What were the "Tea Party" Tax protests really about? Weren't they really only thinly...?
...disguised anti-Obama rallies?
The April 16 Washington Post reported:
As thousands of anti-tax protesters rallied across the nation yesterday and the president promised tax cuts for most, new data showed that the federal income tax burden is already hovering near its lowest level in three decades for all but the wealthiest Americans.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the average family forked over barely 9 percent of its earnings to the IRS in 2006, the most recent year for which information is available. The effective tax rate hit its all-time low in 2003 and has since crept up only slightly.
- Anonymous10 years agoFavorite Answer
NEW YORK (AFP) - - Critics of President Barack Obama marked national tax day with "tea party" protests that Republicans called the birth of a grassroots opposition, but Democrats dismissed as a fraud.
Modest crowds gathered under blustery skies in Washington, Miami, New York and Boston, with several thousands meeting in Sacramento, California, to protest taxes, government bailouts and Obama's big-spending budget proposals.
Organizer Eric Odom said protests were to take place in almost 800 cities in a "new day for the freedom movement."
The demonstrations, styled on the famed 1773 Boston Tea Party revolt against British colonial taxes, came as Americans rushed to meet the annual deadline for filing income tax returns.
Protests featured tea bags, iced tea and other tea-related props, complete with a planned re-enactment of the original dumping of tea into Boston harbor.
But despite the catchy theme, there were questions about whether the scattered, mostly Republican forces could achieve a significant turnout.
The Republican party has been in disarray since Senator John McCain lost the White House to Obama last year and support from senior figures to the tea parties appeared lukewarm.
While Newt Gingrich, a former Congressional leader, attended a New York gathering, McCain's vice presidential pick Sarah Palin was among several prominent leaders staying away, according to the Politico news website.
Protestors were also weakened by broad support among Americans for Obama's far-reaching economic policies, including a 787-billion-dollar anti-recession stimulus package.
A USA Today/Gallup poll published Wednesday found that a majority of Americans favor Obama's expansion of the government's role in the economy, at least for now.
One of the bigger demonstrations took place in Washington near the White House, where about 1,000 people waved placards including "Stop Big Government" and "Taxation is Piracy."
"My money is disappearing," said one protestor, Marilyn Henretty 70, a retiree. "We are tired of being taxed without representation."
Police told the rally to disperse after someone threw tea over the White House fence.
Fox television news -- which along with conservative radio shows gave intensive coverage to the event -- showed footage of a crowd in Sacramento that it said numbered 5,000.
Much smaller rallies took place in New York, Boston and Chicago, and other cities in Democrat-leaning California.
Around 1,000 people attended an event in Santa Ana, south of Los Angeles. "The tax situation is just getting out of hand and spending is out of control," said protester Daniel Flucke.
Dick Armey, chairman of the conservative Freedom Works group, described the tea parties as "the shot across the bow as taxpayers defend themselves against out of control government spending."
But Democrats scathingly attacked the tea parties as an imitation grass roots, or "AstroTurf" movement manufactured by fringe elements of the right.
The tea parties "have been largely a creation of the same gang that already ran conservatism off the rails," wrote David Waldman on the liberal Daily Kos politics blog.
Obama sought to catch opponents off guard by defending his policies at a meeting with working families at the White House. "I know that April 15 isn't exactly everyone's favorite date on the calendar," he quipped.
The man credited with sparking the protests is CNBC television commentator Rick Santelli, who called in February for a "tea party" to oppose government bailouts for mortgage defaulters.
The clip of Santelli's angry outburst has been viewed on YouTube more than a million times.
The protests stand out for the use of Web-savvy marketing, something barely seen in McCain's unsuccessful presidential bid.
That, says Odom, is one reason why the tea parties could be the start of something much bigger: a grassroots Republican movement able to match Obama's formidable support network.
But liberals mocked the protests as a flop, even poking fun at Republicans' seemingly innocent vow to go "teabagging," which in slang means a sex act.
