Upwards of 90% of tea partiers are convinced that the US is creeping away from capitalism towards socialism, but they aren’t as stridently opposed to that as you might think. Sure, roughly the same number think the country is headed in the wrong direction, according to a new Bloomberg poll, but some of the programs they find most “socialist” garner significant support. For instance, 70% want government to stick its hands into job creation.
About half want the government to rein in Wall Street. And though 65% think Social Security is “definitely or sort of socialism,” almost half have no wish to privatize the entitlement program. “It’s ingrained into the populace and it’s not something that you can dispense with,” says one Tea Party supporter. “The ideas that find nearly universal agreement among Tea Party supporters are rather vague,” says the pollster who conducted the survey. “You would think any idea that involves more government action would be anathema, and that is just not the case.”