Saturday, April 11, 2009


What do you do when your party's "raise spending and reduce taxes" plan is replaced by your rival party's "raise spending and reduce taxes" plan?

First, you act shocked...shocked, I tell you, that this horrendous unchecked spending is going on. Then, you grab on to as many general and hollow slogans as you can. Finally, you misinterpret an important American historic event by throwng a crybaby tantrum like my kids do and claim it to be a similar historic act of defiance and liberty.

When I first heard of the idea of a Tax Day Tea Party I was excited. I love a cup of fragrant Earl Grey and a fresh baked scone with clotted cream and jam. But the more I read, the more I realized it really had nothing to do with a tea party - either the nice kind I refer to, or the one in December 1773.

Andrew Sullivan had an interesting take on the whole thing, but instead of taking his word for it, I also spent a while going through their page and came to the same conclusion.
As a fiscal conservative who actually believed in those principles when the Republicans were in power, I guess I should be happy at this phenomenon. And I would be if it had any intellectual honesty, any positive proposals, and any recognizable point. What it looks like to me is some kind of amorphous, generalized rage on the part of those who were used to running the country and now don't feel part of the culture at all. But the only word for that is: tantrum.

And it's not a very focused one at that. But since when is a tantrum focused? I mean really. Look at the site. Try to find a coherent mission statement that explains EXACTLY what they are trying to accomplish...they've gone all "Mad Dr. Bernardo" on us.

They've gone all "Tea-tarded" if you will. Some gems...

(Rick Santelli) called for a “Chicago tea Party” where advocates of the free-market system could join in a protest against out of control government spending.

People speak as if Republicans are all free market advocates and Republican administrations are the free market administrations. This is absolutely laughable. We have not had free markets here since forever...

On February 27th, an estimated 30,000 Americans took to the street in 40+ cities accross the country in the first nationwide “Tea Party” protest.

That's about 750 people per city. Sounds a lot bigger than it is. Though I understand the group tantrums are getting much bigger.

And some of the various comments...

The Boston Tea Party was a protest, but it was more than that. It was a refusal to pay unjust taxes. ... I say, if everyone of you truly believes in this cause, then don’t pay your taxes.

Except the Boston Tea Party really wasn't about not wanting to pay was about wanting the representation that came with taxation. These people want the opposite...representation without taxation.

If you love your country, and you want your tax dollars to be spent not only wisely, but ethically, then refuse to contribute tax dollars to this administration. Don’t participate in the system. Make a REAL statement, just like Samuel Adams and the rest of the men who met and did the right thing at the Old South Meeting House.

How can you ensure your tax dollars are being spent wisely if you don't participate? This is the exact opposite of what the namesake of my favorite commercial beer wanted. He WANTED to participate. He WAS participating, as much as he could, up until and after the Boston Tea Party. Oh, and the administration doesn't spend your money. Congress spends the vast majority of it.

Dear Patriots of this great country— Rise up to be heard not to be taxed. This is the way to be heard. We need to be united and show our flustration (sic) before it is too late.

Read that again...giggling yet?

I believe that we pay too many taxes but not that it is because people voted in Democrats and not Republicans. ... The Tax Day should be a way to do some action that will work to reduce taxes.

Funny...our taxes are the lowest they've been in a long, long time...

I think that we should do exactly this….don’t pay taxes on April 15th. If enough people actually did this, say 30,000+, they would have to change. ... I think that would send a greater message to our government that we don’t want our money spent this way.

Ahem...when approximately 10,000,000 people fail to file their income taxes annually, I don't think an additional 0.3% increase will be noticed.

And lastly...

I love the idea of these Tea Parties, but I think we need to be careful and not sound like a bunch of cheap bastards that just don’t want to pay taxes.

Oooh, too late. They already do. (In deference to the author of that comment, he does go on to explain why taxes are necessary.)

I could go on, but you get the idea. There is room for reasoned debate about taxes, spending, the current tax system and reform. There just doesn't seem to be any discussion going on there.


Randal Graves said...

I'd love to participate but I've already gone Galt.

Beach Bum said...

I spent that day avoiding the news as much as possible. These tea people made me want to puke. Although, I still find it curious that only with Obama did they find their voice and were silent about Bush doubling the national debt.
Got to run but I'm adding you to my blogroll tomorrow.

Chef Cthulhu said...

Randal - I hafta' admit I needed to look that up; I missed that headline...and I've never read Ayn Rand.

Beach Bum - Welcome and thanks! I'll return the blogroll favor. I avoided any news reference yesterday as well. I'm glad I did.