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Other Voices: Tea Party movement-the devil’s in the details

To Mr. Meckler and his followers: Please be specific in the actions and policies that you want to see implemented.

Most people agree that we need, in the words of your mission statement, “fiscal responsibility, limited government, free markets, respect for our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and a government that respects and answers to the people.” But, oh, isn’t the devil in the details?

Please tell us your specific goals and the objectives for achieving them. It isn’t enough to say, Mr. Meckler, that you want fiscal reform or that you want to elect people who believe in free markets. This is exactly the kind of political theater that you take exception to. Please drop the political jingoisms and give us specifics.



Take “fiscal responsibility.” I like that, too. All of us would like lower taxes. But what local or state programs would you cut? Remember, our governor was going to “blow up the boxes!” A great campaign slogan. In practice, though, not so easy to do.

Our ex-assemblyman Keene recently was quoted as saying that he could cut California government spending in half and that none of us would notice the difference. Really? Of course he never presented just how he would do that.




So, would you cut spending on education, prisons, transportation, social services, etc.? And, please don’t tell me that you would make government more efficient unless you can tell me how you would do that.

How about free markets? What’s your idea of a “free market?” Does a “free market” mean no government regulation? Do we let every corporation do whatever it wants? Do corporations have the same rights as individuals? Is it OK to dump pollutants into the water and the air?

If some government regulation is OK with you, what is OK and what isn’t OK?

Are zoning laws an appropriate form of government regulation? How about licensing? Should dentists, attorneys, contractors have to be licensed?

I like the idea of limited government, Mr. Meckler. Sounds good to me. Let me ask you, then, should government be allowed to say who can get married and who can’t? Should government be able to tell people they can’t grow or smoke marijuana?

Mr. Meckler, I just might be one of you if I just knew what you would really do if you were in power. Specifics, though, Mr. Meckler, not campaign slogans. Tell me what you would really do.

Jerry Henderson lives in Grass Valley.


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