Urban Policies and the Impact of the Tea Party

As the Tea Party prepares to move into its new seats in the Congress, many are left wondering what impact they will have on urban issues and legislation.

This piece from Next American City looks at the Tea Party's opposition to a UN policy known as Agenda 21.

"As we know from demographic studies on the Tea Party, it is a well-off, relatively mainstream, and as this story demonstrates, a suburban set. They don't like government intervention in the economy, but they do like Medicare and Social Security. They want low taxes and a reduced deficit. Some might say that the Tea Party's platform contains some contradictions. It seems that they're-like most people, really-willing to ignore those spending programs from which they benefit directly. The subsidization of suburbia is one of these beneficial spending programs, too. But the nature of this subsidy is so diffuse that it's hard to point at directly-cheap petroleum, tax incentives for homeowners, DOT money that goes straight to highway funds, etc-so that it is now taken for granted, a mere part of the "American way of life" that only really existed for maybe two and a half decades following World War II.

What we now have is an arcane set of budgetary entitlements and subsidies that have become central to the American experience, by being invisible to most people. So, when there's an 18-year-old plan to at least consider the impact of human settlement on the environment, it looks like a conspiracy to those who benefit directly from the subsidies, and believe them to be inalienable rights instead of a diffuse set of polices, which, by the way, have an averse effect on the environment, society, and economy of our nation."

Full Story: Tea Partiers See a Global Conspiracy in Local Planning Efforts



Michael Lewyn's picture

identifies "Tea Party" with its looniest elements

Although it is true that some people who identify themselves with the "Tea Party" movement are conspiracy theorists and John Birchers, the label "Tea Party" includes a wide range of people- including plenty of garden-variety conservatives who, although not the friendliest audience on environmental issues, are nevertheless not particularly worried about UN conspiracies.

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