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Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Tea Party Success would Produce Disastrous Consequences for Every American
Press Release

RELEASE: Tea Party Success would Produce Disastrous Consequences for Every American

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Washington D.C.–
Today, a new report released by the Center for American Progress reveals that if the Tea Party movement succeeds in their goals of changing or replacing the United States Constitution, virtually every American will suffer the consequences. In their vision for America, seniors will lose their Social Security and Medicare, millions of students could lose their ability to pay for college, and workers throughout the country will lose their right to organize, earn a minimum wage, and be free from discrimination.

Furthermore, because the Tea Party believes their policy preferences are mandated by the Constitution, they would do far more than simply repeal nearly a century of essential laws. Once something is declared unconstitutional, it is beyond the reach of elected officials— and beyond the voters’ ability to revive simply by tossing unwise lawmakers out of office.

“The Tea Party’s agenda is not simply one of the most radical in generations, it is also the most authoritarian,” said Ian Millhiser policy analyst at the Center for American Progress and author of the report. “They do not simply want to eliminate decades of progress; they want to steal away ‘We The People’s’ ability to bring it back.”

While the House of Representatives pushes Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan to phase out Medicare, numerous members of Congress, at least one Supreme Court justice, and the governor of America’s second-largest state now proudly declare that most of the progress of the last century violates the Constitution.

Entitled, “What if the Tea Party Wins? They Have a Plan for the Constitution, and it isn’t Pretty,” the report explains that it is difficult to count how many essential laws would simply cease to exist if the Tea Party won its battle to reshape our founding document, but a short list includes:

  • Social Security and Medicare
  • Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and other health care programs
  • All federal education programs
  • All federal antipoverty programs
  • Federal disaster relief
  • Federal food safety inspections and other food safety programs
  • Child labor laws, the minimum wage, overtime, and other labor protections
  • Federal civil rights laws

The report was unveiled and discussed at an event today in Washington D.C. featuring Lucas Guttentag, Robina Foundation Distinguished Senior Research Scholar in Law and Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School; Ian Millhiser, Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress and Editor of ThinkProgress Justice; Elizabeth B. Wydra, chief counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center; and Garrett Epps, professor of law at the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Download this issue brief (pdf) | Read the issue brief in your web browser (Scribd)