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    Default Civil unrest: National tea party, tax revolt

    I'll be expanding on this issue of potential civil unrest that could ensue in the coming years, perhaps going from peaceful protest to violent discord. For now I am glad to see that all the people who are fed up with the government at this point are banding together in a peaceful way, but what I wish to expand on later is the dangerous potential of that unrest and disenfranchisement to develop into something ugly, born from a number of divisive issues that face us today. For now, let me share something that happened today:

    Today, about 40 cities nation wide held "tea party" demonstrations as a protest to the government spending and raising taxes. I would've gone to my local "tea party" in San Diego, but couldn't make it. They had about 500 people show up for the demonstration. I spoke to someone who lives in St. Louis, and their demonstration had about 1100~1500 people show up. The events got a fair amount of media coverage that will most likely keep building as things move forward.


    Budget debate launches new tea party | csmonitor.com

    Budget debate launches new tea party

    By Patrik Jonsson | Staff Writer/ February 27, 2009 edition

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    ATLANTA

    Several thousand neopatriots – some shouting “Give me liberty or give me death!” – took to the streets in over 30 US cities Friday, representing what some of them call the beginning of a new conservative counterculture in America.

    “The spark has been lit,” says Ben Mihalski, a “house husband” from Cobb County, Ga., one of at least 300 protesters who gathered in a hefty downpour outside the Georgia Capitol on Friday to protest what they see as profligate spending by Washington.

    Protesters with sign-slogans like “Pillage and plunder: At least the Vikings did it openly” fanned out across capitols and courthouses in cities from Nashville, Tenn., to Los Angeles, objecting to bailouts and policy changes since the inauguration of President Obama.

    The Tea Party USA movement also added some symbolic flourish, vowing to gather tens of thousands of tea bags to be dumped on the floor of the US Congress. In Atlanta, the brand was Luzianne.

    Critics call the protests a predictably partisan, ill-informed and unhelpful development in the midst of a deep-sink US recession.

    But the largely grassroots show of force hints at a sharpening thorn for Democrats and a potential powder keg that could threaten to blow ahead of the 2010 congressional elections.

    “It’s worth remembering that the rise of the New Right and the Christian Right, one after the other, were both spurred by tax issues, the whole idea of paying for things they don’t believe in,” says sociologist Eugenia Deerman at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston who studies conservative social movements.

    To be sure, the federal spending package includes tax cuts for most Americans, and Obama has promised to eventually halve a US deficit the Democrats have largely blamed on the Bush administration.

    But protesters like Kevin Tanner of South Dakota said deficit spending by both parties has unnerved Americans.
    “The Republicans have their own problems because we elected them and they didn’t do what we wanted,” says Mr. Tanner.
    Many protesters expressed a sense that basic American freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are threatened by new Washington policies seen by many as more socialistic than capitalistic. The proposed taxpayer bailout of homeowners who may have inflated their earnings in order to secure mortgages is one example, says Jeff Crawford, a protester from Dacula, Ga.

    “The first year after the Mayflower arrived, the colonists tried a communal method of storing and sharing food and it failed miserably,” says Mr. Crawford. “Why are things any different now?”

    Eighteenth-century symbolism was rife at the Atlanta event as speakers drew comparisons with the Boston patriots who dumped the King’s tea in Boston Harbor to protest taxation without representation, an act that began the American Revolution and the founding of the United States.

    Some kids at the Atlanta protest wore tri-cornered hats, and one held a sign that said, “When I grow up I want to be free.”
    In Tampa, two dozen protesters held handwritten signs with slogans like “Keep Your Bailout; I’ll Keep My Freedom.” About 300 people showed up in 25-degree weather in Wichita, Kansas, and someone brought a pig.

    In St. Louis, local media expected about 50 people to show up while actual turnout surged to over 1,000 people.

    Sparked in part by the unity of House Republicans in saying no to the $787 billion stimulus package and a well-publicized rant against a proposed mortgage bailout by CNBC reporter Rick Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the protests represent the largest turnout of conservative activists since the anti-gun control rallies of the early 1990s, says Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform.

    “Fiscal responsibility is the new counterculture, and that’s what we’re seeing here,” says conservative columnist and blogger Michelle Malkin. “People were so mad about how the bill was passed, not just what was in it, and the lack of deliberation that preceded the signing.”

