Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day Tea Party Revolt

Fingers are wagging at "tea parties" today across the nation, but they're not dainty little pinkies held high in the air.

Disgruntled American taxpayers fed up with higher taxes and government spending convened today in protest at hundreds of locations in all 50 states.

Following the precedent set by the Obama campaign, the FreedomWorks organization - chaired by former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey and its President Matt Kibbe - has mobilized grassroots volunteers nationwide through the power of blogs and other social networking sites in order to "(lead) the fight for lower taxes, less government, and more freedom."

"Folks, you've got to get to know this organization ... They have been doing a great job all over the country educating people." -President George W. Bush

Why tea parties? Why not pizza parties, or coffee klatches, or - better yet - cocktail parties?

Well, according to Wikipedia...

The Boston Tea Party was a direct action protest by colonists in Boston, a town in the British colony of Massachusetts, against the British government. On December 16, 1773, after officials in Boston refused to return three shiploads of taxed tea to Britain, a group of colonists boarded the ships and destroyed the tea by throwing it into Boston Harbor. The incident remains an iconic event of American history, and has often been referenced in other political protests.

The Tea Party was the culmination of a resistance movement throughout British America against the Tea Act, which had been passed by the British Parliament in 1773. Colonists objected to the Tea Act for a variety of reasons, especially because they believed that it violated their constitutional right to be taxed only by their own elected representatives. Protestors had successfully prevented the unloading of taxed tea in three other colonies, but in Boston, embattled Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson refused to allow the tea to be returned to Britain. He apparently did not expect that the protestors would choose to destroy the tea rather than concede the authority of a legislature in which they were not directly represented.

So the Colonists believed the Tea Act "violated their constitutional right to be taxed only by their own elected representatives."

By association, I suppose this means that some disgruntled American taxpayers believe that the Obama administration's taxation and economic stimulus strategies violate their constitutional rights to be taxed only by...their own elected representatives?

(Am I the only one struggling with the logic of this tea party analogy? Didn't the vast majority of American voters elect President Obama into office? And as our elected representative, doesn't he have the right to tax us?)

Had someone consulted my opinion about this whole Tea Party idea, I definitely would have suggested a Coffee Klatch instead.

You can find related articles about the Tea Party phenomenon at:
Wall Street Journal
Hartford Courant

1 comment:

scottie said...

but c'mon, i think it's unreasonably UNFAIR to have to live with the consequences of decisions made by a leader a didn't vote for!