The Tea Party Issues and Platform

Boston Tea Party

Better not call these folk tea baggers
Better not call these folk tea baggers

The Tea Party

The Tea Party takes its name from the Boston Tea Party in 1773. The first Tea Party was a reaction of Colonists to the Tea Act of Britain. Their objection was to being taxed without having their own representatives in government. Now, we have representatives coming out of the wood work, as they say, so perhaps the current Tea Party just objects to paying taxes. The Tea Party stands for smaller government and self reliance with the dissolution of some key government agencies. The unspoken problem with this philosophy is that without government regulations, we are left at the mercy of big business. During World War II, in the Axis powers, the collusion between big business and governments had a name, the name is “Fascism” and that was the governing system of Italy and Nazi Germany. The definition of Fascism can be looked up for verification, Mussolini called Fascism “Corporatism” and it is in the history books. This “corporatism” will be the result of unrestrained Tea Party rule.

No Racism Here!
No Racism Here!
Nope, none here, where's the Klan?
Nope, none here, where's the Klan?
Obama the African Warrior? Nope, no racism here either
Obama the African Warrior? Nope, no racism here either
A slave to a black man!?, nope, no racism
A slave to a black man!?, nope, no racism
Obama family portrait, nah, no racism comparing a black man to a chimp
Obama family portrait, nah, no racism comparing a black man to a chimp
Tea Party comics? Nothing here to even hint at President Obama's race, is there?
Tea Party comics? Nothing here to even hint at President Obama's race, is there?

Tea Party and Racism

First of all we must define some terms, tea bagger is a derogatory term referring to a gay sexual act, and calling a Tea Partier a tea bagger is offensive. In the photos on the right you will see visual evidence of how strongly these Tea Partiers object to teabags being associated with their movement.

Tea Partiers are not racist, all people are welcome and in any Tea Party gathering you are quite likely to see a black person standing in a sea of pasty faced white folk. Even the humor of Tea Party exhibits an inclusiveness that belies any hint of racism. Categorically, all Tea Partiers are not racist, but racists have found a home in the Republican Party and the Tea Party. In an email sent to her fellow conservatives by Marilyn Davenport, a Southern California Tea Party activist and member of the central committee of the Orange County Republican Party. Under the words, "Now you know why no birth certificate," there's an Obama family portrait showing them as chimps. Apparently the TP’ers can’t even recognize inherent racism. Further evidence is provided with the photo “Obama’s Plan White Slavery”, we had better avoid “White Slavery” at all costs; whites make other people slaves. No, there’s not even a hint of racism in accusing a black President of enslaving whites, is there? The message is clear; be afraid, very afraid; there’s a black man in the White House. Another revealing Tea Party sign said “We’re all Jews for Obama’s ovens.” Once again, there is no hint of prejudice in that sign. In the world of Tea Partiers, if you are required to buy health insurance, it is the equivalent to the murder of 6 million Jews. Oh, and if you buy your own health insurance, my taxes won’t be used to pay for your care when you go to an emergency room. How awful is that?

Let’s leave the snark alone for a bit and look at what the TP’ers would like to accomplish. Maybe we can find some common ground within the issues.

Civil Debate No Amnety You Moran or I'll Shoot You

Missions and Goals of the Tea Party

Tea Party Platform 2012 – Articulating the Mission and Goals of the Tea Party in 2011 and 2012: “Absent burdensome taxation and policies that thwart incentive (e.g., bailing out failing businesses), the American people will thrive and produce ever greater goods and services and a better price as people seek out their own opportunities to compete in free markets and achieve the American dream. That is the Tea Party Platform.”

A recent New York Times /CBS poll according to this poll, 91% of Tea Partiers want a smaller government with fewer services. Despite this hostility to big government, 62% of Tea Partiers believe that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are worth the cost. Obviously,some evil, big government, socialist programs are okay as long as you are on the receiving end of cash.

