Joseph Stiglitz, Robert Reich … ) warned ahead of time that the so-called stimulus was much too small. Events have proved them correct.

        Yes, “spend now, cut later” is the correct prescription for what ails us. (Interest rates are still low — meaning the US is not having a problem financing its debt, which is still not beyond its historic high as a percentage of GDP).

        But economic illiteracy and partisan politics will prevail, and so we face our own lost decade.

        Let’s all just check back here in about 10 years and compare notes.

  8. Well its official….Emporer Norquist and the Tea Party Won…the American people lost. Some more. 98% of us anyway. My congratulations to Mr. Norquist, the Koch Brothers, Exxon Mobil, Blackwater, the Financial Industry, Tom and John…Kate

  9. Oh, and congratulations to Barry and the Tea Party “Hard Right”…is it? on, um, winning…the future. Duh. Silly me. Kate

    1. Kate,
      An Obama v. Perry presidential election will divide the country like never before. But the issues that are “hot buttons” for moderates, such as gay marriage, the environment and abortion, are still on Obama’s side. And the moderates still decide the elections, not the extremists. Obama’s also proven himself willing to compromise. When you’re the President, the opposition has you over a barrel with the risk of default. It’s sort of a “no win” when you’re the guy in charge. I might have opted for the 14th amendment, but he has to build some bridges for 2012. I suspect this episode will toughen him up too. The behavior of the hard right/tea party extremists has been an eye opener for Americans who only thought they stood for fiscal conservatism. Watch and see how it plays out.

  10. I didn’t read through the thread but wanted to make sure part of the conversation was this; The Debt limit isn’t about future spending but paying past borrowing. Paying our debt. Where and how was this debt created?

    -Reagan increased our National Debt $3trillion in 8 years, how?
    Cutting taxes on wealthy and increasing size of government through defense spending. Also by aggressively continuing the breaking of labor unions and the revenue generated by a well paid blue collar workforce.

    -HW Bush increased National Debt $1.5trillion in 4 years, how? It took two years to start reversing the economic policies that he called Voodoo Economics a decade earlier.

    -Clinton increased the National Debt $1.5trillion in 8 years, how? Inheriting the Reagan/ Bush Supply Side legacy and recession. He raised taxes without 1 republican vote in 93′ despite of Gingrich’s warning of it would throw us into a deep depression. When he left office he had created 22 million jobs, balanced budget, and an economic policy to pay off the national debt by 2010. Please understand I did not and do not carry water for the Clinton administration.

    -Bush increased the National Debt $6trillion in 8 years, how? Reversed Clinton economic policies by giving huge tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, two illegal wars/ occupations without paying for them, a medicare part d program without paying for them, a huge addition to size of federal government with homeland security without paying for it, throwing the windows open for American factories to leave the country(50,000 factories closed since 2001), and bailing out the banks without paying for it while giving The Fed free rein to dump trillions onto the world market. Leaving office with a $8trillion dollar projected deficit and losing 800,000 jobs a month. Bush admin. overall didn’t create one private sector job and only created public sector jobs some where in the range of 700,000.

    -Obama National Debt ? My guess will be enormous due to only taking half measures to rectify these 30 years of policies that led us to our current debt levels.

    1. Ben,

      I agree in principle and would dispute some of the details: The tax rates are far less important than the actual spending which was held in check during the Clinton Presidency and was not during Bush II even though both were a Republican majority.

      Sadly, at the end of the day Mr. North was right in the article that posted some weeks ago:


      1. Clinton also benefited — through sheer luck — by the stimulative effect the tech boom had during the nineties.

        Mr. North, though, cites Social Security as a current problem, which it is not.

      2. Don,

        You don’t think we have a social security problem ONLY if you believe that we actually do have $2.5 TRILLION in the good old lock box.


      3. John,
        Here is where we lose each other. The taxes do matter because they are a tool to shape the economy we are going to function in, it is called incentives. What were the incentives 1950 – 1980 to keep reinvesting capital back into the source from which it came. 1980 – 2010 the incentives were to keep money out of source where it came and to reinvest in lobbyists, speculation of wall st, and in factories in nations of tyranny.

