Rather shamelessly stolen from the Instapundit….
The Tea Party movement exists, I told them, not because of the Democrats. We know who they are, with their tax increases, endless spending and Washington-knows-best takeovers. No, the Tea Parties exist because of the failures of the Republican Party. We were supposed to be the ones Americans could trust.
Every time a liberal and I get to arguing, they counter that the Tea Party movement sprung up out of racial animus or cynical partisanship against Obama. The demand to know where the opposition to spending was during the Bush administration.
They have a very difficult time grasping the fact that there WAS conservative opposition to unneeded spending. And for some reason, my liberal acquaintances can’t seem to understand that while many conservatives were unhappy with spending a couple years ago, they are livid now. Why the change. They don’t seem to grasp that suddenly increasing deficit spending to unheard of levels might just bring out unheard of levels of popular opposition.
And further spurring popular conservative discontent is the widespread notion that the Republican party is just as to blame for this budgetary madness. “Compassionate Conservatism” was widely seen as code for “Democrat Lite” social spending.
I’m about as fiscally conservative as you could possibly be when it comes to the federal government. From little things (if there’s a single penny for new office furniture in the budget in the next 5 years, someone needs a beating!), to lopping entire departments from the executive branch. And where the real money is? Oh, I’d swing an ax there as well. I’m already resigned that I’ll never see a dime of my Social Security benefits. And Medicaid/Medicare? At a minimum, freeze that budget, and probably slash by 10% in the short term. Both programs were originally intended to provide minimal care to the most destitute portions of the population, But like every social spending program, the unfairness at the margin, where the cutoff lies, argues for increasing the scope of the program. And quickly, compassion for the poor becomes bloat for the masses. The fact is that the government is subsidizing a huge slice of health care in America, and any subsidized industry has costs that inflate above the norm, and lose responsiveness to its supposed customer base. See Education, Higher. It is an economic model that can only end in ruin.