Conservative commentary: Three cheers for the tea parties


On April 15, perhaps 200,000 people across the U.S. took an hour off to go out and get totally disrespected by the mainstream media.

But the tea parties got their message across, and the message was this: The U.S. is on the road to economic ruin because of our leadership, and we have no control over our leadership.

Tea party attendees put their messages on hundreds of signs that would hopefully be transmitted to TV because no member of Congress was going to show up at the parties. Congresspeople usually are drawn to large gatherings like dung beetles to a cow patty, but they were noticeably absent. They don't want to hear what we're saying.

The only problem with the tea parties was that they came way, way too late in the context of the history of this nation.

We should have taken the hint in 1898, when the excise tax used to finance the Spanish-American War lingered on for more than 100 years after the war ended. That should have been our first clue about how rapacious government can get.

Our next opportunity to take a stand was when the 16th Amendment became law in 1913. This was the amendment that allowed Congress to impose income taxes without limit and was the first amendment to the Constitution that did not address the rights of individuals, but rather added to the power of the federal government.

The next time for the tea parties was after the Great Depression, when many of the programs implemented during that era no longer were needed and should have been put to sleep.

Not all of those programs were bad. I think most of us like Social Security.

The next time we needed tea parties was when President Lyndon Baines Johnson started raiding the Social Security Trust Fund to balance the budget. This odious practice has been followed by every president and every Congress since then, to the point where there is no money - zilch, nada, zero - in that Trust Fund, which now is just a bunch of Congressional IOUs in a drawer.

The next time we should have hit the streets was when President Ronald Reagan created the biggest peacetime deficits in the history of the world. Mr. Conservative sent us into a pit of debt from which we have never emerged.

We should have protested loudly when the feds set up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two institutions designed to remove risk from lenders, thereby destroying a basic tenet of capitalism and putting the risk on the backs of the taxpayers who never asked for that burden.

And we should have raised an uproar when the federal government passed a $700 billion spending bill in a matter of days, holding no hearings, not pausing for informed input to arrive on the scene, operating in panic mode and never weighing the consequences. And then passing a $786 billion spending bill. And then printing $1.3 trillion to support big banks.

We are too late, folks. The unfunded liabilities - Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all the others - now total $53 trillion. The total federal revenue in the last fiscal year was $2.5 trillion. We can't pay that bill.

We're too late. We cannot now even fund our own current debt but rather depend on foreign nations, some of them hostile to us, to lend us money so we can operate our own country.

What are we going to do if China finds us a bad risk? What are we going to do in eight years when entitlement spending exceeds revenues? Who in Washington is addressing these questions? The answer is A: too few, or B: no one.

Jim Dustin has been a journalist for 35 years and has won a ton of awards. He is the author of three books, none of which is about politics.


trump_suit 7 years, 12 months ago

A "tax revolt" or "Tea Party" that includes less than 1% of the Routt County Population is not a very strong statement by the population or our county.


mavis 7 years, 12 months ago

trump you would probably be shocked how many people would attend a "tea party" if it wasn't held when the WORKING people were working and trying to keep their jobs in these economic times-


ybul 7 years, 12 months ago

It is a start. At some point the burden of an ever expanding government weighs too heavily on the rest of the country and then the system fails.

The turn out was a start and will continue to grow especially as the youth who adore Obama realize how much debt they are responsible for and wake up to the problem.


Fred Duckels 7 years, 12 months ago

I was born in the thirties and we learned to live with very little. No one was willing to walk into the welfare office and suffer the self humiliation. Gradually the entitlement mentality has consumed us, aided by politicians using this political tool, to further their ambitions at our expense. We have been living beyond our means, and the trend only shows more of the same. I think the only solution must start from the grass roots and we must start with personal finances. I will be at any future tea parties, this is one fight that we have to win.


jhanson 7 years, 12 months ago

What if we could unite all of the web groups to participate in a single campaign that unites all of their numbers plus Patriots not in Groups? And do so without distracting any group from their main focus? How? A campaign where anyone with web access can participate. Many millions could be rallied to participate in such a campaign, adding to those who have physical rallies.

