It was suggested to me by a friend who identifies himself as a Democrat that I attend the April 15th, 2010 “Tea Party” in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Modern day Tea Parties borrow the concept from the original in order to voice concerns about a growing federal government bureaucracy that’s out of control with waste, fraud and abuse. My liberal friend wanted to watch the “insanity” of the rally and write about his experience. I am happy to write a counter-article to refute his nonsensical opinions. Even President Obama says he is “amused” by the Tea Party movement. Mr. President, and my liberal friend, you may want to take us more seriously.
Liberals purport that today’s Tea Party rally is intended to reject any and all tax payment. That is not true. Of course we need funding for a national defense infrastructure, limited government regulatory agencies, and programming for those in need. At the Tea Party, I read signs and heard speeches that communicated the rejection of excessive taxation, wasteful government spending, and the intrusion of our constitutional rights. Clearly, America is in financial duress and we are bankrupting our nation. If you are in doubt of this fact, simply google “U.S. National Debt Clock.” It is forecast that the interest on the national debt will be one trillion dollars by the year 2020. That’s a 1 followed by 12 zeros just for the interest, people! If you spent $10 million a day it would take you 273 years to spend $1 trillion.
Organizers of the Tea Parties were invested in holding a peaceful gathering of Americans expressing their opinions, thus preserving the reputation and intention of the movement. Liberals seemed dedicated to the idea that the rally would be an assembly of mentally ill racists with offensive pickets in hand. The liberal administration and main stream media mock and reticule the Tea Party movement. Even former President Clinton erroneously spread fear that this movement would turn into a domestic terrorist threat. Just like the president, I am “amused” by these accusations.
The rally that I experienced was a diplomatic and energetic collection of individuals concerned about the direction of our burdensome government. Those in opposition of the Tea Party were easy to locate thanks to bright yellow signs with a large black arrow pointing to the person in disagreement. I saw such a sign labeled “saboteur” above a young man. He appeared to be under the legal age to vote and wore a gray tank-top which read: “Jesus was a Middle Easterner Jew who gave out free health care.” I walked towards him as he breathlessly debated with a tea party attendee. I noticed that the young man’s shirt was wet. I assume someone gently poured water on him as to relieve him of the South Florida heat. A wet tank top was the extent of the ruckus or violence I saw.
I find the underage voter’s tank top message ridiculous for two reasons. First, I hope the 16-ish year-old realizes that our National Health Care is not free. Let me explain: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are the three big social entitlement programs that account for over 40% of our federal budget. These programs have future unfunded liabilities of over 100 trillion dollars. Realistically, you cannot tax the rich enough to cover this budget deficit. This is why several economists are suggesting additional taxes such as a “VAT” (Value-Added Tax) on top of our existing current taxes. Now we have added ANOTHER entitlement program, “National Health Care” that the current administration says will be deficit neutral. Common sense tells me that there is absolutely no chance that we can insure 30+ million people and it not cost us anything. The first three entitlement programs have cost much more than originally estimated and has run huge budget deficits. Maybe Jesus was able to give free health care, but WE will certainly be paying for our health care with money we don’t have. Perhaps we can borrow some more money from China. That sounds like a good idea. More than 47% of Americans pay no income tax. No wonder they vote in politicians that promise free government money and entitlement programs, they have no skin in the game. “Tax the rich” is their mantra.
Secondly, I am perplexed by the teen’s choice to use Jesus as an example to support his invalid point. I thought liberals wanted to abolish any representation of Christianity in this country in order to avoid offending anyone. I don’t believe Jesus suggested that we use government as the middle man in our giving to those in need. Under the new National Health Care, the government will decide who is unable to pay and will receive free health care courtesy from us who can pay. This is an example of forced redistribution of wealth. This charity from the government called “social justice” is not the free will of the people and certainly not what Jesus did. I believe voluntarily giving to private charities is a much better way to take care of those in need.
As the Tea Party came to a close, we were encouraged by one of the speakers to dispose of debris as to not be labeled “filthy animals” by critical liberals. I chuckled to myself as I looked around for litter and found a card from the Sunshine Republicans (a Republican gay & lesbian group) with a red condom taped to it. The note read, “Use condom sense, Vote Republican.”
I went to introduce myself to the Sunshine Republicans and asked them how they respond to criticism from liberals for supporting conservative ideals. One of the representatives from the group told me that he believed that “the so-called ‘gay agenda’ is defined by the left through a narrow prism of legislative goals.” He elaborated that he believed there are many important priorities that receive little attention from the gay community. Liberals will likely criticize the gay community for supporting conservatism due to the impression that all Republicans do not support gay rights. Many Republicans, like myself, are accepting and supportive of Americans from various walks of life.
The current administration has proposed more than $5 trillion in additional spending and $1.4 trillion in new taxes. It is not surprising that Americans react to these changes with apprehension. I’m not interested in giving more of my hard earned paycheck to the government so they can foolishly squander it. Look at all the waste in the current government. This administration admits that $500 billion could be saved with the elimination of fraud, waste and abuse in entitlement programs alone.
The purpose of the Tea Party movement was to give voice to what I consider to be common sense ideas. Tea Partiers believe the message is about being pragmatic. We want a smaller government, less taxes, and more freedom to exercise our constitutional rights. Alan Greenspan says, “Whatever you tax, you get less of.” Think about it. If you overtax someone because they fall into the higher income bracket, they will be less likely to invest, take business risks, or charitably donate their resources. Forced government initiatives shrink motivation, ambition and independence. How can we strengthen the weak by weakening the strong? I choose to support the vision of lower taxation and a thriving economy through our free market system. Our tax system is unfair and it needs to be revised in order to be more equitable so that everyone has a vested interest. Our goal should be to enhance prosperity by supporting those who have achieved success, and enhance opportunities for all Americans to be successful.