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. JT


    April 15, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  2. Muhammad

    To me it is very un-American for these tea parties across the country. One minute, they want to improve the economy, on the next, they want less taxation. They should have throwing tea parties every year, not now that an African-American is President.

    Are the tea partier's upset because most of them make too much to benefit from tax credits? Is it because it helps poor Black Americans and poor White Americans?

    April 15, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. JS007

    This was organized by Fox "News", Dick Army and Newt Gingrich. Where were these fools while Bush was borrowing Trillions to give no-bid contracts to Halliburton and tax cuts to the big fish on Wall Street?

    These people do not even realize that Obama actually cut their taxes, and that all they are fighting for now is more tax cuts for the super-rich (per the new GOP budget), precisely the reason why America is so broke and in debt.

    April 15, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  4. jyoukno

    Why drag the kids into this? They don't understand what's going on! This is seriously just a bunch of phoney outrage.

    April 15, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. REED

    These activists are nothing but disgruntled Republicans yearning for the good old days of the Bush Administration.

    April 15, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  6. Gerry M, Eugene OR

    I’ve been paying taxes ever since I joined the work force, some forty years ago. I got used to paying taxes a long time ago. I can’t say it’s the most fun thing I get to do as a citizen of the USA; but it beats hell out of not paying taxes and living in a nation that is not as free as we are. Freedom costs money. I’m willing to pay my share so that my family, my friends and I can live in peace and harmony. Those that take to the streets with their self indulgent ‘tea parties’ should go visit places where the population doesn’t pay taxes; like Somalia for example. There you do not pay taxes like we do in the USA but you do get to live in a community that is not safe or even healthy for you and your family. I choose the best way to live; so I pay my fair share to enjoy the best place to live in the entire World. Don’t believe me; ask any immigrant, legal or otherwise, and they will tell you the USA is the best and that’s why I am proud to pay my taxes.

    April 15, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Too True For You

    It is interesting that the Chicago Tea Party web site was registered back in August of 2008. How can this be a grass roots movement about Obama if it was in the works well before he was even elected?

    It's obvious this is yet another right-wing media play financed by GOP heavies, and disguised to look like a grass roots movement. Fox News has shed their last minute remnants of credibility and won't shut up about it – so much for "Fair and Balanced".

    April 15, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. Alec, Washington DC

    The original Boston Tea Party was caffeinated by a very simple injustice: American Colonists refused to be taxed by a government that lacked any popular representation. That was remedied a few years later in a heroic struggle that stretched from Boston to Yorktown.

    These tea parties are organized by a disillusion group of Americans that need to take a few courses in Economics. The Obama administration is cutting taxes for all except the very richest of Americans. Reduced withholding is already showing up in millions of paychecks.

    Then again, this rash of tea parties is being organized not only by the pseudo-journalists at Fox News (with Glenn Beck, Neil Cavuto and Sean Hannity actively stoking the flames) but also by FreedomWorks, a conservative lobbying outfit headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. I suppose it was Armey's constitutional if morally dubious privilege to have built an entire political career out of defending the wealthy.

    Nobody I know is very pleased with the billions ladled out to teetering banks and corporations. Yet a clear majority of Americans are sophisticated enough to know that these bailouts are a necessary evil and are intended - unlike the lollipop Bush tax cuts - not for personal profit but rather as a radical, emergency measure to help Americans keep their jobs, their homes and their retirement.
    But are common folks actually going to dump Earl Grey into Santa Monica Bay because they are outraged, simply infuriated, by the marginal tax rate rising 3% for millionaires?

    Or maybe they'll do it for some other reason. The FreedomWorks site says the Tea Party movement began in reaction to President Obama's corporate bailouts and ensuing yawning budget deficits. These same conservatives, however, were mum when George W. Bush erased our budget surplus and put us deep in the red by drunken spending on a pointless war in Iraq and by, yes, granting massive tax rollbacks for the loaded country clubbers who fund the GOP (and Armey's FreedomWorks). Another bothersome detail: The bailouts were also initiated by Bush.

