Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Today is tax day, and across America, taxpayers are holding tea parties to protest out-of-control government spending. Their concern is no tempest in a teapot.

The tax burden on American families is growing increasingly heavy. According to the Tax Foundation, tax-freedom day came on April 13 this year. That day marks the point of the year when taxpayers have earned enough money to pay off their federal, state and local taxes. It takes Americans about 3 1/2 months of labor to cover their tax obligation. That time will increase as government continues to grow. President Obama’s current budget proposal admits to plans to raise taxes by almost $1 trillion over the next 10 years.

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) estimates that hundreds of thousands will turn out to protest this tax servitude. Anti-tax activists are organizing through the Top Conservatives on Twitter feed, the DontGo Movement, Smart Girl Politics and other social-networking sites. More than 300 Web sites are hosting tea parties. The American Spectator’s J.P. Freire and the Heartland Institute’s John O’Hara collected 70,000 signatures in one week on a tea-party Web site they created. Patriot Depot and have teamed up to send 1 million tea bags to politicians in Washington. Singer Marcus Lloyd’s “American Tea Party Anthem” has had more than 70,000 views on YouTube.

Today’s tea parties are carrying on a noble American tradition of protesting unfair taxation. Mike Allen, co-author of “A Patriot’s History of the United States,” explained to us: “America was born out of hatred of a strong centralized government. The Boston Tea Party (and a half dozen other concurrent tea parties from New York City to Charleston) protested government subsidies to create monopoly status for a corporation, the East India Company. From that point onward, tax protests have peppered American history.”

The first tea party to protest taxes occurred on Dec. 16, 1773, when patriots called the Sons of Liberty dressed as Mohawk Indians, boarded ships in Boston Harbor and threw 342 chests of tea overboard. Other colonials followed the lead of Sam Adams and his fellow Bostonians by tossing tea into the sea.

Today’s tea-party movement is building steam because taxpayers are steamed. As ATR’s anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist explained to The Washington Times, “These are real people with real lives taking the time and effort to do this in reaction not to a tax increase yesterday, but in reaction to too much spending that will lead to tax increases and inflation years from now.” These modern Mohawks are angry because they fear the future is being poured down the drain. This kind of activism is our cup of tea.

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