There’s something right about my fellow citizens speaking out against runaway government spending, huge deficits, and taxes. But somehow the April 15 “tea party” at Santa Monica Pier left me cold. For starters, it was a redux of an event I covered December 16, 2007, when Ron Paul supporters held a “tea party” at the Santa Monica pier. As Yogi Berra puts it, “Deja Vu all over again.” At least Ron Paul has been a fairly consistent foe of Big Government, runaway spending and ballooning deficits. But I can’t help but wonder about the current crop of tea baggers.Where were these tea baggers the last 30 years? Where were they when Ronald Reagan signed the Tax Reduction Act of 1981, failed to cut government spending (actually grew it) and started running huge annual deficits — our first ever huge deficits during a period of peace and prosperity? Where were the tea baggers when H.W. Bush not only couldn’t rein in government spending, but ballooned the deficits to the point one year when one of every three dollars spent by the Feds was being borrowed? It got so scary that “read my lips” Bush had to raise taxes to prevent financial collapse. Where were the tea baggers when son W. Bush squandered the $200 billion annual surplus he inherited from the Democrats into a $200 billion annual deficit — a swing of $400 billion? Where were the tea baggers when W. Bush grew the Federal Budget by an runaway 22 percent, one of the greatest eight year growth spurts of Federal spending in our nation’s history? (W. also grew domestic surveillance and other Federal powers but that’s another “tea party.”) Conversely, why didn’t the tea baggers hold “Bill & Hillary” parties in 1998 & 1999 when, after six years of cleaning up the Reagan/H.W. Bush mess he inherited, Bill Clinton brought Federal spending under control and achieved actual budget surpluses that were used to start cleaning up the National Debt piles left on the White House lawn by Reagan/Bush? (Heck, instead of tea the Clinton parties could have celebrated with beer, even hard liquor!)Forget the tea party. Anyone who voted Republican for president the last 30 years should mark April 15 as a day of atonement. And recall that the original Boston Tea Party was not about the level of taxation, but about taxation without representation. If anyone should be holding a tea party in the tradition of Boston’s, it is all the youth under the age of 18 and yet-to-be-born not-yet-enfranchised Americans who have had no representation in the matter of the National Debt bombed upon them by Republican presidents who nuked Uncle Sam’s revolving credit owed from $1 trillion in 1980, to $10 trillion in 2009. Truly, it is the saddest chapter of taxation without representation in American history and shame on all of us for letting it happen. England’s King George was a Little Leaguer by comparison.
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