The Tea Party stands for three primary principles: limited government to ensure personal freedom, free markets and economic freedom as a means to grow the economy and create jobs, and fiscal responsibility to reduce the national debt. The Tea Party is a political movement with a philosophy rooted in conservative principles, and tends to align politically with the Republican and Libertarian parties.
Although the Tea Party concerns itself with a wide array of issues, the core of its reform agenda is to reduce the national debt through economic growth, cutting unnecessary spending and fiscal responsibility. Other issues include addressing tax reform by simplifying the tax code through closing the many loopholes and deductions and making it less punitive and unfair. It focuses on implementing immigration reform by securing U.S. borders and enforcing existing immigration laws. Additionally, the Tea Party advocates reducing the size of government by scaling back the size, scope and power of governmental agencies, such as the IRS or NSA.
The Tea Party takes its name from the Boston Tea Party, and was created in 2007 when Congressman Ron Paul was running for president. While somewhat decentralized and composed of an affiliation of national and local groups, one common thread running throughout the movement is that it views the Constitution as the central guiding principle of its reform agenda.