Author: Dean DeChiaro
I’ve spent a decent amount of time this past week following the spread of “tea parties” around the nation, and I need to take a moment to thank every sensible person who did not attend them. Whatever your views on taxes and the economy may be, no one, not even a rich, greedy, absurdly idiotic business guru, who makes more money in a year than most Americans make in ten years, can deny that these protests are the most absurd thing to occur in politics since the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
For those of you who aren’t aware of what’s going on out there, an estimated 311,460 Americans turned out in 346 cities across the nation last week to participate in “Tax Day Tea Parties,” protests against the Homeowners Affordability and Stability Plan, the Troubled Assets Relief Program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009. Now those are a lot of big terms describing complicated laws, but what’s basically happening is the less than 3 percent of Americans who make over $250,000 a year decided that President Obama is going to hit them with too many taxes and they should do something about it.
So they did something about it. They put Hitler mustaches on pictures of Obama, called for a second American Revolution, claimed they were victims of taxation without representation, and bought 1 million tea bags while ranting about needless spending. The result: the rich conservatives are still the most hated people in the nation, and they just gave the masses more and more material to crack jokes about.
What’s even more absurd about these protests is the disguise under which they’re portrayed. They’re being made out to look like legitimate grassroots campaigns that are the result of a massive outpouring of public sentiment, but all we really need to do is look at the annual income of most Americans. The tax increases described in the laws that these people are protesting are going to affect households where $250,000 or more is made. Only 3.17 percent of the population makes anything from $150-200 thousand per year so the percentage of people who will get taxed more is miniscule, but of course, these are the people who make the most money in the country. These are not grassroots campaigns that are supported by the majority of Americans, they’re more like Astroturf campaigns (as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman stated) being run by the usual suspects: rich, right-wing conservative billionaires who don’t give a damn about the rest of the population.
For eight years, the working, middle and lower classes, which comprise the vast majority of Americans, were completely ignored by the government while the Bush administration gave the rich their tax cuts. Finally we’ve got a President who’s willing to help the common folk, and these greedy, grimy, pathetic idiots are taking to the streets and calling for secession and what not. It’s an absolute outrage that the rich conservatives who no longer run the nation still think that they are entitled to whatever they want while the rest of us watch our college funds disappear and then hear from our parents about how their retirement funds are disappearing.
To anyone who actually supports these protests: it’s true that an increase in taxes on your quarter of a million dollar paycheck might mean you have to skip a year at the country club, but it’s a sacrifice. The rest of Americans made plenty of them for the past eight years, and look where we are now. It’s time for the government to take a little back from the top of the food chain and help out the little guy because we could really use it. And while we’re doing that, you billionaires can just sit tight and get working on getting through using those one million tea bags.
Dean DeChiaro is a first-year History major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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