    “It’s given voice to a fledgling grassroots movement … a ragtag bunch of homeschooling moms and little bloggers and a lot of people who are really deciding to get into grassroots activism for the first time,” she says.

    How grassroots the movement really is, is debatable, says Ms. Deerman at Eastern Illinois University. “I’m suspicious only because … the conservative movement has repeatedly used this tactic of creating an appearance of grassroots activism when they’re actually very well orchestrated,” she says. “It allows them to mask this ongoing ideological battle that’s super-invested in small government, low taxes, and a free market.”

    The protests have happened with remarkable speed, spread by Twitter and Facebook groups and the now famous TV rant by Mr. Santelli, who yelled “It’s lunacy!” as he complained about the spending package. The White House has fueled the fire, protesters say, by taking on conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh and even Mr. Santelli by name. Some rallies that took place Friday were organized in less than 48 hours and had a raw, unrehearsed edge to them.

    “One of the challenges the Bush administration had when they decided to invade Iraq … was they took the MoveOn.org institution from a sleepy group apologizing for Clinton’s personal behavior and turned it into a juggernaut,” says Mr. Norquist. He says a similar phenomenon is happening now with the tea party movement. “When you do things that poke the other team, they react.”

    The tea party phenomenon has largely been derided by progressives who say it’s fueled by big-money Republican interests opposed to the philosophical shift in Washington that they say will benefit working class Americans.

    “Something tells me … that the Republican leadership has a lot more tea parties to throw – and a long way down the rabbit hole to fall – before they see what really concerns Americans nowadays,” writes Huffington Post blogger Jeffrey Feldman.
    But Mr. Crawford, one of the protesters, says it’s not easy to get conservatives to take to the streets. The protests, he say, speak to a deepening concern about the direction of the country, especially future tax obligations.

    He says the $13-a-week tax cut for individual Americans included in the stimulus bill is small change when it comes to the tax implications of the country’s growing deficit, now tagged at $1.75 trillion. In a recent study, the Rockefeller Institute estimates that states will have to raise at least an extra $100 billion in revenue to cover new obligations once the stimulus bill monies run out in 2012.

    Calls to roll back the spending bill are farfetched, protesters agreed, but said the real prize is the 2010 Congressional elections.

    “These protests remind people that there’s opposition to taxpayer-funded bailouts, and people in the streets means that Americans will be asking, ‘Why are they objecting? Tell me what’s happening here,’” says Norquist.

    Given the dramatic circumstances of the Boston Tea Party, tax revolts are actually quite unusual in the US.

    “The most interesting thing about the American people is that we are generally compliant in paying taxes, and tax revolts that seem surprising here are fairly common in a country like France where those farmers, if they get upset, they simply don’t pay,” says Mary Segers, a political scientist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. “Americans are a strange people with respect to taxes, so this revolt is very interesting for that reason alone.”
    News 8:: KFMB Stations, San Diego, California-"Tea Party" Held To Protest Stimulus Bill

    Hundreds Flock Waterfront For Anti-Stimulus Rally - San Diego News Story - KGTV San Diego

    Hundreds Flock Waterfront For Anti-Stimulus Rally

    SAN DIEGO -- Protesters lined both sides of the street along Harbor Drive Friday hoping their message reaches Washington, D.C.

    The group gathered to protest higher taxes, the handling of the current economic crisis and government spending.

    "They keep borrowing, borrowing and borrowing," said one protester.
    Click here to find out more!

    The group, in particular, raised concern over the nearly $800 billion stimulus package.

    One protestor described the package as "'Doo doo' economics … trying to raise taxes in a recession."

    Last week, President Barack Obama said the government is the only institution that could help in this crisis.

    "With the private sector so weakened by this recession, the fed government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back to life," said Obama.

    Friday's event along Harbor Drive was dubbed "The San Diego Tea Party," and was organized as part of the nationwide Chicago Tea Party.

    The group is urging Congress to repeal irresponsible spending bills – or voters will retire lawmakers at the ballot box next year.

    "I think we do need to do something to help people who are suffering, but this plan is not it. We need to put money in the hands of small business owners; they are people who are going to invest in the economy," said one protester.

    Not everyone agreed with the rally, like Mary Eichler, a visitor from Chicago.

    "I'm an Obama supporter. I do believe he's bringing change. Nobody has the answer but he does have some bright minds on his side," said Eichler.

    Protesters said if the Obama administration doesn't change its ways it won't be hundreds lining the streets next time -- it could be tens of thousands.

