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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Turning 'Tea' into change

For those who participated in Wednesday’s Tea Parties across the U.S. there seems a sense of both energy and confusion.  The energy appears largely to be generated by a motivation on the part of a large number of taxpayers to vent their frustration at big spending, taxing, debt, inflation and general government malfeasance.  The confusion seems to be on how to change it.

As I’ve said before, the real frustration should be (and largely is I think) at the entire political class, not at any one party or person.  Likewise if there is to be any positive outcome it can only occur with a major push towards policies aimed at curbing the grotesque appetite of the entire political class and returning to a more Madisonian conception of limited government.

Here are a few suggestions that I humbly submit to anyone who participated in the Tea Parties.  Any or all of these would, I think, create some real change in the direction of limited government, favorable to all taxpayers.

1. Vote out every single incumbent politician on both the federal and state level in the next series of elections.*

2. Enact term limits on all 538 federal lawmakers.

3. Impose a federal balanced budget amendment.

4. Require a 3/4 supermajority vote for any spending beyond the rate of inflation and population growth, state and federal.

5. Require a 3/4 supermajority vote for any tax or fee increase, state and federal.

6. Implement a strict monetary rule or commodity standard that the Federal Reserve must follow.

7. Put the entire government check register online at the state and federal levels.

*There may be a VERY small number of politicians who have not voted to increase spending, taxes, pork, earmarks or debt and who have respected the constitution through and through.  If so, I can probably count them on one hand and the odds are almost zero that your representative or senator is one of them.  The chance that you will take the time or even be able to find out who they are (or that you can trust any information you do find about them, especially considering much of it will come from their own office) is very, very small.  It’s better to simply vote out every single incumbent without exception than to search in vain (and expect others to do the same) for proof of innocence on the part of a few.  Ousting one or two or five good apples is a small price to pay for cleaning out hundreds and hundreds of rotten ones.

(Cross posted on the SFEblog)

Posted by Isaac Morehouse on April 18, 2009 | Permalink


The Citizens Against Government Waste is a good resource for finding 'good' candidates:


(barring other factors of course)

Posted by: Juan | 2009-04-18 5:46:28 PM

Why wasn't this done five years ago in the U.S.??

Posted by: Tim Trudeau | 2009-04-18 10:54:04 PM

I agree almost wholeheartedly, Mr. Morehouse, with one reservation. Term limits is one of those things that sounds good in theory, but is not so in practice. Term limits for legislators has decimated politics here in Michigan. Where once there was safety to vote conscience and reach across aisles to build trust, there is now no opportunity to do so. All is party-line with no room for meaningful bi-partisanship. It has not been a good experience here. If voters learn to do consistent due diligence instead of giving in to the temptation to believe that they have no voice, then things will change. Holding a party accountable has no chance, but holding individuals accountable has every chance in politics. That is not possible with term limits.

Posted by: Dazed | 2009-04-19 10:35:04 AM

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