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:

PRO

-- 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.

CON

-- 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!

13 comments:

Melanie said...

Yeah - I kinda feel the same way. Good that people are noticing and are moved to action... but is it a fitting action? The Boston Tea Party was meaningful to the other party (the English) because they lost something of value. In this case, it's just a group of people waving signs. But then, talking is usually where things begin. And "taxation without representation" was the root of that historic event, so if you think that's going on today, it's fitting to remind ourselves of it.

Southern Touch Catering said...

I guess the "TEA" part to some is of no consequeces BUT I ABSOLUTLY support the idea behind the movement- a non partisan group of people fighting an overgrowing government where those people who govern are trying to take control of our lives instead of what they were originally intended to do. GOVERN according to the wishes of the PEOPLE an in accordance to the Constitution of the United States of America.
Well that's my little bandstand- thanks I needed to vent. I'll go have a cuppa now and get dressed to go protest....hee, hee.

Gwendol Bowling said...

As I understand the original, the "Tea-Party" was done under the cover of night, with people impersonating another group (the Indians)... (where did they get the costumes, Party City?)

Outcome...nobody had new tea, and for those that did, the value went up (were the taxes already paid on those!?)

Additional outcome: Americans by and large moved to coffee and the British became referred to as "Tea-Sips."

Presently are these bags going to be used as compost with or without staples, or will they be labeled as hazardous waste...???

Questions...is it illegal to send hazardous waste across state lines without a permit, and can it be done by the US postal service?

As for me personaly, I am not taking part in the protests (I hope all those people have filed their returns and/or monies and are closer to the post offices today.)

Happy beverage drinking, everyone!

parTea lady said...

I'm not sure that I want this phenomenon associated with my drink, but it is a wonderful thing to see this outcry in America. Let's hope that after the "TEA party" is over, people will say - what can I do now to make a difference.

Josh Hickman said...

Love you Comments, and I love tea too. If I worked in the politicians office I'd be happy to recieve so much free tea.

By the way, has any of the Tea Party members considered that we do have representation for this taxation, and that "Taxation without Representation" is not an applicable argument to their cause.

ChaChaneen said...

Yep, I agree. It's the symbolism in the re-enactment of it to protest taxes in general.

Shall we put a pot of water to boil and enjoy ourselves a cuppa!

Anonymous said...

Loved the Newnan Tea Party!! So thankful we live in a nation where we still have this precious freedom. BTW at the Peachtree City Tea place they blend a tea called To Life-it is really good, if ya get a chance.tammyp

Anonymous said...

This isn't about tea...this is about the future of America. It's about our children and grandchildren's future. It's about Americans saying enough is enough. It's about capitalism vs. socialism. It's about me saying stop robbing me and my family in order to give it to someone else. Every penny I have has been earned the hard way. It's about "We the People".

thesewingroomandmore said...

I love that: we know how to disagree without being disagreeable! You are so right... I think that has a lot to do with having manners and being considerate. Thanks for the excellent pro and con comments. I especially agree that it is easy to protest, not so easy to engage oneself into the matter. I am supportive of the movement and so frustrated with the abuse of our well earned tax dollars.

Gwendol Bowling said...

My Lord in Heaven! Have I followed a wrong link? I thought this was "Tea with Friends!" Now I find out it is not about tea? Well, imagine that!

irielle said...

I feel torn about the tea parties. On the one hand, I applaud the creativity, and the way it harkens back to the past. On the other hand, to me tea parties are special because of their serenity and beauty. Politics certainly isn't serene.

Another concern I have is that this smacks of partisanship. Where were the tea parties when the last administration was increasing spending and blowing our deficit sky high? I was concerned about the out of control spending then, as I am concerned about it now. It seems like there are people in both parties who think overspending is okay as long as it's their party doing it, and a threat to the world as we know it if it's the other party. I don't get that.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Irielle - tea parties are special for their serenity and beauty...why bring 'tea' into the protest mode?

I applaud the freedom to protest taxes, just pick a different title for the protest: "Unite For Tax Protest," anything but "tea party!"

And - think of all the perfectly good tea bags that were 'ruined,' to make a political point. No, 'tea party' and 'protest' just don't mix!

Gwendol Bowling said...

Someone must have listened...I now read where at least one town has picked another beverage..."Main Street wine-tasting to allow folks to 'Whine About the Economy'" the weekend prior to Father's Day. This year, plans are to wine and dine and complain. So ladies and gentlemen, our beverage is no longer being singled out!

What a Democracy! I just LOVE this country and the Great State of Georgia! (Newnan ain't bad either!) I raise my tea cup in gusto!