I’ve seen several instances over the last few days of pundits (left and right) who try to equate the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement and the Tea Party (TP). The argument is that both share a distrust of the big banks and the Federal Reserve, and both are against the bailouts.

Aside from the obvious differences in average age, tax paying status, and personal hygiene habits, from my observations, it is not at all clear that OWS is against the bailouts per se. The sense I get is more along the lines of “they got theirs, now I want mine.” One wonders if they would “Occupy GM” with the same message.

I’ve also heard many liberals say that it is the collusion between Wall Street and government that is the problem. It’s a concern I share, but why, if government is corrupt, is their answer to the problem MORE government? Apparently the left forgot the maxim that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

More government necessarily equals more corruption. It’s as inevitable as the sun rising in the east. That is why the solution proposed by the Tea Party is diametrically opposed to OWS. We believe less power in the hands of the Federal Government, and more power in the hands of the people is the cure for what ails our country. We believe in the power of citizens making their own choices through “enlightened self-interest” as the founders called it. We believe that the less government regulates, the less it is able to distort the market in favor of the rich, the powerful, the well-connected, and the lobbyist employing.

Government regulation, taxation, and red tape also create barriers to entry for start up businesses. Unless you’ve tried to start a small business you have no idea of the hoops you have to jump through and the massive costs imposed by government regulation. Fewer and fewer will have the capital or the sheer grit necessary to create the new industries of the future. One wonders if Steve Jobs or Bill Gates would attempt their start-ups today. When asked what is the biggest impediment to job growth today, here’s how founder of Home Depot Bernie Marcus responded:

                The U.S. government. Having built a small business into a big one, I can tell you that today the impediments that the government imposes are impossible to deal with. Home Depot would never have succeeded if we’d tried to start it today. Every day you see rules and regulations from a group of Washington bureaucrats who know nothing about running a business. And I mean every day. It’s become stifling.

The only way to avoid looming financial disaster in this country is to grow this economy. If the left gets their way – more government, more regulation, more taxation – we will never get that growth, and we can kiss the lifestyle we’ve come to know and love goodbye. We will be the first generation to pass on to our children, a country, and an economy, worse than the one we inherited.