Tea Party Goes Global

article top

BY JOHN FUND – It may be America which features a Tea Party that is roiling political waters with its call for smaller, less intrusive government, but other countries have angry electorates too.

A BBC survey of adults in 22 democracies (an average of 1,000 adults were polled in each nation) finds that on average people in those countries believe their governments misspend more than half of the money they get in taxes.


The range of dissatisfaction was highest in Colombia and Pakistan, where citizens felt that over two-thirds of tax revenues weren’t spent properly. The highest level of satisfaction was in Spain, where citizens nonetheless felt 34% of their tax euros were not spent in the public interest.

Not surprisingly, more than half of those responding to the BBC poll in the 22 countries favor measures to reduce government spending and borrowing. Support for spending cuts was especially pronounced in Brazil, China, Germany, France and Azerbaijan. The only exception to the trend was Egypt, where a majority favored higher levels of taxation.

Other countries have far more closed political systems than the U.S. does, but if the BBC survey is at all accurate, we can expect interest in Tea Party-like movements in other countries. Indeed, Daniel Hannan, a British member of the European parliament and author of the book “The New Road to Serfdom,” reports that offshoots of the Tea Party have already been formed in Britain and Australia.

John Fund is an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal