Ralph Benko
Editors' note: this piece is co-authored by Mark Meckler

The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman recently issued a critique of the Tea Party Movement: The Tea Kettle Movement. He observes: The Tea Party that has gotten all the attention, the amorphous, self-generated protest against the growth in government and the deficit, is what I’d actually call the “Tea Kettle movement” — because all it’s doing is letting off steam.

The jury may be out on that but Friedman reveals his moral blind spot by how he addresses how the movement might be harnessed to affect America’s future. It is here that Friedman reveals utter blindness to the moral significance of the Tea Party movement, which is a populist reaction to the smug elitism of our political class.

Friedman says that the solutions to the problems besetting America ... would require us to actually raise some taxes — on, say, gasoline Overlooking that gas tax hikes hits the poor, the workers, and middle class disproportionately, painfully, hard… and cut others — like payroll taxes Social Security is a social insurance system. It has integrity. Tinker with its funding mechanism and it becomes welfare, losing its steady 80+% popular approval, decays and dies — a horrendous thing… and corporate taxes Corporate? How about just cutting income tax rates across the board!

It would require us to overhaul our immigration laws so we can better control our borders, let in more knowledge workers and retain those skilled foreigners going to college here.

Dr. King dreamed of an America where people would be judged by the content of their character rather than by the color of their skin. We have made progress eradicating racism and must make more. But the reigning elitists now casually advocate an America where people are judged not by the content of their character but by the length of their curriculum vitae.

There are at least four industries -- agriculture, building trades, hospitality, and health care absolutely dependent on semi-skilled labor. These are honest, hardworking people, as important as high tech workers, and deserving of equal dignity — and visas!

And it would require us to reduce some services — like Social Security

The old age and survivors annuity is fiscally sound and can be made so forever without "reducing some services," code for cutting social security benefits to below subsistence. Friedman is not planning to retire on his social security checks. Hence: total insensitivity… while expanding others, like education and research for a 21st-century economy.

Truly appalling!


Ralph Benko

Ralph Benko, author of The Websters’ Dictionary: How to use the Web to transform the world. He serves as an advisor to and editor of the Lehrman Institute's thegoldstandardnow.org and senior advisor to the American Principles Project.