Streams

"Town Hall" Documents the Rise of the Tea Party

Friday, November 15, 2013

Co-directors Jamila Wignot and Sierra Pettengill discuss their new documentary "Town Hall" which tracks one couple as they become politicized during the summer of 2009 and the rise of the Tea Party.

→Screenings: Sunday November 17th and Wednesday November 20th as part of Doc NYC Festival | IFC Center | Tickets

Guests:

Sierra Pettengill and Jamila Wignot
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Comments [70]

Bob

@ CaptainDrG: You need to check your facts -- the Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and signed by the President in March 2010, not December. (Remember the pictures of the President signing it with the cute little kid and the very old Congressman John Dingell flanking him?) To help your memory, just remember that if it hadn't been passed in March, the Tea Party Republicans may not have been able to take over the House in the November 2010 elections by whipping up fear about it.

You're not alone in having this false memory -- I have seen Tea Party members of Congress make the same erroneous statement on FOX, PBS and MSNBC, generally without challenge from the interviewers. Still, repeating it doesn't make it true - as Casey Stengel always said, you can look it up.

Perhaps you're confusing this with the "fiscal cliff" bills that were passed in the waning moments (literally) of the outgoing Congress in late December 2010 & early January 2011. Another focus of Tea Party outrage, but not connected at all to Obamacare.

So to recap: The Affordable Care Act was NOT passed in a lame duck session of Congress, and it is the law of the land (for good or ill).

Nov. 15 2013 04:18 PM
Margaret from UWS Manhattan

I'm with Henry from Manhattan re.the caller. Government overreach? Yes, people have the right to poison themselves; but why shouldn't the society be as intelligent as disallowing what's known to be damaging? That's progressive, intelligent leadership and guidance. There are plenty of things you can still buy to poison yourself with.

Nov. 15 2013 03:40 PM

If the voters un-elected a congress because it had declared a war, would the new congress be obligated to continue funding the war? No.
That's why the popularly elected Congress has the power to originate funding.

Nov. 15 2013 02:42 PM

Obama care was passed in the last hours of a lame-duck Congress, that had been un-elected to prevent them from inflicting Obomney Care on the country. Before it passed, it evolved into a scheme sponsored by the insurance companies to force people to do business with them.

Health insurance is particularly profitable when the victim is too sick to fight the insurer for payments.

If you want a better description of Obamney Care, how about the
"Compulsory Payments to Giant Insurance Corporations With a History of Stiffing Sick-People Act"?
That's more accurate than using "Affordable" or "Care".

Nov. 15 2013 02:34 PM

@IntelligentPolitics from Rockland County

"Yes, my understanding is that it's Congress's duty to balance gov't using the ability to fund and de-fund programs."

Congress' duty is to balance the budget. Revenue AND expenses. Defunding a passed law is exercising lawmaking authority outside of the process defined by the Constitution.

What the House attempted in the last shutdown was a coup and would lead to anarchy. In my view, the crime they committed was that great.

Nov. 15 2013 01:46 PM
IntelligentPolitics from Rockland County

Yes, my understanding is that it's Congress's duty to balance gov't using the ability to fund and de-fund programs.
I agree the church & state "separation clause" is not anywhere in the Constitution/Bill of Rights, it came from Thomas Jefferson's letter, a common myth that is still perpetuated by the media and so misunderstood.
If that were the case, presidents couldn't be sworn in on a Bible, In God We Trust would not be on our currency, Christmas would not be a national holiday,.. and so on. Congress shall not establish any religion, ie, Protestant, vs. Catholic, vs Church of England, etc.

Nov. 15 2013 01:01 PM

@IntelligentPolitics from Rockland County

"They believe in the POWER OF THE PURSE."

You and I are going to disagree on the wording and intent of the Article I sections from which is derived the mythical 'power of the purse'. BTW, that phrase as well as 'separation of church and state' are nowhere to be found in the Constitution but can be considered useful metaphors for the intent.

Intent of the framers is good as far as it goes but there are points beyond which it just does not hold.

