Tea Bagging Party in Norwich

The last time I analyzed a story from The Day, I caught some shit for being a bully, but I’m going to give it another whirl.

New London’s favorite daily has bought the FOX News bridge of the Tea Party movement that’s taking the country by storm. The fact that some wingnuts are getting together on April 15 to protest the fact that they’re being taxed to death is noteworthy. People who have time enough on their hands to take a day off of work to protest taxes as part of a faux-grass roots movement deserves all the news coverage in the world.

Here’s Rich Curtis, one of the organizers of the Norwich Tea Bag Party:

“Regular working people and small-business owners are fed up with the overtaxation, poor representation, pork spending and bailouts,” said Rich Curtis, an organizer of the Norwich tax day tea party.

“We’re the silent majority, and finally we’re standing up and standing together,” he said.

Curtis’ invocation of Richard Nixon‘s famous ‘Silent Majority’ is an interesting decision. When Nixon used that phrase, he was referring to the supposed large number of Americans who weren’t protesting the Vietnam War as proof that his policies weren’t as unpopular as the loudmouthed protesters were making them out to be.

I want you to think about that. This man, Rich Curtis, is organizing a tax protest. There’s nothing silent about this, and given the fact that Obama carried the nation and Connecticut by the largest margin in recent memory and is twice as popular as George W. Bush, the man who actually ruined the country, there sure doesn’t seem anything majority-ish about it either. It’s easy to find 400 people to join a Facebook group that is against taxes, but a grass movement it does not make.

This is a fake story fueled by anti-populist dick-bag swine like Rick Santelli and Neil Cavuto. I’m glad to see The Day is catching the Tea Bagging Party fever.

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26 responses to “Tea Bagging Party in Norwich

  1. I hate Rick Santelli as much as the next guy, but if I came over to your place and stole half your shit, you would likely be pretty pissed. That is what the government does “for a living.” There is no logical way to escape this. Further, no wonder our great savior is so popular, the “majority” so in love with Obama benefits (or feels they do) from this theft.

    It is a strange world where people gleefully deride people for simply wanting to keep what is theirs.

    • I realize that you and I have a fundamental disagreement about what role government plays in people’s lives, but your analogy is flawed. In exchange for the “stealing half your shit,” you do actually get services in return, such as education, infrastructure, and military and police protection. I also realize that you think those things are part of the problem, but most of the country does not.

  2. Hi there “nomoresbsolutes” or “anonymous”.

    You seem to know more about me than the next guy.

    You say that this was not grass-roots. Oh really? We have no corporate sponsor and this started at a coffee shop with 2 people. What would you call that? I’m concerned about this Congress saddling my great-great grandchildren with a mountain of debt.

    I was born after Nixon resigned, so I wasn’t that aware of the origin of “Silent Majority”. Thanks for the history lesson.

    This isn’t a tax protest partner, rather we’re sending word to Washington that we’re not happy with the “porky little amendments” that are funded by us working people.

    And uh yeah, I’m taking a half day tomorrow to party.

    Next time you have a question, feel free to email me at freenorwich@hotmail.com

    • My name is Matt Clark. There’s a picture of me after every post. You see the irony of calling me out for being anonymous when you’ve signed your name Free Norwich, right? What is that Polish?

      My question is: were you worried about your great-grandchildren being saddled with a mountain of debt only after Obama was elected? Because if memory serves me, GWB pretty much spent the taxpayers’ money willy-nilly on shitty policy initiatives, from No Child Left Behind to Medicare Part D to starting wars for the fuck of it, so where was your concern for the future then, partner?

      And if this isn’t a protest about being taxed, (and I’m assuming that you’re Rich Curtis, but since you didn’t take the time to sign your name, I can’t be sure) you surely must be demanding a correction from The Day, since you were quoted as saying that this little shindig is for “people and small-business owners (who) are fed up with the overtaxation, poor representation, pork spending and bailouts.” Silly me for assigning significance to the fact that you’re holding it on April 15, a day not known for anything at all.

      So, yes, I have a question. Were you always this stupid? Or did you just get this way from watching FOX?

  3. “you do actually get services in return, such as education, infrastructure, and military and police protection.”

    When I steal half your shit I will leave a copy of Human Action and a coupon for free economics lessons. Trust me, this is a great deal. If you disagree, well, what would the government do?

    “This isn’t a tax protest partner, rather we’re sending word to Washington that we’re not happy with the “porky little amendments” that are funded by us working people. ”

    Well, it ought a be a tax protest. Seriously, you suck at this whole freedom thing.

