In 1773, American colonists tossed three shiploads of taxed tea into Boston Harbor as a protest against the British practice of taxation without representation. Some 236 years later, another tea party of sorts was held in towns all across America, although depending on who you talk to there seems to be some dispute as to the underlying reasons for the protests.
As the tea party movement gained steam, it was clear to me that these protests were being organized as a non-partisan response to the runaway government spending that began early in George W. Bush’s first term and were later exacerbated to heretofore unimaginable heights under Barack Obama.
Indeed, folks who I spoke with were buying into the movement not only to protest high taxes, but also to push for smaller government, reduced national debt, and a stop to the tax-payer funded corporate and home-owner bailouts that were being given out like candy.
Still, most of the mainstream media refused to believe that the tea parties were non-partisan and instead insisted on unjustly stereotyping the protesters as a misguided mob of right-wing Republicans who simply had an axe to grind with Obama’s presidency and the Democratic party in general.
In fact, the Los Angeles Times’ web site managed to post not one but two disparaging opinion pieces the day following the event, including this blatently defensive and apologetic composition that was actually featured on the front page of their newspaper, as the Times seems wont to do every so often.
In their front page “news article” the Times’ insinuated that the protesters, and Republicans in particular, were “out of touch or tone-deaf to the harsh realities of the jobs crisis,” suggesting that excessive government spending and bailouts were the unavoidable cure for what ails our faltering economy.
Could it be that the Times was on to something?
According to the March 2009 unemployment statistics as reported by the United States Department of Labor there are now 13.2 million unemployed people in the US. In the construction industry alone, 126 thousand jobs were lost last month and almost one-half million on average since the fourth quarter of 2008. The professional and business services sector shed 133,000 jobs last month and roughly 600,000 jobs since the start of 2009.
Those are monstrously large numbers that continue to keep many hard-working folks across America, including myself, awake at night.
Compare that to the government sector, which employs roughly four times as many people than the construction industry and a third more people than the professional and business sector. Last month, the government sector shed a mere 5,000 jobs.
On average, roughly two million jobs have been lost in the private sector between the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. The government, during that same period gained 2,000 new jobs.
How is it that most of America is cutting back and sacrificing during this economic crisis and yet our own government continues to expand its ranks and the associated increasing tax burden required to support it?
Put in that perspective, it is obvious that the tea party supporters don’t seem to be as “out of touch” and/or “tone-deaf” as the mainstream media would like us to believe.
If you liked this article, please be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed.