Friday, April 17, 2009

Taxes And Teabags

This past Wednesday was April 15, the deadline in the U.S. for filing one’ taxes. This year I expect to get money back from both the state and federal governments, which is a nice change of pace from the past few years, when the tax authorities of both the state and federal governments seized my tax returns (without due process of course).

This year, April 15 was marked with “Tea Party” protests around the country, to protest the high rate of taxation, excessive deficit spending by the government, and other tax-related ills. I did not take part in any of the “Tea Party” protests. They seemed a co-opted coalition of libertarians and mainstream conservative Republicans that are right to oppose the Obama administration but don’t have a unified platform to be effective.

Despite what many of my conservative friends and fellow libertarians believe, Obama is no socialist. You don’t get over $800 million in campaign contributions (without federal matching funds) if you’re a socialist. More outrageous than any of his spendthrift economic policies—which are really only slightly more left-leaning versions of the previous administration’s policies and at least grounded in plausible economic theory—is his forgive-and-forget outlook on the crimes of the Bush White House. Yesterday, Obama ruled out prosecuting Bush administration officials involved in approving the torture of suspected terrorists. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss…

But what these protests did achieve was greater recognition of the term “Tea bagging.” Tax protesters brandished tea bags and even planned to sling tea bags in the direction of the White House. Of course the tea party theme is a reference to the Boston Tea Party, a great patriotic act of protest in pre-Revolutionary America. But tea bagging—the practice of lowering one’s scrotum on an unsuspecting victim—is now more widely known. For that, I am very thankful.

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