“I think we need to think hard about these tea parties. You had people in the streets. You had thousands of people in the streets.”
“Finally, in desperation, my critics said that it is not actually the level of taxation today that they are protesting. It’s the implicit tax resulting from large federal deficits that really concerns them.
I might have been willing to buy this argument except for the fact that these same people justified a huge tax cut in 2001 on the grounds that large budget surpluses, which had arisen toward the end of Bill Clinton’s administration, were proof of over-taxation since the government was taking in more revenue than it needed to pay its bills.
Furthermore, the conservative line for the last eight years was that budget deficits don’t matter, as Vice President Dick Cheney famously remarked when Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill raised concerns about them at a cabinet meeting in 2002…
Still, all movements must start somewhere. If the April 15 tea parties are really about more than just electing Republicans and increasing Fox News ratings, I may join them next year. In the meantime, protestors need to do a better job of figuring out what they are protesting and devise a real plan for dealing with our nation’s fiscal problem. Otherwise, their efforts will amount to nothing more than hot air.”