Running through the column is the assumption that tax cuts unpaired with spending cuts are a betrayal of tea-party principles and congressional Republicans’ mandate. There’s a longstanding debate among conservatives about whether we should push for tax cuts without spending cuts, and if so when. But it’s simply not the case that most Republicans in 2010 campaigned on the idea that tax cuts should wait until deficits are reduced. And most of the polling suggests that tea partiers support tax cuts even in the absence of spending cuts. Their policy preferences and priorities may be wrong, but we ought to be clear on what they are.