Obama's 'tea party' complex
First there were the "bitter-clingers," then Scott Brown's truck. Now President Obama has taken on tea party protesters, saying he's "amused" by their failure to see that the average American's tax burden has lessened under his stewardship.
"You would think they'd be saying thank you, that's what you'd think" the President said.
The audacity of nope.
A New York Times/CBS News poll says only two percent of tea party protesters realize that their taxes have likely gone down this year (compared to 22 percent of the general population who understand that). Given college tax credits, making work pay, college loan relief, and home buyer credits, 90 percent of Americans got a tax break this year. The average tax refund is 10 percent larger than last year.
"The rise of the Tea Party at time when taxes are literally at their lowest in decades is really hard to understand," William Gale of the Brookings Institution told Political Hotsheet.
I would be very interested in seeing the question that was asked for this poll. The 'let them eat cake', 'why should they complain' mentality belies the bald-faced lie that tax hikes will not be coming in the very near future. It is a head in the sand, 'what? Me lie?' arrogance that tries to telegraph the fantasy that taxes are not going to go up, based on the premise they have not yet.
The Tea Party protests are not protesting existing tax law, they are protesting the impending tax burdens. No intelligent, responsible citizens believes that you can double down on the reckless spending of the Bush administration and not raise taxes.
But to distill the tea party message down to simply an argument over this year's 1040 form, critics say, isn't only a failure to understand the tea party's DNA, but also factually questionable given recent analyses showing that the tax burden on Americans is likely to rise in coming years.
What's more, tea party protesters aren't just worried about taxes, but the rising federal debt and creeping entitlement programs they say threaten individual liberty as defined by the Constitution.
"I can make a firm pledge," he said in Dover, N.H., on Sept. 12. "Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."
He repeatedly vowed "you will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime."
And the tobacco tax increase is not the only example of a raised tax. So what are we supposed to be thankful for?