Today’s organization of tax and government protests should make every American feel right at home. We like to let the government know when we have a problem with them. Historically, protesting may not have helped our efforts that much, but we do tend to feel better after we throw in our two cents. Sometimes however our best efforts get blown out of proportion; time helps that happen. All references of these tax parties to the Boston Tea Party however are greatly misplaced.
To be sure, the Boston Tea Party was nothing like what you and I read about in the history books at Fairview Elementary. That group of highly organized protesters was anything but a group of hapless longshoremen out to throw boxes of tea overboard to protest taxes. In reality they were well over three hundred men who methodically boarded three ships that night and tossed all the ships cargos of tea into the harbor. It took all night, all under the watchful eyes of the ship’s crews. It is true many were dressed as Indians with fake tomahawks and adorned in various paint; they didn’t like Indians any more than they liked the company who owned the tea.
The East India Bay Company that is, a corporation that the British government was legally bound to protect whom was in the process of dumping British Tea on the American tea market to keep themselves in business. Tea that if sold would ruin our tea market. The British Government backed the plan. Imagine that; corporations being protected by government! Market forces determining government actions? Wow, the more things change the more they remain the same!
The tea party was not so much a revolt against taxes but on the Corporation and it’s power. Making it a tax issue was just a great way to make it real for the locals. Either way the American people were going to pay tax to someone on the tea they drank, just not to the East India Bay Company if the American tea merchants had anything to do with it.
So now flash forward to this week and lo and behold, April 15, 2009 we are still having Tea Parties. The groups having our modern tax parties, and this has yet to be really determined, appear more aligned with the likes of Fox News and conservative radio than they are with those thinking more to the right of current tax polices. Even though this group appears to have formed out of the common interest of raising their voices against taxes, government bailouts and my favorite – corporate welfare, it seems to have sprung up over night with little or no money and basically is against everything the President appears to be doing? Lucky left, eh?
The tax protesters want the President to fulfill his campaign promise to pull the reins in on government spending which has taken on a nearly stellar light speed of its own as of late. Add to that the abuse of earmark legislation from the very top on down to the lowliest senator or congressman trying to get a rest stop on his interstate and you can see there is plenty to protest about. Anytime now I expect to see Saturday Night Live do a video skit on, “Government Gone Wild.” Congressmen raising their shirts to show off numbers written on their chests of how much money they earmarked.
What has many concerned however is the money behind this movement. Some have raised eyebrows that Fox News and the conservative movement in general are putting up the money to make it happen. The Wall Street Journal says not so. It doesn’t help of course that the tax protesters align with certain political tenets of conservatism but then again it doesn’t hurt either. Hopefully none will dawn Native American headdress, tomahawks and start throwing blank checkbooks at by passers to make their point. I mean after all, we still must maintain some PC around here!! Peace pipe anyone?