April 15th, 2009
11:54 AM ET
14 years ago

Tea Party: Will you be drinking or dunking?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/15/art.teaparty1.gi.jpg caption="Activists nationwide are holding gatherings on Tax Day, April 15."]WASHINGTON (CNN) – Finger sandwiches won't be served, but there will be a lot of frustration brewing about the current tax system at "Tea Parties" being held Wednesday across the nation.

Activists are holding these events on tax day to voice their opposition to the current tax system and the federal government's spending decisions, such as bailing out the banks and the auto industry.

So, what do you think? Have President Obama and Congress taken the right steps to help the ailing economy? Have Republicans been smart to oppose his fiscal policies? Does the tax code need an overhaul?

Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.

Here are some CNN stories about the nationwide "Tax Day Tea Party":

Activists gear up for national 'Tax Day Tea Party'

GOP uses tax day to raise money

GOP encourages supporters to send virtual tea bags to top Dems

Listen: CNN Radio analyzes the politics of Tax Day

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (670 Responses)
  1. Jim

    @ T from MO,

    You make a good point. What is fair? Is it fair that everyone pays the same tax rate? It's certainly equal, but not necessarily fair. Is it fair that someone born to a low income family that never had a chance at a good education, is forced into a low income job, and then has their tax rate increased to the equal "fair" tax rate which only prevents them further from improving their financial situation. Is that fair?

    Is it fair to give extremely wealthy people a tax cut so they can invest the money to create low paying jobs while they are making even more money further down the road from the investment? Is that fair? Is it really fair to tax everyone at the same rate when it is a fact that each additional dollar brings less added "happiness" then the last dolllar? Is it?

    If you take $2,400 away from someone making $20,000 a year that's likely to be two months of living expenses. If you take 240,000 from someone making $2,000,000 that's likely to be one less porshe they could buy. Is that fair?

    I'm just asking.

    April 15, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. Brian

    Let's see, where were these people when Bush doubled our National Debt and we as Americans got: 1. Tax cuts for the rich, 2. A trillion dollar war with Iraq, 3. Katrina? What tangible came from all that Spending? Obama may be spending too, but he wants 1. Infrastructure improvement, 2. Healthcare reform, 3. Medicare and Medicaid reform, 4. Better education, 5. Better Environmental policies and green energy solutions. I can't think of anything better to spend taxpayer money on! Spending on these priorities now will save us money down the road. All of Obama's programs will help the most Americans and boo hoo if the haters and anti-tax people don't like it. You had your 8 years of power and look where it got us. Shut up and stop whining you darn hypocrites! You republicans need serious alone time without Rush or Sean or Glenn to think about how stupid you look to people all over this country. Think for yourself!

    April 15, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. Gale

    Why don't we all do what the wealthy Democrats do, don't pay our taxes at all!!

    April 15, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    Anyone who questions the Status Quo is a patriot. We needed more patriots during the Bush years. But moving forward we need to keep Obama honest.

    April 15, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. Matt

    To read these comments you can see the difference is not between the left and the right but between those who think of the future and those who just think about right now.

    This is a protest against both the left and the right for creating a bill none of them read. Ever bother to think of who wrote that Stimulus Bill so fast? How was it written so fast and no one read it? Obama lied when he said he would read it and we would have a chance to read it before it ever got signed. What was so important that we could not read it? We are without accountable representation in government.

    April 15, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Rorschach

    Ah, the stench of paranoia....

    April 15, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |

    I hate Republicans. This demonstrates how low they will go.
    If they really cared about our country, they would help Obama.
    The LAST thing Obama needs, right now is the Republican
    outrage to Obama trying to solve the problems created by their
    hero, Mr. Bush.

    I have to hurry and switch the channel when I see fat face Rove,
    Hannity, Limbaugh, Boehner, Cheney, Bush, Coleman from Minnesota, Sarah Palin, or McCain. They are making fools of
    themselves! Totally disrespecting our President and the good,
    hard working citizens of the USA. And what do other countries

    April 15, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. Marty, FL

    My former GOP is not being smart at all. First of all, these tea parties are historically inaccurate, since this is not taxation without representation. Many of these individuals will actually benefit under President Obama's plan and receive tax breaks.

