Exhibit A from a WaPo online chat:
Boston, Mass.: Here is my question for the Tea Party. What are your solutions to today's problems? For example, I hear the word socialism used alot and government getting too big. But then what would you cut? Or what would the Tea Party members have done about the financial crisis from 2008? I assume that they would not vote to bailout the banks, but what would they do if the biggest banks in the world go under?Judson Phillips: First, cut taxes to increase economic growth. That works everytime. Second, let's go through the entire federal budget and eliminate programs that are consumed by waste, fraud or abuse. Start eliminating them.
Seriously? I mean: seriously? We're talking about a debt larger than we've ever contemplated outside of the Second World War and he's talking about eliminating "waste"? And I thought Glenn Reynolds was dishonest ... Of course, we later find out that defense is off the table. But he does mention entitlements, when challenged further:
Judson Phillips: Let's start with entitlement programs. They are the biggest source of out of control spending. Then let's go to congressional pork programs.
Pork is a teensy part of the problem. He does later argue that social security disability checks are the source of the spending problem. Yep: seriously, that's his one actual specific recommendation, apart from cutting taxes further! Yes, this tea-partier is still drinking the Laffer curve Kool-Aid. What does he specifically propose for entitlement cuts that come close to the scale of the problem? Nada. And he doesn't even have the excuse of being a pathetic politician trying to get elected. He's not running for office; he's heading up a protest movement against government spending - and he yet he can't offer any serious specifics on what he'd cut that would solve the problem. In fact, he barely seems to have thought about the actual fiscal choices before us for a split second.
Taxes? Pure denial of reality:
Washington, D.C.: Judson -- Are you willing to admit that taxes have actually gone down for the vast majority of Americans under President Obama?
Judson Phillips: No
Of course not. And the past has to be airbrushed as well:
Alexandria, Va.: Are you willing to admit that marginal tax rates went up for the majority of Americans during the Reagan administration? Do you know the difference between average and marginal tax rates? Could you answer a simple econ 101 questions regarding the impact of progressive taxation on the labor-leisure choice?
Judson Phillips: No.
If I have contempt for these non-arguments, it is because I retain some smidgen of a belief in honest politics and small government. These people are thoroughgoing frauds - a bunch of right-wing victim-mongers whining about something they have no actual ideas about confronting. They are not something new. They are the decaying stench of the Republican corpse. If they get into power somehow, it will be Weekend At Bernie's for conservatism.
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