Posted by | December 21, 2011 12:58 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

As my wife can confirm, I hate writing thank you notes.  So you can imagine that if I write one, I am extremely grateful.  And at this time of year, I find myself being particularly grateful for the Tea Party.  So thank you Tea Party for:

–  Democratic control of the U.S. Senate.  You kept it in Democratic hands in 2010.  We’ll need some more help in 2012, so here’s hoping you can knock out Senator Lugar and nominate extreme candidates in Connecticut and Wisconsin.

–President Obama’s growing approval ratings.  It has more to do with the improving economy but being able to present himself as a contrast to you folks, certainly helps.

— Ignoring Governor Huntsman (the candidate who would have the best chance of beating President Obama) and forcing Governor Romney to twist himself like a pretzel to avoid offending you which will be used against him in the general election.

— For providing abundant opportunities for satire.

— And for this payroll tax debacle.  Whatever the policy arguments (and I can see the argument for a one year extension instead of a two month one), the politics are awful and have done more to enhance Democratic chances for taking back the House than millions of dollars of donations could have.

I know I’ve predicted your disappearance in the near future, but I really hope I was wrong.  So all the best for the holidays and thanks again!

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.