Of Tea and Taxes
In politics, as in physics, an action causes a reaction. With the election of President Obama and strong Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress, the stage is set for a radical increase in the size, power and scope of government to transform the United States into a socialist state, along the lines of the European social welfare states. The Bankrupt the Nation Act of 2009, erroneously called a stimulus bill, is merely the first step in the process. The President has already warned of trillion dollar budget deficits as far as the eye can see, and he has the votes for now to carry out his vision. Can he be stopped?
The tea party protests are beginning the process to do just that. Appalled at the huge spending and debt that Congress and the Administration are amassing, Americans are taking to the streets in ever increasing numbers to protest these policies and the inevitable taxes that will follow. A national tea party date has been set, appropriately enough, on April 15, 2009.
In times of great national stress Americans often remember the founding of this nation. During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln constantly reminded the country of the Declaration of Independence’s ringing statement that all men are created equal. His opposite number, Jefferson Davis also often referred to the founding: “‘The declared purpose of the compact of the Union from which we have withdrawn was to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”; and when, in the judgment of the sovereign States composing this Confederacy, it has been perverted from the purposes for which it was ordained, and ceased to answer the ends for which it was established, a peaceful appeal to the ballot box declared that, so far as they are concerned, the Government created by that compact should cease to exist. In this they merely asserted the right which the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, defined to be “inalienable.””
In the present strife the opponents of President Obama are hearkening back to the Boston Tea Party when self-proclaimed Sons of Liberty tossed into Boston Harbor tea on which was imposed a very small tax. Pre-revolutionary America was one of the most lightly taxed areas in the history of the planet and one of the most lightly governed. Almost no taxes and little government were at the very core of what the patriots of 1775 were fighting for. The protesters seek to build in the minds of the American people a contrast of the America that was in the days of the founding to the socialist future that more than a few of President Obama’s supporters dream of.
Are the protests beginning to have an impact? Perhaps. For the first time in recent years the Republicans lead in the generic ballot of the Rasmussen polling organization. Moderate blue dog Democrats are beginning to get restive. Obama’s poll numbers, although still positive, are declining.
I wish all success to the forces opposing the economic and social agenda of President Obama. However, it is not enough to merely oppose President Obama. We need a national debate in this country about how much government we want, and then we should pay for it. You want a strong national defense? Support the taxes necessary to pay for it. National health insurance your goal? Be ready to pay much more in taxes. For too long we have willed an ever larger government and paid for it on credit. This is no longer an option for us, at least not much longer. The debt is becoming too crushing and our sources of credit are drying up. Like the Israelites gathered by Elijah to witness the battle of the Gods on Mount Carmel the words of the great prophet could be said to us: “How long do you halt between two sides?” A time for choosing is upon us. I hope and pray we choose wisely.