Two fringe movements have been spotlighted in the news lately. The Tea Party folk continue to be active, and a militia group in Michigan made the news, charged with seditious conspiracy. The tea party people have a bus going cross country toward Washington, D.C. to arrive near April 15, which just happens to be the day when federal income taxes are due. Of course, this is no coincidence.
The historical Boston Tea Party was carried out by a group of colonists who were enraged by a new British import tax placed on their tea. Essentially the current “tea party” movement is a tax protest. Many have never understood that. They think that it is a movement against socialism, big government, threats to liberty, national deficits, and government takeover of health care.
Since none of those issues stand up to the light of facts and reason, and serve as window dressing for ditto-heads, then the question arises: “What is the real motivation behind the Tea Party?” As indicated above, the basic reason is taxes. The tea party coordination, staff, activities, and publicity are funded by billionaires who do not want to pay taxes.
They fear the expiration and reversal of the Bush tax cuts the wealthy have enjoyed. It is as if nobody remembers when the richest paid a 90% tax rate in this nation, coincidentally the time when wars were fought and great bridges, dams, and highways were built. They forget that Reagan lowered taxes on the wealthiest and started the precipitous growth of the federal debt. The Bush tax cuts for the rich took deficits higher. Tax cuts have brought nothing but fiscal trouble for the nation.
For these billionaire backers added angst about health care reform is that they may have to pay more taxes to insure all those extra people -- mostly minorities, poor whites, and sick people. They have no social conscience when it comes to taxes. Unfortunately, this may well be the motivation also for those middle class white followers who already have a health insurance policy. The fact that an expensive 30% of Hispanics are uninsured and 20% of blacks, compared with 10% of whites, may add a racist tinge to motivation with some.