In July we got the Tea Party/Americans for Prosperity-Montana claptrap of Joe Balyeat (see "Letters to the Editor," July 10). What with Balyeat using "freedom" 30 times in two columns of text, it reads like the petulant whining of a 17-year-old whose mommy just won't let him do what he wants.
Since one man's "freedom" can be another man's "I've been robbed!," freedom requires responsibility. As to responsibility, Balyeat allows, "I won't go so far as to say there's no place for government social programs or regulations," but then he listed 17 forms of regulation, implying impropriety by the sheer number.
Now in August we get new Tea Party/Americans for Prosperity-Montana claptrap from Henry Kriegel (see "Far from dead," Aug. 7). Kriegel cites a poll that Tea Party members are "somewhat better educated" than the rest of us. Really? Even with the "Keep your government hands off my Medicare!" signs that Tea Party demonstrators are infamous for?
Kriegel says that while the U.S. ranked third in "economic freedom" in 2000, by 2012 we'd dropped to 18th place—due, he claims, to massive government overspending. But he "forgets" much after 2000: two huge Bush tax cuts; both unfunded, massive Bush wars; forbidding Medicare to negotiate drug prices; the 2007 recession; and so on. Many involved either cutting taxes or failing to tax (the others involved failing to regulate; hear that Balyeat?), and yet the "Taxed Enough Already" Party must blindly deny what's obviously needed to ameliorate our debt: taxing those who used to, and should, pay more.
Kriegel's as bad on regulation as Balyeat. He cites the EPA's proposed "Waters of the U.S." rule that the EPA says expands exemptions for farmers and ranchers; but Kriegel's content to go with merely "many believe" it won't! It must be wonderful to be so much "better educated" that you don't have to show any evidence of it!
William H. Clark