Where's All That Tea Party Outrage Now?

Where's All That Tea Party Outrage Now?

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So I’m wondering: Where’s Rand Paul now? And can anyone buy a vowel from him?

Paul, the anti-civil rights, Kentucky Tea Party hero who rode to the Senate on a promise to force the government to live within its means, couldn’t be too thrilled about the deal that President Obama just struck with the Republicans.

He, as well as his other Tea Party compatriots, couldn’t be thrilled because the tax cut deal doesn’t come close to doing that.

It’s true that by agreeing to it, Obama stopped the GOP from possibly making good on its odious promise to block unemployment insurance for millions of Americans who are still jobless.

For black people, that’s a whopping 16 percent.

And for those who are fortunate enough to have jobs, the one-year cut in payroll taxes will give them a little extra money to spend – and possibly jar this limping economy into a gallop.

Extending those tax cuts and benefits will amount to around $800 to $900 billion. But they will invariably add to the deficit, and the lion’s share of them will go to the richest Americans.

Those cuts were unaffordable when Bush signed off on them in 2001 and 2003, and they’re even more unaffordable now as we continue to fight two wars – which we also couldn’t afford – and as we help people weather this recession.

So again, I ask: Where’s Paul?

Where are all those angry Tea Partiers who built much of their movement through demonizing Obama’s stimulus – which cost at least $100 billion less than these tax cuts – on the grounds that it would bankrupt the country and render their grandkids destitute?

So far, they aren’t saying much.

Of course, there’s the eternally ridiculous, fact-challenged Rep. Michele Bachmann. The Minnesota Republican told The Hill that Tea Party Republicans might possibly reject the tax cut deal not because this country can’t afford to give more tax breaks to the rich, but because it cannot afford to help out the unemployed – most of whom are, ironically, jobless because of recklessness by Wall Street and other well-off Americans.

Not surprisingly, in Bachmann’s world, all wealth deserves to be rewarded, while destitution deserves to be punished.

A few other Republicans have echoed Bachmann’s sentiments.

But if they were indeed serious about paring the deficit, they wouldn’t be jaw-jacking about the pittance that is going to the long-term unemployed.

They’d be livid about the obscene tax breaks going to people who are in no danger of going hungry or being homeless if they don’t get another $70,000 back from Uncle Sam.

They’d be protesting as loudly as they were back in 2009, when Obama and the Democrats devised a stimulus plan to help the ailing economy.

They’d be tying up the White House and Congressional phone lines protesting this deficit-busting tax package – which some analysts say costs more than the bailout of Wall Street, Chrysler and GM that right-wingers so vehemently opposed – with pleas to not saddle their children with a debt-ridden future.

But so far, they haven’t said much. And their silence speaks volumes.

What it says is that all the Tea Party outrage over deficits and spending has always been phony, and a cover for the true motives of the Tea Party: To whip up enough fear in average Americans about what will happen to them now that the first black president, one whose citizenship and whose religion is still doubted by ignoramuses, has his hands on the national checkbook.

What’s sad is that it worked.

But now, it’s clearer than ever that all this outrage over the national deficit was classic fear-mongering. It was a message to the majority of white voters who didn’t vote for Obama – and were probably upset that he won – that they needed to take some drastic action before the black man in the White House messed up their money.

A number of Democrats, however, aren’t happy with the deal that Obama struck, and some have indicated that they intend to block it. Whether they will or can do that remains to be seen.

But if nothing else, Obama and the Democrats need to call the Tea Party people out for their hypocrisy. Because if Paul, Bachmann and other Tea Partiers are sincere about taking their country back, then they need to start with being honest about who’s stealing it from them.

And it ain’t the people who can’t buy a job.