Article I, Section 7 states that "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives;"

Article 1, Section 9 states "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law;".

From these two clauses the Ted Cruz has pretended that it was an appropriate use of their constitutional power for the House to shut down the government. PPACA did both and Ted Cruz and the Tea Party conservatives had no basis for shutting down the government to 'defund' it.

The recent shutdown was a unconstiutional overreach deserving of sanction and possible arrest if it is repeated. Nowhere in the Constitution is the House given the authority to nullify or change an act of Congress with anything other than the same process that is used to pass a law.

My hope is that a suit for damages against the House leadership goes forward and SCOTUS eventually decides that the recent shutdown was conducted illegally and that future shutdowns that amount to granting one branch 'extra-Constitutional' authority to enact or repeal legislation is illegal and must be enjoined.

Good enough?

Nov. 15 2013 12:37 PM
Henry from Manhattan

@ CaptainDrG

The 9/11 Boston Tea Party rally in 2006 was a different thing.

We could site February 27, 2009 protest for TARP while Bush was in office, but by then, Obama had long been elected president and he signed the legislation as well.

Also, this was on the second round of TARP. If the Tea Party had gotten into the picture in October 2008 when Bush first signed off and it was up in the air who would be president, it would demonstrate that their mobilization wasn’t partisan.
IntelligentPolitics from Rockland County said
“The Tea Party was not formed on any racial bias basis. It is an outcry to get back to a fiscally-responsible government.”

But very coincidentally, even though Bush’s administration has all of the issues that the Tea Party rallies against, including the beginning of the Wall St bailouts, it’s not until Obama is elected into office that the Tea Party coalesced.

Is racism the whole story? No. I tend not to think of it as outright racism (though it’s there as well), but more of a general xenophobia, like the guy profiled in the piece who blames all the woes of his community on immigrants. With the Tea Party there’s also, “our side lost,” that plays a role.

Contrast this with Occupy Wall Street coming into existence while the lefty darling of socialism (according to the conservative perspective) was the leader of the country.

Nov. 15 2013 12:34 PM

@Jim

"All the more reason not to spend so much on insurance. I'd rather use that money during the previous 99.9% of my life."

So would we all. If only the crystal ball worked a bitter better and we KNEW that this was the last three weeks. If a 'death care panel' showed up at your hospital bed and offered you a check of half the amount they expected to pay out for your 'final days', how many of us would take the check and drink the kool-aid? Sorry to be so ghoulish.

But we *don't know* that this is the last trip...We won't ever. The price of uncertainty is pretty high, huh?

Nov. 15 2013 12:18 PM
Jim

@RUCB said "Statistically over 40% of the collected LIFETIME healthcare premiums are PAID OUT during the last three weeks of life"

All the more reason not to spend so much on insurance. I'd rather use that money during the previous 99.9% of my life.

Nov. 15 2013 12:10 PM
IntelligentPolitics from Rockland County

Let's have a mature and respectful conversation.
I'm sharing from some experience with the Tea Party organization, again,
name inspired from the historical Boston Tea Party protesting taxation without representation. That's the whole point. Let's not resort to immature name-calling here. Do you have your copy of the Constitution?

Nov. 15 2013 12:08 PM
IntelligentPolitics from Rockland County

Your choice, continue to use an offensive and raunchy reference, maybe an indication of your mentality.

Nov. 15 2013 12:03 PM

The early tea party rallies were in early April 2009, and were a response to the Tarp Bailout of banks.
In April 2006 a tea party in Boston protested the 9/11 whitewash, by dumping copies of the official 9/11 Report into Boston Harbor.

Nov. 15 2013 12:00 PM

Jim -- "Does anyone actually know a person who self-identifies as a Tea Party member?"
Yes I know many living in Missouri and they all are white, religious and Republican. Some are discreet racists, many are proud of their "white heritage". Oddly, membership varies in economic status, from farmers to doctors.