The Tea Party wants a balanced budget. Paul Ryan, a Republican and Tea Party favorite has proposed a budget which he claims reduces deficits over the next decade by $4.4 trillion; it calls for $5.8 trillion in spending cuts and also calls for cutting revenue by 4 trillion by giving lower tax rates to businesses and wealthy individuals. About $1.3 trillion of the claimed $5.8 trillion reduction in spending, however, comes simply from taking credit for spending less in future years for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as a result of the already-planned drawdown in the number of troops fighting in those countries.

President Obama believes a goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction over 12 years or less is achievable, and projects that it will reduce deficits as a share of the U.S. economy to about 2.5 percent of GDP in 2015, and put deficits on a path toward close to 2.0 percent of GDP toward the end of the decade. In 2010, President Obama lived up to his campaign promise and 95% of us received a tax cut.

Neither budget proposal makes any significant reduction in military spending but the Ryan budget takes the trillions away from Medicare and Medicaid to give trillions as tax breaks to those with the highest incomes. Ryan’s free lunch is simply a tax on the poor and the elderly to benefit his wealthy backers.

Medical Care? Not under a Ryan Republican Budget

An Agency to Prevent Contaminated Water? No Way!

Budget, Medicare, Medicaid and Paul Ryan

Ryan’s budget eliminates Medicare as we know it by replacing it with a voucher system that enables seniors to buy health insurance on the private market. For anyone in doubt, health insurance is a private, for profit business and it is already difficult for the elderly to buy health insurance, most of them have pre-existing conditions which either gets them denied insurance or charged exorbitant rates. Talk about your “Death Panels”, and “rationed care” the vouchers would cover only about one-third the cost of a private insurance plan that provided coverage comparable to Medicare. The Ryan budget will guarantee more people falling into poverty while they attempt to pay for medical care. When a person has no health insurance they use the emergency room as the doctor of last resort, this is the most expensive and least effective way possible to deliver medical care. And we pay for emergency room visits in our local taxes; there is no free lunch, to avoid this system you need to die or find a more equitable system now. A major problem with health care in the United States is the profit motive. If you have health insurance, you cut into profits by using the insurance. This is a perverse trait of our system, insurance company profits are higher if you die rather than if you use medical services. That is unless the insurance company is able to deny your claim, which happens regularly right now. When they deny your claim the insurance company keeps your money and you go broke paying the bills. The Republicans and Tea Partiers were the “right to life” folk but, maybe that ends when it comes down to profits.

What about Social Security? Social Security cannot borrow, so it does not contribute to the deficit. For decades working people have been paying into Social Security, and because of this the program has been running a huge surplus. The government has been borrowing FROM Social Security to fund deficit spending caused by tax cuts. This borrowed money was used to purchase Treasury Notes, just like China does when we borrow from them, and those notes earn interest, this helps fund the program, money in the bank. The amounts put into Treasury Notes amounts to a huge trust fund, which doesn’t get used up until approx 2037 — the used up date nay be even later than 2037 if the economy improves. Even in 2037 it only runs a bit short and this could be made up by taxing larger amounts of income or means testing payouts. The Tea Party has various positions depending on which partier you speak with. Some want to abolish Social Security entirely, but with the party being made up of old white folk this looks unlikely for now. The immediate problem is with the conservative spin machine. The more we are told that Social Security is in trouble the more likely we are to believe the lie, that’s just how propaganda works. We can all avoid becoming mindless sheep by doing our own research instead of blindly following our leaders. It makes no difference if you are following Rush or Neal, Keith or Rachel FOX or MSNBC, all have their agenda and a well informed citizen is not a “Ditto Head”

Disaster? Tea Party says Tough, Fix it Yourself

Aargh matey! I'm no tea bagger!
Aargh matey! I'm no tea bagger!
Let's get rid of the EPA and allow this to flourish
Let's get rid of the EPA and allow this to flourish
Eliminate the EPA so we can enjoy more smog like this over LA
Eliminate the EPA so we can enjoy more smog like this over LA
WantChinaTimes shows pollution in Beijing. America has the EPA to prevent this from happening here, until the politicians close the agency.
WantChinaTimes shows pollution in Beijing. America has the EPA to prevent this from happening here, until the politicians close the agency. | Source

Asking the Tea Party, How to govern

Tea Party Racism

Smaller Government, Cut These Agencies!