    "We're going to scream loud enough for them to hear us all the way in Washington. Mr. Obama, stay out of our pockets," said one protester.
    The Tea Party (Again) as Political Protest - Ideas Blog - NYTimes.com

    The Tea Party (Again) as Political Protest

    Politics | The rise of the tea party as a form of protest against Obama-era spending: an article reports that more than 40 of them have been scheduled nationwide, many today, taking their cue from the CNBC analyst Rick Santelli’s call for a new “tea party” from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The Santelli clip has become a YouTube sensation.

  2. #2
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Back when the Vietnam war as going on, there were protests with half of a million people participating. My prediction with this "Tea Party" anti-stimulus movement is that it's a complete dud. Let me know if these protests ever break into the 100,000+ mark.

    The real test is whether that many individuals will actually refuse stimulus aid/benefits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Back when the Vietnam war as going on, there were protests with half of a million people participating. My prediction with this "Tea Party" anti-stimulus movement is that it's a complete dud. Let me know if these protests ever break into the 100,000+ mark.

    The real test is whether that many individuals will actually refuse stimulus aid/benefits.
    Please don't compare war and taxes, especially not a war protest movement that was driven by the inherent character of an entire generation.

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    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    The irony is that most of the people in those protests will be getting a tax cut, from the stimulus package. Very amusing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    The irony is that most of the people in those protests will be getting a tax cut, from the stimulus package. Very amusing.
    That is actually bull shit. That amazing $13 a week that Obama is giving tax payers is TAXABLE INCOME. Next year you're going to have to pay taxes on the crap in addition to paying for the other means they will be using in the future to pay for all their massive expenditures. Every tax payer is on the hook for the government's spending.

    Here in CA they are arranging protests over the legislature's decision to give us the highest state tax increase in the history of the nation, a move that will drive us deeper into recession. Some in the government are having to make calls for a constitutional convention to completely restructure our government, something that can also be done through bankruptcy. In any case, any possible relief we could've gotten from this stimulus package is completely obliterated by the tax increases.

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    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    You're not making sense. $13 a week? It will be different for everyone depending on income, if you're going to college, home-owners, if you have children...

    For anyone wanting to learn about the tax cuts in the stimulus bill and whether you qualify or not:

    * $116 billion: New payroll tax credit of $400 per worker and $800 per couple in 2009 and 2010. Phaseout begins at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for joint filers. [30]
    * $70 billion: Alternative minimum tax: a one year increase in AMT floor to $70,950 for joint filers for 2009.[30]
    * $15 billion: Expansion of child tax credit: A $1,000 credit to more families (even those that do not make enough money to pay income taxes).
    * $14 billion: Expanded college credit to provide a $2,500 expanded tax credit for college tuition and related expenses for 2009 and 2010. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $160,000.
    * $6.6 billion: Homebuyer credit: $8,000 credit for all homes bought between 1/1/2009 and 12/1/2009 and repayment provision repealed for homes purchased in 2009 and held more than three years. This only applies to first-time homebuyers.[31]
    * $4.7 billion: Excluding from taxation the first $2,400 a person receives in unemployment compensation benefits in 2009.
    * $4.7 billion: Expanded earned income tax credit to increase the earned income tax credit — which provides money to low income workers — for families with at least three children.
    * $4.3 billion: Home energy credit to provide an expanded credit to homeowners who make their homes more energy-efficient in 2009 and 2010. Homeowners could recoup 30 percent of the cost up to $1,500 of numerous projects, such as installing energy-efficient windows, doors, furnaces and air conditioners.
    * $1.7 billion: for deduction of sales tax from car purchases, not interest payments phased out for incomes above $250,000.

    Here is a tax cut calculator, it should be up-to-date: Barack Obama and Joe Biden: Change We Need | Obama Tax Calculator

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    washingtonpost.com - nation, world, technology and Washington area news and headlines

    How the economic stimulus plan could affect you
    Video
    Obama Signs $787 Billion Stimulus Bill
    President Obama signed into law a $787 billion economic stimulus plan called the 'American Recovery and Reinvestment Act' Tuesday at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, a setting intended to underscore the new law's role in creating clean-energy jobs.

    Taxes:

    The recovery package has tax breaks for families that send a child to college, purchase a new car, buy a first home or make the ones they own more energy efficient.

