Of Tea and Taxes


In politics, as in physics, an action causes a reaction.  With the election of President Obama and strong Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress, the stage is set for a radical increase in the size, power and scope of government to transform the United States into a socialist state, along the lines of the European social welfare states.  The Bankrupt the Nation Act of 2009, erroneously called a stimulus bill, is merely the first step in the process.  The President has already warned of trillion dollar budget deficits as far as the eye can see, and he has the votes for now to carry out his vision.  Can he be stopped?

The tea party protests are beginning the process to do just that.  Appalled at the huge spending and debt that Congress and the Administration are amassing, Americans are taking to the streets in ever increasing numbers to protest these policies and the inevitable taxes that will follow.  A national tea party date has been set, appropriately enough, on April 15, 2009.

In times of great national stress Americans often remember the founding of this nation.  During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln constantly reminded the country of the Declaration of Independence’s ringing statement that all men are created equal.  His opposite number, Jefferson Davis also often referred to the founding:   “‘The declared purpose of the compact of the Union from which we have withdrawn was to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”; and when, in the judgment of the sovereign States composing this Confederacy, it has been perverted from the purposes for which it was ordained, and ceased to answer the ends for which it was established, a peaceful appeal to the ballot box declared that, so far as they are concerned, the Government created by that compact should cease to exist. In this they merely asserted the right which the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, defined to be “inalienable.””

In the present strife the opponents of President Obama are hearkening back to the Boston Tea Party when self-proclaimed Sons of Liberty tossed into Boston Harbor tea on which was imposed a very small tax.  Pre-revolutionary America was one of the most lightly taxed areas in the history of the planet and one of the most lightly governed.  Almost no taxes and little government were at the very core of what the patriots of 1775 were fighting for.  The protesters seek to build in the minds of the American people a contrast of the America that was in the days of the founding  to the socialist future that more than a few of President Obama’s supporters dream of.

Are the protests beginning to have an impact?  Perhaps.  For the first time in recent years the Republicans lead in the generic ballot of the Rasmussen polling organization.  Moderate blue dog Democrats are beginning to get restive.  Obama’s poll numbers, although still positive, are declining.

I wish all success to the forces opposing the economic and social agenda of President Obama.  However, it is not enough to merely oppose President Obama.  We need a national debate in this country about how much government we want, and then we should pay for it.  You want a strong national defense?  Support the taxes necessary to pay for it.  National health insurance your goal?  Be ready to pay much more in taxes.  For too long we have willed an ever larger government and paid for it on credit.  This is no longer an option for us, at least not much longer.  The debt is becoming too crushing and our sources of credit are drying up.  Like the Israelites gathered by Elijah to witness the battle of the Gods on Mount Carmel the words of the great prophet could be said to us:  “How long do you halt between two sides?” A time for choosing is upon us.  I hope and pray we choose wisely.

7 Responses to Of Tea and Taxes

  1. Eric Brown says:

    I hope there’s a debate, Donald.

    Vice President Biden during one of the Democratic primary debate said that he was astounded as to how much money is thrown into the election process and how much money people will throw to get a candidate elected, but we cannot raise the funds — either through government or private means — for issues like alternative energy, health care, education, and the like.

    I’d gladly pay more in taxes if the cause is worthy. I can’t speak for the rest of the country.

    Again, I’m glad you clearly outlined the need for a debate. I’ve never in my life agreed with Republicans so much, but just as I begin to reflect on it: am I really a Democrat? The answer is a resounding ‘yes.’ I agree with the GOP in the ‘no,’ but that’s what the Republican Party seems to be wrestling with right now. They cannot, in my view, be successful in the long-term if they run only as opposing Obama’s “out there” policies and then sweep Congress and maybe the presidency in 2012 with no plan of what to do. So, on the “no,” I’m with you and on the specifics of what to do, maybe we can begin the debate there.

    Good post.

  2. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Thank you Eric. The debate is really long overdue and I can understand why. It will be very painful to come to grips with fundamental questions of what government should do and how we will pay for it. However throughout most of our history we did just that and we must do so again.

  3. Elaine says:

    Well, Donald, I think Gov. Quinn has just handed us Illinois residents an excellent warm-up exercise (in the form of his tax increase/budget proposal) for that national debate.

    In fact he explicitly asked the question you raise: if you insist on no budget cuts, tell us how you plan to pay for what you want; if you insist there be no new taxes, tell us what you plan to cut and why. I personally don’t agree with everything suggested in this budget, but the debate is, after all, just getting started.

    I presume similar debates will take place in other states, which also face severe budget shortfalls, but can’t print money or borrow from foreign nations to cover them up.

    I also believe that our current economic and fiscal woes, both at the state and national level, could perhaps be seen as our payback, penance, karma or whatever for our past electoral sins — voting for candidates who told us only what we wanted to hear, ignoring obvious corruption and incompetence, and adhering to party loyalty over principle.

  4. Well said Elaine. In Illinois we are at a later stage in the debate than the nation is. We had the Build Illinois drunken sailor binge under convicted felon George Ryan (R.), or as many of us fondly deemed it, Bilk Illinois. Bloggo (D.), in addition to being a crook, was a lousy manager of the fiscal house of the State. Now the State is facing bankruptcy and so the best idea our government can come up with is a massive increase in taxes, sans the needed debate, thus far, on cutting spending. Crunch time is coming however, and this debate is going to take place in Illinois, in spite of the fact that most politicians would prefer to eat ground glass than to squarely address this fiscal nightmare.

  5. Gerard E. says:

    It has come to this. The Porkapalooza Bill has forced a long overdue national debate on Gummint And Its Size. Reaches in all kinds of places- as in Philly Mayor Michael Nutter proposing temporary nudge nudge wink wink increase in property taxes to keep the swimming pools and neighborhood libraries open. Ignoring that the city’s population but a fraction of that two generations ago. Oh well no police or fire protection affected. But may come down to these points. What is necessary and what constitutes the category of Don’t Take Away My Teddy Bear. Happy to see our Washington Elite looking absolutely buffoonish in their efforts to demonize AIG. Spring is such a lovely time for protests. Had been the province of the sensitive and concerned over War In Iraq, Women’s Right to Choose, other stuff. This time, a different crowd with different beefs. Let the games begin.

  6. Matt McDonald says:


    They cannot, in my view, be successful in the long-term if they run only as opposing Obama’s “out there” policies and then sweep Congress and maybe the presidency in 2012 with no plan of what to do.

    While you won’t hear it on MSNBC or broadcast news, or the NY Times, the GOP has a health care plan, an energy plan, and an alternate stimulus plan, and an alternate budget. It’s unfortunate that the mainstream media doesn’t give the current opposition the play that the Democrats had under Bush.

    The Republicans certainly must find a way to get their message out that there is a BETTER way than selling our future, which is precisely what the Democrat tax and spend policies will do… slower economic growth and rising inflation for many years to come, with the tax the rich limitations slowly or suddenly dropping from 200k to 25k… We’ll be in the doldrums unless this is halted and reversed VERY soon.

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