Such a campaign has been launched to keep those tea pots boiling! No group need be joined. There are hundreds of groups on the web fighting to return our government to WE THE PEOPLE. This campaign allows for all to co-sponsor and co-promote it as equals! It has huge potential to generate awareness across our great land of the root of our common problems. Without wide spread awareness that there is a problem we cannot rally citizens to adopt the solutions advocated by our many patriotic groups.

Here is the rallying point. July 12th, 2009 will mark the Centennial of the birth of the 16th amendment, a Day of Infamy! It was the first and enabling giant step toward a 180 degree turn away from the government set up by our founding fathers. Other major steps have moved us further along but they would not have been possible without the Congress grabbing control of our personal income. With that power Congress can DICTATE to us rather than do what our forefathers set them up to do...REPRESENT us! One of our founding fathers predicted that the acquisition of the power allowed Congress by the 16th amendment would herald the end of our Republic. The passage of the 16th amendment to the States for ratification on that fateful date, July 12th, 1909, must have had our forefathers spinning in their graves. July 12th, 2009 has been declared a National Day of Mourning.

Anyone can go to and sign a "2nd Declaration of Independence". The site suggests ways to co-promote and co-sponsor the National Day of Mourning but how the Declaration is used is up to each group. If we all organize our own ways of memorializing this Centennial AND invite our contacts all over the web to sign the Declaration, we could create a great shout for freedom from sea to shining sea. Americans must first perceive personal income taxation as the PROBLEM before they will have any interest in the solutions we offer to them.


oldskoolstmbt 7 years, 12 months ago

be personally responsible for your adding/subtracting in this economic mayhem, change what needs to change and move on...pretty simple...oh, and DO check those valid forms of ID!


trump_suit 7 years, 11 months ago

If you think that a "tea party" is such a strong form of protest, then organize one that pulls 5 - 10% of the population. We get that at the free concerts almost every show. Until then, I agree with windle.


JLM 7 years, 11 months ago

There are 50% of the electorate who are beneficiaries of the work of the taxpaying 50% of the electorate. They are not likely to be out protesting. This is the class warfare that Obama is linking into and using to propel his policies.

The leadership is always the first element of any revolution to form. The balance of the folks are just, well................sheep.

Please refrain from using the vulgar and coarse appellation of "tea baggers" which refers to an oral sex practice which undermines the authority of your arguments and which exposes you as a vulgar and coarse commentator. You can do better than that. You really are more clever.

People go to "free" concerts because they are, in fact, free. They get something of value for free. Freedom is however not free. Except for the freeloaders who neither serve nor pay taxes.


knee_dropper 7 years, 11 months ago

Like some of the above posters have commented, it's funny how these people have come out of the woodwork since the inauguration. It would seem that most of the outrage is being propagated by a bunch of naifs, fakirs and poseurs; not people that are genuinely concerned about the fiscal health of the nation. JLM . . . all I have to say to you is: pot, meet kettle.


JustSomeJoe 7 years, 11 months ago

When you've just been voted out of power for manifest incompetence and your opponents are led by a very popular and reasonable-sounding person, you don't have the luxury of acting righteous and uncompromising all the time. You have to acknowledge error. You have to act civilly. You have to appear pragmatic and reasonable. But the GOP, some of the posters on this site and I'd venture all of the "Conservative" columnists that the Pilot publishes are not interested in doing any of these things. Those who are left in the Republican party are ultra-partisan and utterly convinced of their own infallibility and moral righteousness. Until they lose that attitude and general combativeness, it won't matter what their ideas are. They'll just keep turning people off.

