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Newspaper Article

    Taxed Enough Already?

    BY Robert M. Engstrom
    07/06/2009
    by Robert M. Engstrom on 7/2/09.

    From the East to West Coasts and in the heartland in between, and to the wilds of Alaska, the Tea Party tax protests are enthusiastically continuing. Over the July 4 holiday, TEA (Taxed Enough Already?) Party rallies are already planned in 1,267 cities and towns across the nation, and the list grows longer as more volunteers who feel they have been taxed enough join the effort.

    The protests will be held in small towns and big cities in all 50 states, from Wasilla, Alaska, to Chicago, from liberal enclaves like Santa Cruz, Calif., to conservative bastions like Salt Lake City, Utah. (To find a Tea Party near you, go to http://www.teapartyday.com/Locations.aspx)

    As government spending has ballooned, along with the threat of much higher taxes, the Tea Parties’ attendees promise to surpass the number that turned out in the first round of protests on April 15 -- Tax Day -- when hundreds of thousands of Americans protested in over 800 cities.


    Lisa Miller runs a local marketing business in the nation’s Capital and volunteered to help organize a Fourth of July Tea Party because she feels like the results of the years she put into her company are at risk of being taken away by the government. This is her first volunteer role in the tea party movement and her feelings are shared by thousands of others who have gotten involved. They believe government spending and intervention in banking and industry is out of control and the country’s leaders, from the President down to the local levels of government, have got to change course.

    “Obama is telling me I should have been a welfare mother,” Miller said, “but that’s not who I am.”

    Miller is just one of the voices in a national chorus who are fed up with the government’s wasteful spending for questionable programs that make the county’s problems worse and penalize those whose hard work and core beliefs in the principles of liberty and freedom made this country successful. Miller, like most of the people she has been in contact with since becoming an organizer, does not have political ambitions and would rather spend her time and effort on her business and with her family.

    Miller combined her organizing efforts with the March for Liberty Coalition for Washington’s tea party set for July 4 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Upper Senate Park near First Street and Constitution Avenue N.W. She expects several thousand people will turn out to hear the speakers and entertainment planned for that day. If more show up, there is room for as many as 20,000 at the location. Miller said that dozens of organizers around the country are coordinating their tea parties with local parades and fireworks displays, which could boost attendance. Miller is concentrating on including bipartisan participants because of the growing dissatisfaction among Democrats and Independents over the government’s increasing control over the economy, health care and the dodgy recovery plan.

    “The Obama administration is creating conflict to gain more control and people on both sides understand what the problem is.” Miller said. “This is our way back, and we’ve got a game plan to lay out what people can do.”

    The tea parties carry on after the Independence Day holiday when thousands of people from around the country are planning a three-day National Taxpayer Protest in September to take the tea party movement back up to Capitol Hill.

    Brendan Steinhauser, a national coordinator for FreedomWorks, has been traveling around the country since February working with grassroots activists organizing tax protests. FreedomWorks and a coalition of organizations believe it is time to take the tax protests straight to Capitol Hill. There are more than 6,000 people from all over the country registered to attend the National Taxpayer Protest March on Washington. Steinhauser expects that number to grow substantially as people learn the details of the Obama administration’s health care and cap-and-trade energy plans and what those plans will do to their personal finances, tax rates and medical care.

    “Some of the media missed the story on this,” Steinhauser said, referring to the tea party movement that erupted in April, but was summarily ridiculed and dismissed by the media. He plans on speaking at the tea party Miller is helping arrange and is assisting other groups and individuals organizing protests in other parts of the country. The idea for a March on Washington came from a group of organizers who put together the April 15 tea parties and felt that the message the protests sent to elected officials had been ignored. The march is a three-day event including visits with congressmen and senators, workshops and seminars and gatherings at area memorials leading up to the march from the Lincoln Memorial to the United States Capitol Building on Saturday. FreedomWorks and their coalition partners have invited numerous politicians and personalities from the media and entertainment fields to participate.

    Steinhauser also noted that the people he meets who are dealing with all the details of setting up these tea parties do not have political aspirations themselves, but they are taking time away from their careers and families because the men and women running their country are not listening to their constituents.

    “It’s a good group and a coalition of the willing,” Steinhauser said. “This has the potential to get huge.”

    Adam Brandon, FreedomWorks press secretary, said the tea party movement goes beyond party lines. At several past events there were as many liberals and independents as conservatives in attendance and he cited Rep.Walt Minnick (D.-Idaho) and Rep. Gene Taylor, (D-Miss.), as allies to the tea party cause because of their voting records which are “better than some Republicans.”

    “They are absolutely welcome to join with us,” Brandon said.

    He said momentum is building and the message is getting through to politicians such as Sen. Ben Nelson, (D-Neb.), whose office was slammed with e-mails and phone calls from tea party members letting the senator know what they thought of the current state of affairs. That momentum will make it difficult to ignore the protests.

    “MSN made fun of us,” Brandon said, “but they do so at their own peril this time.”

    The schedule for the September March on Washington includes the following activities:

    Thursday, September 10:

    Morning: Liberty Summit with select Congressmen and Senators
    Afternoon: Grassroots visits with Representatives and Senators
    Evening: Time to explore Washington

    Friday, September 11:

    Morning: September 11th Never Forget memorial
    Afternoon: Grassroots leadership-training seminars
    Evening: Special Dinner

    Saturday, September 12:

    8:00 am Set up for stages and volunteers
    10:00 am Events begin at U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial
    2:00 pm March begins at Lincoln Memorial and ends at the U.S. Capitol Building

    More information about the Washington, D.C. Tea Party can be found at http://www.teapertyday.com.

    To find a July 4 Tea Party near you, go to http://www.teapartyday.com/Locations.aspx.

    For more information about the September National March on Washington, visit their website at http://912dc.org.