The Tea Party movement is an American political movement known for its conservative positions and its role in the Republican Party ('GOP'). It demands a reduction in the U.S. national debt and federal budget deficit by reducing government spending and taxes. The movement opposes government sponsored programs such as universal healthcare and has been described as a mix of libertarian, populist, and conservative activists. It has sponsored multiple protests and supported various political candidates since 2009. Various polls have found that slightly over 10% of Americans identify as a member..
The name refers to the Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773. Anti-tax protesters in the United States have cited the original Boston Tea Party as their inspiration. References to the Boston Tea Party were part of Tax Day protests held in the 1990s and before..
The origins of the current Tea Party movement can be traced back to circa 2007. The movement's beginnings were kick-started by Republican Congressman Dr. Ron Paul in 2007. His GOP presidential campaign received a 24 hour, record breaking, money bomb on December 16, 2007; which is the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. This event directly contributed to creating a libertarian revival and divide in the Republican Party. Ron Paul continues to be a prominent force in the Tea Party movement, such as endorsing Tea party candidates, and also giving talks and speeches alongside prominent Tea party activist, and 2008 Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin..