The Party’s Over

Thus the headline in today’s New York Times. Well, the Tea Party was nice while it lasted.


29 Responses to “The Party’s Over”

  1. 1 1 Dilip

    Its funny Jared Bernstein takes the same title and forms a different take:

  2. 2 2 ed

    Can’t they still pursue their goals in the old-fashioned, non-insane way, by forcing a government shutdown ad budget time?

  3. 3 3 Will A

    I do like the 3 month delay and hope they continue to have a votes every 3 months. Some Republicans will need to vote yes.

    Then in 2 years, they can face the ads that say, “Bob Dunstan says he’s conservative, but in just the last 2 years, he has voted 8 times to increase the debt limit.”

  4. 4 4 Ken B

    Ehhhhh. The Tea Party and the GOP were never the same. Too early to tell I think about the Tea Party. The GOP’s spine vanished long ago.

  5. 5 5 Ken B

    @Will A: I like a little forthright Machiavellianism.

    I wonder if we’ll see some tag team action if they do this repeatedly. That way each guy has one vote he can spin in crisis terms.

  6. 6 6 awp

    The failure is not in raising the debt ceiling, but in their complicity with the spending that pushed us up to the debt ceiling.

  7. 7 7 Neil

    Now I’m confused. You’ve argued for years that it is the level of spending, not the level of debt, that matters. Other than as a tool (of questionable legitimacy) to get some leverage over Congressional spending decisions, why should there even be a debt limit as far as the TP is concerned?

  8. 8 8 Kirk

    Other than as a tool (of questionable legitimacy) to get some leverage over Congressional spending decisions


  9. 9 9 Bob Murphy

    Such cynicism, Landsburg. When the Republicans allowed the debt ceiling to go up in 2011, it was only because there would be ginormous cuts in the defense budget if the evil Democrats didn’t agree to massive entitlement reform. Boehner is watching the purse strings like a hawk.

  10. 10 10 KS

    I’m confused. The debt ceiling has nothing to do with future spending, it has to do with current spending which Congress has already agreed to. (And Congress includes the House Republicans).

    If you want to cut spending, why do you have to tie it to a commitment to spend what you yourself have already agreed to by voting for??

  11. 11 11 RichardR

    The website lists 15 core beliefs:

    1. Illegal aliens are here illegally.
    2. Pro-domestic employment is indispensable.
    3. A strong military is essential.
    4. Special interests must be eliminated.
    5. Gun ownership is sacred.
    6. Government must be downsized.
    7. The national budget must be balanced.
    8. Deficit spending must end.
    9. Bailout and stimulus plans are illegal.
    10. Reducing personal income taxes is a must.
    11. Reducing business income taxes is mandatory.
    12. Political offices must be available to average citizens.
    13. Intrusive government must be stopped.
    14. English as our core language is required.
    15. Traditional family values are encouraged.

    Which ones do you agree and disagree with?

  12. 12 12 Steve Landsburg


    The website lists 15 core beliefs

    Which ones do you agree and disagree with?

    This will be a good topic for a post. I’m swamped right now but will try to get to it next week.

  13. 13 13 neil wilson

    Why should anyone try and force the issue over the debt limit?

    Shouldn’t they not approve any appropriations for areas that need to be cut?

    I know y’all think I’m an idiot but it seems to me that if you want to cut spending then you need to announce the spending programs you want to cut. You can’t just whine all day that spending is too high without having the guts to name what you want to cut.

    If the Ryan budget proposal is where you draw your line in the sand then pass that budget and refuse to approve any further spending until the Senate and the President agree to your demands.

  14. 14 14 Max

    “You can’t just whine all day that spending is too high without having the guts to name what you want to cut.”

    It may be gutless but it’s smart politics.

  15. 15 15 BC

    @KS (#10). I don’t think it’s quite accurate to say that the debt ceiling is just about paying for spending that Congress has already approved. As someone else explained to me recently, in the normal budget process, Congress usually raises the debt limit when they pass the budget to accommodate the deficit spending in that budget. However, the Senate has not passed a budget in four years. So, Congress has passed a bunch of continuing resolutions and temporary spending measures. The reason we have repeated need to raise the debt limit is because we haven’t passed the budgets that would have contained the corresponding increases in debt limits. If Congress hasn’t passed budgets, it’s not quite accurate to say that they have already approved the spending in those non-existent budgets.

    Harry Reid has been happy to block the budget process in the Senate because the temporary spending measures are based on the last budget, which occurred during a time of high spending. Hence, the latest Republican effort is to tie raising the debt limit to a measure designed to force Congress to pass a normal budget. I believe the mechanism is that Congress can’t get paid until they pass a budget. It’s hard to imagine that Obama or Reid could object to that tie in to the debt limit increase: they would essentially be risking default just to pay Congress when Congress doesn’t perform its legally required duty of passing a budget. The political optics would be terrible, even with a friendly media. Republicans may finally be getting smarter at the debt/budget game.

  16. 16 16 Harold

    @Richard 11.

    When I saw your list I assumed you were paraphrasing, but no, that is actually what they say.
    Number 5 is just nuts – gun ownership is sacred? How can they use the therm “sacred” in this context? WWJD – would he be tooling up?

