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.