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Why arent tea parties demanding that the government hold BP accountable on behalf of taxpayers?

By Climate Guest Contributor  

"Why arent tea parties demanding that the government hold BP accountable on behalf of taxpayers?"

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teab Tea Party activists’ self-proclaimed mission is to demand lower taxes. TEA, in fact, stands for Taxed Enough Already. As a part of this anti-tax crusade, the Tea Party has vehemently opposed comprehensive health reform, clean energy legislation, and even mandatory garbage collection.

Given that these protesters take their name from the Boston Tea Party, which was organized around protesting an unfair tax benefit given to a massive British corporation, and that British oil giant BP’s oil disaster could end up costing taxpayers billions of dollars, you’d think that Tea Partiers would be demanding that the government hold BP accountable and make the corporation pay the full costs for its bad behavior, so that taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill.  Yet they aren’t, as Think Progress explains in this cross-post.

The Tea Partiers haven’t descended on BP’s headquarters or marched on Capitol Hill demanding, for example, that the government lift the $75 million oil spill liability cap on BP so that the damages it pays aren’t severely limited. On the contrary, they’ve attacked President Obama for securing a $20 billion escrow fund from BP to recompense victims of its oil spill and cozied up to politicians who’ve sided with BP. As the Associated Press noted last week, “Tea Party candidates [have stood] by BP to rail against President Obama.” Here are just a few examples of Tea Party organizers and Tea Party-endorsed politicians siding with the foreign oil giant against American taxpayers:

- Republican Study Committee chair Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), who headlined a Tax Day tea party in the nation’s capitol this year, derided the escrow fund as “Chicago-style shakedown politics.” [6/16/10]

- Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who has proudly boasted of supporting the “Tea Party movement and the people getting involved,” echoed Price’s language as he apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayword for the White House’s “shakedown” it performed while trying to hold his company accountable. [6/17/10]

- Conservative talk show host and chairman of the Tea Party Express Mark Williams compared Obama’s efforts to secure the escrow fund to those of “mobsters,” and added that where he comes “from, they call it extortion.” [6/21/10]

- The “tea party favorite” in the Oklahoma GOP gubenatorial primary, state senator Randy Brogdon, said that BP’s oil disaster was “a perfect example of why government should never be involved in the private sector,” while blasting efforts to properly regulate the foreign oil giant so that it couldn’t cause more devastation in the future. [6/21/10]

Without tough government action to make sure that BP pays for the own costs of its own disaster and doesn’t drop the tab on taxpayers “” as leading right-wing figures like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue and House minority leader John Boehner (OH) have suggested “” it is likely that the oil company will get off easy, much like Exxon did following its own oil disaster two decades ago.

If Tea Partiers truly want to defend taxpayers from facing undue burdens, it may be time for them to don their signs and demand that BP pay for the entire cost of its own disaster by lifting the oil spill liability cap and ask that the government end billions of dollars in special tax breaks for Big Oil (just as the original tea partiers wanted to end the tax advantages of the British East India Trading Company).

Cross posted from Think Progress.

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12 Responses to Why arent tea parties demanding that the government hold BP accountable on behalf of taxpayers?

  1. Wit'sEnd says:

    “Why aren’t Tea Parties demanding the government hold BP accountable on behalf of taxpayers?”

    Ummm…because first and foremost, they are racists who want to “take back America” (from whom?).

    sample signs from Tea Party Rallies:

    Obama’s plan…White Slavery
    The American Taxpayers are the Jews for Obama’s Ovens
    Obama what you talkin about Willis! Spend My Money?
    No Taxes Obama Bankrupt USA Loves Baby Killing
    Barack Hussein Obama the new face of Hitler (poster of Obama with moustache)
    Barack Obama supports abortion, sodomy, socialism and the new world order…
    etc…
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/16/10-most-offensive-tea-par_n_187554.html

  2. Peter Mizla says:

    The Tea Party are mostly older white people who are republicans.

    What they advocate not even Dwight Eisenhower would agree with. They-The Tea Party are angry white people- who are mostly; Homophobic, white supremacist; John Birch Society redux,KKK, Skin heads, and anti science.

    Most are simply uniformed- and do not give a hoot about the future.

