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Haley Barbour on "Face the Nation"

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    I saw former Mississippi Governor on "Face the Nation" this morning. His first statement was "The Democrats think the solution to everything is higher taxes." I so wanted to be able to call into the program and comment to him that the only thing the Republicans think will solve any situation is more tax cuts for the wealthy. And obviously the commentator Bob Schafer didn't have the nerve to make that remark himself. Thus I think it is safe to say that the Republican Party (including the Tea Party, although I don't believe Haley Barbour is a Tea Party member, or at least I've not heard or read anything like that yet) is STILL stuck on the "WE NEED TAX CUTS" philosophy. They simply refuse to accept the fact that the American people spoke last November, and overwhelmingly nixed that idea and the Republican Party.
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    I confess up until now I do not know the difference between Republican Party (GOP) and the Tea Party. What sets them apart? and what bridge them to be called Republicans? Or it is safe for me to presume the Tea Party is somewhat a Third Political Party in this nation which is still not acknowledge as a viable Party in this country? Other countries are asking the same question as I am. I could not answer because I am in the dark as well. Can you tell me comparative elements of the two? Who are the Republican Party and who are the Tea Party? Oh gush! someone help.
    OK talking about Barbour, I'm confuse. Democrats are trying to cut taxes for the middle class but what the Republican Party does not want to do is add more taxes on the Rich. The delineation has been established between the 250 below and 250 above. The 250 below will enjoy tax cut and the 250 above will have to pay more. What Barbour is talking about is more tax cut for the RICH and Obama is not going for it and this is what Republicans blood pressure is in a boiling point. Is this the "WE NEED TAX CUTS" philosophy that Barbour is talking about ? More tax cut for the Rich & Wealthy? Not a chance as long as Obama is President in the next 4 years.
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    Think Rand Paul and you can easily identify the TeaParty members. Ahhh, but only when they speak.
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    Sabrina.....I really have no idea exactly what defines a Tea Party member, as opposed to a Republican. I have just observed that "they" are for things like smaller government, less "free" stuff for all, more responsibility for the states, and yes--tax cuts for the wealthy so more jobs can be created. How are these things different from the Republican Party? I really don't see the difference, unless it is the fact that these individuals seem to pretend that the election never happened (even though they participated in the 2010 election by voting anti-Obama). They know the President is still the President, and it is their top priority to protest his every action. In reality, I think the name "Tea Party" had to come from the Boston protest of taxes in the 1700s. Then too, when the Democrats passed the American Recovery and Re-Investment Act (almost $800 billion) with little-to-no Republican support, this Tea Party movement really sprung into action, scheduling rallies and protests across America, and has been a thorn in the sides of all Democrats, and many Republicans too ever since.

    I hope this helps at least some Sabrina.
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    Sabrina --

    I wrote this before reading Michaels comments...

    Yes the views of Rand Paul might be a good stereotype for the Tea Party, but it is more complicated than that. Scott Brown of Massachusetts was also a Tea Party candidate, but his views hardly mimic those of Rand Paul. And in between those two, you have the craziness of Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, both of whom wear their religion on their sleeves.

    The Tea Party comprises generally conservative or very conservative views on a whole host of issues from economics and finance to cultural issues, but individual members views may be more moderate on some issues. Nevertheless as an entity, they promote radical individualism versus the community that President Obama often espouses. They're more radical elements are against any new federal government regulations of any sort, and many were elected on a platform of "stopping government" instead of reforming government. Hence they got the distinction of the "Party of No."

    E.J. Dionne Jr. devotes a chapter to the Tea Party in his book, Our Divided Political Heart. It's the first chapter after the Part 1 Section appropriately entitled: "Why Are We Yelling at Each Other?" I think those words are appropriate because as many of us remember the early Tea Party rallies in 2009, it was a lot about rage and yelling...mixed in with some hate Obama signs.

    Dionne covers how the Tea Party got its start in February 2009 shortly after Barack Obama took office and the economy was still in a free fall. The first reported Tea Party meeting took place in Seattle on February 16th and consisted of nothing more than a group of conservative Republicans that that "opposed Barack Obama in 2008 and were angry that he was pursuing the policies that he run on." I think that also defines them today, but they are even more passionate and will use any trick in the book to stop Obama's agenda, regardless of how mainstream Republican some of the policies might have been in the past. I think their anger has transformed into hate, and because of that they are unable to think critically on any issue.

    Dionne also describes how the Tea Party anti-government rage was initiated by a rant by CNBC's Rick Santelli on February 19th, 2009: "The government is promoting bad behavior," Santelli declared in response to Obama's mortgage rescue plan. "This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgage that has an extra bedroom and can't pay their bills?" In that rant he transformed the victims of the financial meltdown to "inferior beings"...or subsidizing losers. In affect Santelli shifted the blame for the financial meltdown away from the Wall Street financial titans to the victims...middle class homeowners who could no longer afford their mortgages.