        1950 to 1980 model had blue collar workers earning living wages, due to having an average of 30% unionized work force. This allowed the workers to earn their health care and pensions (over 50%) without the help of government. This same model gave workers decent wages that were taxed without loopholes and shelters funding our government. Less than 500 lobbyists in DC 1980.

        1980 to 2010 model workers health care benefits and pensions (4%) are a thing of the past. Wages have remained at 1980 levels while cost of living has skyrocketed. The capital that went into workers wages, benefits, and the companies R & D now go into the CEO/ administrators pockets. That capital goes towards bribing and owning our elected officials, 35,000 lobbyist in DC 2010. That money is now used for speculating on energy and food making costs spike around the world causing food riots. As the energy costs go up so does our military involvement in oil rich nations.

        So John here is where taxes matter and the founders of this nation would totally agree with my next statement

        The biggest threat to American experiment is the accumulation of power and wealth in a small few hands. The only real time in American history where the American dream became reality for a majority of people came in the economic model set up with the new deal and progressive policies. It was the Reagan revolution that set us on the path to get us where we are today.

      4. Ben,

        We may not be as far apart as you believe: I am more opposed to regulations and “incentives” than I am to higher tax rates, as long as we do realize that the Laffer curve does kick in at some point.

        This is why I was shocked that no one ran with the suggestions that former President Clinton made about closings loopholes in trade for a lower capital gains rate.

        Part of this goes back to the concept of a “cap” on federal spending: What should the level of spending be? If we can agree on that number then I would support eliminating ALL loopholes and exemptions and go for a flat rate brings in that needed amount of revenue.


      5. John,
        I think you would appreciate my laundry list against the Clinton administration. It doesn’t even involve real estate, body counts, or sex scandals.

  11. The only crisis attached to the debt limit is the credit rating of the US. If we lose our AAA rating to a B or lower we will experience a Greece like crisis or those who signed onto adjustable interest home loans

  12. John,

    You ask why the Cut, Cap & Balance are crazy – well I spent 2 days last week reading it and it’s pretty much a pile of dog poop…. No substance, no long term planning, it’s nothing more then a feathery boa on a ugly stripper!

    Let’s start with Cut. The cuts are unreasonible and all fall on the poorest sections of people, and they don’t touch the rich, change the tax code, or deal with any of the outflow of our treasury that are really subsidies to the rich.

    We are losing the War on the economy as we need to stimulate the economy by helping the middle class, not further reducing their economy by more cutting.

    Next comes the Cap. The idea here is to cap our debt so automatic cuts step in to keep us from expanding our debt.

    Note in neither of the first two legs of their plan, Cut and Cap, did they identify what gets cut, they just set target amounts, there is nothing specifically shown as to how this would work.

    You must be naive if you think this will allow Congress to work for a balanced cutting approach. The reality is that the cuts will be draconian again and will have to involve cutting mostly entitlement programs (where the real money is) such as Medicare and Social Security which will be shown the door.

    The spending this wants to cap, they approved. Again the rich, tax laws, and all the other vested interests in corporations are left untouched. It is just a built program to “rape the poorest of our citizens” on auto-pilot.

    Now if you look at the “Balance” it too is nothing more than a bad joke. The analogy thrown around is that families balance their budgets and so should government.

    Unfortunately here is where that analogy falls apart. A family has an finite life and toward the end, their debts have to be paid so Mom and Pop can retire as the children go out on their own.

    That is not how a government works. These programs goes on forever and their children have children and so on. This happens every day, so borrowing (reasonable borrowing) for the future is mandated if we want to grow and provide just like a family borrows for their house, and education for their children.

    Ask yourself what is the debt to capitol ratio for most businesses. All businesses are in debt and manage it to invest in R&D, invest in infrastructure, and acquisitions to move into new markets. So if we want government to operate like a business, then we need to come up with a viable plan to allow it to do so…..

    But here is where real stupidity and blindness comes in.

