The tea party movement has attractive rhetorical slogans about reducing the size of government, alongside effectively no intentions of actually doing so. Their focus is on enforcing certain ideas about morality that they have, even if they would involve an expansion of statism.
Consider their promotion of authoritarian policy to restrict illegal immigration. Construction, maintenance, and active patrol of a massive border fence between the United States and Mexico would involve a similarly massive financial expenditure, likely larger than that of decriminalizing border crossing. The social conservatives of the tea party movement don't care, as their concern is with what they perceive about the immorality of "rewarding lawbreakers." As I've quoted from Lakoff previously:
Many people would sooner harshly deal with the "neighbor children" that are "trespassing" on their property and adopt draconian security measures to prevent them from doing so even if letting them in would ultimately cost less.Within Strict Father morality, illegal immigrants are seen as lawbreakers ("illegals") who should be punished...From the perspective of the Nation As Family metaphor, illegal immigrants are not citizens, hence they are not children in our family. To be expected to provide food, housing, and health care for illegal immigrants is like being expected to feed, house, and care for other children in the neighborhood who are coming into our house without permission. They weren't invited, they have no business being here, and we have no responsibility to take care of them.