Nov. 15 2013 11:59 AM
IntelligentPolitics from Rockland County

Comments I'm reading here indicate a lot of ignorance regarding the movement. You are jumping to conclusions and making assumptions. The Tea Party was not formed on any racial bias basis. It is an outcry to get back to a fiscally-responsible government.
I did attend one local Tea Party meeting in Hackensack, NJ in the early days of the movement to check it out, and continued to get their emails. Although I never participated in any of their rallys or attended another meeting, my impression was they are fine, sane, respectable citizen who are calling for a change in course for local and national government. Please don't be insulting of people's character, I have a copy of the Constitution, maybe some of you don't.

Nov. 15 2013 11:59 AM

@CaptainDrG

"A. Provides all Americans with a tax credit for 100% of health care expenses. The tax credit is fully refundable against both income and payroll taxes;"

Except none of these would ever work. Statistically over 40% of the collected LIFETIME healthcare premiums are PAID OUT during the last three weeks of life. What good is a tax credit at that point?

America is WAY past the point of being able to use 'consumer education' to snuff out the overcharging inherent in our bloated healthcare system.

We'd need an overall rollback to 1950 to get this sh*t back on track.

Nov. 15 2013 11:59 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Jim -- "Does anyone actually know a person who self-identifies as a Tea Party member?"

Having never been to a Lyndon LaRouche rally, I'm not qualified to answer that question. ;-)

Nov. 15 2013 11:48 AM

IntelligentPolitics from Rockland County

" it's offensive, and comes from a raunchy reference."
Yep
And that's what makes it perfect!!!!
Keep it up!

Nov. 15 2013 11:46 AM
Henry from Manhattan

@ IntelligentPolitics from Rockland County

Sorry, but the first Tea Party protest was January 24, 2009.

Barack Obama was inaugurated January 20, 2009.

Nov. 15 2013 11:46 AM

The strategy you could use under the Ron Paul Heath-care Bill:
- Buy cheap insurance when you are young.
- Save money in a tax deductible health care savings account.
- Pay for minor medical out-of-pocket, which would be fully tax deductible.
- As your health savings account grows, raise your insurance deductible, which lowers the cost of insurance. Last I heard, the cost, of administering under $3000 claims, exceeds those claims. Eliminating this administrative cost would save a fortune; and would get your insurer, and it's choice of doctors, out of your routine medical decisions.
- With personally purchased plans being as tax-deductible as employer plans, a market for individual accounts would grow. Who would buy a plan where, if you lose your job because you're too sick to work, you lose your health insurance? Only your employer. But tax law favored Employer-purchased insurance, which was the only way to use pre-tax dollars to cover medical expenses. The Ron Paul bill would eliminate said tax disparity.

The Obamacare tax on Cadillac health insurance is particularly unfair. Health insurance is a way to use pre-tax dollars to pay for healthcare. If it seems good not to tax money being spent on the misfortune of being ill, why then impose a tax on good insurance? See the Ron Paul bill, that I posted below, for a better solution.

Why impose more costs on those who buy insurance, which is insurance against needing subsidies when they get sick?

If an uninsured arrives in an emergency room, the emergency room must treat him. I am unaware of any reimbursement program. So the full cost of "free" healthcare is presently imposed on the emergency rooms.

So the subsidy, by ERs, is carried by the sick who pay, and by the insured who are sick.
But if health care is so wonderful that it needs to be subsidized, where is the logic of having it subsidized by the sick?
If wealth must be transferred by compulsion of law, why from the sick, who are likely being impoverished by their illness?

Nov. 15 2013 11:44 AM
IntelligentPolitics from Rockland County

Reading most of the comments below, none of you have interacted with a local Tea Party organization. Most are grass-roots, and do not take marching orders or money from any national organization. No, they are not against driving on roads built and maintained by tax money. They are not against utilizing the Medicare and SS systems they paid into.
They believe in the POWER OF THE PURSE. That is what Ted Cruz was demonstrating by asking Congress to de-fund a massive new taxation program ("Affordable Care Act") which many Americans feel are the wrong direction for the country.