    What did we learn from the Depression? Well I will tell this, whatever it was these morons have certainly forgotten it. Greed and excessive risk taking (sound familiar?) crashed the economy in the 1930’s, so over the years we learned first that we had to step in and stimulate the economy so we could stimulate demand.

    The truly big stimulus package during that time was WWII, but more cogent to this argument is we set up regulations to make sure our financial institutions could not take on too much risk (which we abandoned with the fall of the Glass-Steagal Act); and wait for it, we put in place a system where government through monetary policy and fiscal policy (printing money and deficit spending),

    We could stabilize normal business cycles. Then over the next 60 years we did just that until the morons totally deconstructed the risk management thing (Glass-Steagal) and how long did it take for the US to create this world wide financial mess for the world?

    1. Brad,

      Thank you for at least trying to respond!

      You still have to deal with the reasonable part of this compromise: With the explosion of growth in the federal government over the past ten years under Bush/Obama, how is it reasonable to say the cutting a mere hundred billion is unreasonable?

      The cap that you say is draconian is almost 20% of GDP: Again I would ask how much should the federal government take?

      Finally, the balanced budget amendment is the ultimate control, just like the checkbook is for the family: You can still have short and long term debt as a family does, BUT with the government having the ability to print money, something a family cannot do, I would argue that control is MORE important, not less.

      I certainly agree that it is going to take some time to dig out of the holes we have created, and I appreciate the discussion: It would have helped our nation to have such discussion going on in Washington over the past few months.


  13. Check out page 243 of Howe’s “The Fourth Turning,” written in the late nineties. It describes our recent debt limit fiasco in fine detail. Beyond prescient. Uncanny.

  14. John,

    The point I’m trying to make is that revenue generation also needs to be a signifcant part of this plan.

    Without it you can’t make this work, and considering that the richest people in the world have said that they’ve never paid so little in taxes (i.e. Warren Buffet) and the joke of having Wall Street income’s paying %15 (as they say it’s capital gains) is literally outragous!

    Tom, I bet all of those Trickle down theories go right out the window when the middle class have to be a viable part of these “new and intersting theories when looking at how they are the more responsible parties…..

    1. Brad,

      I guess the argument comes down to whether you think that wealth creation is a good thing or a bad thing: The communists tried to get rid of wealth [except for their own ruling class] for decades and the alternative was not pretty. In fact if our capitalist nation had not provided the food the Soviets needed it would not have lasted the seventy years that it did.

      As a Christian I will speak often about compassion, charity and the compassionate use of accumulated wealth, BUT all of that presupposes the creation of wealth in the first place.

      You object to the capital gains tax not being high enough and I would argue that it is too high: It should not exist. All that it does is prevent the use of that portion of the company’s resources for much more beneficial uses than it gets in the hands of the government. Government’s proper role is the general administration of justice and defense and those taxes should be collected in a general way so that all those who benefit share in the costs.


      1. It looks like you have no problem “funneling cash” into the “hands” of the government, Mr. Stoos. False indignation aside. And don’t say “its for the children” again or I might throw up…Kate

  15. The conservative meme that the Social Security trust fund is a “fiction” is based on the banal fact that Social Security contributions are paid into the treasury, and paid out when needed. Note, though, that each such contribution results in an accounting entry in the notional “trust fund” account and in the contributor’s sub-account.

    An “accounting entry?”

    Sounds like fiction, doesn’t it?

    Well, it is, sort of, in exactly the same way that a bank’s ability to loan more money than it has in deposit reserves is a sort of “fiction,” merely an accounting device, a kind of convenient social contract only.

    Other “fictions” in our system — as we have seen so vividly recently — include our national debt obligations. Apparently, if we so decide, and as some Tea Party Know-Nothings encourage, we could simply abrogate many of those debt obligations. After all, they’re just accounting entries, right?

    One way to identify a radical conservative in these times is by his immoral willingness to dismiss these important social contracts as “mere fictions.”