    They have NO Solutions for what we face in the 21st century- but would like to regress to a ‘simpler time’ like 1850.

  3. Lou Grinzo says:

    They’ll never make that demand, simply because (1) it would align them with the Unspeakably Evil Left, and (2) it would acknowledge that (gasp!) Big Bad Government Can Do Something Positive.

    I expect them to take the position Joe mentions on this issue right about the same time all the high-profile CC deniers say, “Oops! Our bad! Let’s talk about the merits of different ways to price carbon emissions.”

  4. George Ennis says:

    I am reminded that logic and rationality as a way of understanding the world had to be invented in ancient Greece. It would appear listening to many in the Tea Party that it needs to be re-invented.

  5. Dacron Mather says:

    Like Joe , Senator Kerry continues to piously insist that humanity may perish if we fail to set a carbon price within a matter of years. A major impediment to this political salient is the profound enmity fundamentalist Christians feel towards the concept of climate evolution, but a providential means of overcoming it may exist. Opponents of carbon burning and carbon dating can unite in a common program of carbon taxing, beginning with an age-based fee on all purported carbon-14 dates.

    If , for example, a fee of one dollar per year were levied on all published dates based on 14 C decay, any datum attributed with anarchaeological age exceeding the prescribed Biblical maximum of three hundred score and thirteen years would incur an automatic penalty of $6,013. Since archaeology is chronically underfunded, and papers commonly incorporate ten or more dates, penalties rivaling the sallaries of archaeologists’ should greatly reduce the atheistic contradiction of scripture in the scientific literature. Even greater biblically correct benefits would accrue to geophysics, where carbon dating of antediluvian reefs figures in the study of past climate change. Imposing a tariff of tens of thousands of dollars on so called “ice age” dates, would put paid to the acrimonious ‘hockey stick’ controversy, but defund those who deny the Pentateuch as the basis of climate history.

    To allay charges of anti-archaeological bias, a parallel tariff should be imposed on telescopes- a dollar a year tax on astronomical estimates of stellar age and galaxy formation would yield billions and billions, thereby evaporating the national debt.

  6. David Smith says:

    Intellectual discipline or even intellectual honesty are not the strong suite of this group.

    Conservative strategists (for whom the Tea Party is only one available tool) make use of these of these organizations in part because of the inconsistencies of their message. Any time anything comes out in the press, we in the center and left get all riled up and focus a lot of energy and consciousness on the irrationality of it all. In the process, we become distracted from actually winning the war.

    Because the purpose of the opposition is to create chaos which hinders real progress, they win. We contribute to our own defeat through distraction.

  7. SecularAnimist says:

    Joe asked: “Why aren’t Tea Parties demanding the government hold BP accountable on behalf of taxpayers?”

    Because the “Tea Parties”, formerly known as “Ditto-Heads”, are weak-minded, ignorant, mean-spirited, gullible dupes of Madison Avenue-scripted, pseudo-ideological propaganda that is spoon-fed to them by the bought-and-paid-for corporate stooges of the phony “conservative” media.

    They are mental slaves who obediently believe, say and do whatever they are told to believe, say and do by Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, et al.

    These are the same idiots who carried signs protesting Obama’s socialist government takeover of Medicare.

    Is it surprising that they think BP is the poor little underdog “good guy” being “shaken down” by the socialist Muslim Chicago Weatherman oppressor?

  8. These are wonderful exchanges … I must offer a favorite scene… widely forgotten – from Easy Rider.

    “It don’t make em scared”
    ” no, it makes em dangerous”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EpvRvaki-E

    “talking about freedom and being it are two different things…hard to be fee when you’re bought and sold”

  9. Cass says:

    It’s not “take back our country,” it’s more like “take our country backwards.”

  10. Amelia H. says:

    If you care about queer and progressive politics, you might enjoy OURsceneTV’s exclusive pride coverage 2010 on OURsceneTV.com!
    http://www.ourscenetv.com/pride2010

  11. Chris Winter says:

    That first sign pictured — “Obama’s plan: White slavery” — that was professionally produced. I wonder how many of these signs are mass-produced and handed out.

  12. Karen Uyeno says:

    I think the reason the Tea Parties don’t want BP to foot the bill in the Gulf of Mexico is because President Obama is for it. I think they are against anything that he is for.