Bag the Teabagging

By David Swanson

The Charlottesville Daily Progress’, my local newspaper, like yours, has a resident rightwinger. In this case: Bryan McKenzie (imagine if they had a leftist too, the additional readers they could pick up!). McKenzie, like the guy at your paper, is taking his marching orders from Fox News and promoting a teabagging tax day tea party on April 15th. (In this case: at the Charlottesville Pavilion from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday.)

Sadly, those involved in these events across the nation support tax policies more in line with King George than with most colonists, passionately fighting for tax breaks for millionaires and corporations at their own expense.  Many of them even support the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and the thousand bases we maintain in countries around the world quite regardless of anyone’s declarations of independence. And most participants almost certainly have not the slightest nderstanding that over half of every dollar of income tax in the United States goes to wars and the military. Instead, they are furious about the vastly teenier expenses of education, healthcare, job creation — you know, the things that actually benefit the protesters themselves.  A lot of them have been trained to blame the victims of predatory loans for the fact that our children’s money is being stolen to bailout the people who bought those loans from the people who bought those loans from the people who deceived the borrowers into accepting them. Meanwhile, the families that lost their equity or their home get nothing, except the blame.

But there is a central point to Wednesday’s poorly named protests that those involved have exactly right: It is sheer insanity for our government to be shelling out trillions of dollars to Wall Street robber barons who, rather than trickling any of it down to the rest of us, simply turn around and suck up more in increased rates and fees. This policy was launched by a Republican president and Democratic Congress and is being expanded by a Democratic President and Democratic Congress, albeit a Congress that clings tightly to the filibuster excuse rather than changing the rule that allows representatives of 11 percent of the country to run it. The bankster bailout constitutes theft from our children on behalf of an oligarchy regardless of what partisan label it wears. Americans across the political spectrum oppose it.  In fact only 6 percent of us support it. There is an opportunity here to build a movement that cuts across partisan lines, but top-down event organizing by Fox News won’t build a lasting movement. An attempt that has a better chance is the grassroots coalition growing at http://anewwayforward.org

If you make it to your local teabagging event, please consider bringing a large stack of these educational flyers:

http://afterdowningstreet.org/teabag

Flyers to take to teabag rallies:

Large jpg. PDF. Word. Old Word.

NB: Bryan McKenzie cites an even larger estimate than $8.4 trillion and the true cost is undoubtedly many times that, to which must be added the cost of a real solution when this doomed insanity ends.

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