Teabagged Ya!

Here’s what I don’t really understand about the “Tea Party” protests from a few days ago (other than the fact that conservatives were all completely unaware of what “teabag” as a verb meant — seriously, do they just not have Google or something?): These conservatives are pissed off at Obama for last year’s taxes. They’re blaming the guy who was inaugurated not even three months ago… for taxes for the previous year. The year that ended twenty days before the guy was even president.

Are we in some kind of time warp? Did someone climb down into America’s Orchid Station and turn the wheel? What the hell?

I mean, okay, I agree, it sucks that there were no regulations imposed on how the banks could spend the bailout money, and it feels shitty to see our tax money going to people who already clearly demonstrated that they’re irresponsible with money, and that the bailout was engineered mostly by former CEOs of Goldman Sachs in order to mostly benefit Goldman Sachs, which, by the way, recorded profits for the last quarter and etc. But it’s not like Obama was really responsible for any of that, either, and he seems to at least be trying to correct some of the many mistakes with lack of oversight and accountability that are present in the bailout.

Plus, taxes in general are a good thing. They give us roads and public transportation and much-needed social services, and a safety net for individuals.

Though, if conservatives really DO want to make taxes fairer and liberals really DO want to watch out for “the little guy” or “the working class”… there’s a little-known tax that needs to be done away with: The self-employment tax.

This year, I feel like I was doubly-fucked by businesses. The first fuck: I was employed technically as a contractor, which allowed my employer — a much larger entity than myself — to avoid having to pay the normal employer’s share of taxes. Which meant that I had to carry the burden. Which meant that this year, I paid a greater percentage of my overall income in taxes than I did last year, when I made almost twice as much. Any tax law that makes people pay more when they make less is fucked up and wrong, regardless of whatever classifications are involved. I don’t care if the government wants to consider me a rare, endangered species of bird on protected land — if I make less, I shouldn’t have to pay more. I can see paying my fair share, but I shouldn’t have to pay double just because there’s slightly different terminology involved in my doing the exact same job that I was doing before.

And then the second fuck: This money that’s being taken out of my pocket — a portion of which I had to pay DOUBLE because I was already fucked over once by a larger business and forced to carry their tax burden — is going to even LARGER businesses, which have already demonstrated themselves to be financially irresponsible and have rewarded their employees for jobs poorly done while the rest of us suffer.

I think taxes are necessary, I really do — I just wish that money was spent a little more wisely and efficiently, and that the little guys didn’t get systematically fucked over to cover for the bigger guys. It’s bad enough that the wealthiest in America already make more and are taxed less than they ever have been in the history of our country while the value of the minimum wage drops — how much shittier do they need to make it?

In any event, the “tea parties” were some of the goofiest, most misguided and laughable excuses for protests I’ve ever seen, and FOX News championing the movement being “grassroots” despite their being hosted and advertised/championed by FOX News was a laugh riot in itself.

8 thoughts on “Teabagged Ya!”

  1. Right on, J, excellent points all.

    But what really shocked me was the audacity of these people comparing themselves to the patriots of yore. Where the fuck do they get off acting like dumping tea bags in water en masse is a social statement? Yes, I realize it’s symbolic, but they’re completely missing the point of the Boston Tea Party.

    The issue there was taxation without representation more than actual dissatisfaction with the taxes being levied; had King George just allowed the Colonies representation in Parliament, they likely would have shut up and not revolted. Really, the only place that could justifiably have any “tea party,” is the District of Columbia, and even then, it’s a really fucking contrived explanation.

    It just really annoyed me how arrogant those people were. The stupidity of them blaming Obama for Bush-era taxes is just hilarious to me.

  2. Okay, I was going to just dump a quick joke here, but I’m going to start by correcting one small error in Alex’s statement, then dump my joke.

    The taxation without representation, back in the late 1700’s, was mostly just a rallying cry. Tensions were mounting with Britain already. Sooner or later, the colonies were going to revolt about SOMETHING. The taxes gave them an excuse, mostly.

    Also, I went teabagging myself on the day of the protests. Played Halo multiplayer all day long.

  3. If I may add:
    One of the least-mentioned but perhaps one of the most direct causes of the American Revolution was the fact that the British government had limited expansion of the American colonies to the Appalachian ridgeline, in an effort to reduce violence between the Colonists and American Indian nations. Land-greedy and thoroughly racist as European-American societies were at the time, they were frothing at the mouth in demanding the British government open up the “frontier” for settlement (and its accompanying processes of ethnic cleansing and/or westernization of the Indigenous peoples). Britain’s refusal to open the trans-Appalachian region for settlement, especially given the experiences of many of the Colonists in fighting the French and many Indian nations some 20 years earlier and the perceived dangers these posed to the Colonies, proved to be the final (and maybe most important) straw in the feud between the 13 Colonies and London.

