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Tea-d Off!

Here’s Glenn Reynolds, writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, on today’s “Tea Parties.”  His take on these events is decidedly different — and far clearer, in my view — than is Paul Krugman’s take.  I sent the letter (below) to the New York Times in response to Krugman’s take.

Paul Krugman criticizes the anti-tax tea parties to be held around the country on Wednesday (“Tea Parties Forever,” April 13).  But Mr. Krugman’s message never rises above tabloid journalism.  Rather than address the issues, he merely rehashes absurdities spewed (mostly years ago) by right-wingers such as Tom DeLay and Karl Rove.  The implication is that, because the likes of Messrs. DeLay and Rove oppose higher taxes, persons who attend these tea parties must be similarly crazy partisans.

But is it really so absurd for ordinary Americans to be furious that Uncle Sam now promises to run up $9.3 trillion in debt during the next decade – an unfathomable sum that will inevitably lead to much higher taxes or higher inflation or both?  Is it small-minded to oppose corporate welfare for automakers, banks, and insurance companies?  Is it lunatic to fear further socialization of medical-care provision?  Do these concerns really signal that those of us who hold them are, as Mr. Krugman alleges, “refusing to grow up”?

One need not agree with the tea-partiers to concede that these worries are ones that reasonable people can, and do, have.

Donald J. Boudreaux


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