Atlanta Tea Party was well-organized and well-behaved

It may come as a shock to people around the country whose familiarity with the Tea Party movement is gleaned from national media reports, but yesterday’s rally at the State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia was well-organized, substantive, and well-behaved.

I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at this event, and I was impressed with the demeanor and attentiveness of the crowd — which included many young people in addition to adults from a very diverse background.  The speakers reflected that diversity of backgrounds as well, and included many from Georgia (of course), but also from Washington, DC, other states and even other countries. 

Common to those standing and listening to the speakers, and to the speakers themselves, was not so much the “anger” often portrayed by the national media as the hallmark of the Tea Party movement, but more of a deep and sincere concern for the current and future state of the nation.  Government spending is today reaching historically — and dangerously — high levels of deficit; and the federal government’s role in the lives of the citizenry is expanding at an alarming rate.  Focusing on these phenomena is vitally important, and the grassroots-based Tea Party movement is an entirely appropriate mechanism for doing so – not as the arm of any political party, but independent of those structures.

Whether the movement will sustain the energy and focus clearly evident at the Atlanta rally yesterday (and apparently also reflected in others around the country) over the long haul — so as to have any real hope of accomplishing its goal of actually reducing government power, spending and taxation — remains to be seen.  But for the time being, the Tea Party movement is doing exactly what it should be doing — providing a forum for citizens sincerely concerned about the future of this great nation, in which they can share ideas and experiences in a civil and productive manner.

298 comments Add your comment

TEA PARTY..member: Military Veteran

April 16th, 2010
9:07 am

DAN……………just like the liberal Media…OBAMA……& CONGRESS….you just don’t get it…..YOU DO NOT THINK……….YOU DO NOT THINK…..

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 16th, 2010
9:08 am

Good morning all. I am much impressed by the seemingly growing strength of the tea parties. I thought the groups would burn out by now, but I suppose the persistence of the leftist agenda in DC continues to give it life. Many commenters above note how the groups seem to be primarily anti-Democrat; I think that accurate, and reflects adversely on the shameful agenda of today’s democrats.

I guess I am to the point that I would vote for Hildebeest over Chauncey, and would vote for even the loopiest anti-democrat if he received a nomination by the republicans.

Dan

April 16th, 2010
9:11 am

Ok point taken, TEA PARTY member… Question back to you – when did they become against these things? If they were truly against these forms of government intrusion we would have heard of them when W was in the White House. If you are believe in a principle then you believe in it regardless of the political party in power. Notice I didn’t say regardless of what color the President is, but which party is in power. So save your “playing the race card” argument for someone else, as it is obvious that this is already your planned reply. Instead, address my question back to you honestly.

T-Town

April 16th, 2010
9:14 am

In 1968, during the Democratic National Convention a rally was held by thousands of young people of all races and creeds protesting the Vietnam War. The rally got out of hand and turned into a riot and was demonized by many within the Democratic Party as started by radicals, long hair hippie types, communists, black panthers, druggies, etc. The Republican Convention also had it’s protesters, though not as violent as those during the DNC.

There were many peaceful protests held all over the country during this time, but most were never covered. Why? Because as one reporter told me “jets takeoff and land every day without incident and are not news. Let one crash and it makes the front page. If it bleeds it leads.”

I remember demonstrations on campuses throughout the country being labeled as violent by the media and the police presents was beefed up to control the students (called hippies). When nothing happened, it did not make the news. Only when the students (or agitators as the papers would call them) would take over the Admin Offices did these incidents make the headlines. The tea party movement kinda reminds me of the same thing. The more things change the more they stay the same.

Dan

April 16th, 2010
9:16 am

Now you’re showing your TEA PARTYING @rse. How do you know I’m on the side of Obama, main stream media, etc. You know me now? You prove a long standing belief of mine, namely that those who shout the loudest are the most ignorant.

neo-Carlinist

April 16th, 2010
9:16 am

Cheryl M, good post. to all folks who claim this is “not about the Dems”, welcome to the United States of America! where did you call home between 2000-2008? I open my request to Voice of Reason (read everything and anyting you can by Andrew Bacevich), then pop-off.

I saw the pictures

April 16th, 2010
9:18 am

“DAN….they are not against Dems…..Use your brain..knucklehead..THEY ARE AGAINST HIGH TAXES….& LARGER…..LARGER…..GROWING GOVt……..& $13 trillion deficits..”

Taxes are VERY low right now as compared to historical levels. So, while no one likes taxes, it seems like a strange time to protest that. If this was 1956, under Eisenhower, I can see protesting.

