I attended the Tea Party in Corning, NY, yesterday. There was a good crowd in this relatively small town in western upstate NY (several hours from NY City), several hundred in total. Corning is home to Corning glass and Steuben glass. The entire region has been hit hard by the exodus of jobs to less tax intensive parts of the U.S. and abroad.
I don’t remember which speaker said it, but one of them described how politicians from New York City come up to the region so that they can say they have visited the countryside, and stare at the inhabitants as if through binoculars, like on safari.
And that description was a metaphor for what is motivating the Tea Parties and fueling the outrage. Taxes are the issue, but the problem is much deeper. There is a complete disconnect between the politicians who raise taxes to benefit people who do not pay taxes, and the people who pay taxes.
And a complete lack of respect, epitomized by the derisive coverage of the Tea Parties by the mainstream media, and the phony campaign staged by Media Matters to dismiss the Tea Parties as a creature of Fox News. The truth is that the mainstream media and liberal elites don’t even try to hide their disdain for most of the people in America. And people understand that better than you think.
There comes an economic breaking point at which ordinary citizens say enough is enough. Government takes so much; federal income taxes are just the tip of the iceberg. Sales taxes, special taxes on certain products, mortgage taxes, property transfer taxes, real estate taxes, state and sometimes local income taxes, taxes on services such as cellphone usage, licensing and other fees, and it goes on and on.
Lack of respect and a tax hell fueled the Tea Parties. But you wouldn’t know that if all you have are binoculars, and you are on permanent safari.