    April 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  9. steve

    I have no clue what these people are on about. Is it the Bush tax increases – because the amount of taxes we pay this year are thanks to the Bush administration.

    Is it the tax code? Is it a new way to be racist? Is it "socialism"? Because if is then I would want every one who attends or support this stupidity to claim right here and now that they will not be using Medicare or Medicaid, and will discontinue to pay into, or expect Social Security benefits.

    While I certainly support the right of these folks to demonstarte, and state there opinions, I lament the fact that the main result of these is to show their ignorance, fear, and knee jerk reactions instead of a serious atempt at dialogue that promotes healthy change.

    April 15, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  10. TCM

    what's funny is CNN is trying to make the Tea Party goers out to be some sort of radicals; like Napiltano implied. When, in actuality, Obama and his staff are the most UNAMERICAN group of people to step foot in Washington, short of muslim terrorists.....Americans need to unite with the cause stressed by the tax tea parties, Obama and his criminal staff are ruining this country.....

    April 15, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. Kelby In Houston, TX

    Ask and ye shall receive...the moderators know what I'm talkin about 😉

    I am glad that they have articulated the reasons why these guys are having these tea parties, the tax system and the recent bailouts.
    I really do hope that they are not protesting the recent tax cuts given to the middle class and the tax hike they are giving to the rich.
    Now that I think about it, I really don't know what their beef with the current tax system is.
    Please make sure you get lots of interviews from people who are participating and ask what they think is wrong with the tax system and more importantly what do they think we should do. Get suggestions.
    In response to your questions...
    Yes, Obama is doing the right things.
    No, the Repuglicans have not been smart in their opposition to the president's fiscal policies. Their response did not provide a viable alternative. Their response proves they have not learned from their mistakes and they really have nothing of substance to offer. And they keep proving this day after day.
    Yes, the tax code needs an overhaul and it is long overdue. I don't know enough about the tax code to provide suggestions.

    April 15, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. Patricia

    The Republican Party: The Party of "NO"

    The Republican have no room to talk considering the financial mess they put us in over the past 8 years.

    As for tax reform. Great! But it can't always be about 'cutting taxes" for the top 5%. Do Republicans have any ideas other than tax cuts for the wealthy?

    Obama is doing an outstanding job with what he got handed. Lest we have short-term or long-term memory loss, He didn't get us into the mess we are in today!!!

    April 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. Bob

    The fact that these people were silent while Bush racked up trillions of dollars of debt speaks for itself. We have to pay taxes now for the money he spent then. The Obama administration is addressing serious challenges like none we have ever seen before. I completely support the administration, and think the people who are protesting are hypocrites.

    April 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. am

    To sustain a democracy and a working government at any level a nation needs taxes. All this bull about overtaxing ... Reagan taxed people more and the Repubs weren't complaining then. Hypocrites one and all.

    April 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Greg in AR

    Everyone expects something from the government (military defense, social programs, road repairs….etc.) but they want someone else to pay for it.

    It’s kind’a like everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die first.

    Two things in life are certain : death and taxes.

    One thing is very certain: Until their dying day, everyone thinks THEIR SHARE of taxes is unfair.

    April 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. 29% of Americans are TRAITORS for wanting America to FAIL and 71% of Americans to SUFFER!

    "Join or Die"???

    The Party of NO truly are traitors advocating sedition!

    April 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  17. Patricia

    The Republican Party: The Party of "NO"
    NO new ideas
    NO Solutions
    NO Clue
    NO SHAME!!!!

    The Republican have no room to talk considering the financial mess they put us in over the past 8 years.

    As for tax reform. Great! But it can't always be about 'cutting taxes" for the top 5%. Do Republicans have any ideas other than tax cuts for the wealthy?

    Obama is doing an outstanding job with what he got handed. Lest we have short-term or long-term memory loss, He didn't get us into the mess we are in today!!!

