Tea Party Madness

Today so-called "Tea Parties" are being held around the country, with extensive coverage (some would say cheerleading) by Fox News. While I am totally in favor of lower taxes and smaller government, I have to say I am perplexed by the sudden urgency.

First, let us recall that the purpose of the original Boston Tea Party was to protest "Taxation Without Representation." Is that what is happening now? No. Today we have freely elected representatives. You may not like what they are doing, but it is not at all the same situation faced by the early colonists.

Second, why all the surprise and outrage now? Obama and the Democrats are doing exactly what they said they would do before the election. We had an election just a few months ago and our side was soundly trounced. Whining about it won't change anything. It is just as likely to annoy the very people whose minds need to be changed if we want the next election to turn out any differently.

Third, where was all this energy when Republicans were the ones spending like crazy and running up huge deficits? George W. Bush is the one who plunged us into what is now the second-most expensive war in American history without the slightest thought about how to pay for it. It was a GOP-controlled Congress that helped him do it. It was also the Bush Administration that launched the bailout rocket. Does anyone really think much would be different had McCain won in November?

Fourth, exactly what is it we want to accomplish? As noted above, electing more Republicans brings no assurance of fiscal discipline. In fact, I have yet to hear anyone present a coherent plan for actually cutting the size of government. Which departments will you disband? Whose benefit check do you want to take away? What oxes are you willing to gore? Without such specifics, it is hard to take these protests seriously.

Given all this, the only thing I can conclude is that the Tea Party people are simply folks who want to be angry. I say this as somebody who is sympathetic to the spirit of these events, but I think folks are going about it all wrong. All this anger isn't going to accomplish anything.

The Tea Party protests are also revealing in another way. How many of the folks who are now up in arms that millionaires might see their taxes raised have ever attended a pro-life event? Are lower taxes more important than stopping the slaughter of innocent children? To quite a few people, the answer appears to be "Yes." Sad but true.


The Squirrel said...

yeah, honestly, I thought the whole tea party thing was over-the-top populism that will not accomplish anything.

And you're right, money is more important that morals in our society.


Dymphna said...

So because I've never been to a pro-life event I don't get to complain about the crappy way my government has gone?

Patrick said...

Your government began going crappy decades ago, Dymphna, but feel free to complain. My point is that complaints and tea parties are not likely to bring about the changes you want, and may well be counterproductive.

And yes, I find it very odd how people who yawn at the brutal murder of 50+ million babies are driven into the streets by the idea that those making over $250k may see their taxes go up. It says something about their priorities, yes?

Nate Watson said...

While I did not attend a tea party, I seriously considered it. The current functioning of the fiscal agencies of government is, and has been driven my immoral principles. I know one woman, the most humble, quiet, peace loving Christian (not someone who seeks an excuse to harbor anger) explained to me that she attended (to my surprise) because her conscience would not allow her stand by idly while immorality continues to consume yet another faction of government. It isn't about taxation for most. The majority of folks who attended could only dream of making 250k+ each year. It is about unbalanced scales, which is an abomination to the Lord.

Perhaps the book, "The church and the market," by Thomas Woods Junior, would be an objective place for one who doesn't understand the timing and necessity of the parties. Or a thorough Rerum Novarum (and its theme of subsidiarity) or Centesimus Annus may reveal some justification in Catholic Social teaching (although, I am not Catholic, the reasoning is sound).

Throughout these writings, one will also see a backdrop that discourages behaviors of government talked about in this blog, such as torture.

Anyway, I really like your blog and hope to stop back!