Spending is high, I agree. But where was the outrage over Medicare part D passed just 5 years ago. Its almost as big as the current healthcare bill and congress made no attempt to even fund it.

As far as the scope of the government being too large, I would probably agree. I would like to see the war on drugs ended, and our involvement in foriegn military conflicts shrunken.

hotlanta

April 16th, 2010
9:22 am

I am gonna see how well organized they are gonna be when they find out that their “POSTER CHILD” Sarah Palin is big pimping them all the way to the bank since they are accusing the Obama administration of pimping the American people. She is saying “GOTCHA” meaning that I am saying what you guys want me to say so keep writing those checks.

Dan

April 16th, 2010
9:25 am

Still waiting for an answer to my question, TEA PARTY member…

Tea Party

April 16th, 2010
9:28 am

I can’t think of many people who actually like high taxes. I can’t think of many people who read the Constitution and see that the founders of our nation anticipated everything that would happen in the future of their fledgling republic. I think most people would like the government to be smaller than it is. Unfortunately, there are well over 300 million citizens in this country. Therefore, it would seem that the government has to be big.

I assume that defense spending has to be big. I mean, shouldn’t that be cut if no one wants to cut our twin Socialist behemoths (Social Security and Medicare)? Shouldn’t they all be cut? Should political expedience (and numerous re-elections to Congress) matter?

Shouldn’t everything always go the way we want it to go? More importantly, shouldn’t everything always go the way I want it to go?

Yes, because that’s life.

Mrs.White&Black

April 16th, 2010
9:32 am

I have some friends that are Tea Party members and every last one of them have told me that they don’t really have a problem with black ppl as long as they don’t marry into their family. It is politically incorrect to be racist therefore everyone will claim they are not a racist, to own up to this would hurt their cause….but anyone with any sense knows better. Not All of them are racist but most are.

Voice O'Reason

April 16th, 2010
9:34 am

to neo-Carlinist:
While not entirely nor intimately familiar with Bachevich’s work, I must say that I love your statement, and what I have perceived in many others, that you are not allowed to “pop off” as you say, without reading these certain opinions. I was under the impression that I was allowed to have an opinion, no matter how ill-advised it might be, without having to research everything about it. Call me crazy if you want to. At the same time, though, you should not let the opinions of one person, or party, dictate your own beliefs. I’m a small L libertarian at heart, but there are sever issues I disagree with the Libertarian party on. I would classify myself as an independent. I do research things. I do NOT sit around parroting the party line from any of the major parties. I like to think of myself as an “informed voter.” But please continue. I do enjoy being told that my opinion is of lesser value because I haven’t read a certain book.

TS

April 16th, 2010
9:39 am

Thank you, Mr. Barr, for pointing out the other side of the TEA Party crowd. I was there and it was a passive gathering with some great dialogue going on between the protesters. The only negative thing I saw was the sign the MARTA employee had in her window calling us racists.

Davo

April 16th, 2010
9:46 am

retiredds

April 16th, 2010
9:47 am

I read this morning that a CNN/NY Times poll of the general public and Tea Party people. I’ll let you interpret (or misinterpret) the poll on your own.

Sixty-two percent of all respondents in the poll said the income tax they have to pay is fair, while 30 percent called it unfair. That includes 6 in 10 Republicans and independents, and just over two-thirds of Democrats – a display of cross-party agreement rarely seen on any topic. It also includes most liberals, moderates and conservatives.

Perhaps even more surprising, though, is that even among the 18 percent of Americans who say they support the Tea Party movement, more than half call their own income tax fair. Sentiment turns more sour, however, among the smaller group of Tea Party supporters who are active in the movement. Most of them, 55 percent, regard the income tax they have to pay as unfair.

william mcniff

April 16th, 2010
9:56 am

Capt Elaine Magliacane it worked perfectly. Great acronym. racist

LibraryJim

April 16th, 2010
10:00 am

retiredds, @ 9:47

Under the Clinton tax code, I, earning less than 19,000, and having some investment income, had to PAY additional tax to the government based on Capital Gaines taxes. With a family of four, that really hurt. Then along came the Bush tax cuts, and suddenly, capital gains taxes were lowered and all of a sudden I didn’t have to pay any more than was already taken out. Whew, big relief.

Now I’m making just over 30,000, and I don’t want to see the tax cut expire, and the raise in the percentage Obama is proposing, because I will be back to where I was under Clinton. And I can’t afford it. Let me say that this is money that I don’t see, but is the result of an inheritance, which was already taxed when first earned, then when given, and now every year taxed again!

Do I agree with everything W. did? Heck no! I wrote and emailed, and helped shut down the capital switchboard over out of control spending, illegal amnesty, etc. I thought W. was stupid to go into a war without an exit or success strategy, even if his reasons at first were sound (and extensions of what the Democrats wanted Clinton to do!) but quickly bogged down. Obama must agree since he is not pulling any troops out of conflict in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

Did I physically protest? No, because I thought Cindy Sheehan and Code Pink were nut-cases (and most were!), or just built around hatred of W. Bush ( I still see some very offensive anti-Bush bumper stickers on cars). But Hillary came out and said “Dissent against this administration — against any administration — is the highest form of patriotism”. Now apparently that doesn’t apply because she LIKES this administration.

Cheryl M

April 16th, 2010
10:03 am

@ugaaccountant – My point is what’s your point? Everyone in America pays taxes…..Not all the same taxes, but taxes none the less. What those taxes pay for varies depending on which kind of tax you are paying. The big twisted fact bru-ha of the last two days was that 47% of American Households did not have to pay Income Tax. Sarah Palin and the rest of the group, immediately jumped on that statistic as they always do, with little to no understanding of what the statistic means. That or they purposely mislead their listeners to think it means that 47% of the people of America live off of 53% of Americans work. I then witnessed that false argument morph into what we see here, which is allegations that 47% of Americans are poor, and or slackers and are getting propped up by “Real Americans” who labor and get nothing, while the poor suck off the teats! This is simply not true.

As I did before, It is important to note that of that 47%, how many are Senior Citizens who are lower income social security recipients, how many disabled, how many are unemployed? How many are in the High Income bracket, with loop holes and ways to get out of paying income tax. Then we go to the regular working family, who because of Reagan’s Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit, coupled with the Bush Tax Credits, and Now Obama Tax Credits, receive enough offsets in credits that they receive a refund on the Income Taxes they pay throughout the year. As their children become adults, their burden shifts and they lose those family tax credits and begin to have an income tax burden. This how a progressive tax system works, it does NOT mean by any stretch that only one group of Tax payers take care of the rest. All workers pay FICA, and Medicare, which benefit all, we don’t personally have a social security account, or medicare account each generation takes care of the previous with their FICA and Medicare withholding. We all subsidize each other. To say one does everything for himself, and implore others to do the same is simply dishonest because that is not the way our system works. It never has by the way! Not even in the days of the founding fathers so many love to invoke.

Davo

April 16th, 2010
10:03 am

SA@TAC – Are Tea Partiers Racist?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh8Kc9rVRvs&feature=player_embedded

“In reality, this kind of commentary is nothing new. We see it every time conservatives have any political momentum whatsoever. The idea is that by shouting ‘racist,’ these liberal columnists can make their opponents shut up. But this is a very angry and polarized political climate. By racializing issues that are not inherently racial in nature, they are fanning the flames of the very hatred they claim to oppose.”

SA@TAC – Sarah Palin’s Bad Tea
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnDJIFgE0nU&feature=related

“If the tea parties are supposed to represent a break from the big spending of both parties, Palin’s foreign policy views alone negate the entire tea party message. If the largest part of the U.S. budget—defense—is to be expanded indefinitely in the name of “toughness,” how can grassroots conservatives argue against bailouts, stimulus, and national healthcare, each of which costs much less?”

Greg

April 16th, 2010
10:10 am

“Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.” – Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky

Keep up the good fight!

April 16th, 2010
10:10 am

If it is a true forum for concerns, then lets also be clear about its sponsors and their agenda’s as well as straightening out the lies.

1. Obama has not raised taxes. In fact 95% of working Americans benefited from tax cuts this year ($173 billion worth this year) and as a result, a middle income family of 4 is paying the 2d lowest percentage of taxes in the past 50 years.

2. American’s For Prosperity is headed by Koch who has contributed over $5 million to AFP. AFP sponsors tea partys. Why? Koch has an agenda against climate change because it.

If we are going to fix the deficit problem, we have to do 2 things. Cut spending (realistically). And be sure that the super rich pay their fair share of taxes at the same rates as middle income and that corporations pay taxes to the US.

mpercy

April 16th, 2010
10:12 am

Cheryl M @8:41 am: facts about taxes

Your point? Speaking only of income taxes, If, when you file your return, you have zero or even negative total tax liability, then you *paid no taxes*, even if you had pre-paid estimated taxes (withholdings). Now, we’re not talking about someone who had $5000 withheld and got a $450 refund–they *paid* $4550 in taxes.

In 2008 there were 142,350,256 returns filed. Of those, 51,631,917 (36.3%) had total tax liability of $0 or less. About 15 million more people file no return (and presumably therefore pay no income taxes). This brings the total to about 47%.