The Tea Party wants a smaller Government, they propose to eliminate many agencies, e.g. EPA, FAA, FDA, FEMA, Dept of Energy, etc. Tea Party members view the growing size of the federal government (with all of its regulations that are supposed to protect people from themselves) as directly in conflict with the principles espoused by our Founding Fathers in our founding documents. With the Tea Party in charge we will enter a new era of Wild West capitalism where the rule for survival will be every man for himself.

Some of the agencies to be ended:
EPA. Our environment has improved dramatically over the past 40 years. Pollution of our air, soil and water have all been reduced. The EPA was formed during the Nixon years, in an effort to consolidate the environmental regulatory activities of the federal government under the jurisdiction of one agency. The mission of the EPA is to protect the air, land, and water of the United States. Without this regulatory arm of the government there will be no more enforcement of environmental laws. An associated YouTube video shows tap water burning because of contamination of the aquifer. Of course, we provide a couple of photos of what we have to look forward to if we lose the EPA, you may be able to buy all of your water when tap water becomes toxic but how do we buy air to breathe?

Look at the picture from WantChinaTimes, this is a current pic taken in Beijing. If we abandon the EPA, that could be your town. Feel like going for a bike ride? Due to smog in Beijing, at times, the airport has had to suspend flights; lung cancer is up by 60% over the last decade even though the amount of smoking has not changed.

FAA. The FAA is in charge of testing professional pilots for drug use. Pilots who test positive for illegal drugs, and those reporting their use of a disqualifying drug or medication, must be evaluated to establish eligibility for FAA medical certification. Without the FAA, the pilot on your next flight may be stoned, but he would be free of the government’s intrusive regulations. The Federal Aviation Administration's major roles include: Regulating U.S. commercial space transportation, any satellite launched in the US is launched under the aegis of the FAA. The FAA regulates flight inspection standards. The FAA Issues, suspends, or revokes pilot certificates. The FAA is in charge of regulating civil aviation to promote safety, especially through local offices called Flight Standards District Offices. The FAA is charged with developing and operating a system of air traffic control and navigation for both civil and military aircraft, researching and developing the National Airspace System and civil aeronautics and developing and carrying out programs to control aircraft noise and other environmental effects of civil aviation. In short if we eliminate the FAA we should all start driving where we want to go, the friendly skies will be in chaos, but they will be freed from intrusive government.

FDA. The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for “protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety, tobacco products, dietary supplements, prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs (medications), vaccines, biopharmaceuticals, blood transfusions, medical devices, electromagnetic radiation emitting devices (ERED), veterinary products, and cosmetics.

The FDA also enforces other laws, including sanitation requirements on interstate travel and control of disease on products ranging from certain household pets to sperm donation for assisted reproduction.

Independent experts on nutrition, food safety, and drug safety say the FDA is failing to protect Americans. While the agency rushes expensive new drug therapies on the market, it does virtually nothing to help reduce the toll of diet-related and drug-induced disease in America, according to Public Citizen’s Health Research Group and the Center for Science in the Public Interest. A drug which has been rushed to market with the approval of the FDA may make it to market within about 7 months of being presented, this is of course in addition to the time it takes a drug company to develop the drug to start with. The criteria for a priority approval are evidence of increased effectiveness in treatment, prevention, or diagnosis of disease; elimination or substantial reduction of a treatment-limiting drug reaction; documented enhancement of patient willingness or ability to take the drug according to the required schedule and dose; or evidence of safety and effectiveness in a new subpopulation, such as children.

This is quite a tall order and the FDA has been accused of corruption and being “in the pocket” of big pharma companies.

