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A Word Or Two About Tea Parties

I'm torn, because I have a friend who has been heavily involved in the "Tea Party" protest that took place in Chattanooga near my home town, and I don't want to denigrate his hard work.  There are legitimate concerns about the growing national debt and I respect those who are willing to get out and express those concerns publicly.

That said, a few points that I just have to make.  1) Americans are not overtaxed.  Not at all.  Compared with the taxes paid by citizens of other free market economies, we pay relatively little.  2) I will state once again (as I did during the 2008 campaign, after Joe Biden made his statement to this effect) my belief that paying taxes is, indeed, an act of patriotism.  We live in a wonderful country.  We enjoy a standard of living that remains the envy of much of the world.  We have well-maintained roads; an air traffic control system that it is remarkably effective given the amount of air traffic our airports see on a daily basis; a well-trained, well-armed military.  These things cost money.  We have social security, which isn't perfect, but which has served our seniors well for nearly eight decades.  We have Medicare and Medicaid, without which millions more in our country would be without any viable health care.  We have an educational system that is good but could be better; a food safety system that is flawed but better than nothing; and a host of other government programs that serve us with varying degrees of competence.  Are they perfect?  Not at all.  But take away public education or food inspections or law enforcement and we'd be far worse off than we are.  All of these things cost money, money that is collected in the form of taxes at the Federal, state, or local level.  No one likes paying taxes, but living in this country is a privilege, and it doesn't come free of cost.   3) For all the complaining about Barack Obama being a "socialist" and raising taxes, his plan calls for returning the upper income tax rates to the levels they were at after passage of Ronald Reagan's tax legislation.  If Obama is a socialist, then so is Ronald Reagan.  4) When Fox News sponsors a protest, when it creates a movement so that it can then cover the movement in its newscasts, that's not grassroots activism.  That's political theater with a corporate sponsor.  5) If you're going to create this kind of political stunt, don't call what you're doing "teabagging".  For that matter, don't call it anything that will invite comparisons to any sort of sexual behavior.  That's just not smart.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 16th, 2009 04:03 am (UTC)
The funniest comment I saw from a tea party participant (Wash Times):

Michelle Poland, 33, a project manager from Southern Maryland who subcontracts map-making projects for the federal government, stood on the fringes of the rally with a large hand-painted sign that read, "Tax slavery sucks."

"I'm completely against the way my money is being spent," Ms. Poland said. "If we already have an extreme debt, we shouldn't spend more money."

I suppose that means she supports cutting the federal map making program???

And, I suppose the next Glenn Beck Produced Event will be protests complaining about Tax Havens right?


Considering that the majority of people there are protesting tax policy and a deficit and economic situation requiring further deficit spending all caused by their guy Bush. Plus, most of the people at these events will actually be paying less in taxes under the current administration, one does have to ask, "What were they thinking? Teabagging? Really? Google Much???"

I completely agree with the idea of reducing the deficit (although I didn't hear much about it - or spying on 'subversive' groups by the govt but that's a whole other topic - during the last eight years) but I saw a comment recently that said neither party in DC cares about it and both are only against spending when it comes to the other party's priorities. Similar to pork/earmarks. It's only bad when it goes to those other guys. When we get it, it's great! Guess we're not that much different than the people we send to DC. Sad eh?
Apr. 16th, 2009 03:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the comment and the link. No, you don't hear Glenn Beck and his ilk talking about corporate tax evasion, though it contributes greatly to the national debt and winds up costing us and our children more. But Fox News has nothing to say about it at all.
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Apr. 16th, 2009 03:26 pm (UTC)
That's interesting -- I hadn't considered what their cluelessness said about them from a demographic standpoint (other than, "I guess they don't watch Stewart and Colbert....") Did use of the term actually start with GIs?
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 16th, 2009 06:54 pm (UTC)
Right. This was put together by Dick Armey's organization and Fox. The folks who attended were sincere in their beliefs, but this was top down all the way. I love the use of the term "Astroturf" to describe this kind of phony grassroots activism.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 16th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the comment, Dave. Just out of curiosity, what are the tax rates like in Canada? I know there's a VAT; is there also income tax? Property tax? Do you have any idea what the effective rates are like?
Apr. 16th, 2009 12:43 pm (UTC)
Look... There are some of us out here who where happy and content in our lack of awareness that there is a sexual practice associated with the word "teabags". There are also some out here who, being of a curious disposition, frequent the urban dictionary to be made aware of the second meaning of some terms and phrases. There are now, thanks to you, some of us who's morning rituals are now indelibly scarred...

Much as I would like to blame that blowhard Mr. Limbaugh, I'm afraid I have to lay the blame for this one on you. Sheesh...

Apr. 16th, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC)
I also made the trip to the urban dictionary. I'm switching to loose tea as of now (grin).
Apr. 16th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC)
Sizz, this totally cracked me up. For the record, I apologize for ruining Celestial Seasonings for you. Not at all my intention. I think Jana is probably on the right track with loose tea. All you need to do is go to the store and get yourself one of those tea balls and. . . .

Oh dear....
Apr. 16th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
I thought you might post about thins. *wink*

As someone who attended the 10,000 strong Tea Party in Nashville (which has been printed in the rags such as the Tennessean and the City Paper as 1,000 - 3,000), I feel required to respond.

1) Yes, we pay relatively small amount of taxes but that is the way we want to keep it. Quadrupling our debt in a matter of months will require astronomical tax raises. In addition, it seems like the Obama Administration is not finished with bailing out industries while consolidating power in the Executive Branch.

2)What Biden said was that paying HIGHER taxes is patriotic. He did not say simply paying taxes is as such.

3)I will believe it when I see it. Obama also said "The era of Big Government is at an end." and Bush spent money recklessly {which I agree with}. So Obama got elected on a platform of lower taxes and smaller governemnt and he has done the exact opposite so far.

4)I wasn't prompetd by FoxNews to go and protest. I was prompted by a belief that government has gotten too big and will grow bigger in the future. I don't even have cable, so how can I get goaded by FoxNews?

5)I agree. "Teabagging" would not be the best phrase for this particular movement.

Finally, this protest was as much against Republicans as it was Democrats. I saw a aign that said "Dumb and Dumber = Bush and Obama". This about a governemnt that ignores the Constitution and is attempting to march this country towards the path of Socialism.

Apr. 16th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
I started to respond to all of this, but then stopped myself. We disagree (no surprise there). But I admire the fact that you stood up and made yourself heard. That's democracy and I salute your passion and your candor even if I disagree with your opinions.
Apr. 16th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
P.S> I wasn't familar with the term "teabagging" being used in this protest so I did some reasearch. I appears that only the TV News Anchors on CNN and MSNBC were using the phrase as way to denegrate what we were doing out in the streets. It was not soemthing being used by the protesters themselves. It only goes to show how cowardly these supposed "news" outlets really are. Shame!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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