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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Small Town Tea Party - By Cyber Crew Member Garry

Tax Day Tea Party's across America were on for today, one small town in California held a small town version and the mix of attendees was a real hodgepodge.
Sonora, California is a small town in the central section of the California Mother Lode with a widely varying population of about 4,610 people. Even in such a small town as this, the turnout was more than one hundred people by one estimate. My personal observation would put the attendees at 120-150.

The town has been hit hard by the downturn in the economy with both small businesses and major employers either closing or planning closures. One of the largest closures will be one of last two wood mills owned by Sierra Pacific Industries and the loss of at least 146 jobs.

In the midst of all the closures, job losses, and home foreclosures come the day half of Americans dread - Tax Day. The other half don't pay any income taxes at all so the day is just another day.
This year there was a difference, and what may become an annual event if the attitude of the people I spoke to remains the same. A new tradition? The Tax Day Tea Party.

With limited time for talking to the participants I spent a half hour walking around and asking some of the people why they were involved and what their gripe with Tax Day was.

Some of the answers were eye opening even to a rabidly anti-tax type such as myself.

The first person I spoke to who, wouldn't give a name, was one of the "Flat Taxers" who told me he disagrees with the entire premise of the tax system, voted for Ralph Nader and believes the tax system is
"designed to maintain the power of elected officials."
I agree, but wouldn't vote for Ralphie even if he ran against two dogs and a aardvark.

Another attendee 'Mike' sees the issue as more complicated problem than just the amount of taxes being levied against the American public in light of the massive spending cycle the current Administration and Congress have embarked on.
Mike described the issue in terms of States Rights versus the enumerated powers of the Federal Government and the vast over-extension of power the Federal Government has been moving toward for generations.
Mike actually had a rather dire outlook on the future of the nation, as do I on alternating days. The power structure inside the beltway is designed to promote itself and maintain the status quo of its inhabitants. The people they are meant to serve are just the monetary generation modules sued to maintain that status quo.

In a very brief survey this afternoon, the mix of attendees ran the gamut from Conservative Republicans to Liberal Democrats to Libertarians and Independents. There seemed to be no unifying political background other than an extreme dissatisfaction with the increase in the national debt and the debt load being "paid forward to our grandchildren's grandchildren" That phrase with differences in wording is one I heard from the majority of the people in the Courthouse Park today.
The disgruntlement of most of the folks was apparent from the number of people willing to turnout in the middle of a workday in a town this size. Some of the comments I got regarding the current pretender to the Throne of Obama (I'm sure the presidency will be renamed for him) were simply nothing I would be willing to ask anyone to print.

The real concern appeared to be not just what was happening to the country right now and in the immediate future but what was going to happen to future generations for many generations yet unborn.

One gentleman was worried about runaway inflation turning all of his retirement money into enough to buy a Double Mac Hamburger - no cheese, no fries, no drink. And also by the way "No freakin' hope"

With the suspension of the national currency of Zimbabwe two days ago by decree of the government of Zimbabwe and replacing it with US Dollars plus the currency of two neighboring countries, to the extent Zimbabwe is willing to use US Dollars, they may have jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.
And some of us may not be left with a pan to cook in, if we leave the CONgress alone long enough to finish the business of destroying the economy of this country.

The idea of ceceding from the Union is one which is still on the table for Texas according to Texas Goverenor Rick Perry, and it is certainly looking like a better idea on a daily basis.