The "tea parties." Those Tax Day protests yesterday. What precisely were they protesting? I did a little reading, and noticed that there were Libertarians who want to abolish the IRS (no surprise there), but what dog do anti-abortion activists have in this hunt? And the woman shouting 'no taxation with representation' for the TV coverage was especially puzzling. How does she figure that?
Near as I can make out the complaint is about taxes, nothing new there, but that somehow they are worse with a new administration and Congress. Show where they are worse? I can't find out. Yes, there is the proposal to allow tax rates to rise on those who make more than $250k a year. That's less than one household in a hundred, which makes the idea of populist outrage hard to believe.
OK, there is the problem of paying for the stimulus stuff, and that IS a big deal. But what I read was not a demand to show how this will happen but accusations, name calling, demagoguery, calling the president a socialist and that we are all now "oppressed" by Washington, at least compared to, say, three months ago. Has so much changed that we have become a proto-communist state waiting for guidance from China and North Korea?
Or worse, Sweden!
Genuine popular unrest comes from the truly afflicted - the poor, the hungry, the 'huddled masses yearning to breathe free.' What I saw and read came from lots of conservatives who are, frankly, PO'd that they are not in charge any more. I giggle at the thought of all those marginalized and oppressed millionaires and billionaires who are at risk of being a less rich, whom I did not see in the streets. I understand they helped pay for the events though. I guess that makes those in the protests effectively 'servants' of the besieged wealthy. Too bad they were not actually paid, which would have made it a more honest economic transaction.
Sorry for the rant, but I just wrote some big checks to my national, state and city government yesterday while also taking a voluntary 5% reduction in pay for 2009 to help balance my church's books, and while yes, that costs me money, I have been profoundly blessed by this nation. Paying some of that forward, even though it means I will have a little less now, not only seems right it feels good too.
But hey, I am an oddball. I was never much of a tea drinker in the first place.