The tea party movement shows me that a lot of people are concerned about what is happening to our country, and that they want to do something about it. I believe the tea partiers are sincere and not "flakes," as the media portrays them to be.

The thing that scares me is that I don't see or hear anything of substance coming from this movement. I listened to a reporter interviewing rally-goers, and when he asked them about the signs they carried, they couldn't really explain anything. They just repeat talking points they hear on the radio or TV.

Cut taxes? The Clatsop Community College student says taxes are at record highs? I am so embarrassed for that student. Taxes are at an all-time low. Under President Ronald Reagan, the tax rate the wealthiest Americans paid on the top portion of their earnings was 50 percent, under President Richard Nixon 70 percent and under Dwight Eisenhower, the wealthy paid 91 percent. And you know what? Everybody got along fine. People even had jobs.

If people paid their fair share of taxes like they used to, we wouldn't need a value-added tax. A value-added tax replacing missing tax revenue only benefits the rich. The Bush tax cuts have added $2 trillion to our deficit. The tea partiers are outraged at the deficit and want to keep the tax cuts. So what is it, tea partiers? Cut taxes and get a bigger deficit, or get progressive taxation and slow the debt down? Fifty-three percent of our tax dollars go to the military. The military is a really good example of out of control spending. Except for our troops, the military is no longer a shining example of Americanism. Using our troops to fight for the corporations - oil and pipelines?

The Europeanization of our country? I am ashamed for that student. Are you referring to the health care plan that benefits the health insurance companies? Obama's health care plan that funnels billions into these corporations? Believe me when I say no European country that has national health care would allow this. Also dear student, most European countries have free higher education systems, so you're shooting yourself in both feet. I guess you're not learning anything.

My point is this: My beloved country is under attack from within. Only citizens can save it. But running around repeating seriously flawed talking points will not help. You need to know what is going on. You need to know facts. You will not learn facts from watching TV.

Record deficit? Think. The financial crash wasn't a crash for the people who caused it. Our government gave Wall Street $14 trillion in taxpayer support. And they pay little or no taxes. It would be better if everyone who opposes the bank bailouts got together and made a lot of noise about the crooks on Wall Street. Let the leaders of this country know what we think of this. Perhaps they will take notice.




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