- Jake ParkerLv 510 years ago
Not really, The tea parties still would have presented themselves because the tax structure isn't even going after the rich anymore. It was originally trying to tax the rich a bit more then everyone else and help the poor and middle class but right now the rich can afford accountants, the poor can collect hand outs, and the middle class can barely make ends meet. I think the incredibly credible leftist Washington post has a slight bias against the tea parties. Lol, "anti tax". I'm pretty sure you'd have to work really hard to find someone at one of the Tea Party Protests to find someone who is truely anti tax and believes the government should sell things like a bussiness for money or be run on donations. The tea parties are calling for a simple government that doesn't oppress the poor and is fair to the upper classes. When I was 16 I paid over 15% in taxes to the IRS, I doubt that families who make way more then I did are paying less than I am. Also factor in taxes that are passed on to consumers. Families get hit hard by those and really by the end of the day taxing the "Rich" hurts the middle class because the "Rich" can hire an accountant to out maneuver the broken tax code. So in conclusion its not an Anti Obama Rally its an anti progressive rally. That includes Democrats and Republicans. McCain would have been even worse and I think we would have seen an even bigger tea party movement with his presidency.Source(s): Flat income tax rate coupled with a national sales tax would defiantly collect more revenue and lessen the tax burden for the poor and middle class. The Rich would pay alot more based off their materialistic spending. If the rich choose to re invest in the economy and create jobs then I think we shouldn't complain because they will be CREATING JOBS, lol. Common Sense?
- ?Lv 410 years ago
My understanding is that the Tea Party gatherings all over the US were a protest by a grass roots movement of the soaring levels of spending by the government, and the debt created by that spending. Their contention is that eventually that debt would be paid by taxation of the part of the US population that still pays (income) taxes.
The mouthpieces of the movement (although the leadership, if there is in fact one, is not clearly defined) assert that the protest is not against President Obama although it is the economic policy of the president which they are protesting. Increases in budgetary spending actually began in earnest under G W Bush, but the levels of projected expenditure under the new administrations have breathtakingly escalated. Government spending reached a level of 21% of GDP in 2008. Bad enough, at projected levels of spending in 2009 and beyond, that percentage approached 30%, almost one-third of all revenue produced in the economy. When you consider that 2008 tax revenues totaled around 17.6% of GDP (down from 2007's 18.5), it is easy to see why the deficit was as high as it was. With economic conditions as bad as they are, tax revenues will only go down, and deficits go up as a result.
This, I believe, is what is fueling the tax protests. The people realize that it will be them as they age, and their children, and children's children who pay the interest on this debt which gets bigger and bigger as time goes on.
I don't doubt that some of the sentiment in the protests is focused on Obama, but it is a function of just how bad this problem has gotten, and it looks as if instead of addressing the problem, the president is actually planning to do things that make it worse -- and much worse.
However, as many in this movement have said, it is not about politics, not about Republican vs. Democrats (several Republican congresspeople showing up at protests were booed off stage), not about conservative vs. liberal, not about partisanship. Although you would never know it by the media coverage (which was horridly biased), people of all walks of life protested, and did it very civilly.
- Anonymous10 years ago
TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY, and people pay waaaay over 9% of their earnings to taxes when you
include income, state, sales, and hidden taxes.
Research tax liberation day to find out exactly how much in assorted taxes the average person pays. You will be shocked.
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- Anonymous4 years ago
definite, i could say so. Edit: Splitting hairs right here however the huge nationwide debt would be paid for with tax money, finding down the line meaning larger taxes contained sooner or later for each guy or woman.
- Crede Sed ProbaLv 710 years ago
no i don't think that they were
the original tea party protests were from libertarians and independents
and then it went all wrong
religious nuts had to do their thing
- craig.winter41Lv 610 years ago
If you believe the Washingto Post, nothing I say will convince you how wrong you are.
- 10 years ago
cuz they rly like tea and england had high taxes on them l2history.