And before you go on about payroll taxes, the TaxPolicyCenter statistics say that 11.7% of filers received enough refundable tax credits to offset their payroll taxes, and so have not only 0 or negative total income tax liability, but also have 0 or negative *combined* income & payroll taxes.

The issue not simply that they pay nothing (or worse, get a welfare check from the IRS), that’s shortsighted. It’s that they have no skin in the game, but get to make the rules (vote) and may soon represent the majority. When a majority pay nothing, but can vote, what will stop them from simply voting for more stuff for themselves?

And the notion that those who *do* pay are constantly criticized for not “paying their fair share” is just adding insult to injury. The top 10% of taxpayers paid 71.22% of all income taxes (2007) despite earning only 48.05% of all income. If that’s not their “fair share”, how can 51 million returns paying nothing or less _possibly_ be paying a “fair share”.

The notion that taxes went down for 95% of Americans is odd, since 47% of Americans don’t pay any taxes, how could it go lower? Oh yeah, we’re giving them extra money directly through the IRS in larger refundable tax credits. So we’re borrowing money to give welfare checks to millions of filers.

And for those who claimed that the Bush tax cuts helped only the rich “Entering the 2000s with one in four tax filers owing nothing, the nonpayers pool was supercharged by the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003—especially by the doubling of the child credit to $1,000. By 2004, when the credit expansion was fully phased in, the number of nonpayers increased by 10.5 million, a 32-percent jump in the space of four years.” [TaxFoundation.org].

More from TaxFoundation.org:

A nonpaying tax return is one filed by an individual or couple who, thanks to legal credits and deductions, owes nothing. Most people who get a refund after filing their tax returns are not nonpayers; they have overpaid their taxes through paycheck withholding and are being refunded just a tiny portion of that payment.

But during 2008, more than a third of all tax returns resulted in complete nonpayment; that is, people got back every dollar that was withheld from their paychecks during the year. Many got quite a bit more, turning Tax Day into a payday.

Nonpaying status used to be a sure sign of poverty or near-poverty, but Congress and the President have changed the tax laws to pull much of the middle class into the growing pool of nonpayers. The income level at which a typical family of four will owe no income taxes has risen rapidly, now topping $51,000.

Most tax credits can only reduce a taxpayer’s amount due to zero, but the EITC and the child tax credit are also refundable, meaning that taxpayers are eligible to receive a check even if they have paid no income tax during the year. Those tax returns have become, in effect, a claim form for a subsidy delivered through the tax system in much the same way that a traditional government program sends out a welfare check or a farm support check.

In 2008, 25 million tax filers received $51.6 billion in EITC benefits. Of this amount, $50.5 billion was refundable in excess of their income tax liability. Also in 2008, some 25.3 million filers received $30.7 billion in child tax credit benefits, with more than 18 million of these filers getting $20.5 billion in refundable checks. Many families are eligible for both the EITC and the child credit. These are not refunds of overpaid tax; they are payments to people who have already gotten back everything that was withheld from their paychecks during the year.

Keep up the good fight!

April 16th, 2010
10:13 am

Opps… missed part about Koch…Koch is against climate change because it is an oil and chemical company. David Koch is funding Tea Party through AFP… not your average american. Wonder why?

Matt

April 16th, 2010
10:17 am

where were you guys during the passing Patriot Act? Or during warrantless wiretapping? It seems to me, government is too large only when a Democrat is in charge. If there was more consistency in your message, I might take you more seriously, but there isn’t, so I don’t. I hate paying taxes as much as the next guy, but I like having things like roads, schools and police. So, I realize that I have to contribute. As far as me working hard so others don’t have to, I’d happily trade my job and lower tax bracket for higher pay and a higher tax bracket. So, if you’re sick of “paying for me”, I’ll happily trade with you. I constantly hear the tea party say that they’re sick of big government from both sides, but there were 8 years last decade of big government infringing on our individual rights, but not a peep from you guys.

TS

April 16th, 2010
10:19 am

@Keep up the good fight-

“If we are going to fix the deficit problem, we have to do 2 things. Cut spending (realistically). And be sure that the super rich pay their fair share of taxes at the same rates as middle income and that corporations pay taxes to the US.”

I agree with this point you make. However, there are two groups of Americans that don’t pay taxes – the rich and what the government calls “poor” – you know, those with cell phones, satelitte TV, internet, and cars. If you are in the middle- which most of us are – you get stuck with the burden.