    I can understand sloppy language in off-the-cuff comments, but in such a list it must be what they mean to say.

  17. 17 17 khodge

    Practically speaking, the new congress has just been sworn in. It makes more sense for the new congress to examine the issue than for the lame duck congress (December session) to have put anything through.

  18. 18 18 Matthew

    I can’t stand watching what’s going on now either. It’s too depressing.

  19. 19 19 Ken B is of course not the spokesman for all those who think of themselves as tea partiers. It’s an amorphous informal thing. I think of myself as broadly libertarian in outlook, and I spend more pixels criticizing the big-L Libertarian — the deductive approach to property, morality, and policy — than anything else on-line. Ron Paul and the the Libertarian Party do not speak for me. So don’t confuse the .org with the reality.

    4 is the most interesting point actually. Reminds me of this

  20. 20 20 Ted Levy

    I agree with Ken B, as (almost by definition) the Tea Party is not a hierarchal organization. does not speak for all tea partiers. I asked David Boaz of Cato if he knew about this group, and David, who follows this very closely, had never heard of them. OTOH, he was familiar with If you check THEIR website, you’ll find a more inclusive (because more restrictive) conception of the Tea Party (Under Mission statement, they list these principles only: Fiscal Responsibility; Constitutionally Limited Government; Free Market Economics). I don’t see how mandating a core language or “encouraging” traditional families is consistent with a constitutionally limited government, nor how a “strong military” in the current sense is consistent with fiscal responsibility, nor how “pro domestic employment” adheres to free market economics, to name only the most blatant internal contradictions in that vapid list.

  21. 21 21 Harold

    Special interests: “A group of persons working on behalf of or strongly supporting a particular cause, such as an item of legislation, an industry, or a special segment of society”
    The elimination of such may improve the government process, but is quite a difficult objective. I don’t know if tea-partiers have any sort of model of government that would achieve such a thing.

  22. 22 22 Ken B

    Ted Levy: ” I don’t see how mandating a core language… is consistent with a constitutionally limited government”

    You’re probably right, but I support both! Of course ‘constitutionally limited government’ is a bit vague and the devil is in the details. It’s more an aspiration than a principle or a policy.

    On the other hand demanding that the government be able to function in 175 different languages isn’t particularly limited either.

  23. 23 23 Will A

    @ BC #15

    I love the Constitution. I would brush my teeth with it if I could.

    My understanding of the constitution is that the Senate can’t unilaterally pass a continuing resolution and have it take effect. Any resolution/law needs to pass through both houses of congress.

    Also a continuing budget resolution is a budget. It’s a budget that says keep spending laws the same for certain period of time.

    If House Republicans don’t want a continuing resolution and want the senate to pass a budget, they should refuse to pass any budget/continuing resolution.

    If I were you, I would start working on convincing voters in swing House Republican districts that shutting down the government during this shaky recovery is worth making the Senate pass a law that the house would never agree to.

  24. 24 24 Ken B

    “I love the Constitution. I would brush my teeth with it if I could.”
    Some days it’s good to be a Canadian. This is one of those days.


  25. 25 25 Ted Levy

    Ken B re “mandating a core language”.

    If the only meaning of “mandating a core language” was “the government need only print signs/regulations/laws/etc. in one language” there’d be little problem. But I think most advocates have in mind something more like:

    a) You must speak English to be a citizen, or
    b) We will teach K-12 classes only in English, and we’ll also mandate via truancy laws that your children attend unless you are rich enough to send them elsewhere. And we’ll take them away from you if you disobey.

    Also, in all candor, I wouldn’t be overly upset if most of the government’s time were taken up merely in translation… :-)

  26. 26 26 Harold

    @24 – In Canada you have the benefit of two official languages.

  27. 27 27 Harold

    It is difficult to define the tea party, but when I google it number one is the and number 2 is Seems a bit odd that soemone who follows this very closely had never heard of

    Number 3 is – described as the “official website of the Tea Party”. I thought that sounded promising, but it turns out to be for a Canadian rock band. These are named not for the famous Boston tea party, but after the nearly equally famous hash sessions of the beat poets Ginsberg, Kerouac, et al. Apparently, a hash session can be accessed by simply using the syntax session[:user_params] in your view file, but I think that may be a different type of hash session.

    Soon after come with an odd collection of principles:
    •No more bailouts
    •Reduce the size and intrusiveness of government
    •Stop raising our taxes
    •Repeal Obamacare
    •Cease out-of-control spending
    •Bring back American prosperity

    The tea party seems to be able to put up lists of conservative sounding aspirations without any policy content, and avoid any criticism by saying the tea party is a grass-roots thing.

  28. 28 28 Ken B

    @26. We do. Note I support having one official language (for government).

  29. 29 29 Ken B

    That’s the Quebec approach to language law almost exactly. Federally it’s less awful, consisting mostly of forcing French on people who don’t want it. Google Air Canada lawsuits.

    I mean something pretty simple: the government speaks English and we don’t try to make it multi-lingual. This can be done in the USA but not in a country with a more polyglot history. If you have the chance you should take it. I think that also creates a desirable incentive for assimilation without being pushy about it.

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