    In it's early phases, three different Tea Party organizations emerged: the Tea Party Patriots, the Tea Party Express, and the Tea Party Nation, each competing with each other on how "more conservative" they were. In the process, the Koch brothers, by their immense financing, pretty well hijacked the overall movement and its agenda to be more consistent with their corporate needs. It's hard to find such a thing as a "Tea Party Platform," but the current Republican Party Platform is heavy with Tea Party mandates...but likewise most everything the John Birch Society stands for. I have a hard time separating the two on issues when it comes to Obamacare, gun control, the federal government regulations, the Federal Reserve, balanced budgets and more. Whatever the original view of the early Tea Party members on issues, now you just need to look to the Koch brothers and the John Birch Society to see where they stand on issues.
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    if you're a regular viewer of this website, it's easy to forget that each time you open this thing up, you are being given a gift ..

    to quote Ernest Hemingway, "The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock proof, shit detector. This is the writer's radar, and all great writers have it."

    the common element that I noticed on this particular thread this morning is a good analysis (which I would call "good writing" ) of what the Tea Party is, but there have been NUMEROUS discussions on this topic in the past ..

    since I can get a little too wordy if I'm not careful, I'll close with a very succinct response to all the members of the Tea Party:
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    well said that "guy in Arizona", no one could put it any truer, better, or to the point than your closing words.
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    Arizona --

    Yes we have discussed the Tea Party many times in the past. Here's a link to those forum discussions and articles:
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    Thanks everyone for giving me insights how I'd view the Tea Party versus the Republicans (GOP). Sort of complicated but I will learn to chew the philosophies of both Parties. I would admit though, I have more respect for the ole Republican Party. Briefly, depending of my comprehension of what I have read through all this, it seem the Tea Party is the devil's advocate to all these. When Tea Party is mention, comes to mind are Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Eric Cantor, McConnell, Graham and many more. Now I understand why Boehner is having the hardest time of his life. He can not influence The true Republicans with the interference of the Tea Party. Question(s) again, if there are conflicting ideas, head butting on the so-called "Republican Party" in account of the Tea Party, how in the world will we (USA) move forward to a more progressive and effective country? It looks like the Tea Party is in the negative side of the equation and the Republicans trying to be positive. Or....that the Republicans are now infected with the Tea Party Ideology. So why not drop the Republican Party and just call it the Tea Party. We the citizens will be more clearer what each other Party stand for. We say Republican but always, its the Tea Party ideologies that is adhere to. So what are we to do?
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    My suggestion Sabrina, and it is only a suggestion because I know it can't be realized, is to just call it the Tea Party, since that is a more-representative name now, and let the "real" Republicans decide for themselves whether or not they want to remain as Tea Party members, or actually switch over to the Democratic side, where the opinions and practices are more like their own thinking, at least not as radical as the Tea Party's.

    I bet this would mean that in future elections the Democrats would have even more of an expected advantage than they do now, and this would sure be a positive thing.
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    Blah, blah, blah....I will not have some "Tea Party" baffoon governor lecture me on taxes. MMT'ers have been calling for the most radical tax cuts in our nation's history since the start of the financial crisis, and well before it. This economy is like a runner with a bag over its head in the form of highly regressive, flat payroll FICA taxes. Ostensibly, this tax funds SSI and Medicare, with surplus collections funding respective "Trust funds" for those programs. Caveat being Medicare B and D which are funded directly out of general fund contributions. Real issue with FICA is that it's the product of law, not operationally necessary to "fund" anything, and so-called "Trust Funds" are mere accounting devices. FDR called payroll taxes for funding saftey net programs a "useful fiction" that did not make "economic sense." The consolidated Federal government (Congress-Treasury-FED) is the issuer of the currency and it spends by marking up accounts in the banking system. Similarly, when government collects taxes it marks accounts down. The difference is what the non government can net-save in US dollars, and it's the demand for net-savings that determines the size of the government's deficit. Government deficit=non government surplus. Treasury "borrowing" operations, in truth, serve the function of an excess reserve drain in the US banking system, and allow the FED to target a positive overnight interest rate for needed bank reserves.

    The real cost of the social saftey nets is the real stuff people consume with their Social Security and Medicare benefits. Neither of these programs are unstainable, and so called "unfunded liabilities" and "out of control" government spending are dramatically exceeded by demand leakages, in the form of pension funds, corporate reserves, foreign fx central bank reserves, etc.

    FICA works to undue much of the progressivity of the federal tax code, and combined with even more regressive state and local flat taxes, leaves us with a total tax code that is very mildly progressive. Along with other factors, this has created the situation in which people like Mitt Romney pay lower taxes as a percentage of income than people much further down the income stratosphere.

    The higher marginal rate for the federal income tax won by Obama in December will actually bring in less revenue than the 2% employee side FICA holiday tax cut, which legislators on both sides of the aisle allowed to expire, despite pledges by Republicans to never raise taxes. This along with the fact that from a macro perspective government spending cuts are effectively the same thing as a tax increase, but that's for another discussion.

    In any event, MMT is the true "Tea Party." We stand for the largest tax cuts in American history from the bottom-up. If mainstream politicians would only listen, we could have an economic boom in this country the likes of which nobody's ever seen, but they are too politically fixated on a completely imaginary "deficit" crisis to do the right thing. Even the so-called "Progressive" Democratic caucus. They don't understand how the checks clear in the US banking system, and they have no understanding of modern Treasury-FED operations, therefore they don't know how to do their jobs.