We all know the date.
It’s not a birthday, holiday or anniversary. For most of us, its a day of a dread when we have the face the tax man and either pay up what we still owe or perhaps get some money back. No matter what the bottom line says, we all have to see how much we owe in taxes … and it’s a figure that will make you feel ill if you allow it.
In recent years, that amount has grown but I’m guessing that’s not what angers taxpayers so much. It’s the way the government uses our tax dollars: supporting armed conflicts we don’t all agree with, paying people we didn’t vote for, funding programs we consider unimportant and bailing out companies we have no interest in saving.
I’m sure a combination of all these gripes led to the creation of the Tax Day Tea Party. For those of you unaware of what has been going on, in cities from Boston to Washington, organized protests have taken place today allowing taxpayers to voice their outrage over the amount we are taxes and where our tax money is going. We had one of those protests in Market Square where citizens said with one voice “we’ve had enough”.
In case you don’t know the history behind this action, the Boston Tea Party took place in 1773 in direct defiance of the Tea Act of the British Government. The dumping of the tea into Boston harbor was perhaps the first large scale American protest. Three years later, America declared her independence from Britain.
Partying like 1773: Taking a page from history, cities all over the country recreated the Boston Tea Party today to protest the high taxes we pay on this deadline day, April 15th.
Fast forward to today. A protest outside the White House included a box of tea bags thrown onto the lawn. While it’s not likely to go down in American history, it nearly caused a riot similar to that of 1773 when Secret Service moved in, locked down Pennsylvania Avenue and inspected the package. Still waiting to hear whether it was Tetley or Lipton tea bags.
The point is here that its great to see Americans rally against something they consider wrong on a large scale. Whether it was organized by grassroots groups, political forces on the Republican side or Fox News ( as we have been told ), it shows a feeling of frustration on the part of Americans to the tax state of this nation.
No country receives more gross tax revenue from its citizens than the United States and yet, somehow, our government finds new ways to waste it. Unlike some of the protesters, I do not believe this began with the Obama administration. It has simply escalated with the deepening economic recession. Since we had a budget surplus in the 1990’s, we have been creating huge deficits while collecting more tax dollars. That says to me that when the government gets money, they spend it with reckless abandon and do not think about living with a budget.
I can only hope our new President, and more to the point our members of Congress, are taking note of the tea parties. We are mad at being taxed to death and seeing our dollars spent unwisely. If we all should have to live within our means during the current crisis, shouldn’t the government?
Anyway, I would prefer to drink tea instead of having to throw it at my government leaders. Of course, I wouldn’t ou it past the government to start taxing tea. It worked for the British.