Also, raising corporate taxes is not the answer. The #1 problem in America is unemployment. The second is the deficit. Raises taxes on corporations and they have less money to invest in hiring new people, technology, new inititives, etc. Since companies essentially spend what they make if you raise their taxes they have less to spend on growing our economy. It is painfully simple.

rich

April 16th, 2010
10:24 am

Of course they were well behaved, most lobotomy patients are. Heck, that’s why they got the lobotomy.

No More Progressives!

April 16th, 2010
10:24 am

Keep up the good fight!

April 16th, 2010
10:10 am

If we are going to fix the deficit problem, we have to do 2 things. Cut spending (realistically). And be sure that the super rich pay their fair share of taxes at the same rates as middle income and that corporations pay taxes to the US.

Cut spending: yes, dramatically.

When do you graduate from “rich” to “super rich?” How do you tell? Why can’t you understand that dividends, capital gains and interest income is taxed differently than W-2 income?

Exactly what is their fair share? 50%? 65%? 75%? Their first born male?

The left has 3 basic mantra’s: soak the rich, regualte and tax everything that moves. Gets kinda boring after a while.

Voice O'Reason

April 16th, 2010
10:25 am

I must say I love this “make the super rich pay their fair share” argument. The top 1% of wage earners already pay nearly 40% of all income taxes. Meanwhile, the bottom 50% of wage earners, those who are classified as “over-taxed,” pay only 3.3% of the taxes.

Richard

April 16th, 2010
10:27 am

Bob,

The problem with the Tea Party is that they are being very hypocritical. I never saw any of them during the 8 years of Bush passing every spending bill that went across his desk. Had they done that, I’d take them more seriously (and I’d probobly sign up).

The next problem with them is using Sarah Palin as a spokesperson. Palin remember is the same former govenor that forced oil companies to redistribute money to the Alaska citizens (an entitlement). The person they need to be promoting is a guy like Ron Paul who votes against issuing medals to save money.

mpercy

April 16th, 2010
10:27 am

Keep up the good fight! 10:10 am

1. Obama has not raised taxes.

Yet. And we’re trying to keep it that way.

In point of fact, legislation has been passed that raise taxes, but the actually increases were shrewdly (cynically) defered until after the upcoming elections (mid-term and 2012). Starting in 2013, taxes rocket up on millions of people.

One element of Obamacare is to increase the threshold for deductability of medical expenses from 7.5% to 10%, hurting many of the very people who “needed” help in the first place. Same goes for the $2500 cap on flex spending plans (and reducing the things that can be purchased with FS dollars to only prescription drugs).

There’s the 40% excise tax on “cadillac plans”, which are to be defined later, and will impact an unknown number of people (but apparently a lot of union members). And the 10% surtax on tanning booths.

Matt

April 16th, 2010
10:28 am

these problems facing our economy are NOT simple. They’re very complex and very few of us truly understand them. What works for one family, may not work for another and so on and so forth…

Our economy is very complex. It’s easy to be an armchair quarterback, but it’s a whole lot more difficult when you’re actually out there. I think it’s very naive to assume that a) you fully understand what’s facing our nation (myself and most of really don’t, but the 24 hour news cycle has got us all thinking we’re financial experts when we’re anything but.. b) that the solutions to complex problems are “painfully simple”… they’re not. What works for you and your business and family may not work at all for another. It’s extremely DIFFICULT coming up with a policy that works for everyone.

neo-Carlinist

April 16th, 2010
10:31 am

Voice of Reason, I just crafted repsonse and apparently it has disappeared. First off, you are not crazy, but if you truly view yourself as “well-informed” you would benefit from the information provided by Bacevich’s book, which is; The Limits of Power: THE END OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM. see, it’s already ended – as opposed to your theory that Obama and his tax and spend minions in the house want to “end American exceptionalism. If you want to know why? American exceptionalism has ended, read the book. it’s boring and dispassionate, as ALL history books should be; but it presents a very accurate image of the true narrative of American geo-political history in the 20th and 21st century. consumerism fueled by debt and dependence on fossil fuel, which leads to war are the culprits and not some closet “socialist” in the White House. and furthermore, here’s a memo: Sarah Palin isn’t embracing the Tea Party, she’s recruiting it (for the GOP, which in case you were not here between 2000 and 2008 has it’s finger prints all over the $10 trillion mess everyone is lamenting).

Keep up the good fight!

April 16th, 2010
10:31 am

TS…. so your presumption is that those with cells phones and cars and internet are living a life of luxury and should pay taxes. Cars are necessary to get to minimum paying jobs especially when there are places that have no bus or public transportation…which most of you dont want to fund.

Cell phones are important for families to communicate and probably cheaper and better than landlines….

Satellite TV — not going to try to justify this but your assumption is that all have this.

