OneAngryDemocrat (1000+ posts) Mon Jun-20-11 10:56 PM
Help! I'll Be Debating the Tea Party...
Edited on Mon Jun-20-11 11:03 PM by OneAngryDemocrat
I'll be debating the leader of the local Tea Party at our public library in July. We have agreed to to toss up to 10 questions, each, into a hat, and pool them for the event. The topic is Paul Ryan's budget. Can you DU'ers think of some questions that I haven't already?
PS: That is DEBATING as in DEBATE, not DE-BAT. I don't think anyone can de-bat the Tea Party.
1. If the Tea Party opposes "Big Government" how can the Tea Party support the concept of a military that takes up fully half of the federal government’s operating budget? Is it the nation's job to police the world?
2. Do we truly have a free market system when large corporations and banks can (and do) get hundreds of billions of dollars in tax subsidies, which are little more than taxpayer funded corporate welfare handouts? Isn't government picking winners and losers by awarding tax subsidies to some companies and penalizing others by fully taxing them?
3. The Tea Party insists on 'small' government, rather than upon 'good' government no matter what its size, but is simultaneously calling for more and more legislation that regulates the personal freedoms of individual Americans (gay marriage bans, the curtailing of abortion rights, et cetera). When the Tea Party calls for smaller government, aren't they REALLY saying they want BIG government in the America's bedrooms, but 'small' government in the America's corporate boardrooms?
4. If tax breaks "create" jobs, why didn't the biggest corporations which paid no taxes whatsoever in 2010 experience phenomenal growth? Does the Tea Party believe that companies which have outsourced American jobs should be rewarded with tax breaks, which is precisely what the Ryan plan does?
5. The criminal prosecution, or even investigating America's bankers for mortgage fraud, has been largely ignored by the Tea Party, while a matter of paramount concern for those who describe themselves as liberals or progressives. If the Tea Party is truely concerned with justice and stopping corporate crime, why has the Tea Party demanded less regulatory oversight for corporations, and not made criminal prosecution for corporate criminals a cornerstone of the movement?
6. The word "corporation" or "company" never appears in the Constitution. Do corporations have constitutional rights, as two recent high-profile split-decision rulings by the Supreme Court have suggested?
7. Corporations exercising their Supreme Court awarded "rights" to free speech effectively grants members of corporate entities more than one voice when participating in our elections– individual members of a corporation speaking as private citizens can contribute to candidates or causes of their choosing, and then give again when donating funds as "corporate persons." This practice also allows them to give, large, secret donations to fund politicians and political causes – is this fair to every other American taxpayer who doesn't, themselves, have a 'corporate' identity? If so, why?
8. The Tea Party has supported union-busting legislation across the country. How does legislatively prohibiting government employees the ability to bargain collectively help those American citizens who just so happen to be government employees? Why should government employees be refused a seat at the table when decisons regarding their hours of work, working conditions, and wages and benefits are decided? What do they lose, as government employees, that other American workers do not, and why?
9. The Tea Party has supported "right-to-work" legislation across the country. How can the Tea Party support "choice" in the work place, and not also support "choice" in the corporate boardroom? Why are labor unions targets for the Tea Party's demand that union funds allocated for political purposes be distributed NOT as the majority of union members decide, but as the individual union member decides, while shareholders in a corporation are not afforded the same liberty to pick and choose where their corporate cash is spent when corporations donate to political causes, no matter what the majority of shareholders say?
10. Torte reform is one of the rallying cries for the Tea Party movement, which penalizes the victims of bona fide medical malpractice, while simultaneously protecting the insurance industry, large pharmceutical companies and other corporate medical concerns. While over 100,000 lives are lost per year due to medical malpractice and bad drugs, are Americans being protected against the privations of the Washington DC health industry lobbyists, or simply being preyed upon, with so-called torte reform legislation?
11. Trillions of dollars are speculated on Wall Street without any sales tax, while average Americans pay 6%, 7% or 8% sales tax on the basic necessities we buy in stores. If the Tea Party demands less taxation and lower deficits, why is it not fighting to stop big corporations from escaping their fair share of taxes, and are, in fact, fighting FOR tax subsidies for the speculators?