Tea Party Versus the Middle Class

Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger


It seems like everywhere you turn there is a story about the how bad the deficit is and how the government must make drastic cuts to save the economy and reduce the deficit.  The Tea Party is clinging to their demands for $100 Billion in budget cuts or they say they will shut down the government.  “Rep. Mike Pence (R) of Indiana, a tea party favorite in Congress, urged taking a hard-line on budget cuts – and if that meant a shutdown, then so be it.  “If liberals in the Senate would rather play political games and shut down the government instead of making a small down payment on fiscal discipline and reform, I say, shut it down,” Congressman Pence said, eliciting a chant of “Cut or shut! Cut or shut!” from the crowd. Republicans worried about blame for a shutdown might not be so happy with Pence for that.” Christian Science Monitor

It is interesting to note that cuts in the bloated defense budget were not included in the demands made by the Republicans and Tea party faithful.  They want to cut the programs that seem to do the most good for the poor and the middle class, all the while allowing the wealthy and corporations to get tax breaks and tax credits. We have seen the stories detailing so many of the big corporations that paid little or no federal tax.  “Last week, the New York Times reported that General Electric (GE), the world’s largest corporation paid nothing in federal corporate income taxes in 2010. In fact, the company made over $14 billion in profits and actually received a $3.2 billion tax benefit.” Think Progress

That is an amazing statistic.  GE not only paid no federal taxes, they actually got billions in tax credits!  That means that all of those nurses, and firemen and state workers who were in danger of losing their jobs, paying more in insurance premiums and losing their collective bargaining rights in states across the union because of the dire economic situation in their states, actually paid more taxes to the Federal Government than the Third largest corporation in the world!  Why aren’t the Tea Party faithful going after the GE’s of the world to share in the sacrifice?

The Tea Party is not satisfied with the large cuts that have been already made and those offered by the Democrats, they simply want to tear away at the heart of the programs that help you and I.  They want to end all funding to Planned Parenthood that would actually put poor women in the street looking for serious health care programs because they are also demanding to defund The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as they refer to it as. “With a hard deadline looming, talks to prevent a government shutdown have been stymied for a week because Tea Party members of the House have demanded everything: not just some of their cuts but almost all of them, and not just a reduction in spending but a reduction only in the programs they don’t like. Many are insisting Democrats also agree to nonbudgetary riders, like ending the financing of Planned Parenthood or health care reform. “  New York Times

Why does the Tea Party want to attack the programs that help the most people?  Why doesn’t the Tea Party include the Defense budget in its budget cut plans?  Why does the Tea Party not want to force our largest corporations to pay their fair share of Federal taxes?  I submit that the Tea Party is only concerned about helping themselves.  Just who makes up the Tea Party?  According to one poll, the majority of the Tea Party is comprised of white, male, wealthy Republicans. “The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.   They hold more conservative views on a range of issues than Republicans generally. They are also more likely to describe themselves as “very conservative” and President Obama as “very liberal.”  And while most Republicans say they are “dissatisfied” with Washington, Tea Party supporters are more likely to classify themselves as “angry.” ‘ New York Times

If I read this poll correctly, the Tea Party hates Obama and they think black people and poor people are getting all of the breaks from the government.  They also want to end wasteful government spending, but most of them want to keep “government’s big hands” off of their Medicare and Social Security!  In other words, I want mine, but the hell with everyone else!  These guys might be well-educated, but they must not be well read if they think the poor and minorities are getting all of the “big breaks” from the Federal government.  Maybe they need to stop listening to intelligent politicians like Michele Bachmann and Rand Paul and start reading Prof. Turley’s blog!  What is your take?


Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger

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