  4. Perhaps they really don’t use godless Google. These are the people who use Conservapedia instead of Wiki. What’s amused me is the posts on their internet forums now have signatures like “Proud to be a conservative teabaggin’ redneck”.

  5. Where were these people when Bush got elected for a second term? I love this. Obama is in office for, what, 3 months? Since taking office he has cut taxes for over 80% of most of what’s left of the middle class. Most families are seeing their paychecks increase due to a reduction in taxes taken out of their pay. Many are seeing at least $30 per two-week pay period. Where were these whiners when banks were lending to folks’ whom in no way were able to repay the mortgages that were given? I hate paying taxes but they are a necessary evil–repairing roads, bridges, repairing and improving the infrastructure of this country thus creating jobs. Researching and developing a green energy so we are less dependent on foreign oil. Not paying millions per day on a war in Iraq. Where would you rather your tax dollars go? Tea baggers. Yeah. Quit your whining and do something that actually makes sense.

  6. Most families are seeing their paychecks increase due to a reduction in taxes taken out of their pay. Many are seeing at least $30 per two-week pay period.

    But Obama’s showing his true colors (red) by threatening to raise taxes on the wealthy! Under his plan their taxes would skyrocket to just 10% lower than they were under the administration of that pinko Commie redistributionist, Ronald “hammer-&-sickle” Reagan. All those people turned out due to selfless compassion about Rick Santelli’s tax burden.

    Seriously, the appeal of the tea parties was much like that of Obama’s own campaign. On the one hand there was “hope” and “change”; on the other there’s a protest with no clear target except anything the Democrats are doing that someone happens to dislike. In both cases it was vague enough to appeal to everyone discontented with the apparent direction of things at the time.

    Some of these people may simply not be aware that spending also exploded under Bush, or have grasped the significance of the fact that current spending is required to fight a recession, while that was not the case for most of Bush’s term. There was probably a large representation of the kind of people who believe the Earth is 6,000 years old. Facts are not their strong point. Certainly not facts like what “teabagging” actually nmeans.

    But compared with James Dobson, Glenn Beck, and the nuts who are re-coalescing in the Idaho panhandle, tea parties are actually a sign of some sanity returning to conservatism. You have to give these things time.

  7. Frankly, there is one issue (and ONLY one issue) on which I agree with Mike Huckabee (that preacher guy that tried to get nominated as last year’s Republican candidate and failed miserably):

    We need to get rid of the fucking income tax altogether.

    The eighty years or so we’ve had income tax in the US have demonstrated pretty clearly that they cannot be made fair. The rich will skip their taxes. A lot of people will lie. And the average Joe gets shafted as a result.

    Not to mention that information like how much money you earn–information most of us wouldn’t trust to our best friends–is in the hands of a couple thousand complete strangers working for the IRS.

    If there were just a national sales tax, like there is in Europe, everyone would be forced to pay their fair share (you can’t be taxed on money you don’t spend, and you can’t dodge sales tax), and the whole “tax refund” idea would evaporate.

    Hell, hide the taxes as part of the final price, and most people won’t even realize they’re paying taxes! (Again, ‘swhat they do over in Europe.) And the best tax system is an invisible tax system. ^.^

  8. I found out the hard way about the Self-Employment tax this year. I was expecting a Federal refund, but I ended up paying $331.00 for 2008 because of my business. I did get a refund of $161.00 from DC though.

    I can’t help but be amused at those yahoos who turned up at those “Tea Parties”, though. We have a President who is making an effort to correct the budget mistakes made by that yahoo Dubya Bush. And, might I remind everyone, has been in office for less than 100 days.

    Although I wouldn’t dream of denying anyone their Constitutional right to voice their displeasure with their current leaders, I can’t help but wonder if those people who thought that they are being bold patriots by throwing teabags in the nearest body of water (or over the White House fence) really understand how the tax system works. Not to mention the fact that the taxes they pay are funding highways, schools, unemployment, etc.

    Also, it should be pointed out that while the previous adminstration cut federal taxes, most of the country paid higher state and/or local taxes as a result.

    The sad truth is that a number of these “Tea Party” guys/gals is that even if the economy does improve, they will still find reason to hate Obama, Democrats and/or Liberals. Hearing them rant and rave about Obama and his policies made me wonder if this is how the dinosaurs felt when those annoying mammals started showing up.

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