Friday, February 27, 2009

Tea party anyone?

Back in 1763, old King George of England needed to pay for some wars he fought with the French. His solution was to tax the American colonies. King George used the same tricks that politicians use today to “disguise” the tax, but the colonists weren’t buying any of it.

It was a sneaky pitch. One of the taxable items was tea, sold by the East India Company, which had exclusive rights to selling tea. King George told the colonists that he would actually lower the import fees paid for the tea, but in the fine print, the colonists would then acknowledge the British Parliament’s ability to tax them for anything, anytime.

King George made a serious mistake underestimating the intelligence of his subjects. Sound familiar?

It was taxation without representation. So, when the next shipment arrived in Boston Harbor, colonists met the ships and dumped the tea overboard.

The Boston Tea Party set the stage for America’s eventual independence.

Now, 246 years later, it might be time for another Tea Party, this one proposed by Rick Santelli, a CNBC reporter. Called the “rant heard ‘round the world,” Santelli was reacting to the mortgage stimulus bill being pitched by President Obama. Santelli’s point was clear. Why should the overwhelming majority of Americans, who play by the rules and pay their bills on time, be forced to pick up the tab for the small minority who don’t?

Not everyone agrees with him, especially the current administration. Personally, I can’t fault Santelli’s logic. He is calling for another Tea Party, set for July 4th. The event already has its own Facebook page.

This economic mess has been long in the making, and there’s plenty of blame to go around. But it won’t be solved by pouring hard-earned money down a deep, dark hole. Let’s get money flowing to those with proven and dependable track records, and the free market will take care of the rest. Reward investment; don’t punish it.

President Obama’s biggest problem was sitting right in front of him Tuesday night. I noticed that most of the faces in the crowd had been there for decades. These are House and Senate leaders from both parties who have built powerful fiefdoms, and the last thing they care about is you and me. What they want is what they get. They are the root cause of the mess we’re in today.

It’s time for us to show them the folly of that thinking again. Let’s hold the president to his promise to go through the budget, line by line, and cut the waste, a.k.a. pork. Then, see if he’s willing to stand up to those who put the pork there in the first place.

What better day than July 4th? Tea anyone?

John W. Scherer
CEO & Founder
Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach John at