24 April 2010

mad mad tea party

Tax day rolled around this year and I joined the hundreds of thousands of other Americans who did not look forward to it. Now, there are also those hundreds of thousands of Americans who actually do look forward to it (as we used to), who get giant checks back from Uncle Sam. Actually, it seems that most people we know end up in the latter category.

Which got me thinking about the folks involved in the tea party movement....wondering how many of them were protesting while getting big checks back from the Feds they so vehemently disdain. And I also wondered how many of those folks were the beneficiaries of government projects, bailouts, or programs that under public circumstances they call "pork" and "waste".

I can think of several republicans around river city who will give you an earful about Obama and government waste and socialism.....but have food on the table, keep their employees on the payroll, or have developed real estate thanks to pork barrel earmarks.

I read with great interest the words handwritten on protest signs and listened intently to folks who were interviewed or spokespersons from the movement, the star being Sarah Palin. Their messages aren't wrong. Most of the time they are right on (with the exception of personal attacks on the President), but if you examine what is being said with reality, or the reality of the one protesting, the argument begins to break down. It's as though many were given soundbites they couldn't defend if their life depended on it.

I'm not sure how this will all evolve, or disintegrate as the case may be. The tea party movement, at least those who are interviewed, don't understand who their enemy is or how government functions. If they did they could be much more targeted and effective with their protest. This is going to be an interesting year. Republicans are fighting Democrats, but in many cases they are fighting each other to secure the "most outraged at government" distinction from their opponent. Congressman Souder (R) is taking it on the chin having to defend his republican-ness against a primary opponent and in at least one Indiana republican primary race for the state house the candidate is blaming state government for raising taxes..........which is their own party and Mitch Daniels......who ran a campaign saying he balanced the budget without raising taxes. Right?

We should have never given the bailouts; both in banking (under Bush) and the auto industry (under Obama). As terrible as it may have gotten, at least the economy could have been rebuilt on something other than borrowed funds.....which is what got us into this mess. You can't just say that you're against taxes; there are implications to not having tax dollars (i.e. every Indiana school system thanks to property tax reform). It is the prudent use of funds, not solely the elimination or decrease in taxes, that ultimately provides for a stable and functioning government. The problem is that we either elect desperately unqualified people to make these decisions, or people bought by someone or some organization that can't be trusted to do what is right for the people. This I don't ever see changing.
So have all the tea you want; the problem is our madness.

7 comments:

jimgrey said...

Nicely done, man. Right up the middle.

vanilla said...

Just paid the income taxes and the property taxes. Thinking as I did so, Everyone wants defense, fire and police protection, schools and libraries, but darned few want to pay for them.

Kestrel said...

GM is paying their loans back early....I still won't drive one of their vehicles but they have distinquished themselves from those banks that took funds/loans and have yet to remain them!

Troy said...

The people who look forward to tax day are actually kind of ridiculous. They should be upset. Any money they get back is just money that they didn't get throughout the year. They gave the government an interest-free loan. Just thought I should put that out there. Personally, I'd rather just owe money at the end of the year (assuming I saved the amount I would have paid, and can afford to pay that amount).

To Kestrel: GM isn't paying their loan back early. It's propoganda. I can't give you the source, because I don't remember it, but I read that the money they're using to pay back the loan they took is just being taken from another loan. The money isn't coming from GM profits, and therefore, they're basically still just as poor as they were.

Larry said...

Have you ever worked for the government? If you have then you know what a wasteful thing it is. Most of the employees are overpaid and inept at their jobs. That or they have figured out how to work the system for their benefit. They know how to steal from the people.
I spent 21 years in the Navy and I can tell you that this is so. I've seen this fraud waste and abuse with my own eyes. You are right in the fact that it will never change because no one in authority wants it to change. No matter what party they belong to.

hoosier reborn said...

I know all too well the issues with government spending and waste from a long time working with state, local and federal govt, along with being elected locally. You can't use too broad a brush and say all govt employees work the system. I know several who are hard-working and worth far more than their pay. And there are those who work harder than those in the private sector simply because we are in a race to the bottom to cut taxes just to keep the voter happy. There is a prudent use of tax dollars that should be acceptable, but isn't, because we republicans want to treat govt like a business until it comes time to "invest" or "spend money to make money"...then it is waste.

Anonymous said...

Well Larry you put up with it long it enough to draw a nice pension! No one was making you stay. We have identified the enemy and he is us. TPP