[FoRK] "Two faces of the Tea Party"

Dave Kammeyer kammeyer at kammeyer.org
Thu Jun 24 11:08:37 PDT 2010

On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 12:37 PM, Michael Cummins <michael at i-magery.com> wrote:
> I'm 40.  The few things I attended were populated with 30-40-50 something's.
> I honestly don't expect Social Security to be around when my turn comes, to
> be honest.  I doubt I'm alone in this but I'm hardly representative, and I
> can understand the resentment from someone who has paid into it their whole
> life and then gets the rug pulled out from underneath them.

Most of the TP is older than you.  75% of TP is over 45, about 30% is
already retirement age. [1]  Very few of the boomers have saved enough
for retirement and are depending on SS for retirement.  They're not
going to vote for cutting their benefits.  They'll cut their kids
benefits if they have to though.

> Not in a general sense, but I think the atmosphere in the tea party crowd is
> pretty anti-pork.  It's one of the common threads that link these disparate
> communities.  If you shine a bright enough light on anything particularly
> wasteful, I don't think it will matter what department the waste falls
> under.

Right, but what are they talking about here?  I think that most TP
people want to cut things like 2 million dollars for a bike path, or a
million dollars for southwestern spotted rice weivel research.  That
sort of thing just doesn't add up to much, as good a soundbite as it

As Jeff says, there are lots of military programs that can be
classified as pork, but the big expenses are the wars and new weapons
systems.  There is tons of waste in the military procurement system,
and with a concerted effort, it could probably be improved, but there
are very powerful institutions dedicated to ensuring that the profits
of defense contractors aren't hurt.  Your pork is his profit.  Since
the TP people tend to skew right-wing, there is generally support for
the military, and cutting the military budget is generally not
something that they support.

If you want to get a good feel for how the budget really works, I
suggest this: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/features/budget_hero/

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/04/14/us/politics/20100414-tea-party-poll-graphic.html?ref=politics#tab=9

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