    1. By the way, Dean Baker sums it up (in agreement with me) this way:

      ” … high income people don’t want to pay the taxes to repay
      the bonds. That is why they are so anxious to convince the public that
      the trust fund is not real. I calculated that defaulting on the trust fund
      would transfer more than $1 trillion from the bottom 95 percent of the
      income distribution to the richest 5 percent (“Defaulting on the Social
      Security Trust Fund Bonds: Winners and Losers”). The richest 1
      percent of families would walk away with nearly $750,000 each.

      “In short, there is a lot of money at stake in convincing the public that
      the Social Security trust fund is not real. That is the reason we hear it
      called a fiction. In reality, there is nothing more confusing about the
      trust fund than an ordinary bank account. The public absolutely should
      demand that the government not default on the bonds held by Social
      Security and that the politicians and pundits start talking more honestly
      about the program.”

      1. Don,

        A debate about WHO is going to pay the future taxes to make the promised Social Security payments does not put to rest the lock-box scheme, it confirms it: The past congresses spent ALL of that money on other programs knowing they would have to make these future payments.

        Again, it is like the example I used: Putting money aside for your kids college at the bank is a good thing. Spending that money and writing an IOU to yourself that you put in a safety deposit box is a scam. What the President visited in West Virginia is a $2.5 TRILLION scam.


  16. John, so what you’re saying then based upon your premises above is that our children should not get the funding they need, as the rich, and the upper 10% of this country don’t want to pay anymore.

    You also state that:

    You object to the capital gains tax not being high enough and I would argue that it is too high: It should not exist. All that it does is prevent the use of that portion of the company’s resources for much more beneficial uses than it gets in the hands of the government.

    Sorry, but this is the tickle-down premise that the right has been pushing for the past 30+ years have well has that worked for the middle class as you look at the ratios of incme for the middle, and upper classes show that statement to be nothing but a big lie….

    Your whole idea on this subject has been shown to be nothing but a big falicy, and the middle class, who do not make $300K per year know/show that to be true.

    1. Brad,

      I am not talking about any trickle down or up: I am talking about the concepts that Samuel Adams outlined in the Wealth of Nations and the Protestant work ethic and property rights that flowed from the Reformation.

      It was these concepts that gave us the $17 TRILLION economy that not cares very well for our children but also many of the other children around the world.

      You seem to want to exchange that for what the communists have tried around the world, where it has always failed.


      1. John,
        As for the Protestant work ethic, I think that was the formulation of Max Weber in “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism,” rather than Adam Smith (or Samuel Adams!). Weber had some appreciation for the ascetism of the Protestant Ethic, but was disgusted by the greed of the “Spirit of Capitalism” that it gave birth to, particularly in the United States. He found capitalism divorced from religion to be an abomination–quite a conclusion for a guy who was not himself particularly religious in the traditional sense. Are you familiar with Weber’s writings about The Protestant Ethic?

      2. Tony,

        I would give John Calvin and Martin Luther and those they trained a lot more credit for the Protestant work ethic than any who came later. It is the natural outgrowth of the Biblical understanding of vocation and individual responsibility.

        I would certainly agree that capitalism divorced from religion is an abomination! This is why the government should be tasked with enforcing justice and NOT picking favorites. IF there is no government coercion, then the market forces are the proper check in the selfish tendency that we find in fallen men and women. [remember my comment that you can have no monopoly without the government’s involvement].

        I have not read any of Weber’s work, but it sound as if it would be of interest.


      3. I think you would be interested in Weber’s book–he gives ample credit to Luther and Calvin for developing the concept of “the calling” to vocation (Luther), and the doctrine of predestination (Calvin), and their relationship to “The Protestant Ethic.” In fact, I think he was the one to pair the two as underlying “the spirit of capitalism.”

  17. “These people wouldn’t recognize a hot-fudge sundae if the cherry started talking to them.” – I think Michelle Bachmann gets her talking points from said cherry.

    1. I was a winner in 1976 voting for that born again Christian Jimmy Carter!

      I have voted a pretty much straight Republican ticket since then because I am a single issue voters on abortion. I do not believe that I voted for either Bush in the primaries, for which I am thankful!

      As a historical aside, my father served with President Nixon in WWII and he knew he was a crook long before the nation caught on!


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