What Tea Party America Would Look Like

It’s obvious we have way too much government. The government confiscates our hard-earned money and squanders it on useless bureaucracy. Government stifles the free market, making us all poorer, and restricts our God-given freedom. There are dozens of agencies that do nothing we couldn’t do without. The best idea to come along in decades is to make government small enough to drown in the bathtub. So what would that look like?



The Environmental Protection Agency would be one of the first to go, and when it did, we’d be on our way to looking like this, because the EPA is tasked with keeping our air and water pure, which would no longer be important.

What would Tea Party America look like?

Next might be the Food and Drug Administration. There would be nothing between us and counterfeit drugs, which frequently come from China. Crooks target expensive drugs, such as those for treatment of cancer. The counterfeits are, of course, useless, and put patients’ lives literally at risk. Not long ago, Chinese baby formula makers decided to boost their profits by substituting melamine for part of the formula. This killed a number of infants before it was discovered and traced. Now we’re contending with Chinese jerky for pets, which has been responsible for several thousand pet deaths. That investigation is still active. And there have been many others. Control of these things would be impossible without the DFA. We can reliably say that such cases, both domestic and foreign, would skyrocket, and we would have no power to stop them.

How about Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Everybody loves to hate OSHA. Everybody, that is, except for those whose lives and limbs have been saved by OSHA safety rules. Factory workers, for example, whose hands are automatically pulled out from under a press they are operating when it stamps a part. Or glass workers who are spared severe eye injury by requirements to wear protective eyewear. Or construction workers who are prevented from falling to their deaths by mandatory fencing.

counterfeit drugs, toxic baby formula, deadly jerky.

The Federal Aviation Administration manages airports. They determine when a fleet should be grounded to correct a dangerous fault, manage how air traffic is controlled, license pilots. Without the FAA, there would be no standards from one airport to the next. It would be up to airplane manufacturers or the airlines to decide whether to recall their planes. Pilot licenses would be up to someone else, and would not be standardized. Crashes would not be investigated. In short, air travel would become far more risky.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission. These are the folks who take dangerous toys off the market, and electrical devices that could shock you. Shaky ladders. Tools that lack safety features. Without them, you’re on your own, and would be far more susceptible to injury from toxic substances, and physical injury from things you have bought.

air traffic chaos, no crash investigations,
irregular pilot licensing.

How about the National Institute of Health and the Center for Disease Control? These organizations help every one of us every day, from deciding which strain of flu vaccine should be prescribed, to researching disease and treatments, to investigating health hazards and disease outbreaks. Do we really want to leave all these things up to the unregulated and disinterested market?

Federal Communications Commission. The FCC is charged with controlling all communications, by radio, telephone, telegraph, and TV. They assign broadcast frequencies to various kinds of users, such as government and commercial broadcasters. Without this control, all communications would be a chaotic free-for-all, featuring things like daily broadcast crosstalk interference and broadcaster wattage wars. Similar battles would rage for your telephone patronage. All of it would cost more.

Removing government agencies
would have major negative effects
on real people.

These are just a few of the more important federal agencies. There are hundreds more, and possibly there are a few we could dissolve, or subsume under another agency. Government organizations are not for the purpose of limiting the freedoms of Tea Partiers.

The activities of every agency have real effects on real people, and removing them would also remove their benefits. Simply dissolving them, alá Tea Party “freedom”, would have major negative effects on many millions of us. How many of us would prefer to be free of the regulations that govern air travel?

It is no exaggeration to say that without government agencies the US would very soon become a corporate killing ground where profit is the unrestrained king and the lives of most of us would deteriorate in ways unimagined. It is a mystery why Tea Partiers think that such chaos could be anything other than a disaster.


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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank you!


  2. This is not the America I want. Please tell me exactly where you found this information, which Tea Party candidate, which Tea Party document, etc. I want to see it and condemn it directly to the people responsible. Be specific.


    • Sorry, this is just a blog, and there isn’t room for a lot of documentation. There is an avalanche of stuff from the far right wanting to basically do away with federal government, except for the military, of course. Check out Truthout, Crooks and Liars, Raw Story, Alternet, The Guardian and others.


      • Thanks. I will look for Tea Party connections there. I hope these are not all left-leaning sources with no documentation.


      • Yeah, they’re all left-leaning. Usually they provide quotes and links to where they came from.


  3. Well, the Tea Party movement is a diverse group, and I would never say that every Tea Party member wants to abolish every function of government mentioned above.

    But it is a fact that the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives did engineer a shutdown of virtually all the government agencies mentioned above (I think the FAA was an exception). And it also is a fact that some Tea Party members thought the shutdown ended too soon.

    I agree with John Pennington’s main point, which is that government is not in and of itself tyranny, that a minimum amount of regulation is necessary, and that a generalized, nonspecific opposition to government is foolish. If that shoe fits, put it on; if not, don’t.

    Here is stuff I found on the Internet on what SOME Tea Party supporters would like to abolish.





  4. My main criticism of the Tea Party movement is not that they want to abolish specific functions of government, but that many of them do not have a clear idea of what they want to cut beyond reducing government spending in general.

    My impression is that very few want to eliminate or even cut back on Social Security and Medicare, for example.


    • Advocacy based on some sort of realism might be nice.


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