    April 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. Kat

    If it's the bank bailouts they're protesting, then they're one administration too late!

    If it's Obama's financial plan they're protesting, then they're launching their protest way too soon to know if it's really going to work or not.

    But frankly, it sounds more like just another GOP endorsed stunt devised to create unrest in the country instead of a bonified action of unity to get people working together to get our country back on its collective feet.

    April 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. Jimmy the Greek

    The principles that forged this once-great nation are gone!

    We fought to rid ourselves of an over-bearing over-taxing Government (England).... only to create our own today.

    We fought for STATES RIGHTS and a small federal government which was to provide for the common defense. Boy has THAT changed!

    Liberty meant the freedom create your own wealth without fear of an overbearing bureacracy or taxes that would claim HALF of all your earnings!

    Liberty meant that HARD WORK was rewarded... that lazy and unemployed were forced to their Church or community for handouts.

    We became such a great nation that the only force capable of defeating us was the enemy within – liberal ideology of the godless.

    April 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. Robin

    For as much as the liberals scream "the last 8 years" we will say "the next 4 years."

    This spending is not good. It is not working. It is not creating jobs. It is not saving jobs.

    It is nothing but a bandaid and the small results we are seeing are temporary. In 2-4 years it will be higher taxes on everything, higher utility bills, and inflation. You thought Carter was bad, wait till you see the fall out from this.

    April 15, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    They are protesting the wrong thing, they should be protesting all the million of dollars in perks the GOP and others received for life, just like CEO's and their big bonuses. Wakeup and stop being used by the GOP.

    April 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  22. Drew

    I think it's very ironic that the people who are attending these tea parties for the most part don't make nearly enough money to be complaining about higher taxes. If you aren't making $250,000...you have no grounds to protest as your taxes aren't going up. If you smoke and are angry about the federal tax...you have no grounds to protest because you can quit smoking. If you are angry about the energy taxes....you have no grounds to protest because you can cut down on your energy usage. That said...if this is still a hot issue for you...write your member of Congress and get involved in the political process because no one in Washington gives two hoots whether a fringe group of people are throwing Arizona tea off of a pier. These people need to grow up and realized they will impact policy just about as much as the protests in London when President Obama visited....which is to say not at all.

    April 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. Mississippi Mike

    For those of us who actually pay taxes, it's nice to see that our peers have our best interest at heart. Unfortunately, unlike most professional protestors on the left, I have a job and can't make it to the local protest but my heart and commitment is with these tea parties.

    April 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    What do I think? I think that the GOP has sunk to a new low even for them. It's unfortunate that the GOP politicians have no other recourse than to work the most undereducated and misinformed of their constinuency into a frenzy of what amounts to nothing more than dirty anti-obama protesting. Allowing themselves, of coarse, not to be seen as "too involved" in all this nonsence, all the while asking for political donations. . .These "tea baggers" are the ignorant of ignorants, most of whom still question everything about our new President, including his citizenship and all the other garbage that was brought out during the election by Fox News and it's minions, most of whom seem to be nothing more than poor loosers and wimpering cry babies.

    April 15, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Lisa B

    Absolutely the Obama administration is doing exactly what is needed to fix the economic disaster left them by Bush/Cheney. Where the hell were the tea parties when Reagan began deregulation that led us to the bank failures of today? Where was the outrage when Bush/Cheney was spending us into oblivion for an unjust war and occupation that they lied us into? Where were the tea parties when Bush/Cheney gave the wealthiest the largest tax break in history? These right wing nuts are unbelieveable, aren't they? As soon as they spew their venom courtesy of Limpballs and Insannity, et. al, they are all going to their weekly skin head meetings to hear speeches from the klan leaders. Here in Florida, the local tea party-goers are from Ava Maria and their signs are mostly anti-abortion and Obama haters. I wonder how many Timothy McVeigh's are are in the crowds today? You can't fix stupid.

    April 15, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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