Wednesday Mar 22, 2023

Tea Partying

Today is the day that the IRS wants their forms and money related to income for 2008.

To be blunt, I’m a pacifist, and if anyone says they support how our government spends money less than I do, I raise a very sceptical eyebrow. I still pay my taxes, because I think it’s the most fair thing to do as someone who benefits from the modern economy and uses government services and laws.

Recently, some people in the GOP have sponsored “teabagging” parties in which people throw teabags to show their disgust at the government spending based on allegedly unfair taxation. Presumably doing so is expressing rage at the Bush government with it’s budget-busting spending, as that’s the administration which ceased to balance the budget (thank Clinton for balancing it in the first place, in the similar aftermath of prior administrations). Apparently this is in imitation of the Boston Tea Party. I suggest there are some differences:

  • No one is imposing a tax on tea.
  • No one is imposing taxation without representation. Members of Congress and the President are elected. The King of England was not.
  • The tea for the Boston Tea Party was stolen from private businesses (as if they weren’t oppressed by the tax…). Republicans are buying the tea to support Lipton, a rather large multinational corporation accused of it’s own forms of oppression.
  • The Sons of Liberty – a notorious, acknowledged terrorist group – conducted the first Tea Party. Think “central American death squad” or “more violent and active version of the Weather Underground” for a similar, more recent incarnation of the idea.
  • The Sons were afraid of personal repercussions (being upper/middle class), so they disguised themselves as members of another race and committed their acts under cover of night.
  • The Tea Party was part of a campaign in which ideological opponents were tarred and feathered. Tarring and feathering was lethal, and the victims died of either shock or sepsis. By comparison, the Tea Party was easy to support.
  • The tax being protested was intended to suppress rebellion.
  • Many considered the situation at the time to be the precursor to armed revolution.
  • The tax being protested was used to pay for troops occupying the colonies, with the express purpose of using armed force to stop local opposition.
  • The local, negative economic ramifications of citizens not paying taxes was nil.
  • Today’s protesters are not placing themselves in physical danger on a constant basis by being on the frontier far away from the safety of the country they directly supported.
  • The Sons were (at least in name) supporting new concepts of organization for the citizenry, new to most of the world including the remote land which controlled the government.
  • Asserting that government should be local is not considered treason today. Unless you’re a modern Communist… but I doubt many of today’s protesters say that they are Communists.
  • The taxes being protested at the first Party were new. A federal income tax has been around a while, and Obama didn’t invent it. Income tax was invented to fairly provide a revenue stream for the government.

Admittedly, like the first Tea Party, today’s event was organized by some of the wealthiest people in the nation.


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