The Locker Room

Skirting the tea party issue

Posted by David N. Bass at 10:49 AM

I'm struck by the number of letters to the editor or quoted sources that accuse rally participants of being against taxes for such core services as police and firemen.

I'll give two examples. The first is from the N&O:

Across the street, Anna Holm of Raleigh was walking into the post office when she saw the protesters and several police officers that had been assigned to control the crowd. She was instantly angered.

"How do they think we pay for those police officers?" she said.

"I don't like paying taxes," she added, "but if I don't, we won't have street lights, or police or firefighters and our children won't be educated."

The second example is a letter to the editor in the Seattle Times:

All that is asked of our citizens is that we provide a small amount of the money we earn to share the cost of basic necessities that would be exorbitantly expensive for each of us alone.

I cannot afford a private firefighting force, but by paying my taxes, I can share in the cost of a fire department that protects my family and me.

Let's be candid for a moment. Is any rational observer under the impression that participants in these rallies oppose paying tax dollars for basic services? I don't think so. Rather, the protests are about bailouts for GM and the mortgage industry, pork barrel spending, and economic policies that mire future generations in unfathomable debt.

Do I detect an attempt to skirt the issue?

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