Nov. 15 2013 11:43 AM
Jim

Does anyone actually know a person who self-identifies as a Tea Party member?

Nov. 15 2013 11:43 AM
BK from Hoboken

Of course we couldn't finish this conversation without this classic Tea Party rant:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yTwpBLzxe4U

Nov. 15 2013 11:41 AM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

The top-down funded Tea Party channels and diverts much energy and resentment that might otherwise have headed in the Occupy Wall Street direction (with which they potentially have a surprising amount in common, most importantly an objection to a crony capitalism infection of big government), but, even so, the Koch funding of the Tea Party, including its weird focus on opposing Romney/Obamacare, is principally a diversion that ensures that the public is NOT taking the critical actions necessary to address climate change.

See: Thursday, October 17, 2013, If the Government Shutdown Wasn’t About Obamacare (And It Isn’t), Then It Was About?. . . Ready To Be Hot Under The Collar?

http://nationalnotice.blogspot.com/2013/10/if-government-shutdown-wasnt-about.html

Nov. 15 2013 11:39 AM
IntelligentPolitics from Rockland County

Please stop using that derogatory term "tea baggers," it's offensive, and comes from a raunchy reference.

Nov. 15 2013 11:38 AM
IntelligentPolitics from Rockland County

Remember what the Tea Party was founded to represent: Taxation without representation. It was started after the Busch Admin. spent so much money, fiscal conservatives were calling for getting back to controlling deficit spending.

Nov. 15 2013 11:36 AM
Henry from Manhattan

If the Tea Party really got underway while George Bush was in office their claims would have more merit.

It’s their timing that all of these problems somehow manifested the moment Obama came to office. That’s what makes the movement suspect.

Nov. 15 2013 11:36 AM

A better solution would be the Ron Paul bill:

A. Provides all Americans with a tax credit for 100% of health care expenses. The tax credit is fully refundable against both income and payroll taxes;
B. Allows individuals to roll over unused amounts in cafeteria plans and Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA);
C. Provides a tax credit for premiums for high-deductible insurance policies connected with a Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and allows seniors to use funds in HSAs to pay for medigap policies;
D. Repeals the 7.5% threshold for the deduction of medical expenses, thus making all medical expenses tax deductible.

This bill also creates a competitive market in heath insurance. It achieves this goal by exercising Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause to allow individuals to purchase
health insurance across state lines.

http://www.ronpaul.com/.../private-option-health-care-act/

Nov. 15 2013 11:34 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ RUCB_Alum

C'mon, there is nothing "libertarian" about the tea party. Their creed is basically a denatured and dumbed down bastard child of utilitarianism married to corporate oligarchy in practice. Mostly it's just based on the fact that it has the root word "liberty". That's real important to the "muh freedoms" crowd.

The line between true Libertarianism and Classical Liberalism is practically nonexistent.

Nov. 15 2013 11:33 AM

There were many people who were upset at a $700 billion welfare-for-rich-bankers bailout.
This was even before the secret Fed Reserve bailout of $16.1 trillion for international bankers was known.

Nov. 15 2013 11:31 AM

@CaptainDrG

"There were many people who reasonably anticipated that no good can come of a bill of 2500..."

But as yet no coherent counter-proposal from the GOP about what do about America's uninsured health users...They've had three years and so far just crickets.

Did you really think that reducing the healthcare cost curve from 17% to 12% was going to be any less massive?

Nov. 15 2013 11:30 AM
Henry from Manhattan

That caller from the airport was Comedy Gold.

That’s my favorite clause in the Bill of Rights. “Hey, if a person wants to poison himself, let him!” Sounds like the makings of a healthy society.

LOL, Hey, government, leave me alone, stop worrying about my safety, but go stop-and-frisk “those people” without probable cause for everyone’s safety!

Nov. 15 2013 11:25 AM

"I like to think for myself. That comes from my Army training." S'what?!?