    Millions of workers can expect to see about $13 extra in their weekly paychecks, starting around June, from a new $400 tax credit to be doled out through the rest of the year. Couples would get up to $800. In 2010, the credit would be about $7.70 a week, if it is spread over the entire year.

    The $1,000 child tax credit would be extended to more low-income families that don't make enough money to pay income taxes, and poor families with three or more children will get an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit.

    Middle-income and wealthy taxpayers will be spared from paying the Alternative Minimum Tax, which was designed 40 years ago to make sure wealthy taxpayers pay at least some tax, but was never indexed for inflation. Congress fixes it each year, usually in the fall.

    First-time homebuyers who purchase their homes before Dec. 1 would be eligible for an $8,000 tax credit, and people who buy new cars before the end of the year can write off the sales taxes.
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    Homeowners who add energy-efficient windows, furnaces and air conditioners can get a tax credit to cover 30 percent of the costs, up to a total of $1,500. College students _ or their parents _ are eligible for tax credits of up to $2,500 to help pay tuition and related expenses in 2009 and 2010.

    Those receiving unemployment benefits this year wouldn't pay any federal income taxes on the first $2,400 they receive.

    ................................................

    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    You're not making sense. $13 a week? It will be different for everyone depending on income, if you're going to college, home-owners, if you have children...

    For anyone wanting to learn about the tax cuts in the stimulus bill and whether you qualify or not:

    * $116 billion: New payroll tax credit of $400 per worker and $800 per couple in 2009 and 2010. Phaseout begins at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for joint filers. [30]
    * $70 billion: Alternative minimum tax: a one year increase in AMT floor to $70,950 for joint filers for 2009.[30]
    * $15 billion: Expansion of child tax credit: A $1,000 credit to more families (even those that do not make enough money to pay income taxes).
    * $14 billion: Expanded college credit to provide a $2,500 expanded tax credit for college tuition and related expenses for 2009 and 2010. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $160,000.
    * $6.6 billion: Homebuyer credit: $8,000 credit for all homes bought between 1/1/2009 and 12/1/2009 and repayment provision repealed for homes purchased in 2009 and held more than three years. This only applies to first-time homebuyers.[31]
    * $4.7 billion: Excluding from taxation the first $2,400 a person receives in unemployment compensation benefits in 2009.
    * $4.7 billion: Expanded earned income tax credit to increase the earned income tax credit — which provides money to low income workers — for families with at least three children.
    * $4.3 billion: Home energy credit to provide an expanded credit to homeowners who make their homes more energy-efficient in 2009 and 2010. Homeowners could recoup 30 percent of the cost up to $1,500 of numerous projects, such as installing energy-efficient windows, doors, furnaces and air conditioners.
    * $1.7 billion: for deduction of sales tax from car purchases, not interest payments phased out for incomes above $250,000.

    Here is a tax cut calculator, it should be up-to-date: Barack Obama and Joe Biden: Change We Need | Obama Tax Calculator

  8. #8
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Payroll tax credit is just one part of the tax cuts... I'm assuming you know that.

    For someone who is talking about violent revolution over taxes being too high, you sure seem to be against tax cuts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Payroll tax credit is just one part of the tax cuts... I'm assuming you know that.... you seem to be against taxes.

    I'm against the spending and the tax cuts for a bunch of crap that either marginally helps random smatterings of people, mostly doesn't help in any significant way, and are wholly negated by the costs that we will face because of the direction government is taking. I'd suggest you stop trying to constrain it into this little realm of yours, because the entire purpose behind these tax cuts and the trillions we have been spending is to "stimulate" the economy and provide relief. Again, this method is minutely helpful to a small number of people in the short run, but in the long run the big picture between the government spending, the government handouts, and the repercussions of it all will take us further into the pit, to the point where nobody will give a damn about a tax cut on their freaking air conditioner. Any small tax cuts the government may try to lull us with right now wont get people to spend more money, is again, negated by the tax increases and cost increases across the board, and negated by the further decline the economy will face in addition to the higher taxes the nation will HAVE TO incur in the future to pay for everything.
    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Payroll tax credit is just one part of the tax cuts... I'm assuming you know that.

    For someone who is talking about violent revolution over taxes being too high,
    That is:

    1. Completely out of the realm of what I actually said.
    2. Completely out of the realm of what I actually mean.

    Still, I'm not going into this subject YET.

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    Video of the protest in Chicago-

    [youtube="I0XBAtcrzLs"]Chicago tea Party[/youtube]

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