It’s called "principle": Why tea partiers swayed by a dollar-a-day …

Punch line: Tea party supporters are not easily bought off with dollar-a-day tax credits — they resist an emerging culture of dependence.

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Excerpted from Washington Examiner, Tea Partiers Fight Culture of Dependence, April 19, 2010

The Obama Democrats’ vast expansion of the size and scope of government — is really not just about economics. It is really a battle about culture, a battle between the culture of dependence and the culture of independence.

The Obama Democrats see a society in which ordinary people cannot fend for themselves, where they need to have their incomes supplemented, their health care insurance regulated and guaranteed, their relationships with their employers governed by union leaders. Highly educated mandarins can make better decisions for them than they can make themselves. That is the culture of dependence.

The tea partiers see things differently.

They’re not looking for lower taxes — half of tea party supporters, a New York Times survey found, think their taxes are fair. Nor are they financially secure — half say someone in their household may lose their job in the next year. Two-thirds say the recession has caused some hardship in their lives.

But they recognize, correctly, that the Obama Democrats are trying to permanently enlarge government and increase citizens’ dependence on it. They believe that this will destroy the culture of independence which has enabled Americans over the past two centuries to make this the most productive and prosperous — and the most charitably generous — nation in the world.

Seeing our political divisions as a battle between the culture of dependence and the culture of independence helps to make sense of the divisions seen in the 2008 election. Barack Obama carried voters with incomes under $50,000 and those with incomes over $200,000, and lost those with incomes in between. He won large margins from those who never graduated from high school and from those with graduate school degrees, and barely exceeded 50 percent among those in between.

The top-and-bottom Obama coalition was in effect a coalition of those dependent on government transfers and benefits and those in “the educated class,” who administer administer those transactions. They are the natural constituency for the culture of dependence.

The in-between people on the income and education ladders, it turns out, are a constituency for the culture of independence.

Tea party supporters are not in the mood to be bought off with $400 tax credits. They have a longer time horizon and can see where the Obama Democrats are trying to take us.

Full article:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/04/19/tea_partiers_fight_culture_of_dependence.html

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