Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Misinformed Tax Expert

Tuning in to Fox News today, Brian Wilson was reporting on the Tea Party Rally against Obamacare in Washington, D.C. He referred dismissively, and with great perturbance, to the “shouting” of “those tea party people.”

He wrinkled his nose in distaste and shook his head.

Earlier this week, Forbes Magazine columnist and tax expert Bruce Bartlett referred to them as those “misinformed” tea partiers. He cited a survey in which they couldn’t identify their tax bracket or how much average Americans actually pay in federal taxes.

He inferred that it wasn’t as much as they thought, given the Bush tax cuts earlier in the decade. Barlett made no reference to state and local property taxes, which are harrying the American consumer. Nor did he cite any of the many bureaucratic “fees” we pay.

We Tea Partiers may not have the information to cite statistics. We may not know our tax bracket. We’re not tax accountants (my mother worked for one, though. She knows our taxes are outrageous).

But when we see $1.9 million federal dollars allocated to the Charles B. Rangle Center for Public Service, $192 million to bail out the rum industry, $3 million for bear paternity tests, and $1 million for the Woodstock Museum, we know we’re being over-taxed.

That’s almost $200 million for four projects. The list is longer. That’s a heap o’ vote buying there. With our money.

Bartlett the Bean Counter can be forgiven if all he sees are numbers. That’s his job. But he needs to look up from his ledger columns once in awhile to look at the bigger picture.

The Tea Parties are about more than just protesting our high taxes – and they are much too high, particularly for businesses. We demand to know how that money is being spent as well. Congress and President Obama shouldn’t be handed a blank check.

One reason the Tea Parties are home-town focused is that taxing is a problem on the state and local level as well. New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation. Our teachers’ and municipal employees’ pensions and other benefits are breaking us.

All so teachers can retire as early as 55 and live in a second home in Florida while their students’ parents struggle to make ends meet and save for retirement because their companies’ 401K plans have shrunk.

The N.J. teachers’ unions are protesting Gov. Chritie’s budget cuts, threatening to strike and claiming how these budget cuts will only harm the children. To be sure. Teachers’ second homes first, children a distant third.

Unions are striking all over the country, and in a bad recession. This should be an ominous sign to those who think government is our salvation. They criticize the costs of private industry, especially in the health care field.

What do they think is going to happen when the government inevitably takes over, with its union contracts? Do they actually believe the unions have their best interests at heart? That they care whether a child has leukemia?

If it comes down to a choice between that kid with leukemia and a union contract worker, who do you think is going to win? Who are they going to blame? You guessed it – the taxpayer.

I'd like to explain to Fox News’ Brian Wilson who "those" Tea Party people, whose shouting disturbed his sensitive ears.

We are the people, the average Americans who stand up against wrong when average people stick their heads in the sand. We're the people who stand up and shout when other people dismiss us as too loud, because they're too cowardly to speak up themselves.

We’re the people who will say, "We told you so" when the quiet, unassuming, "modest" people wring their hands because they're freedom has been legislated away.

If Obamacare and all his other legislation passes, silence will reign.  I hope they'll be happy.

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