Tax Day and Tea Parties: The writing on the wall

posted at 8:48 am on April 15, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

It’s Tax Day, and across America, tens of thousands of Americans plan to attend Tea Party rallies.  Our friend Andrew Malcolm notes the apparent irony of a Gallup poll that shows Americans more satisfied than historical norms about the taxes they pay.  However, Gallup’s poll relates to what we pay today — and not what we’ll pay in the future:

The new survey purports that a plurality of Americans (48%) think they’re paying just about the right amount in taxes. Traditionally in American society, just the right amount in taxes is zero.

But now taxpayers are like Goldilocks on her third bowl of borrowed bear porridge. It’s just right.

A slightly smaller group that apparently drinks bottled water (46%) thinks taxes are too high.

No, really.

On this annual day of financial reckoning with the Washington crowd of talking suits spending way more money than we’re all paying combined, more Americans apparently think they’re getting their money’s worth.

Perhaps the Gallup poll does reflect the future after all.  If 48% believe that their taxes are just right, it might be because that’s the exact same percentage that will pay zero in the near future, according to Barack Obama’s tax policies.  With Obama’s emphasis on refundables, 48.7% of Americans will wind up paying no income tax at all.  For them, zero is the right amount, and they have no reason to be unhappy … yet.

Unfortunately, in a short period of time, even those people will have to start paying taxes, and not in small amounts:

The Obama administration will be hard-pressed to avoid raising taxes on the middle class, according to economists crunching federal budget numbers in the lead-up to tax return day — today, April 15.

President Obama’s proposed changes to the tax code, combined with exploding entitlement costs, will lead to ever-growing debt, according to independent estimates. The big question for Obama and his economic team will be whether he can meet the rising costs with increased tax revenue only from small slices of the electorate. …

“You just simply can’t tax the rich enough to make this all up,” said Martin A. Sullivan, a former economic aide in the Reagan administration who said he backed Obama last fall.

“Especially just for getting the budget to a sustainable level, there needs to be a broad-based tax increase,” said Sullivan, now a contributing editor at Tax Analysts publications. “If you want to do healthcare on top of that, almost certainly, it just makes [a middle-class tax increase] all the more certain.”

What’s the debt they’re discussing?  Time to break out the projected deficit chart again:

At some point, we have to start paying these bills, and when we do, it will hammer the middle class.

That’s what drives the Tea Parties — not taxes today, but all of the spending that will eventually require crushing taxes to resolve.  The Obama administration plans a spending spree unlike anything outside of world wars in our history, and wants to sell a fantasy that only the rich have to pay for it.  It’s ridiculous on its face.  The amounts are staggeringly high, and even 100% confiscation wouldn’t begin to cover it.

We will try to get Tea Party updates during the Ed Morrissey Show today, starting at 3 pm ET.  Don’t miss a minute.

Update: Michelle has the history of Tea Parties, and notes that it all began with Porkulus.


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