We saw the picture of the Tea Party member in your April 16 edition and we applaud their passion and their participation in the political discussion. And “Taxed Enough Already” is certainly a message that most people will be happy to honk their horn about. Who doesn’t hate to pay taxes?
However, since Tax Freedom Day came earlier last year and this year than it has in many years, we wonder at the timing of their protest. Taxes for about 95 percent of Americans decreased this year, just as Obama had promised during his campaign. Perhaps the Tea Party represents the richest 5 percent of our citizens who did not qualify for these decreases. If so, they should have been happy with the Bush tax cuts which made the rich richer and the poor poorer and resulted in adding $2.1 trillion to our deficit during the 2001-2010 period.
Now the deficit, that’s another subject that evokes an emotional response. However, the Republicans seem to react to the problem much more vigorously during Democratic administrations than they do when they are in power. A quick look at history shows us that deficits have been increased by Republicans much more than by Democrats. And the Republican deficits are usually caused by giving tax cuts to the rich and funding wars (including no-bid contracts to Halliburton and Blackwater). Democratic deficits usually result from social programs to increase education, care for the elderly and needy and, just recently, to deal with a financial bail-out which resulted from the Republican deregulation of our financial institutions. The Democrats are always accused of “taxing and spending.” Well, I think the Republicans can truthfully be accused of “borrowing and spending.” Both parties spend mightily, they just have different priorities.
As owners of a third generation small business, we have already profited from the Obama tax cuts and the jobs legislation. And, here in Payson, just look around and see the projects that are being financed by the stimulus package. The infrastructure for the water we will be getting from Blue Ridge will be partially funded by that legislation. Our town and our children will profit for years.
Maybe we should be out carrying a sign reading “Honk if you love the tax breaks for the working class”? That’s something we would certainly honk our horn for.
Ron and Wendy Trainor