Sounds like it's time for a discussion on the on the pro's and con's of libertarianism. IMO, it is too simplistic to be seriously considered a method for modern governance but there is a fundamental appeal to 'If it doesn't harm you, why shouldn't I be able to...".

Nov. 15 2013 11:23 AM
John from NJ

I've always wanted to attend a Tea Party rally where they are railing against gov't spending and railing against socialism etc and then grab the microphone, thank everyone for coming, and challenge them to get back home without driving on a road built with government funding.

I wanted to ask the film maker if anyone ever challenges then like that?

Nov. 15 2013 11:23 AM

There were many people who reasonably anticipated that no good can come of a bill of 2500 pages and x pages of yet unwritten regulations, which now number 14,000 pages of regulations.

Nov. 15 2013 11:22 AM
Siahro

@MichaelB

The man explicitly states that these Hispanic people don't know how to take care of their property as well as the European immigrants did. He is not taking into consideration the condition that my exist that may make it difficult for people within the inner city to take care of their property? The historical conditions in which make it difficult for poor people of color to thrive in these neighborhoods? He is clearly making a racial implication.

Nov. 15 2013 11:21 AM
SKV from NYC

To Steve the Tea Party guy who called from the airport --

Stop-and-Frisk has been cut by 50% -- CUT IN HALF! -- from last year to this year.

Crime has continued to decrease.

Nov. 15 2013 11:21 AM
BK from Hoboken

To the JFK caller: you want to smoke and have personal responsibility? You willing to pay health insurance premiums of $20,000 so that I can pay only $500 year? I am a young healthy marathon runner who doesn't want to pay for your lung cancer, COPD, etc. If te government gets off your back, will you pay your own medical bills?!

Nov. 15 2013 11:21 AM
seth from NYC

Sounds like Steve is confused- Not liking being told what to do has NOTHING to do with his Army training. He would be in serious trouble if he didn't listen to his superior officers.

Nov. 15 2013 11:20 AM

I presently live in Missouri and see the Tea Party crowd first hand. This people are mostly clueless as they no little about government or the constitution. Many are racist. For example, a person across from our polling place positioned a huge board with racists rants decorated with tea bags don't tread on me etc., during the 2008 election. I have seen a cars adored with Obama toilet paper and the constitution with tea party bumper stickers. Their knowledge of socialism is laughable, equating it to slavery. These are paranoid and disturbed.

Nov. 15 2013 11:20 AM
khadija Boyd from brooklyn

Highly edifying conversation. Thanks. As a LEGAL immigrant to NYC, some 26 yrs ago, (for love, mind you), my admiration for our Nation always mesmerize me. TP, whatever are very afraid, deeply afraid. Of whom? Their kiddos flee a stultefying environment to enrich our city. Welcome to NYC. alright! "them" kiddos vote, hey? ;}}} ko

Nov. 15 2013 11:19 AM
John A

Boy, this is a real NPR love-fest.
-
I should say that I am both a religious man and a long time friend of the R party (1976-1991). But I detest the Moral Majority - it's 'political Islam Lite'
-
Blame Fox News.

Nov. 15 2013 11:19 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Re the caller demonizing demonizers: demonical!

Nov. 15 2013 11:19 AM
Nick from UWS

I agree absolutely with that last caller.

Nov. 15 2013 11:19 AM
BK from Hoboken

LOL re: old people who complain about the government while cashing their SS checks and getting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Medicare benefts while having paid only about a third of that in Medicare taxes in their lifetime.

Nov. 15 2013 11:18 AM

the real waste is on our military. huge part of our national budget is finding better ways to kill people. the social programs are more in line with being humane and following most religious prinicipals. funny how the religious aspect of the tea baggers want to cut social programs and raise the military. wonder if Jesus would approve?

Nov. 15 2013 11:14 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

I just tuned in and heard the man John speaking about what happened to his town.

The guest's comments strongly imply that the man's opinions are wrong to the point of "isn't it obvious he's wrong?" Well, who is she to judge?? For him, it's HIS truth. How does she know what the changes represent to him. Objecting to neighbors who don't take care of their property is not limited to "racists."

