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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Friday, April 16, 2010

    Why the Teabaggers are Wrong

    Here in NYC the Teabaggers held a protest on Tax Day. They are using the image of the Boston Tea Party as a way of opposing taxes in general. Which is, in about every way, stupid of them.

    First off, the Boston Tea Party, was not opposed to taxes PER SE, but "taxation without representation." What they opposed was the fact that after the French and Indian Wars, which were fought with considerable bravery by many colonists on behalf of England, the same colonists who fought on behalf of England were slapped with a whole slew of new taxes to pay for the wars. At the same time, the colonists had no representation in the English Parliament. So the colonists were fighting England's wars and paying her bills, but not allowed to vote to determine how her government worked.

    That was the grievance that led to the Boston Tea Party. In what way are the modern day Teabaggers similar to the colonists? Few of them have fought for America (though I am sure some have). Their taxes are not high compared with most nations. And they have a vote on all levels of our government from local elections on up to President.

    The first anti-tax day Tea Parties started 2 years ago, after Obama became president. As if somehow Obama was taxing them more, demanding more of them and oppressing them. And yet Bush never cut their taxes. He only cut the taxes on the top 10% or so. Obama hasn't raised their taxes and in fact supports a more equitable tax system than Bush did.

    So their comparison with the colonists is completely and totally bogus. The colonists were being expected to pull more than their fair share of fighting and taxes but had no voice in England's government (note that there were proposals in England to give them a voice in Parliament, but a certain rebellion prevented such moves from going anywhere...if they would have anyway). The teabaggers are not being called to arms, unless they volunteer, are not taxed any more under Obama than Bush (in fact may get more breaks), and have a full and equal voice in government.

    What they seem to want is entitlements. They want MORE than their share while paying LESS than their fair share of responsibilities. In other words, they are selfish as well as ill-informed.

    But their foolishness goes even deeper than simply misappropriating the symbolism of the colonists as a symbol of their own sense of selfish entitlement. They don't seem to realize that their own demands require paying taxes.

    The Teabaggers support the wars. Which cost money and have to be paid for by our taxes.

    The Teabaggers want tougher prison sentences and laws against "undesirables." Which means more prisons which our taxes have to pay for.

    The Teabaggers want harsher immigration laws and tougher enforcement of those laws. Which requires hiring more border agents who need to be paid from our tax money.

    The Teabaggers want more nuclear weapons, even though we already have more nukes than all other nations put together. Those are hugely expensive...and are paid for from tax money.

    The Teabaggers drive all over the country to express their selfish and ill-informed message. Which requires the interstate highway system, which was paid for and is maintained by taxes and fees.

    If a Teabagger is arrested and can't afford a lawyer, I suspect they will ask for a public defender...paid for by tax money.

    If a disaster hits their area, I suspect, just like the rest of us, the Teabagger will look to the government and FEMA for help.

    Teabaggers benefit from our police, firefighters, hospitals, schools, prisons, military, nuclear arsenal, bridges, roads, levees, etc. etc. etc.

    All paid for by taxes.

    So what the hell are these fools whining about? Do they want some kind of white male only tax exemption and an extra vote for all white males or something? Or do they even KNOW what they want? My guess is they do not.


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