A Few Questions for the Tea Party

10/15/2010 06:13 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I know that you Tea Party members are here to stay, but I'm still confused about how some of your policies would play out. Maybe one of you out there can help me understand. So here are my questions:

  1. OK, so you want to privatize Social Security. As you know, millions of Americans depend on their monthly checks for food and shelter. If the last two years have taught us anything, it's that markets are volatile and susceptible to the machinations of Wall Street smarties. Here's what I don't understand: What happens to families who depend on Social Security if the markets plummet? What plans have you to protect older Americans from losing their homes and their ability to buy food? I am assuming there would be little or no money available from a down-sized government for shelters and food programs, right?
  2. I take it many of you don't like President Obama's approach to health care. As I understand it, you would prefer giving individuals the right to choose their own menu of health care insurance coverage, as Sharon Angle said in her debate with Senator Harry Reid. If I understood her correctly, she didn't think insurance companies should have to cover things like mammograms and colonoscopies if the buyer didn't want them. So here's my question: If I opt out of having coverage for a colonoscopy to save money, what happens when I can't afford to cover the costs of colon cancer that the colonoscopy might have detected at an early stage for a fraction of the cost? I know I won't get turned away for treatment, but if I can't afford it, who pays? If the answer is other taxpayers, well, that doesn't seem fair, does it? If the answer is no one pays and treatment is denied, what happens to all those doctors and health-care providers who are trained to treat colon cancer? How will they make a living? And, oh yeah, what happens to me?
  3. Let's carry that question a step further: If I'm in an auto accident and need hospital care and I have auto insurance, do I get a room and treatment ahead of all those people who have colon cancer but no insurance to cover it?
  4. Some of you expressed support for that fire department in Tennessee that didn't extinguish a fire because the homeowner hadn't paid his local service fee. Fair's fair, right? Market forces: got it. But if there were a child in the house who suffered third degree burns, would the municipal ambulance company be legally protected from declining service because the home owner didn't pay the fee?
  5. Many of you regard yourselves as "originalists" when it comes to interpreting the Constitution, accepting the notion that our Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when they created our most sacred document. One thing they did was count each black American as three-fifths of a person. I know that changed later, but were those originalists right?

I have lots more questions, but if you could get started with these, it would really help me understand what you stand for. Thank you.