Let Freedom Ring has a great summary of what the Tea Party movement is not:
The Tea Party movement is not a nascent third party.
- The Tea Party movement is not "anti-tax."
The Tea Party movement is not driven by social conservatism.
The Tea Party movement is not some subculture of bug-eyed lunatics!
The Tea Party movement is a made up of individuals and organizations who believe in a government limited by the powers enumerated in the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment. People in this grass-roots freedom movement are for lower taxes, smaller government and less intrustion in their lives generally.
How do you accomplish these things? Abolish unconstitutional government programs to make the government smaller. The federal Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development would be a good place to start. Getting the government out of the healthcare and retirement planning business would be good too.
Some people say the Tea Party movement is led by Fox News and big corporations, especially insurance and pharmacutical companies. When I attended a rally last year, I didn’t see one sign made by big pharma and Fox News was nowhere to be seen.
The United States government needs to learn to live within its means. The current high tax rates do not encourage people to do their best. Why work harder if it puts you into a higher tax bracket? The Reagan tax cuts proves that cutting tax rates actually increases revenue.
I’ve always advocated for a Fair Tax or a flat tax. No more than 9% for everybody. (Government shouldn’t ask for more than God.) If that doesn’t meet current budgets, then you need major cuts in government.
If you want to learn what the Tea Party movement is all about, don't read the New York Times. Attend a rally and see for yourself.