Saturday, May 02, 2009

A reader disagrees with my comments about tea party goers.

Hi everyone,

Ed Duquaine from West Bend didn't agree with my observations about the "Tea Parties" over Tax Day. He doesn't answer any of the questions I raised -- specifically the question about why so many people who got tax breaks this year would protest against taxation; that is, why people from the middle class, who he claims made up the majority of these "protesters," would protest that they were not being represented when the tax code is fairer to precisely this income group than it has been in 40 years.

But maybe someone will.

Here's Mr. Duquaine's letter to the editor.


Basic freedoms allow, inspire tea parties

You can’t get much more grass roots than this


Iwrite in response to Mark Peterson’s slanderous editorial on the tax day tea parties.

Hundreds of thousands of hard working, tax-paying United States citizens assembled on April 15 across this great country of ours with hopes of sending a message to their elected officials. To try and mock the authenticity of this grass roots movement is not only ludicrous, but also ignorant.

I did attend the April 15 tea party in Madison. It was a first for me. I was not contacted by Dick Armey or anyone else from the Republican Party. I was not funded by Coors, the Koch Foundation or even ACORN for that matter. I did, however, hear a blip about it the tea party on the radio From that point, I called and got pricing on bus rentals. Next, I sent an e-mail to everyone in my mailbox asking if anyone would like to join me. Then I asked them to send the e-mail to everyone in their mailbox. Seven weeks later, I found myself standing in front of two buses in a local parking lot trying to make sure that the over 60 people who had responded to my e-mail were boarding the buses. Many of these people were complete strangers to me. How much more “grass roots” could it get? To describe the tax day tea parties as “Astroturf lobbying” is not only absurd, but quite offensive. Not only is it offensive to me, but likely to the thousands of tax paying Americans who took time out of their busy schedules to attend these rallies.

There is one main point that has been completely overlooked by the media and critics in regard to the tea parties. These demonstrations were not about Republicans vs. Democrats, left vs. right, or red vs. blue. These grass-root rally sites were made up of disgruntled taxpayers from all political parties and from all walks of life.

In Madison, I viewed a melting pot of concerned tax-paying citizens. Citizens concerned with the direction our country and state is heading. Citizens concerned that our government (both sides) are spending our hard-earned money at biblical proportions and mortgaging our children’s and grandchildren’s futures. I saw tax-paying citizens who feel they have been misrepresented, if represented at all.

There are a couple of documents that define now and have always defined just what America is. If our government would just follow these documents, instead of shredding them on a daily basis, hundreds of thousands of tax-paying people would not have had to miss work on April 15 (just think how much that hurt the tax base): 1. Declaration of Independence and 2. U.S. Constitution.

Please read them both, and then make a decision as to the authenticity of tax day 2009.

(Ed Duquaine of West Bend owns Duquaine Concrete & Masonry, town of West Bend.)

The ideologically grounded press coverage and funding process for these events also seems to have eluded him, along with the 16th amendment to the Constitution. And I don't remember seeing him on the barricades where many of us faced vicious ridicule during the last 8 years for pointing out that large national budget surpluses were being turned into deficits and drained into the bank accounts of the President's political cronies.

Maybe he could answer for that as well.



PaulyW said...


You have missed the point. The press treated it like it was a spontanious event. Nothing in the paper with the 5 W's prior to the event. Only something after it was over. Last week the press provided great detail on the May Day Latino worker event in Milw and acrosss the nation. Told everybody how to get there, etc.

I still argue this great tax break you champion will be eaten up by the Doyle adminstration in the form of higher fees and taxes in-state.

Mpeterson said...

Hi Paul,

Only Fox News treated the teabagging parties like a spontaneous event.

As I said, I'm pretty irritable about the use of fees and sales taxes to balance budgets... but I thought we were talking about the federal government. I only get 720 words in an article, so I had to cut a lot of info on the last 40 years of tax rates.... the top bracket was 70% until 1980. Reagan cut it to 50% and by the time Clinton got to it, with the help of a Gingrich Congress, they raised it up a bit from Bush I, to a rate around 39%... which got us a budget surplus during the 90's. Mr. Bush was a true believer in cutting taxes on the wealthiest Americans, which included most of his friends, regardless of the economic circumstances -- it put us back in the hole.

Like I said before, let's get rid of property taxes and move to fund everything through a fair income tax with pay-as-you-go requirements for all spending.

Anonymous said...

I respect anyone who will stand on the proverbial soap box and protest. That is our right. This event protested taxes. Who wouldn't want taxes to go down? But they don't address what programs should be cut or eliminated. Senior citizens didn't burn their Medicare cards or Badger Care cards. UW students didn't come to protest student loans and Pell grants. I didn't see any video of people tossing their Social Security or SSI checks chanting "enough". Military contractors didn't come to shout "no more wars, cut our budgets". The agriculture community wasn't there protesting milk subsidies, school breakfast and lunch programs, and federal and state tax breaks. The list could go on. But do they understand programs that effect their personnel quality of life could be in peril? I'm not criticizing these programs, each and everyone has its merits. My question is of these protesters, how much of their nose are they willing to cut. Larry T.