The Tea Party tax increase.

One last observation about the hypocrisy of so-called supporters of limited government in Congress. Let’s look at this potential scenario:

  1. Conservative members of the Republican Study Committee continue to stymie compromise. Ultra-conservative members of the Republican caucus at large make it impossible to raise the debt limit in reasonable time (this probably already happened)
  2. S&P downgrades the US credit rating due to the political ossification
  3. Borrowing costs throughout the economy rise, trickling down through businesses (where they are passed off to the consumer through higher prices) and directly to citizen borrowers (homeowners, etc.)
Now tell me how this isn’t a tax increase on the “average” American imposed by the most conservative members of Congress?
Is this really what we (advocates for limited government) stand for?

This is your brain on patriotism.

While Redstate predates the Tea Party movement, the site can be said to represent hardcore, far right traditional conservatism as well as any other out there. Not that the Tea Party would want to be represented or spoken for by one entity, but it’s safe to say that Erick Erickson and co. are cut from the same mold. So when I read sentences like this:

The problem the GOP has now is that because of where John Boehner led the House, the GOP looks increasingly unwilling to act in a bipartisan way or compromise. Most people are missing the fact that raising the debt ceiling is the compromise, but that is beside the point.

I am perturbed.

It strikes me that many Americans probably do believe, led on by the far right, that the debt ceiling doesn’t have to be raised. I imagine that EE actually knows very little about financial markets or fixed income. I feel  like he otherwise couldn’t possibly support dismantling the economy in the name of a hard cap on the debt limit. If this was all really about doing what’s best for America, you couldn’t.

But the battle from the far right isn’t about taking prudential steps toward achieving fiscal rationality. It’s about pursuing an extreme ideological goal that is hermetically sealed from understanding about the practical destructive consequences of carrying out this world view. An ideology that purports to favor evolution over revolution finds itself in the awkward stance today of proposing to absolutely upheave the status quo. The ideology that has most stymied timely compromise completely repudiates the current structure of the global financial system – namely fiat money – and therefore has no interest in preserving it, understanding how it works, and thus understanding the consequences of taking the hammer to it. And these people have the gall to call them selves patriotic.

We have a troubling lack of basic and fundamental financial literacy in the Tea Party. I support the return to fiscal sanity – I just don’t see how we’re getting there by this route.