The FDA has approved and withdrawn a long list of drugs like Thalidomide, Vioxx, and LSD. A long list of withdrawn drugs may be found here. The FDA certainly seems to be in need of reform but do you want to be the person that tells a mother that the drug which might cure her child has to be held back until all tests have been taken? The FDA has difficult choices to make but without the FDA, all of those withdrawn drugs could still be on the market. The “free market” is a dismal failure when it comes to regulating our food and drugs. The “free market” works something like this; buy a drug, use it and if it’s bad die or get sick. Then the drug company loses sales. I think I will still depend on the FDA and my doctor’s advice.

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is in charge of coordinating the Federal response to a disaster that has occurred in the United States and that overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities. The governor of the state in which the disaster occurs must declare a state of emergency and formally request from the president that FEMA and the federal government respond to the disaster. FEMA’s response to hurricane Katrina was woefully inadequate and people died as a result of the slow and poor response. Without FEMA, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi would have been left to their own devices to respond and help their population without Federal help. Is this the appropriate action we should take as a nation, everyone for himself? If a natural disaster strikes where you live, will you be prepared to deal with the aftermath? If the power supply to your local hospital is destroyed and you are a patient, do you have the resources to hire a helicopter and evacuate yourself and your family? If you are a Tea Partier, that is the choice you are supporting, no help for the needy, no help for the poor, no help for the displaced or the sick. To speak for the rational segment of the population, we would like FEMA reformed, properly funded and managed. Rugged Individualists are welcome to provide for themselves without our help.

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Comments 11 comments

Fay Paxton 5 years ago

Excellent article, Chef. I wonder if the Tea Party has figured out yet that they've been had? I just finished reading "Game Change". Turns out this whole Tea Party thing has been orchestrated from Rick Santorelli to now.

GOP - Grand Old Pimps.

up/awesome


chefsref profile image

chefsref 5 years ago from Citra Florida Author

OMG Faye! Grand Old Pimps! I'll never forget that one

Thanx


chefsref profile image

chefsref 5 years ago from Citra Florida Author

OMG Faye! Grand Old Pimps! I'll never forget that one

Thanx


Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA

Dear Chef Lee,

Excellent! This summary of the Tea Party and its platforms is very comprehensive! They don't even realize how ignorant they are.

The contradictions in their belief system is so apparent to the people on the outside looking in, but in their eyes, they are the real America. Pretty sad!


chefsref profile image

chefsref 5 years ago from Citra Florida Author

Thanx Jillian, Their ignorance is deliberately manipulated by their leaders and we pay the price. I hope the current controversy over the Ryan budget will encourage some of the conservatives to examine their positions and the results that we face if they get control


LRCBlogger profile image

LRCBlogger 5 years ago

really well done. I've been a bit hard on the TEA party but you put my thoughts on paper perfectly. While some members may have some good ideas and be generally good people, the group in general seems to be more about hurting their own interests and returning America to the days where no regulations existed to protect the people. How many of them know that the EPA was actually created by a Republican? Somehow protecting the environment and the world we live in is now demonized as a bad thing?

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that being in the TEA party certainly does not make you racist, however, the racist found a home in the TEA party. I think most of the anger is more about the fact that they believe there is a 'scary black muslim president' in the whitehouse...sadly, the anger is very much fueled by racism.


chefsref profile image

chefsref 5 years ago from Citra Florida Author

Thanx LRC

It's troubling that anger seems to have replaced reason with this group. I can agree on many of the problems, but the solution should be to fix the problem in government, not abandon us to big business


Sembj profile image

Sembj 5 years ago

Great article Chef - you're right on with everything you say. I sometimes find it hard to believe that people might actually believe some of the values articulated by the Tea Party since they seem to contradict their own self-interest.


chefsref profile image

chefsref 5 years ago from Citra Florida Author

Thanx Sembj, Yes it's hard to understand why they are willing to turn problems over to business.


PoliticsNOW profile image

PoliticsNOW 5 years ago from New York

Awesome! Voted up shared and tweeted for you.


chefsref profile image

chefsref 5 years ago from Citra Florida Author

Thanx Politics

The shame on America now is that these tea partiers have been allowed to frame the debate.

We need to take our country back from these radicals and return control to the people

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