Tea Party Nation: What Would a Tea Party Congress Look Like?

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Lower taxes, limited government, spending cuts -- Tea Party candidates have united on some common elements that have often separated them from the Republican party.

Tea Partiers have rejected most of the Obama administration's policies but also many of those implemented by President George W. Bush.

So what would a Congress controlled by Tea Partiers actually look like?

Tea Partiers say their primary goal is to protect the Constitution and restore the founding principles of the country. Yet experts say the path to that ideal is less than clear.

Historian and author Ron Chernow, whose new book "Washington: A Life" hit bookshelves Tuesday, says the Founding Fathers themselves had vociferous debates over whether the Constitution should be interpreted literally or more figuratively, and that debate was never resolved.

The Founding "Fathers were furiously opiniated individualistic people who didn't agree on anything," he said. "The impression that they marched in lockstep, that's not the case."

When it comes to specifics, Tea Party candidates are vowing to overturn Obama administration policies. For one, they want to eliminate taxpayer-funded bailouts. Tea Partiers are united in their opposition of federal funding to save falling banks and the auto industry -- even though the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was crafted by President Bush's Republican administration in 2008.

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Back then, several Republicans supported the measure, including now-House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. Thirty four Senate Republicans voted for the bill that authorized TARP. However, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. -- one of the Tea Party's most stalwart supporters in the Senate -- voted against it on the grounds that it "socializes private losses."

The health care landscape would also be vastly different than that envisioned by the Obama administration, if the Tea Party has its way. Tea Party candidates across the country have vowed to push for a repeal of the new health care law and create a system with little government involvement and a bigger onus on the private sector.

Some Tea Party candidates also view Medicare and Social Security as a liability; Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle once suggested that the programs should be phased out and replaced with a private system. Rand Paul, the Republican Senate candidate in Kentucky and a Tea Party favorite, dubbed Medicare "socialized medicine." Ron Johnson, the Senate candidate in Wisconsin called Social Security a Ponzi scheme, and Joe Miller, the Republican candidate in Alaska, has said the Social Security program violates the mandates of the Constitution.

Since garnering the national spotlight though, some candidates have tempered their comments on the subject. Angle now says she supports personalizing Medicare and keeping the federal government out of it, while Paul now argues that Medicare payments for doctors should not be cut.

Under a Tea Party-controlled Congress, tax cuts would likely be made permanent. Across the board, conservative candidates are united in their support for extending the Bush-era tax cuts that President Obama has said only benefit the wealthy.

South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley has even suggested that corporate income taxes be abolished.

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