Why I Don’t Believe in the Tea Party

August 15, 2010 at 11:46 am

I understand the anger and the passion behind the Tea Party movement.

The economy is stagnant, lots of Americans are out of work, and there hasn’t been a lot of good news over the past year.

Given the state of our economy, it makes sense that people are angry.

What I don’t understand is the Tea Party’s proposed solution: less government.


Because many of the biggest issues and challenges we’ve faced over the past 10-20 years have been caused by deregulation and a “laissez-faire” government.

A few examples:

  • The economic crisis – Caused by too much deregulation and allowing certain companies to become “too big to fail”
  • The Gulf oil spill – Caused by an apparent disregard for oversight and a lack of incentive for companies like BP to provide appropriate safety measures (see Exxon Valdez incident and how little it finally cost Exxon)
  • Hurricane Katrina recovery – Hindered by a refocusing of the government agency FEMA on terrorism
  • Enron – Resulting from deregulation in the Commodity Futures Act of 2000
  • Rising costs of health care insuranceAided by consolidation and monopolization of health insurers

So while it’s easy to rail against “big government” and run around like revolutionaries wearing tricorn hats, I’m not sure how this is going to help anything when “less government” and deregulation is what’s gotten us into so much trouble in the past.

In short, I don’t believe in the Tea Party platform because it doesn’t seem to address the problems caused by deregulation. In fact, the Tea Party platform seems more likely, based on past history, to make the problem worse.

I’d rather fight for a government that works better, is more effective, and puts the needs of the American people at least on par with (if not above) the needs of American corporations.