REASON: Barton Hinkle on the MSM’s Tea Party coverage Double Standard

HINKLE: “...those opposed to raising the debt ceiling—or willing to do so in exchange for a slowdown in the rate of government growth—are “obstreperous,” “flatly and dangerously wrong,” and “not interested in governing.” (These are all quotes from major media organs, not obscure blogs.) They’re “crazy” proponents of a “dangerous delusion”—”ridiculous,” “extremist,” “ultraorthodox tax haters,” players of “ideological games,” “totally unrealistic,” authors of “madness,” etc. etc. Hey, what happened to people of conviction? Aren’t the Tea Partiers “firebrands”? Isn’t there little doubt where their hearts lie? Rather than praise Tea Partiers as passionate advocates for their beliefs, many in the press have taken to marginalizing them with mean-spirited attacks on their sanity.

At this point it might be useful to clarify precisely what the dispute concerns. The question is not whether the federal government should grow. As Reason’s Nick Gillespie pointed out a few days ago, nearly nobody in Washington has actually proposed shrinking the leviathan. To the contrary, the dispute is whether to raise federal spending from the current $3.8 trillion to $4.7 trillion over the next decade (the Paul Ryan plan)—or to $5.7 trillion (the Obama plan).
Bear in mind that those increases would come on top of one of the fastest expansions of federal spending in U.S. history. When President Obama took office, the budget stood at $2.9 trillion. Two. Point. Nine. Spending has risen 30 percent in the past three years.

[Read Barton Hinkle’s “Is the Tea Party Crazy or Just Nuts?” at reason.com]

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