Is the Tea Party Real?

Is the Tea Party Real? The reason that I ask this question is because I was doing research on the Web to get a better understanding of who and what the Tea Party was and what it stands for and found things that seemed inconsistent. For one, according to a Gallup poll conducted on April 5, 2010, the “Tea Partiers Are Fairly Mainstream in Their Demographics.” This seemed odd to me because the rhetoric that I heard coming from those said by the media to be most associated with the Tea Party, namely Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul and Dick Armey, many times expressed that particular segments of the US population were the sources of our ills.

 

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New Poll Confirms Country is Clearly Progressive

New poll out indicates that the country is clearly, massively, overwhelmingly progressive. While they talk about cutting so-called entitlement programs in Washington, the American people have completely different priorities.

When asked what's the first thing they would do to balance the budget, Americans had an unmistakably clear answer -- raise taxes on the rich. It came in number one by a mile, with a whopping 61 percent.

If that wasn't progressive enough, cutting defense spending came in number two, with 20 percent.

And if all of that wasn't clear enough, when asked about cutting Medicare, only 4 percent were in favor of it. Only 3 percent wanted to cut Social Security as a way to balance the budget.

I thought the country was center-right? That's what all of the pundits tell us 24/7 on television. What happened now? Do those answers look center-right to you? They look decidedly center-left to anyone with a pulse.

Washington is going to hate this news because they were just getting ready to cut people's Social Security. That's what the president's Deficit Commission suggested. That's what all of the Republicans are massively in favor of. That's what a lot of the Democrats are already saying is "necessary." All the meanwhile, they just gave a $407 billion tax cut to the richest people in the country.

Well, apparently the American people disagree with Washington's priorities. If the Democrats, Republicans and the president persist in trying to cut Social Security in the face of these numbers, then we will know that we have lost our democracy altogether. That the people in power couldn't give a damn what we want. That the take over of the American government by the corporations, the rich and the powerful is complete.

Every time you hear any politician or pundit say we have to cut Social Security or what they derisively call entitlement programs (you paid into them your whole life, that is why you are "entitled" to them), send them this poll. And ask them why they don't care at all about the will of the American people.

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New Poll Confirms Country is Clearly Progressive

New poll out indicates that the country is clearly, massively, overwhelmingly progressive. While they talk about cutting so-called entitlement programs in Washington, the American people have completely different priorities.

When asked what's the first thing they would do to balance the budget, Americans had an unmistakably clear answer -- raise taxes on the rich. It came in number one by a mile, with a whopping 61 percent.

If that wasn't progressive enough, cutting defense spending came in number two, with 20 percent.

And if all of that wasn't clear enough, when asked about cutting Medicare, only 4 percent were in favor of it. Only 3 percent wanted to cut Social Security as a way to balance the budget.

I thought the country was center-right? That's what all of the pundits tell us 24/7 on television. What happened now? Do those answers look center-right to you? They look decidedly center-left to anyone with a pulse.

Washington is going to hate this news because they were just getting ready to cut people's Social Security. That's what the president's Deficit Commission suggested. That's what all of the Republicans are massively in favor of. That's what a lot of the Democrats are already saying is "necessary." All the meanwhile, they just gave a $407 billion tax cut to the richest people in the country.

Well, apparently the American people disagree with Washington's priorities. If the Democrats, Republicans and the president persist in trying to cut Social Security in the face of these numbers, then we will know that we have lost our democracy altogether. That the people in power couldn't give a damn what we want. That the take over of the American government by the corporations, the rich and the powerful is complete.

Every time you hear any politician or pundit say we have to cut Social Security or what they derisively call entitlement programs (you paid into them your whole life, that is why you are "entitled" to them), send them this poll. And ask them why they don't care at all about the will of the American people.