    The tea parties also exasperate Republican hypocrisy. Where were these "conservative" cries during the past several years when President Bush and his GOP were wasting tax dollars on an unnecessary war and other irresponsible spending? It does not give them credibility.

    President Obama and Congress are at least focusing on making improvements for our country this time, which appears to be leading our country back on the right path.

    April 15, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. Nan

    Dear "troubled" – You are an idiot! It's the Democratic "labor" workers who are making the Republican "management" owners rich, and getting nothing to show for it except grief, bankruptcy, foreclosures, and pink slips! Go nibble your cavier and sip your champagne and leave honest, Democratic, working people alone!

    April 15, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. baker

    Does anyone remember (from "back in the day" when they actually taught history and civics), that the Boston Tea Party was in fact a protest against the East India Tea Company. The East India Tea Company was the largest corporation in the world at that time (think Walmart), and they were given a huge tax break on their goods that would've driven every other tea shop or tea house out of business. Given the fact that tea shops and tea houses then were as common as Starbuck's is now, and were all "Mom & Pop" companies, you could see why there might be a bit of a fuss from the public at large. Also, tea houses were "respectable" places for the "rabble" to congregate (unlike the public houses which served spirits and ale).

    April 15, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. John

    I think it's terribly ironic that the GOP is setting up protests today- I mean, wasn't is Bush that first bailed out the banks, wasn't it Bush that pushed the first stimulus package, wasn't is Bush that completely destroyed our economy and forced those in charge to take drastic action to fix it? Now, they're all upset with how they're fixing it. It's interesting how the GOP can destroy something and want nothing to do with fixing it. Unless of course it gives tax breaks to those who don't really need it...

    For instance, while John McCain has been in the senate, he's voted every time, to raise the pay of senators and every time, he's voted to NOT raise the minimum wage.... just another way the GOP helps out the ones with the most, and treats everyone else like garbage...

    April 15, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. Buff Given Los Angeles CA.

    While I have the utmost compassion for my fellow Americans who have lost jobs, homes,retirement benefits et al, it have nothing but scorn for those politicians who are fomenting more trouble and anger to no constructive end. Where are these people coming from? Apparently those who speak about "Taxpayer money" being spent to revive the economy (ruined by the stiff-necked power hungry, greedy republicans) are unaware of the fact that every single penny spent at every level of government, be it local, county, state or federal is tax payer money. Don't they want taxpayers to pay for their salaries and health care and the tuition of their children etc. etc. It is absolutely fascinating to me that those who caused this mess are gathering people around them to help obfuscate the truth, the wrongdoing of the last administration.

    April 15, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. "new" GOP

    Tea parties. Pitiful that these clowns don't get that they're in better shape under Obama (unless these fools are all making huge coin - doubtful based on their intelligence).
    GOP quickly becoming irrelevant...excuse me while I sob (sniffle)
    OK my mourning is over.

    April 15, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. WKD

    I'm in Chicago, and went to the Daley Center and the Federal Building to see the turnout. The Daley Center event didn't even happen. A lone guy at the corner was directing a handful of people to the Federal Building, but even there the turnout was VERY SMALL given the national attention this is getting.

    This movement will never gain any significant momentum because there's no cohesive message, a concrete call to action, or what tangible result they want to achieve. I saw signs protesting everything from taxes, Obama, the Fed, Socialism, Communism, mortgages etc.

    Don't even get me started on how these supposedly "bipartisan grassroots" movements have been simultaneously launched and hijacked by the Republican Party – this angle has been amply revealed already, even by the tea party's own website!

    April 15, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. Sean O'Gara

    It's National Hissy Fit Day. Republicans need to get over losing the election, which is precisely what they told Democrats to do in 2000. It's worth noting that none of these folks seem to have objected to the record Federal deficit incurred by President Bush nor the first $700 billion installment of TARP – which happened on Bush's watch. This is pure partisan politics, not anything remotely like a legitimate grassroots uprising.