By implication it says that minorities don't/can't care as much for their neighborhoods and would never object as loudly is a form of prejudice as well.

I'm not saying I agree with the man -- I can't say either way. If racism is what motivates him, that still doesn't mean or excuse his neighbors if they truly are slobs, and if so, their behavior is a reinforcing factor for this man.

But again, who is the guest to judge? Who says her opinions are more valid than that man?

Nov. 15 2013 11:13 AM
Siahro from Upstate NY

The analysis these producers are giving is extremely insightful and honestly can help people understand Americans who relate to the Tea Party. Although we disagree, we can UNDERSTAND why these people feel this way. The statement one of the producers made about the Jon was very enlightening. These people, although they are terribly misinformed, are vulnerable to the values of the Tea Party because they feel displaced in an America that was once ONLY theirs.

Nov. 15 2013 11:13 AM
Nick from UWS

Until we eliminate the degrading and marginalizing attitude towards America and avoidance of integration symbolized by the adoption of hyphenated nationalities, African-American, Chinese-American, Japanese-American, we will never generate enough pride and singular national identity to pull this country out of the cesspool of conflicting ego that it is in. American unity of identity - THAT is what has been corroded almost into nothing by the shrieking of infantile groups since WWII.

Nov. 15 2013 11:13 AM
Estelle from Brooklyn

I'm really hardhearted. What I wish for the Tea Party is need. May they lose their jobs, their health insurance and then each have a child who is terribly ill. As to their unwillingness to accept government aid, it would disappear pretty quickly if they were in need. In fact, I wonder how many of them have already had government assistance at some time in their lives.

Nov. 15 2013 11:13 AM

Tea party = out of touch racists.

Nov. 15 2013 11:11 AM
MichaelB from m

I just tuned in and heard the man John speaking about what happened to his town.

The guest's comments strongly imply that the man's opinions are wrong to the point of "isn't it obvious he's wrong?" Well, who is she to judge?? For him, it's HIS truth. How does she know what the changes represent to him. Objecting to neighbors who don't take care of their property is not limited to "racists."

By implication it says that minorities don't/can't care as much for their neighborhoods and would never object as loudly is a form of prejudice as well.

Nov. 15 2013 11:11 AM

In my experience, TPer's don't know what socialism means. They *think* any government program is socialist. The Dean for America motto "Let's take our country back" was co-opted by the TP on the election of Obama. [Too well do I remember the frequently-repeated cable news footage of the woman with both hands on the microphone crying "I want my country back! I want my country back!!" [translation: I can't believe we have an n-word President] What cheese.

If TP sentiments had been given their head during the advent of the Great Recession, they would have cratered the economy and GDP would be be under $10T. The GOP has harnessed the TP energy to blunt/block the Democratic agenda. Unfortunately for them, the backlash to the TP after the government shutdown and repeated threats to the US credit-worthiness is going to COST THEM SEATS rather than gain them.

You made your bed...

Nov. 15 2013 11:09 AM
Tony from Canarsie

With support for the so-called tea party continuing to dwindle, are the filmmakers worried about their movie being outdated?

Nov. 15 2013 11:08 AM
Mike from Long Island

Actually, I'm the Occupier, but I go to Tea Party and libertarian meetings and events to figure out, what we can find in common.
This Kathy is right. I born in the USSR and I know how this socialism is looks like. This American corporatism is very similar to the Stalinist socialism, and American corporation is the most totalitarian entity of the modern Western civilization.

Nov. 15 2013 11:07 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

BRAINS! BRAINS! BRAINS! I WANT TO EAT THEM!

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/323987/MICHELE-BACHMANN-NEWSWEEK.jpg

Nov. 15 2013 11:06 AM

john from reading is an idiot. european immigrants that came here were dirt poor.

