If you are not a political junky you may not have heard about the Tea Bag movement. The Tea Baggers are making a concerted effort to have people send single Tea Bags to their congressmen and the President to protest the national debt, their perceived trend of our country going communist or socialist, but most specifically they just want to protest taxes. Obviously the Tea Bag Revolution is harkening back to the Founding Fathers Boston Tea Party, a protest where men, dressed as Indians, took the Tea cargo off a British ship and tossed it into the bay to protest King Georges tax on tea.
This Tea Bag Revolution actually started on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange by a guy named Coward Rick Santelli. While Santelli may be the starter pistol on the Tea Bagger Revolution the shot was heard around the consero-whack-job world and some bazaar behaviors have followed.
Consider some of the sound bite, placard, and bumper sticker messages:
1. T.E.A. Taxed Enough Already!
2. Economic crisis is a dream come true for A MARXIST REVOLUTION!!!
3. The Laws of Economics Have Been Repealed!!
4. A bankrupt government cannot save a BANKRUPT BANKING SYSTEM!!!
5. News Flash! The U.S. Government is Bankrupt!! THERE IS NO MONEY!!!!
6. No More Rich(middle class) people Under Obama. Obama will force everyone to CONTRIBUTE TO COLLECTIVE POVERTY!!!
7. STOP THE MARXIST TAKEOVER!
8. Tea bag the Liberal Dems before they tea bag you!!!
It seems odd to me that taxes would be protested NOW when Obamas budget proposes the largest middle class tax cut in history and for people making over a quarter of a million dollars a year Obama proposes to tax them at a the same level rich folk were taxed under the Clinton administration (and we know how those rich folk suffered back then dont we? Nudge wink, nudge wink.)
Where were the protests when taxes went down for the ultra rich and up for the middle class masses under Saint George Bush? The Tea baggers claim to be upset by the national debt. Where were they when Bush took a surplus and ran up a debt that (in part) eventually lead to this Great Recession?
Tea baggers claim to be against bailouts and in favor of tax cuts for the 5% richest people in America , but they are against President Obama signing into law the largest middle class tax cut in history. Tea Baggers are also against helping middle and working class people from losing their homes. To me, the Tea Baggers and ultra conservatives dont sound like fiscal conservatives, they sound like callous, mean people.
President Bush took a surplus and turned it into a huge minus. President Bush ignored the Constitution he swore to defend and uphold, and authorized the illegal searches and seizures, illegal electronic eavesdropping and torturing. President Bush suspended the right of habeas corpus, and gave tax cuts to the ultra rich.
Why would Tea Baggers and Republican ideologues support the acts of President Bush, and turn all their enmity and wrath toward President Obama? Apparently the Tea Baggers simply hate the fact that this nation has elected a black Democrat as President of the United States .
I would suggest that the Tea Baggers and Republican ideologues have no clue about what was actually happening at the Boston Tea Party. In 1773, there was only one big multinational corporation, and that company was called, the British East India Company. The British East India Company was in trouble, and on the brink of going bankrupt. (See the Boston Tea Party Historical Society web site: http://www.boston-tea-party.org/. The British government, lead by King George the 3rd thought the East India Company was TOO BIG TO FAIL, and so, to save the company, and bail out the corporation, the government gave them a loan. (Sound familier?) The British Parliament passed the Tea Act which almost entirely eliminated the tax on British tea exported by the East India Company to the American colonies.
The idea behind the Tax Act was that lower taxes meant lower prices. Lower taxes meant that the East India Company would sell a lot more tea. This is free market 101, this is Colonial Reaganomics, this is supply-side economics in action. In other words, the British government's solution to the Tea Industrys financial crisis was, a tax cut. (Sounds sort of Republican Ideologue doesnt it!) This tax cut was not just a tax cut, this was a huge tax cut to a rich fat cat company. The Tea Baggers, 236 years later, are supporting something that resembles what happened with the British East India tea company bailout.
In the colonies this East India tax cut was just one more example of the big British boys pushing around the smaller, weaker colonial small business men by undercutting them. . This unfairness of the lower and middle class colonists in favor of the rich British corporations lead to political protest groups, and the most recognized of these protest groups called themselves the Sons of Liberty. The Sons of Liberty organized a boycott of the East India Company. Some have traced the increase in the drinking of beer and spirits to this tea boycott. When three ships (the Dartmouth , the Beaver and the Eleanor) docked in Boston harbor, the Sons of Liberty dressed up like Indians and tossed their cargo of tea into the sea.
What many of the Tea Baggers fail to realize is that their movement is actually more in line with the tax policies of King George the 3rd than they are in line with the goals of the Sons of Liberty. What the tea baggers are actually doing is supporting a tax cut for the rich and for corporations. King George was against a corporate bailout loan. King George preferred to give the big company tax cuts and make up the loss in revenue by adding a tea tax to the colonists.
The Tea Baggers are actually protesting exactly the opposite of what the Sons of Liberty were protesting. The Tea Baggers are protesting a tax cut that will benefit most of the tea baggers themselves, and instead are supporting tax cuts for the richest of the rich.
NOTE: I am not at all saying that the Tea Baggers should not protest. Protest is our right (so far). We have freedom of speech, and we can protest whatever we want, even if what we protest is stupid, self-contradictory, self-defeating.