In Europe, populist response to government policy looks a lot different than in America. The French are rioting in the streets . . . because President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed to raise the retirement age by a mere two years. But, as The Economist notes, America’s Tea Partiers “are the opposite: they exhale fiscal probity through every pore.” The French, on the other hand, “appear to believe that public money is printed in heaven and will rain down for ever like manna.”
This appraisal, “The good, the bad, and the tea parties,” recognizes that the Tea Party is not violent, doesn’t even litter much. In sum, the Tea Party is “[n]ot French, not fabricated and not as flaky as their detractors aver: these are the positives. Another one: in how many other countries would a powerful populist movement demand less of government, rather than endlessly and expensively more?”
Interestingly, The Economist pushes the practical point, arguing that if Tea Party “Republicans capture the House, they need to move past ideology into the realm of practical policy.”
This echoes what I argued this weekend on Townhall: “[I]f Republicans in Congress are serious about restoring fiscal sanity to Washington, they will hold all the cards necessary to do so. The Obama Administration simply cannot spend money the U.S. House refuses to raise or appropriate.”
This will lead to a game of chicken with the Obama administration, threats of a government shutdown.
So, who will blink first?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.