Sunday, April 19, 2009

What's It All About?

First, let me state that I am a strong believer in balanced budgets and low taxes. I believe that fiscal responsibility is essential to the health of our nation and our future.

On April 15th, there was a tax protest that I found befuddling – the “tea party” sponsored by Fox News and certain members of the political right.

The Boston Tea Party of 1773 happened, in part, because the colonists felt the taxes on tea and other goods were unfair as they had no elected representatives in Parliament. The April 15 protesters have two senators and several congress people representing them in Washington so lack of representation cannot be the problem.

Nor are high taxes the real issue. The highest federal tax bracket today is 35%. The top bracket in 1950 was 91%. Even if Congress raises the top rate by two percent, the rich are not paying higher taxes now.

Finally, the protesters cannot be angry about the large federal deficit. If the deficit is the problem, they would have held this demonstration in 1984 when the federal deficit hit an all-time high. They had another chance to protest four years later when the deficit went even higher and another in 2004 when the deficit set another record. But they were silent.

So I ask myself, what was this latest "tea party" trying to communicate? As shown, lack of representation, high taxes, and the growing deficit are not the issues.

Do you see my dilemma? What was that really all about?