A cold chill nipped the crowd gathered in front of the Nevada Legislature this morning, and so was that same chilly attitude exhibited toward Senator Harry Reid and his record on tax reform. A tax protest inspired by the Boston Tea Party drew hundreds to Carson City, the state capitol of Nevada. The T.E.A. (taxed enough already) protest organizers circulated a petition that will be brought to elected officials to urge them to oppose bills that contain unfunded mandates.
The cold temperatures did not dampen the party atmosphere. Protesters were lined up and down Carson Street in front Legislature displaying a variety of clever signs. Street traffic moved slowly and was backed up four or five blocks amid much honking and waving. An officially estimated two thousand protesters chanted spoke on megaphones, and sang. I wandered about the crowd, which I estimated more like a few hundred. Many of the protesters had tea bags affixed to their hats, and jackets.
Republican Congressman Dean Heller spoke to the crowd, and lamented, “what we are doing to the children and grandchildren of our country.”
The bias was decidedly republican and anti Obama. The sentiment was heavy that “tax and spend” democrats need to learn fiscal responsibility. Many feel that government spending has spiraled out of control since Barack Obama’s election, and even more feel it has been that way all along.
The main culprit for Nevada is Senator Harry Reid whose record on tax reform is “horrible” according to every protester I questioned. In 2008 Senator Reid voted YES on raising the tax rate for people earning over a million dollars. (Is that so bad?) He voted NO on raising the Death Tax exemption, No on repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax, No on permanently repealing the “death tax.” Since 1998 he has voted against lowering taxes, and for raising them. www.ontheissues.org/senate/harry_reid.htm
Critics of the tax protest dismiss participants as extremists, but I saw average everyday people that are nothing more than upset at government spending. Entire families were on hand for the robust demonstration. A vendor booth was set up where buttons, and t-shirts were offered with anti-taxation slogans. The original Boston Tea Party was a protest against the English and taxation without representation, and was a precursor to the Revolutionary War. None of the protesters at the Carson City Legislature were wearing masks or hiding in the shadows. Some elderly protesters were carrying signs that connected Obama to communism, and socialism, a few signs protested illegal aliens, and many signs affirmed a deep-rooted belief in God and his role in the American way of life. The crowd was mainly white; I saw no Latino, or Black protesters there.
My wife and I filed our taxes last week. My father pays his taxes, as did his father before him. The protest here is not against paying your taxes, but for fiscal responsibility at the state and national level.
The TEA party has organized protests across the country. File your taxes, and then be sure to attend the Tax Day Tea Party in your town.