Nov. 15 2013 11:06 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

From wikipedia - "General Welfare" clause:

"In one letter, Thomas Jefferson asserted that “[T]he laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They [Congress] are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose.”[13][14]

In 1824 Chief Justice John Marshall described in obiter dictum a further limit on the General Welfare Clause in Gibbons v. Ogden: "Congress is authorized to lay and collect taxes, &c. to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States. ... Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States."[15]

The historical controversy over the U.S. General Welfare Clause arises from two distinct disagreements. The first concerns whether the General Welfare Clause grants an independent spending power or is a restriction upon the taxing power. The second disagreement pertains to what exactly is meant by the phrase "general welfare."

The two primary authors of the The Federalist essays set forth two separate, conflicting interpretations:[Note 1]

James Madison advocated for the ratification of the Constitution in The Federalist and at the Virginia ratifying convention upon a narrow construction of the clause, asserting that spending must be at least tangentially tied to one of the other specifically enumerated powers, such as regulating interstate or foreign commerce, or providing for the military, as the General Welfare Clause is not a specific grant of power, but a statement of purpose qualifying the power to tax.[16][17]

Alexander Hamilton, only after the Constitution had been ratified,[18] argued for a broad interpretation which viewed spending as an enumerated power Congress could exercise independently to benefit the general welfare, such as to assist national needs in agriculture or education, provided that the spending is general in nature and does not favor any specific section of the country over any other.[19]"

Nov. 15 2013 11:06 AM
Rick from Connecticut

This mass hysteria Tea Party is similar to the panic in the 1960's when the same type of people said that the communists were going to infiltrate us through fluoridation in the water supply, lead by the John Birch Society . Please read Hofstadter's books on the Paranoia in US politics

Nov. 15 2013 11:05 AM
Scott from South Orange

The Cold War never ended. It just turned inward.

Nov. 15 2013 11:04 AM
Siahro from Upstate NY

Interesting analysis of the protagonist. Her fear of falling to the bottom and losing her sense of stability is even more inflamed due to the fact that she has not allowed herself to receive government benefits, therefore increasing her sense of urgency in the matters stressed by the Tea Party.

Nov. 15 2013 11:04 AM
Mark from East Village

I find it interesting about the sound bite you played of the older woman from Pennsylvania who is objecting to the rise of "socialism" in America, that she is likely on both Social Security and Medicare, two of the most socialist and popular of government programs. They are indeed the key "safety net" that she and her family rely on, or else she'd be living in poverty and likely lose her home.

Nov. 15 2013 11:04 AM

tea baggers are out of touch, scared and racist. watching fox news will make you mentally ill real fast.

Nov. 15 2013 11:02 AM
Jim

@Mr. Bad

Is Tea Party even a valid label? Seems more like a smear from the left. Anyone who laments the continued growth of government is automatically assigned the label. Sort of how the term 'capitalist' was assigned to non-socialists in Europe.

Nov. 15 2013 11:02 AM
Barb from town

These anti-safety net people are SO selfish! Unbelievable.

Nov. 15 2013 11:01 AM
Henry from Manhattan

Oh no! We’re turning into Russia!

Yes, prior to 2008 the country was EXACTLY as described in documents by out Founding Fathers. Nothing has changed since the 1700s, nor should anything change.

Nov. 15 2013 11:00 AM
mr nyc

I'm sure her passion was inflamed by a black man becoming president. any other arguments are nonsense.

Nov. 15 2013 10:59 AM

tea baggers. they need to READ the constitution before they talk about the constitution.

Nov. 15 2013 10:58 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

This should be hilarious. Leaving aside the values of the Tea Party generally I am completely convinced that any person who professes any Tea Party affiliation whatsoever is basically indicating to a near certainty that they have borderline personality disorder, average to low intelligence or both. The correlation is so strong it's unbelievable. Does the Tea Party make people this way or do such people feel naturally drawn to it? That's one to ponder over a brewski.

Nov. 15 2013 10:52 AM
antonio from baySide

I am sure the film makers discovered how contrived the movement is (Koch brothers etc...)
Do the guests plan on making a Occupy Wall Street sequel.

Nov. 15 2013 10:05 AM

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