Take a look at some of the polling these days. National Party Identification: Republican - 26.4%, Independent 33.5%, Democrat - 36.7%. National Job Approval for Obama - Approve 61.3%, Dispapprove - 34.2%. National Favorable Rating for Obama; Favorable 64.8%, Unfavorable - 26%. For these results and others, check out for aggregated poll results, these aren't the result of one poll.

We are barely three months into a new presidential term and there will be a small portion of the population that will simply obsess on every detail of President's daily life, hoping to criticize and moan on the minutia. Are they part of the solution? Is this anyway to spend your days? Good luck with that.


MDSand 7 years, 11 months ago

Perhaps you who are so concerned about our country now that there's a Dem in the White House (and, incidentally, we did have an actual budget surplus when the last Dem President left office) could call your new all-encompassing organization the Tea-Bagger Citizens Councils. Seems like a fitting name for such Patriotic Americans!


ybul 7 years, 11 months ago

Why do all of you assume that those who supported the tea parties are only republicans? Maybe some of us at the tea party, were at war protests also. Maybe some of us were speaking out about these same issues with Bush in office. Maybe that the tea party crosses party lines.

Maybe in assuming that you know the motivations of those speaking out, you are missing out on the message.


playa46 7 years, 11 months ago

If everyone feels the need to have a tea party, why not just secede already? Where were you the last eight years? Truth of the matter is, people just want the country to run the way they want it, while the rest of America wanted something different. This is why the idea of having two parties is wrong. Sure, you can have your beliefs, but why not try to become the solution rather than the problem. Wake up America, we can only get through this together.


JustSomeJoe 7 years, 11 months ago

ybul - if the shoe fits then wear it, if not then don't.


ybul 7 years, 11 months ago

Unfortunately, I am trying to be part of the solution. Yet, the government really wants to impose rules and regulations upon me which will make my life much more difficult.

As a city council member in another town once told me, that one voice is not going to cause him to change his mind. So you have to get out and speak your mind and convince as many as you can about your beliefs. However, it is very difficult to do these days as TV (the chinese believe is the best weapon) seems to work the best at getting a message across. I unfortunately do not own a TV station to promote my views.

The best I can do is send in letters to editors, type here at the end of an article on the web or stand in front of the courthouse to promote my views. How do I become part of the solution other than living an honest life, trying to give others the ability to get ahead in theirs, speaking out against government money grabs (not too far off from the Robin Hood fairy tale).

At some point the weight of our government will crush this country and it will either spiral towards dictatorship or the government will have to reinvent itself becoming much smaller. The federal government is funded on the premise that someone will buy its bonds. Those bonds are a promise to pay future earnings for a loan today. Without looking at how we are going to expand our tax base, that debt will be paid by printing more money. This could create a currency crisis and the end of the middle class in the US.

You are right in that we can only get through this together. Team Obama is trying to create solutions to this mess, which most likely can only be created at the local level.

In Steamboat, finding the optimum solutions to reinvent the economy. Harvesting forest products in a sustainable fashion. Working with Wyoming to build wind farms which would the power from could be used with the excess water to create hydrogen to provide a more stable power source. Working towards a higher margin food system, hoop houses to extend the growing season, a dairy to supply the local economy with milk, a mill to make bread.

Solutions for a sustainable future will not come from DC, they will come from communities working together to overcome the mess we are in. Debt and leverage (personal, corporate and government) have been the problem, those problems will not go away overnight, as debt is a promise of future earnings in exchange for a party today. Pre instant gratification


Fred Duckels 7 years, 11 months ago

Joe, You, along with your lefty pals and media seem bent on injecting politics, into an ongoing fiscal disaster easily attributable to our total spending orgy. With our entitlements we no longer have any wiggle room, Government continues to grow, and is strangling us. The only solution seems to be grass roots folks rebelling to demand an end to the insanity. This is a tall order considering that the parasites and their politician surrogates will fight to protect the status quo. If you think that we can continue with out of control spending, I will venture a guess, that you are either inexperienced ,or part of the entitlement crowd.


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