Tag Archives: tea party

The Odd Thing about the Tea Party

There is something odd about the tea party that I have not been able to pin down until now. The Tea Party is “mad as hell and ain’t gonna take it no more”. I see these older white folks talking about armed revolution and it makes me chuckle. Could you see gray haired, overweight revolutionaries being mowed down by the military? This sounds like a Monty Python skit to me. Anyway, the really funny thing is that these folks are demonstrating to conserve. There is an oxymoron knotted in this thought. The thought of ‘conserving’ is to continue the status quo. Traditionally, conservatives do not want too much change. They support establishment candidates that are not going to rock the boat. It would be ludicrous to demonstrate to stay the same. It would be like painting legs on a snake, a koan. These folks are using the thought ‘conserve’ to covertly introduce a radical agenda.

They do not want to conserve. They want to push an elitist, marginally violent (for now), questionably racist, quasi anarchistic agenda. They all came out of the conservative Republican ranks so they think of themselves as conservatives but they have not worked out the ideological specificities of their own anger. If they really wanted to conserve they would stay in the Republican Party and vote for the ‘true’ conservatives (whatever that is). These folks say they are ‘true’ patriots and ready to spill blood to prove it. Their deacto flag is the American Revolutionary flag that states, “Don’t Tread on Me”. They quote Thomas Jefferson, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” They rarely state the rest of the quote but it is the part that I agree with about the Tea Party, “It is it’s natural manure.” They think of themselves as extreme patriots. They do not think they are racists as they find that position untenable but they make ‘rational’ claims and ‘mere’ jokes about Islamics, women and blacks. Personally, I am all too happy to see them tear the Republican Party to pieces. However, when they find out they do not want to conserve but overthrow traditional conservatives it will be interesting to see how far they will go with their lassie faire capitalism. They are against taxes because they see that their standard of living is going down and they blame it on the liberals. Many of the ingredients are in play for the dictionary definition of fascism.

Only one thing is lacking – a vibrant, charismatic leader. After World War 1 the Germans saw their standard of living go down and blamed it on the Versailles Treaty that ended the war. They saw ‘illegal immigrants’ and ethnic groups such as the Jews as the source of their plight. They still maintained their extreme nationalism after World War 1. Hitler seized the moment and played on their angry emotions. He rightly divined undercurrents that were making the Germans angry as hell and gave those emotions voice and clarity. He played up the ethnic antagonisms and voiced the ‘rational’ concerns of their anger. Like Sarah Palin, he spoke in thinly veiled terms of violence (i.e., locked and loaded, cleaning their guns, scope crosshairs, etc.). He played on the Germans anger with their current government and advocated throwing the bums out. He made the current German government the enemy which is not a conservative inclination. He appealed to the ‘true’ German national. He focused their anger on the liberals of his day the socialists and the communists (contrary to the obscurantism and revisionist history of Jonah Goldberg). He used the corporatism of his day to finance his campaign. There were some differences. He did not play on religious values as his megalomania would not allow it (although he did fan nationalism into a religious zeal). He gave the Germans a revisionist history of themselves.

I do not know if the Tea Party would follow this route even if a Hitler type came along but the Tea Party does need to clarify its ideology and unify its goal. They are ripe for the picking and these folks are not scholars. They distrust ‘liberal’ universities and to the contrary trust the antithesis in folks like Sarah Palin. I think the fascist tendency in this country has been redefined, revised, made virtuous and put lipstick on but the stench has been apparent since Reagan and growing. Fascism is really violent hate disguised. With a little push like a lower standard of living and a vibrant spokesperson it could grow legs. I hope that this is not the case. In any case, on the positive side, these folks will tear the Republican Party to pieces and if, as I have long thought, the religious element checks out the Republicans will be introduced to what the Democrats have been dealing with for decades, plurality.

The “Tea Party”?

The Tea Party got its name from the Boston Tea Party.  Initially, their point was that there should be no taxation without representation.   They identified with the patriots.  Now, they like to equivocate the monarchy of England during the Revolutionary War with today’s Federal Government.   Do you see a difference?  A monarchy is NOT elected but our government (which includes the Federal Government) is elected by a majority of the people in our country.  Hey, Tea Partiers, we got the government we elected – you lost. 

Real patriots advocated democracy in the face of totalitarianism.  Terrorists advocate senseless violence in the face of democracy.  What side are you gun toting, reloading, cleaning fools on?  The rest of us pay taxes for a military and police to deal with your type.  Go ahead – go down in a blaze of ignorance – the gene pool will be better off.

And, guess what…we think the tax burden will get shifted from the middle income groups the Republicans administrations gave us to big corporations and rich folks.  Oh, I know they like to threaten that they will leave the country or pass the cost on to everyone else but I call that intimidation and black mail.  I have faith that capitalism and competition will leave those that act on these threats in the ranks of the has-beens and entrepreneurs will rise to take the spoils.  Don’t continue to be pawns of big money marketing.  They would have you act against your own interests so they come out ahead. 

Oh, and if you are on Social Security and Medicare and are against Health Care Reform you are selfish and nasty.  You are part of the problem and I think you are responsible for the death of thousands of men, women and children that have died in this country from no and/or inadequate health care.  I see faces of children when it comes to health care reform.  You and your politicians fought CHIPS and health care for decades and I see children dying from it.  If you have the gall to call yourself “pro-life” on top of this you are hopelessly lost.  Why don’t you give age the face of grace, wisdom and virtue not pettiness and hypocrisy?

A vote against Big Government is a vote for Big Business

Rest assured that if you are angry and want to vote against the Democrats by voting for a Republican you will be voting for Big Business.  You will be voting for Wall Street, private contractor wars and world anger and hatred for the United States.  You will be voting for more of the Bush years.  Republicans will say and do anything to get elected but their actions speak louder than words.  They are all about back room deals with Big Business. 

Here is one proof:

In 8 years controlling the executive branch and 6 years of that controlling the legislative branch, the Republicans did the only major health care initiative that I know of – the Prescription Drug Benefit known as Medicare Part D.

Take a look at this article concerning Part D:


The initial 10 year cost of the program by the CBO in 2003 was $395 billion.   The current 10 year cost cited below totals out at $999.9 billion.  All costs cited above are intermediate estimates.

Table III.C19.—Operations of the Part D Account in the SMI Trust Fund (Cash Basis) during Calendar Years 2004-2018

[In billions]

Income Expenditures Account
Calendar year Premium income1 General revenue2 Transfers from States3 Interest and other Total Benefit payments4 Adminis-trative expense Total Net change Balance at end of year5
Historical data:
2004 $0.4 $0.4 $0.4 $0.4
2005 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1
2006 $3.5 39.2 $5.5 $0.0 48.2 47.1 $0.3 47.4 $0.8 $0.8
2007 4.0 38.8 6.9 0.0 49.7 48.8 0.9 49.7 0.0 0.8
2008 5.0 37.3 7.1 0.0 49.4 49.0 0.3 49.3 0.1 0.9
Intermediate estimates:
2009 6.3 6 48.5 7.9 0.0 62.7 62.6 0.4 63.0 −0.2 0.7
2010 7.2 6 50.7 8.3 0.0 66.2 65.8 0.4 66.2 0.0 0.7
2011 8.4 55.5 8.8 0.0 72.8 72.3 0.4 72.7 0.0 0.7
2012 9.6 60.8 9.4 0.0 79.9 79.4 0.5 79.8 0.1 0.8
2013 10.6 66.1 10.1 0.0 86.8 86.2 0.5 86.7 0.1 0.9
2014 11.6 72.4 10.8 0.0 94.9 94.3 0.5 94.8 0.1 0.9
2015 13.3 6 79.9 11.5 0.0 104.8 104.2 0.5 104.8 0.1 1.0
2016 13.8 6 88.2 12.6 0.0 114.7 114.0 0.5 114.6 0.1 1.1
2017 15.9 97.4 13.9 0.0 127.3 126.6 0.5 127.2 0.1 1.2
2018 17.7 107.8 15.4 0.0 140.9 140.2 0.6 140.8 0.1 1.3



Table III.C23.—Unfunded Part D Obligations from Program Inception through the Infinite Horizon

[Present values as of January 1, 2009; dollar amounts in trillions]

Present value As a percentage of GDP
Unfunded obligations through the infinite horizon1 $0.0 0.0 %
Expenditures 20.3 1.5
Income 20.3 1.5
Beneficiary premiums 2.5 0.2
State transfers 2.2 0.2
General revenue contributions 15.5 1.2
Unfunded obligations from program inception through 20831 0.0 0.0
Expenditures 9.4 1.2
Income 9.4 1.2
Beneficiary premiums 1.2 0.1
State transfers 1.0 0.1
General revenue contributions 7.2 0.9


15.5 trillion projected out to infinity and 7.2 trillion to 2083.


Here are some other quotes from articles:

“Just to be clear, the Medicare drug benefit was a pure giveaway with a gross cost greater than either the House or Senate health reform bills how being considered. Together the new bills would cost roughly $900 billion over the next 10 years, while Medicare Part D will cost $1 trillion.”

 “when the legislation came up for its final vote on Nov. 22, 2003, it was failing by 216 to 218 when the standard 15-minute time allowed for voting came to an end.

What followed was one of the most extraordinary events in congressional history. The vote was kept open for almost three hours while the House Republican leadership brought massive pressure to bear on the handful of principled Republicans who had the nerve to put country ahead of party. The leadership even froze the C-SPAN cameras so that no one outside the House chamber could see what was going on.”


“By the design of the program, the federal government is not permitted to negotiate prices of drugs with the drug companies, as federal agencies do in other programs. The Veterans Administration, which is allowed to negotiate drug prices and establish a formulary, pays 58% less for drugs, on average, than Medicare Part D.[32] For example, Medicare pays $785 for a year’s supply of Lipitor (atorvastatin), while the VA pays $520. Medicare pays $1,485 for Zocor, while the VA pays $127.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_Part_D [i]

One other thing, if you hear anyone tell you that they do not take any give outs from the government and they are on Part D – they are absolutely wrong.  We will not even have to discuss what they paid into Social Security and Medicare and how much more they are taking out because:

-they are living longer

-the increasing cost of health that was way off when it was calculated in their employment years   

They never paid anything into Part D and the money they pay for their drugs is very small compared to the cost of the drug.  The 1 trillion dollar deficit over 10 years includes what they pay.

So, here we have it – Republicans did this:

-Gave the drug companies and insurance companies a trillion dollar handout over the next 10 years

-Total Cost to the tax payer is 15.5 trillion projected out to infinity

-Made sure we could not negotiate these costs in bulk

1 trillion dollars over 10 years for Part D is 100 billion dollars a year for 10 years.  It is more than the current estimate for the Health Care Reform bill (currently priced at 900 billion for 10 years in the Senate bill)!

Hello – If you vote for a Republican you are voting for Wall Street to get away with more than they already did – do you think the United States can survive this???

Folks, we need to understand that a vote against Big Government is a vote for Big Business.

My background is in business.  I was an engineer, low and middle manager in small, intermediate and large businesses.  I know it from the inside.  My significant other retired from the GAO so I know this side as well.  Here are some observations:

Government calls it tax => Business calls it profit – it all boils down to more money you pay from your pocket!

Government has programs that are wasteful (but not nearly as many as you might think) => Big business gives huge bonuses and stock options

Government has its share of inefficient employees => Big business keeps hiring and promoting worthless people that suck up the bottom line and many stay on when the company is sold

Government is too big => Big business is too big to fail

If you think there is a “free market” that makes Big Business better than Big Government you have bought hook, line and sinker into Republican propaganda – Big Business is NO better by any of the standards you want to compare with Big Government.  The best thing we can do is keep Big Business and Big Government at each other (see http://mixermuse.com/blog/2010/01/04/free-market-eitheror-government/ ). 

You gave Bush 8 years to lavish riches on Big Business – please give the Democrats time to try to reverse and offset those years.  If you are unhappy in eight years vote them out!  If you vote them out now you may as well say goodbye to the USA because the collapse we had on Wall Street will pale in comparison to what you are going to get!

[i]   In researching this paper I found what I think are glaring mistakes for the Wikipedia Medicare Part D article cited here.  I have put these comments in the talk section for this article and plan to correct it if there are no objections.

Current “Program costs” Section is:

As of January 2006, the expected per capita drug spending, reported by the Department of Health and Human services, was $2,250, making the total cost of the program $42.75 Billion.[6] This budget compares with revenues of $54 Billion for Pfizer and $48.6 Billion for Johnson & Johnson, the two largest pharmaceutical companies. Kaiser Family Foundation, estimates the 2006 costs at $37.4 billion.[2] Total costs through 2015 are estimated to be $724 billion. Some of these revenues will be provided by “clawback” of revenues currently provided to the states for Medicaid. The “clawback” is a mechanism by which federal expenditures that benefit states (specifically regarding dual eligibles) are reimbursed back to the federal government. This reimbursement starts at 90%, but then falls to 75% in 2015. Figures also depend on per capita estimates of dual eligible expenditures and the number of dual eligibles that receive benefits.

As of January 2008, total Medicare spending for prescription drug benefits was projected to drop from $40.5 billion in 2007 to $36 billion in 2008. One factor contributing to lower costs is the increased use of generic drugs.[4] Shortly after the release of the 2008 Medicare Trustees’ Report,[25] the Chief Actuary testified that the 10-year cost of Medicare drug benefit is 37% lower than originally projected in 2003, and 17% percent lower than last year’s projections.[26]

In August 2008, CMS estimated that the 10-year cost of the program would be $395 billion, down from the original estimate of $634 billion.[15] (note: This link is dead.) In late October 2008, USA Today reported that costs were down by $6 billion, or 12%, for the fiscal year ended September 30. Costs for the program were approximately one third less than originally predicted.[27]

Proposed New “Program costs” Section:

As of the end of year 2008, the average annual per beneficiary cost spending for Part D, reported by the Department of Health and Human Services, was $1,517 [44], making the total expenditures of the program for 2008 $49.3 (billions). Total intermediate, projected expenditures from 2009 through 2018 are estimated to be $999.9 (billions). [45]

New “Program costs” References:


45. ^ 2009 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE BOARDS OF TRUSTEES OF THE FEDERAL HOSPITAL INSURANCE AND FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTARY MEDICAL INSURANCE TRUST FUNDS, Table III.C19.—Operations of the Part D Account in the SMI Trust Fund (Cash Basis) during Calendar Years 2004-2018, Page 120 (Page 126 in pdf)

Notes for Talk section viewers:

– There are many links that are dead in this article. The data is also very old.

– I will try to update the article one section at a time starting with the program cost section. If there are no objections or requested additions I will update the “Program costs” section on 2/1

– The hyperlink for reference 44 is http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ReportsTrustFunds/downloads/tr2009.pdf

– The hyperlink for refernce 45 is also http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ReportsTrustFunds/downloads/tr2009.pdf

– Any comments or feedback is highly welcome…”