Watch The Young Turks Here

Follow Cenk Uygur on Twitter:www.twitter.com/theyoungturks
Become a Fan of The Young Turks on Facebook: www.facebook.com/tytnation

 

 

McCain Flips And Flops On Balancing The Budget

McCain sure makes it easy, doesn't he? Say it with me: John McCain was against balancing the budget by the end of his first term before he was for it. (Of course, before he was against it he was for it...that rarest of rare double flips.)

From The Politico:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) plans to promise on Monday that he will balance the federal budget by the end of his first term by curbing wasteful spending and overhauling entitlement programs, including Social Security, his advisers told Politico. [...]

The pledge is a return to an earlier position he'd later backed away from. On April 15, McCain backed off a February pledge to balance the budget in his first term when asked about it by Michael Cooper of  The New York Times, who reported that McCain said "at a news conference ... that `economic conditions are reversed' and that he would have a balanced budget within eight years."

Now he's back to promising to achieve the impossible within just 4 years. How does he intend to do it? Well, in addition to "overhauling" Social Security, which worked out so well for George W. Bush, he'd use all the savings we reap from "victory" in Iraq and Afghanistan. Umm, right.

"The McCain administration would reserve all savings from victory in the Iraq and Afghanistan operations in the fight against Islamic extremists for reducing the deficit. Since all their costs were financed with deficit spending, all their savings must go to deficit reduction."

Maybe someone should tell him that his own Iraq policy involves staying in Iraq once his so-called victory is achieved...ya know, for 100 years after the point when the fighting stops, which is apparently when the staying starts. So even if this funding prescription weren't the sort of thing Harold Hill might sell to River City, it's really not clear that there will be any savings whatsoever by the time his first term is up.

Not to mention that what he's saying appears fantastically impossible. From Jason Furman, Obama's economic policy director:

Furman pointed out that the Congressional Budget Office now estimates a 2013 deficit of $443 billion, assuming the Bush tax cuts are extended. And he estimated that McCain would have to cut discretionary spending--including defense--by roughly one-third to bring the budget into the black by then.

"McCain would have to pay for all of his new tax cuts and other proposals and then, on top of that, cut an additional $443 billion from the budget--which is 81 percent of Medicare spending or 78 percent of all discretionary spending outside of defense," Furman said.

The upshot here is that, per usual, McCain is shifting his political position to pander to what he thinks people want to hear. But at the same time, once again, McCain seems to completely miscalculate what it is people want to hear. He has said repeatedly that he believes Republicans lost their majority in 2006 not because of the war but because of spending. Now, I won't deny that Republicans' profligate borrowing and spending led to severe disillusion among Republicans with their own party, but the idea that spending is the key to people's anxiety about government and the economy is a joke. If anything, people feel that there's too much spending abroad, that there needs to be more investment at home. It certainly makes sense for McCain to try to brand himself as a fiscally responsible Republican, the anti-Bush, but are people really going to buy the latest fiction he's peddling, especially when it seems so out of whack with the mood of the country?

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Robert Rubin to endorse Hillary Clinton

From politicalwire:


Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin "has overcome early misgivings" about Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy "and will support her publicly in the fight for the Democratic nomination, people close to both of them said yesterday," the New York Times reports.

"Aside from the backing of Al Gore, Mr. Rubin's endorsement has been the biggest prize from the Clinton administration still up for grabs, given his stature as one of the most widely admired economic stewards in Democratic politics. Because he is a deficit hawk, his support could also be a bulwark against Republican accusations that Mrs. Clinton is a free-spending liberal."

The NY Times article:

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/ 11/07/rubin-to-back-clinton/

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail /2007/11/08/rubin_pledges_clinton_suppor t.html

This is a significant endorsement because Rubin is known as a deficit hawk, and his endorsement and future appearances on the campaign will signal to Democrats concerned about the budget, but also to Independents who usually are very concerned about deficits, that Hillary Clinton is serious about tackling budget deficits and making getting back to budget balance a priority in her administration.   That is also echoed by her comments when it comes to tweaking Social Security to make it viable for a very long time, as bringing the budget back to balance will do just that.

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