A Very Encouraging Quote from a Tea Partier

Steve Novick

When talking about the Tea Party movement, the largest number of respondents said that the movement’s goal should be reducing the size of government, more than cutting the budget deficit or lowering taxes.

The New York Times yesterday had an article on the Tea Partiers that included the following - to me, very encouraging - passage:

And nearly three-quarters of those who favor smaller government said they would prefer it even if it meant spending on domestic programs would be cut.

But in follow-up interviews, Tea Party supporters said they did not want to cut Medicare or Social Security — the biggest domestic programs, suggesting instead a focus on “waste.”

Some defended being on Social Security while fighting big government by saying that since they had paid into the system, they deserved the benefits.

Others could not explain the contradiction.

“That’s a conundrum, isn’t it?” asked Jodine White, 62, of Rocklin, Calif. “I don’t know what to say. Maybe I don’t want smaller government. I guess I want smaller government and my Social Security.” She added, “I didn’t look at it from the perspective of losing things I need. I think I’ve changed my mind.”

Why do I say that's encouraging? Because Jodine White proves that some people do respond to facts. Because this passage shows that if we just did a better job of letting people know what government actually does, what parts of government are actually "big," instead of leaving them to think that foreign aid is bigger than Medicare (which most people believe), it would change people's world views.

Which is why my tombstone is going to read: "He tried to let people know where their tax dollars go."

Comments

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    Steve, we were both inspired by that poll. Apropos of your comment about facts was this finding. 64% of Tea Partiers thought Obama had increased most people's taxes, as compared with just 34% of all respondents (which includes the tea partiers). As we know, 95% of Americans have gotten a tax break.

    Koan: If the government lowers your taxes but you don't notice and Fox says they were raised, did you get a tax cut?

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    One of my favorite web sites right now is http://oregon.gov/transparency.

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    Hey Steve, you've assigned yourself a noble quest but, based on recent polling information, unless your tombstone also reads "...through his show on Fox News" I'm not sure your voice will ever be heard by the people you would like to hear it. From the poll responses I suspect these TEA folks are so profoundly alienated that even if they did happen on your truth-telling they wouldn't believe you anyway. I guess your success with M. 66/67 has inspired to to even greater challenges. ;>) I wish you all the best of luck with your newfound project.

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    So, wouldn't the Dems becoming the party of "no waste" really undercut the TPers arguments? The muzzling of all conversation about reducing waste and working smart evaporates whenever a revenue measure is on the ballot. That only feeds the Tetchy Enough Already crowd.

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    I think waste is such a loaded term today, that we need to move past it. What I would love to see the the Dems starting a crusade to make government the most efficient it can be.

    And as anyone who knows a government worker can tell you, there are inefficiencies at all levels of government.

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      Some Dems are. The Guv has his "Reset Cabinet" and Rep. Nancy Nathanson chairs a task force looking at better ways to deliver shared services between the state and county governments.

      We need not to give in to the "waste" thing. I like to point out that: - people do stupid things (sometimes) - all organizations are made up of people - large orgs have lots of people, so they do lots of stupid things - the stupid things done by large private businesses don't get air time usually, because they're private - government is more transparent, so we find out about their stupid things - there's no reason to think private industry is any less stupid, or more efficient, or certainly more virtuous in any way, than government

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        All good points Steve. Considering the Waste, Fraud, and Abuse of Enron, AIG, Goldman Sachs, WellPoint, etc, etc, maybe we should be talking about shrinking the role of predatory capitalism. If the TEA folks are honest they should certainly get behind that program.

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          They are behind that idea which is why they are steadfast in their desire to say good bye to Mr. Obama in 2012. AIG and Goldman and the Obama administration share many of the same people and ideals ,... Paulsen, Geithner, Craig, While President Obama assails the culture of greed and recklessness practiced by the men of Goldman Sachs, his administration is infested with them. The White House can no more disown Government Sachs than Da Boss–in–chief can disown Chicago politics.Goldman Sachs partner Gary Gensler is Obama’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission head Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner — and was quickly installed to guard the henhouse., Goldman Sachs kept White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel on a $3,000 monthly retainer while he worked as Clinton’s chief fundraiser, Former Goldman Sachs lobbyist Mark Patterson serves under Geithner as his top deputy and overseer of TARP bailout — $10 billion of which went to Goldman Sachs, Tom Donilon, is now Obama’s deputy national-security adviser. He earned just shy of $4 million representing her and other high-profile meltdown clients including Goldman Sachs., White House National Economic Council head Larry Summers reaped nearly $2.8 million in speaking fees from many of the major financial institutions and government-bailout recipients he now polices, including JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, and Goldman Sachs. then–secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, was former co-chairman of Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, Rubin continues to mentor another former employee of his with regular visits and chats — Treasury Secretary Geithner, who as head of the New York Federal Reserve pushed bailed-out insurance conglomerate AIG to cover up sweetheart deals for investment banks that benefited, you guessed it, Goldman Sachs. As Obama harangues Wall Street to clean up its house, all the president’s Goldman Sachs men have their feet on the coffee table at his.

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    Great post. Steve.

    We are very lucky to have you, and your relentless and creative campaign to get people to deal with the facts about their tax dollars!

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    "All good points Steve. Considering the Waste, Fraud, and Abuse of Enron, AIG, Goldman Sachs, WellPoint, etc, etc, maybe we should be talking about shrinking the role of predatory capitalism. "

    That is not called capitalism that is corporatism. Corporatism is often confused with many things including socialism or capitalism.

    To my understanding the first tea parties were held under the Bush Administration and protested NAFTA, The War in Iraq and the Bail Outs. Today the Tea Party is divided into two main ideologies. Neo Con vs Libertarian. It is not a monolithic movement.

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      wrong wrong and wrong ...want to try for 4 out of 4? How could any rational person with internet access or a TV possibly try to hang corruption at AIG and Goldman Sachs or any other wall street big boy financial firm at the feet of anyone but Obama and his culture of corruption? (Chi town style) Read my post a couple of comments up no one enjoys a more incestuos relationship with wall street than the Obama Admin. which is literally infested with GS execs. As Obama harangues Wall Street to clean up its house, all the president’s Goldman Sachs men have their feet on the coffee table at his.

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