Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Those "Tax Day Tea Parties"
Today is April 15, or Tax Day, and by now I'm sure everyone has heard of the "Tax Day Tea Parties" being planned all over the country to protest government spending. My newspaper ran a story on Monday about some local protests being planned. Now I think it's a good thing when anyone takes the time to get up off their duff and take a stand on an issue they care about, but I'm a bit conflicted about these "tea parties" being held today. Why? Here's my list of pros and cons:
-- Citizen activism is a good thing.
-- Grassroots movements can sometimes get a politician's attention when a single voice will not.
-- Underperforming businesses may see even more evidence that many of us in America are tired of a "bailout culture" and ready for that mindset to end. I don't think I've heard anyone, from the President on down, who is excited about pumping more money into failing businesses.
-- It's easy to show up at a rally and feel like you you've done something. It's not so easy to write a letter to the editor, or your congressman. Or to help recruit a good candidate to run for office. Or to volunteer to work on a campaign.
-- The Boston Tea Party actually had something to do with the tax on tea! I realize this year's "tea parties" are so named because of that historic event, but lots of folks just don't get it. I saw a photo of a woman pouring a jug of Arizona Tea into her local lake as an act of "protest." Now, how does wasting money AND tea send a message? (A friend of mine said the fish get to enjoy the tea.)
-- Radio money guy Dave Ramsey yesterday afternoon talked about how he once lived in a place where a politician's office received so many teabags as an act of protest, the people in that office said they've never gotten over the sickening smell of all that tea. I don't want tea to become politicized!
So I confess my fondness for tea has totally clouded my judgment on this issue. Since I've gone all wobbly on the matter, any of you care to comment? My experience has been that tea lovers know how to disagree without being disagreeable!