April 23rd, 2009


It's About Spending and Control

Steve Chapman pegs one of the key truths about the Tea Parties--they're not a "tax protest." Yeah, there's complaints about taxes but those are a minority. Look at the signs and you see people are mostly complaining about the amount of spending and the expansion of government control. You can force that into the "tax protest" model if you want since the deficit will have to be paid for by future taxes (and the cute kids holding signs with their obligations did fit that) but it's really telling the government "don't do that." Don't spend an extra trillion. Don't take control of key sectors of the economy.

So the counterargument of "Obama's cutting your taxes" is irrelevant as well as untrue. Sure, some people will have their income tax rates cut. That's not much difference. Most American tax payers are paying more in Social Security and other payroll taxes than they are in income tax (and that money is going into the general fund so it's just another tax). Cigarette smokers have had their taxes raised already ("First they came for the smokers . . ."). If the carbon cap and trade proposals become law that'll be thousands more in taxes for every household plus a higher cost for energy and products using energy (ie, everything).

But the larger taxes aren't as important as the amount of control the Administration is trying to take. Just the volume of spending it's planning is a huge increase in the number of people and activities that are controlled by the government. The side-effects will also be huge. There's a lot of projects getting put on hold in hopes that they can be paid for out of the stimulus package instead of local funds. But that means DC bureaucrats are deciding what gets done instead of people closer to the needs. The problem happens with energy policy, except magnified by imposing uniform nationwide roles instead of allowing flexibility. Then there's the attempt to make volunteer activity another part of the government.

Meanwhile doing all this stuff distracts from what the Federal Government is supposed to be doing, namely keeping the pressure on foreigners who want to kill us.
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