Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Tea Parties: Why? and What Now?


The incredible success of today’s Tea Parties (well over 1000 in little old Punta Gorda) tells me that this is only the beginning, but we have to understand what the movement means. The Tea in Tea Party stands for (T)axed (E)nough (A)lready?. This year, due to the Bush tax cuts that will soon expire, we celebrated Tax Freedom Day on April 13, the earliest since about 1960. The total tax burden on Americans for 2009 is estimated at 28% of national income, while in the last year of the Clinton Administration it reached 34%, the highest in recent history. In 1930 the total tax burden was less than 12%.

Obviously the Tea Party protesters (including myself) were not protesting present and past taxes; what we are protesting are the tax increases built into the future Obama budgets – which have to be paid for through taxes or hyper-inflation. Either way, our real incomes will suffer drastically. The second thing we are protesting is the massive intrusion into our lives by government bureaucrats at all levels. In Florida, in particular, where I live, nothing ever gets done for years and the cost of everything is doubled because of government regulations, delays and red tape.

In a strange way we actually owe Mr. Obama a debt of gratitude, because his over-reaching attempts 1. to socialize major aspects of our economy, 2. to force national healthcare on everyone and 3. to turn our history on its head has awakened many Americans to what we have lost and what we have given away over these many years of control by what Mark Levin calls “statists”. Mr. Obama’s heavy-handed attempt to label everyone who disagrees with him as “right-wing terrorists” has also helped the cause and jolted some complaisant people.

What the Tea Party protesters are saying is “no higher taxes” and “start getting off our backs”. Both political parties are to blame for high taxes and unacceptable government intrusion in our lives. Instead of increasing these trends, we want to see some rolling back. We want to see some steps that are in the direction of restoring Constitutional government. We want to change the atmosphere whereby Congresspeople are rewarded for increasing our freedom and lowering our taxes – rather than for bringing home the bacon.

It is generally the older generation who best understands what we have lost – perhaps because we are the last generation that studied civics and history in school instead of global warming and polar bears. It probably will need the older generation to start making some sacrifices to start us on the way back. I think the first step should be for us to support the ending of cost-of-living increases in Social Security payments and also support raising again the full retirement age, steps that will start to correct a system that is currently bankrupt.

This is only a first, small step. Others will follow. If we don’t force a change in direction, our tax burden will approach 50%, our healthcare will replicate Canada’s problems, and the opportunities for our children to become successful entrepreneurs will be gone forever.

To see the Google map showing Tea Parties all over the USA, go here.

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At 11:15 AM, Blogger René O'Deay said...

amazing photos on various stories from around the nation: Tea Party!


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