So, What Was the Point of Those Tea Parties?

April 2009

As Benjamin Franklin once said, during more revolutionary times, "In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes." But his famous quote didn't stop large groups of libertarian-minded fiscal conservatives--some of them downright angry--from gathering in places around the nation, including in Colorado, to protest the country's tax code. The so-called "Tea Party" demonstrations (TEA stands for "Taxed Enough Already") spawned predictable debate between those who hate paying taxes and those who fret the nation would fall apart without them (via 7News). Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, propped up a soap box to take aim at President Barack Obama's spending policies, according to The Washington Post. An estimated 3,500 people gathered at the state Capitol, writes the left-leaning Colorado Independent, which characterized the event as unfocused because there "was no call to action nor a clear take-home message." In conservative Colorado Springs, a rally lacked focus but was rife with "free-floating anger," according to the Gazette, which noted bitter messages such as, "I Hope Obama Fails," "Obama Hopes America Fails," and "Obama=Hitler." Meanwhile, as procrastinators waited until yesterday's deadline to mail their 2008 returns to the Internal Revenue Service, Slate's Explainer weighed in on the prospect of not filing taxes at all.