    People, President Obama is going to raise taxes on only 5% of the population (and even for these people the rate of taxation will still be lower than it was under Reagan). The rest of us will get a tax cut. He's not going to take your guns or your Bibles. He's not going to institute Sharia law. There are no detainment compounds, and no plans for brainwashing American children in re-education camps. Get a grip, for cryin' out loud.

    The GOP has become deeply silly. That's a shame, because this country thrives when the two-party system is vibrant. Right now it's Joe the Plumber, Newt, Rush, and Glenn Beck – what a gang of clowns. They provide no basis for national discussion, just constant outrage about imagined disasters just over the horizon.

    Reality, folks, reality. You ought to try it sometime.

    April 15, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. Kim from Kona

    These TEA parties are for what? No taxes? If these old, rich white Republicans want zero taxes, then how can we ever repay the national debt they keep complaining about, without giving any solutions, except cut taxes. Lame, lame, lame. Get a life.

    April 15, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  17. Jay

    When 20 percent of the population pay most (soon all) of the taxes and 50 percent do not pay anything, that's called socialism. It's simply a reditribution of wealth. This country is going own a dangerous road toward disaster. I fear 5 years from now we will not recognize it. We need to act now to preserve this great nation!!!!

    April 15, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. SMJ

    Well put, Terry! If these people would care to listen to the TRUTH, they would realize that President Obama's plan is to REDUCE their taxes. Geez...no wonder the world just sits back and laughs at us.

    April 15, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    @ CDL, who claimed "You do realize that things like cap-and-trade will increase your energy costs by 30% because they are going to increase the taxes astronomically on the energy companies? "

    Wrong. MIT scientists did a study that showed it would increase the annual price of energy for most homes by approximately $340. That's not 30%. It's not even clsoe to 10% for the vast majority of homes. You need to do more independent research rather than simply believing what you're told by people like Boehner (who, by the way, received a letter from those MIT scientists reprimanding him for mis-quoting and misusing their study results).

    April 15, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  20. truthsayer

    Wake me when the comedy of errors is over

    April 15, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  21. Patrick

    "Chris Dodd and Barney Frank had more to do with the economic collapse than the Bush administration did."

    Please provide proof... of course you didn't because you can't. It was lax regulation that was the issue. Brought about by Phil Gramm and Citigroup.

    April 15, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  22. rob

    Lets try this again

    Lots of love here as usual.

    What they are turning out for is the outrageous baliouts from both parties and the crazy spending along with it.

    This is not an attack against Obama, its about the spending policies of his admin, someone has to pay for it and the"RICH" don't have enough weath combined to pay for this.

    Notice the story about the "RIGHT WING EXTREMIST'S" threat that was just leaked by the Obama admin, the intention is to stir up fear of anyone who doesn;t support the admins policies.

    I thought Bush was the fear monger.

    April 15, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. Mike Mc

    I don't want to contribute to the greater good of our nation! ITS ALL FOR ME ME ME ME ME ME Mwaahahahahah!!!!

    April 15, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  24. The dumb getting Dumber

    I want to believe that those protesting are making more than $250k. I would suggest to them to ask people who have lost their jobs in the past few months whether they would prefer to replace them at their jobs, pay taxes and have all the basic things of life provided to them at a lower cost with an upfront investment, than be out of work and pay no taxes. Ask yourself or a student or a business owner this question, before you buy a house or acquire a degree or employs a person for a job, anticipating a return or growth on whatever you embark upon, there is always a cost incurred before you see the returns of such decision.

    I just think that before people make complaints about the Obama administration, they should snap out of their memory loss of what has happened in the past and think about how we got here and how we can all make this country to work again and even better. Before there is any solution to anything, there must have been a problem or mistake, it cost something to fix a mistake or problem, ortherwise, you have not learnt thaty there is a problem.

    April 15, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  25. Vick

    This makes me sick. Where were the tea parties when Bush was running up our debt. President Obama has cut the middle class taxes, but will raise the taxes for the wealthy (which hasn't been done yet)? This is not clear to me. What about the taxes are they protesting?

    April 15, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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