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Resisting Centralized Government's Stranglehold on America

by Matt Kibbe

Pub Date: June 19th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-219601-9
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

FreedomWorks president Kibbe (Rules for Patriots, 2010, etc.) attempts to make the Tea Party case for smaller, less expensive government.

The author’s primary target is the "unholy alliance between big business and big government.” While this sounds much like a grievance of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Kibbe contends that OWS differs from the Tea Party because of the former's lack of respect for private property rights and because OWS advocates using government to curb business, an approach doomed to failure because it "ignores the political power of big business to effectively lobby government for favors." In a jaunty style replete with pop-culture references, the author presents critiques of progressivism and of such standard conservative bugbears as the Federal Reserve, the Internal Revenue Code and the Department of Education. He marshals compelling statistics and diverting anecdotes that effectively portray his targets as examples of an expensive and unaccountable government run amok. His solutions, however—a return to the gold standard, a flat income tax, more school choice, etc.—are utterly predictable, and the text is liberally larded with right-wing cant, unsupported contentions and tired tropes like "We the People." Though he promises to show how the Tea Party will "return power from self-appointed 'experts' back to the people,” this is no trumpet call for specific popular action. Even elections are apparently not really critical; "real change,” writes Kibbe, “isn't really about political power anyway…It's about the paradigm shift, from the top-down to the bottom-up.” The author suggests only that readers "embrace the beautiful chaos of citizen action and, by our movement's success, prove that freedom works."

A rambling exposition of Tea Party grievances with the tone of preaching to a rather bored choir.