The Tea Party movement may have arisen to protest rising deficits and increasing federal control of everything from health care to the auto industry — but the big-government coalition it’s fighting wasn’t born in Washington. The federal agenda that the movement is now battling to overturn originated in state capitals like Albany, Trenton and Sacramento.
This agenda has been promoted with growing success in the last 50 years by a self-interested coalition of public-sector unions and social-advocacy groups that benefit from bigger government, higher taxes and more public control of the economy. Merely “taking back” Congress on Election Day won’t stop the relentless rise of this coalition, which has at its disposal enormous resources.
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The real reform battles need to be fought in state capitals and city halls, where this big-government coalition remains powerful and where it gathers the resources that give it so much leverage in Washington. Will the Tea Party aim at this target after November?