The Tea Party

I haven’t been blogging much lately, so I thought I should weigh in on something, and write down what most of my readers probably suspect.

I am very happy about the Tea Party movement in the United States.

One factor that has made it difficult to limit the growth of government has been the dynamic that each individual representative has had an incentive to increase spending for his own district and to support big spending programs that seem attractive; because failure to do so would make a representative vulnerable to opponents who would promise more. It has been clear that the only way to overcome this would be for popular sentiment against this behavior to grow strong enough to make electability require being more responsible. This might finally be happening. I would have preferred it to happen decades ago, but better late than never.

People finally seem to be doing the math, and getting serious about fixing runaway spending and regulation.

I’m sure that, as with any large movement, there will be supporters who will do and say stupid things, and there will be those who will prove to be disappointments. But, thus far, it seems that most of the criticisms against them have been unfounded or unrepresentative, and reveal both desperation and a level of condescension that will likely backfire.

Other dangers include the movement losing its focus and becoming associated with ridiculous socially conservative causes, or that the promises of significant spending reductions will go unfulfilled.

It’s gratifying to see that some politicians (Rand Paul, in this case) are willing to discuss cuts to popular entitlement programs before the election. That’s a very good sign.

We’ll see what happens after the election.

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