Internet — hmmm same thing but then since most jobs are not listed on the net, you have to have public access…oh right, libraries are now cut so not much access there.

Your simplistic answer on corporate taxes is crap. Corporations like GE pay plenty of taxes to foreign governments and invest money there. They paid NO US taxes but have the benefits of US sales. So your answer shows you are still under the believe that is what is “fair” for the poor, is not fair for the rich corporations without proof that they will, at the margin, make additional investment because of tax credits or no taxes. There is plenty of evidence to contradict your overly simplistic argument….but of course, you dont want to see the “fairness” and reality.

Matt

April 16th, 2010
10:33 am

and stop throwing around the word “liberal media” when you darn well know you get 100% of your news from sources like Fox and other conservative based media. So, your exposure to so-called “liberal” media is absolutely nil. The only “liberal media” you get is when it’s regurgitated and blown out of proportion on the “news” outlets you frequent.

Voice O'Reason

April 16th, 2010
10:34 am

Concerning Sarah Palin… I don’t want her in the Tea Party. She was a bad candidate, and she’s a bad representative of the movement.

And if we’re goign to say that American exceptionalism is already dead, then we should just roll over and accept that America is now a Euor-social-welfare state.

But more to the fact, I’m starting to think that neo-Carlinist is actually Bachevich in disguise. You seem pretty hung up on this guy’s book. I’m wondering if you bothered to form your own opinion on the matter at all.

G. Bush

April 16th, 2010
10:36 am

I sure am glad the Tea Party didn’t mind my spending. That would have been a real problem because I’m a Republican. Everyone knows all of this is the Democrats fault. By the way, the Iraqi oil revenue should start coming in any day now as promised. Mission Accomplished!

Paulo977

April 16th, 2010
10:37 am

Pro Teapartiers … please try and learn the reasons for taxes . My relative,a nurse, down here from Canada to help with my husbands cancer surgery care is absolutely appalled at what we are going through with demands by hospital and insurance co for deductibles, co pays , insurance card evidence etc etc whereas in Canada the decent taxes have eliminated all the harassing demands that do not help recovery . She’ll keep her taxes ,thank you !

mpercy

April 16th, 2010
10:40 am

Richard @10:27 am The problem with the Tea Party is that they are being very hypocritical. I never saw any of them during the 8 years of Bush passing every spending bill that went across his desk.

I wrote any number of strongly disapproving letters to Bush and my congress critters during the Bush administration. I opposed the farm bill that was passed, NCLB, and the medicare drug bill. I opposed the immigration reform. I didn’t have a blog back then, so I wasn’t public about it, but could probably produce copies of the emails. If I had protested pin public I would have just been one guy with a sign.

I’m not sure how you can not understand that the frustration has been growing for some time. People are angry about plenty of spending that happened in Bush’s administration–I mostly blame the Congresses, but recognize that Bush could/should’ve vetoed much of the spending). For many, the final straws were TARP, the bailout of GM&Chrysler (and especially the way that bondholders were screwed over in favor of the unions), and the stimulus bill (which was passed unread by Congress). Also, it wasn’t the election of Obama, per se, but the wholesale control of government by one party–and a party that has expressed “socialist” tendencies for many years–and the fear that no matter how bad and stupid things were under Bush (and we freely will admit there was plenty), we could envision that things would most likely be worse, much much worse under a unchecked mono-party system (which is what we had with 60 Democrat votes in the Senate).

TS

April 16th, 2010
10:45 am

OK, so I guess we can assume every corporation is like GE – 300,000 employees and $105 billion a year in revenue. Is that right? I guess by your argument we can also assume that every company sends all of their money overseas. And you call my argument simplistic.

Over 80% of the country works for a small or mid-sized business – less than 500 employees. These are the companies that produce our jobs and all this administration wants to do is drown them in red tape. They have to SPEND money to stay compliant with government regulations and they spend a LOT of money to pay taxes.

neo-Carlinist

April 16th, 2010
10:49 am

Voice of Reason, your comments about Pallin are very “reasonable”. this is a great country, or at least it was. we still have a lot going for us, but the sooner we accept that we have reached the “limits” of our “power” (we are no longer “exceptional” in the world’s eyes). I am not Andrew Bacevich, but I did write him in on my 2008 Presidential ballot. I was disappointed Obama didn’t find a cabinet or staff position for him. He (Bacevich) cares about the USA. Let me know about American exceptionalism the next time you go to Wal-Mart. We have swapped a manufacturing and agrarian economy for an econonmy fueled by Wall Street card tricks. we can wave the flag, shout political epithets at each other, we can, as Bacevich has done, perform the post-mortem and love forward.

mpercy

April 16th, 2010
10:53 am

Matt 10:17 am where were you guys during the passing Patriot Act? Or during warrantless wiretapping? It seems to me, government is too large only when a Democrat is in charge.

