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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

TIMES ARE CHANGING — FAFSA announced changes to its filing system in February.
Editorial — The "better" FAFSA
North Wind Editorial Board February 27, 2024

Please stop partying like it’s 1773

Yesterday, as Americans were filing their taxes, some of them also commemorated the day in a different way, by gathering in front of city halls and on the steps of capitol buildings in protest.

A grassroots organization, Taxed Enough Already (TEA) planned the demonstrations across the country, including here in Marquette. People fed up with high taxes and excess government spending fueled the protest, called the “Tax Day Tea Party.” The name is homage to a different tea party, one that took place in Boston over 230 years ago. Except this time, instead of dumping tea into Boston Harbor, angry tea bag-wielding Americans are holding up signs with slogans like “Give me liberty, not debt” and “Keep your hands out of my piggy bank.”

Although I applaud those who exercise their First Amendment right to assembly, the Tax Day protest was primarily a well-funded temper tantrum.

TEA’s Web site, www.teapartyday.com, features a long list of grievances against Congress and President Barack Obama that include taxes, bailouts and government-run health care. But those accusations are vague, as protests fail to focus on a single unified issue. Some protestors seemed to fear increased taxes, while others were more concerned about the United States turning into a socialist nation and others just threw around words like “pork” and “generational theft.”

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In 1773, the colonists were protesting taxation by the British government without representation, a sentiment that Tax Day protestors were echoing. But the lack of a Republican in the oval office does not mean they are not represented, and it certainly doesn’t warrant such a protest.

The movement claims to be non-partisan but it most definitely is not. These tea parties were held with an obvious conservative agenda, which was backed by a slew of Republicans in the government, including House Minority Leader John Boehner and Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former House Majority Leader Richard Armey are two major players behind the tea parties. Gingrich spoke Wednesday night to protestors that gathered in New York City. Armey is the founder of FreedomWorks, a conservative group that was directly responsible for organizing some tea parties.

Better yet, the Republican National Committee allows visitors to its Web site to send a virtual postcard, with a virtual tea bag attached, to their choice of high-ranking Democrats. And MSNBC’s First Read blog reported that TEA’s Web site “is funded by conservative groups, and a public records search shows it’s registered to a conservative techie, Allen B. Fuller, who used to be a legislative correspondent for GOP Sen. Richard Shelby and who touts creating Web sites for Republican elected officials.”

If that doesn’t make Tax Day Tea Party partisan, then I don’t know what does.

The timing of the protest is also suspect. This is the first time in years that conservatives have staged such a demonstration. The reason is obvious: There is a Democrat in office.

House Minority Leader John Boehner said Wednesday that Americans “had enough of Democrats forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab for more wasteful spending instead of working together to make the tough fiscal decisions Americans are forced to make each and every day.”

Supporters of the tea parties say this wasteful spending is directly correlated with the time that Obama has spent in office. But the American economy was in dire straits long before that and it didn’t suddenly go downhill on Jan. 21, 2009. These protestors were noticeably absent during the Bush administration, when the taxes they are now protesting took effect.

The April 15 demonstrations were only conservatives complaining about the problems they created. Let’s not forget who just left the White House.

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