No, I send letters to my elected representatives about those, too. I sent email copies to friends&family. Bob Barr was vocal in his opposition. I even wrote about Bob Barr back then in one of my email to f&f circa 2006:

It’s really kind of ironic that someone who I once thought to be an
ultra-right-wing blowhard had in the recent years exhibited some of the
best arguments against extremism on both sides (he’s been highly
critical of the administration’s wiretapping and illegal immigration,
for example). More liberal members of my family are also stunned that he
seems to say the “right things” as far as they’re concerned too, to the
point of being shocked to get to the end of the article a realize it
was *that* Bob Barr.

P.S. The PATRIOT Act, passed 99-1 in the Senate and 357-66 in the House (plenty of Dems supported it). It was recently extended unchanged by Obama/Pelosi/Reid government in a 315-97 House vote and by a Senate voice vote.

Cheryl M

April 16th, 2010
10:54 am

@MPercy – your tax foundation portion, exactly made my point. The Tax code is a progressive scale, meaning that sometimes and in some cases you pay sometimes you don’t. Most families with children under the age of 17 are eligible for the Child Tax Credit and low earning families of children under 17 the EIC. These offset some of the cost of raising a family. When your children are 17, you are not eligible for these credits, and if you do not have additional credits, you may not have overpaid your taxes. (Unless you take advantage of the multitude of additional tax credits available) It may not seem fair to you if you have no children, I know it didn’t when I didn’t, but when you have them, it’s a blessing. I am not saying that it is all equal, it isn’t, but it’s the way it works.

And everyone has skin in the game, just not all the same skin…..That’s the point, we all pay sales tax, FICA, Medicare, Most pay State tax and if you have them local taxes. If you own property, whether you pay income tax or not, you pay property tax, and all of it goes into different pots and gets used by society. Whether or not you get a refund in the end, the money from your check goes into the pot, gets used by the people, and then if you qualify, gets returned to you without interest. That goes for the man at McDonalds and the car wash, to the executive on Wall Street. and yes, 95%, whether it was in Payroll tax reduction, new home purchases credits, cash for clunkers, credits to winterize your home….the list goes on, there were opportunities for most Americans to lower their tax burden this year. That’s not theory, it is a fact. Perhaps that’s why 52% of the Tea Party respondents said they thought their tax burden was FAIR!

You want everyone to have equal skin in the game, not just skin in the game, but that will NEVER happen, nor should it. Your grandmother can never pay at the rate hedge fund manager making $4 billion would pay, (if he really paid without all the loopholes what he should be paying) and why would you think that was fair that she should?

Cheryl M

April 16th, 2010
11:02 am

@Keep up the good fight – I too often wonder about this low taxes for Corporations keeps them hiring Americans? When did that prove to be true. Under Bush, Corporations paid the lowest taxes many of them pay NONE, and still they shipped the jobs off shore or opened in Mexico. They took advantage of the tax credits they got, and still didn’t open one plant or hire one worker. They refuse organized labor and threaten to shut down it the workers organize, but still shut down anyway, and move to Mexico or China. This is more trickle down, and it has NEVER worked in recent history. Too much greed……I keep hearing about the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy, and the Trickle down theory, but when does it work. If people aren’t buying products, then companies will not increase production, therefore there will be no hiring, so what good does tax cuts for the rich and presumed Job Creators do for the country? Giving the tax breaks to the middle and working class, puts money in their hands to spend, which increases demand, which increases production which increases hiring. Not the other way around, Money in the hand so the rich right now gets held because they don’t want to risk it. Trickle down is just like GHW. Bush said, Voodoo Economics!

Voice O'Reason

April 16th, 2010
11:02 am

Well, I’m sorry that I don’t want to accept my country as a bloated dead carcass. I still think that America can lead, and really should lead. Think how the world would look today if not for the actions of America. I’ll admit that we aren’t perfect. We’ve done some crappy things. But the good outweighs the bad.

I don’t think we should perform a post-mortem on something that isn’t dead, regardless of what one man says. There was a time when America lead by example. Now, though, we have a president who bows to every foreign leader he meets. He apologizes for every action America takes. He even loathes the fact that America is a military power “whether we like it or not.”

I happen to come from the Reagan school of thought. Peace through superior firepower.

Blake

April 16th, 2010
11:02 am

The amount of ignorance on this web-page is sad, though i find it quite funny reading your comments, you all act like the republicans are ignorant and wrong for using their rights, the real irony is that you all do the exact same thing every day you are on this earth, blaming everything on bush, your also saying that people expressing their rights and showing this disapproval of all the socialistic things that are going on is wrong.

Bush was one of the best things to happen to this country, but then again, wasn’t “Obama”?

Think deeper, it will benefit you… Oh by the way, wasn’t Jim Jones a influential speaker, bringing ” hope, change, and reason” he was socialistic, and look at what happened, 914 Americans dead, just because you want everyone to believe your side of the story doesn’t mean they should, quit being so ignorant and open your eyes, your side did the same crap, but even more disgracefully when i went to a Palin speech in Wisconsin, there were bus fulls of liberals shipped in to throw stuff, yell stuff, and cause a scene, the sad this is, im a 17 year old kid, and i decided to do a school report on this, and all i could find on the democratic party was childish media driven poop.

-Blake
age : 17
Status : Concerned for my Generations future, you hippies had your time, back off.

G. Bush

April 16th, 2010
11:07 am

mpercy, forgive me, but for 6 years my party did control the White House, Senate and House of Rep.. So while me and Dick were busy making sure Haliburton didn’t have to bid on the multi billion dollar contracts we gave them, our party was making sure we got everything we wanted. BTW, we also wanted to make sure that I could come to your house, take you out of the country, never tell you or your family why, heck, we don’t even need to tell them where you are, and keep you there FOREVER if we want. How is that for smaller government? Big bad Obama gonna get you!!!

mpercy

April 16th, 2010
11:12 am

Cheryl M @10:54 am

Again with the “overpaid”. The point is not that someone overpaid their income taxes. It’s that they paid 0 taxes and quite possibly were handed a welfare check from the IRS. 47% pay no federal income taxes, 12% pay no federal income taxes nor payroll taxes (due to offsetting credits).

I completely understand progressive taxes and the supposed rational behind them. I even support mildly progressive taxes (just not on income). You know that progressive taxes on income was one of Mark’s principles for communism?

All the other taxes you listed are state/local taxes, and are properly only the concern of people in those states and locales (i.e., it is not the job of the federal government to help people pay their state taxes). And the truth is we don’t *all* pay income taxes, FICA, Medicare–the numbers are incontrovertible.

If you don’t pay federal taxes, then you have no skin in the game of the operation of the federal government.

At no point did I ever say anything that can be construed as implying that I “want everyone to have equal skin in the game, not just skin in the game”. What I’d like is that everyone have *some* skin in the game (i.e. that we not have 51 million people paying $0 in federal income taxes). Last year I paid 21.7% of my gross income (not adjusted gross income, mind you) in federal income taxes. Compared to those who paid 0% or negative 10%, it seems a little unfair that they get the same voting power that I get, and I fear for the day when are the majority and realize they can simply start voting for those who promise to give them more (taken away from the fewer and fewer people who actually pay).

P.S. Every one of the giveaways you mentioned was borrowed money. There is not enough revenue to pay for the government we have, let alone more giveaways. China will stop buying our debt soon, and then we’ll have to start the inflationary printing presses.

BeBe KID

April 16th, 2010
11:17 am

The Tea Party has given many frustrated white people the excuse that they were always looking for to spew their venomous hatred of black people. Many of these tea partiers are too high to get over and too low to go under they are stuck in middle class and are viewed as peasants by wealthy white people. Many Tea Partiers blame their frustrations, shortcomings and dissatisfaction with life on black people. They suffer from covetuousnes, lack and want desperately to be part of the white elite. Blame is placed on the black people who they view as being irresponsible and having an unrealistic sense of entitlement. This is how many Tea Partiers rationalize their shortcomings seeking to place blame on a group of people they feel superior to. These people are being misled for profit by FOX News, the Hannitys, Palins, Becks, O’Reillys and Limbaughs who play on their ignorance, stupidity and lack of reading comprehension. Many TPs hold great resentment for successful black people like Cynthia Tucker and President Obama. Somehow black success is viewed as deprivation of oppurtunity for some deserving white person. These people are sick and will most likely got to Hell to be with the leader who is ultimately responsible for them Satan. Sad!

Tea Party Tim

April 16th, 2010
11:22 am

Damn straight it was well-behaved! Even Chris Matthews couldn’t argue that one.

Tea Party Tim

April 16th, 2010
11:23 am

“The Tea Party has given many frustrated white people the excuse that they were always looking for to spew their venomous hatred of black people.”

Yet you have absolutely no proof of that ignorant stupid claim. I’ve been asking crack head left wingers like yourself for any proof of any racist comments etc from the tea party.

So far…….nothing.