  4. Its amazing to me. Liberals can’t stand being the object of the same kind or protests and criticism that George Bush put up with for 8 years. You guys opened the can of “sensationlized fear-mongering” and now you can’t handle the fact that the worms are out and biting you back!

    And as far as Bush goes, let me assure you that I did not just get angry when Obama was elected. It goes back to the initial bailout funds encouraged by the President. I detest the fact that Bush spent so much and I hate that Obama is going to spend at least 3x the amount that Bush spent. I am so tired of liberals noting that “Bush did it, too”. So what. I never thought I’d see liberals so happy that one of their own was mimicking a Bush policy.

    Finally: if a tea party makes me a wingnut, then so be it. But I am a wingnut who goes to work everyday and works hard to earn my keep. I serve my community in any number of ways; school boards, working with local charities, etc.

    I want the government to fulfill its constitutional role which is really quite limited and to stay off of my back and out of my pocket! And I’ll be out tomorrow to do what Americans have done for decades: exercise a little free speech.

  5. Hi Matt,

    Yeah, I’m Rich, but I also use wordpress, and it auto-logs me in as freenorwich. Same me anyhow. Freenorwich.com is our wordpress extension.

    GW Bush started the overspending. We won’t disagree onthat. GW started “bailouts” and defied the populace by helping his buddies at GM. No arguments man. Why do today’s rally movements get accused of supporting Bush policies? I suspect marginalization.

    I do not blame President Obama. It is the Congress that writes this legislation. I see the President as a multi-faceted job (Commander in Chief, etc).

    I’m an amateur, so maybe I do suck at protest. Live and learn I guess. This is intended to be a rally and not a protest, hence my earlier comments.

    You know there are going to be regular folks at the marina as well as nut jobs. We can agree on a few things though, like a nation can’t spend its way into prosperity.

    Take care,

    Rich

  6. How can you, as both a Christian and a parent, support tea bagging?

  7. Gotcha Rich.

    We obviously have disagreements about what government should and shouldn’t do, especially in a time of serious financial crisis.

    If we learned anything from Herbert Hoover’s economic policies during the Great Depression, it’s that a nation can absolutely ruin itself through drastic budget cuts, so I would say that we’re definitely not in agreement about your previous statement about spending and prosperity.

    The thing that I’m still most stymied by is the timing. Why tax day 2009? Why now? Government, especially by your standards, has been porking up legislation long before tomorrow. It’s my opinion (and that’s all it is) that this party is happening, at least in part, because some squawking fools on a propaganda cable TV channel have been engaged in all-out demagoguery about these things as a way to counteract a very popular president.

    I have nothing but respect for protest and free speech, and I don’t begrudge your right to do it. I just question the reasons behind it and the timing.

  8. I feel the timing is meaningless, call it “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.

    I dont see this as a Democrat or Republican fight, this in my opinion is based on the belief the governmet is spending in the too much and in the wrong places.

    • This is an very intelligent position to take. You’re admitting that you can’t distinguish between actual events such as a president who spent the last 8 years ruining the country by spending your precious imaginary tax dollars on needless wars while giving tax cuts to the richest 1% of the population but, really, now that there’s a president who’s trying to rescue the country from collapse, spending is a problem.

      What about all the other needles? You’re saying now is the time to be outraged. That’s not very smart. And I’d bet dollars to donuts (U.S. dollars, that is) that you’re among the minority who thinks that these tea-bagging parties are part of a larger bipartisan unity movement.

  9. “If we learned anything from Herbert Hoover’s economic policies during the Great Depression, it’s that a nation can absolutely ruin itself through drastic budget cuts, so I would say that we’re definitely not in agreement about your previous statement about spending and prosperity.”

    What exactly do you know of Hoover’s economic policy or economic theory in general?

  10. A couple of basic economic principles and concepts that you might not learn in a textbook.

    1. The economy runs on saving, not spending. For anything beyond basic subsistence, someone must save.

    2. The Federal Reserve was created to prevent banking crises. In 1913 (thank god we don’t have those anymore). It manipulates the most basic price in the economy that is directly related to saving, interest rates.

    3. Herbert Hoover was anything but a free market advocate. He wrote the playbook to be used by Roosevelt, as well as Bush and Obama in time of economic crisis. Lower Fed Rates, public works, and all of the various aide to states, and debtors.

    4. Printing money is generally not the path to prosperity.

  11. First of all, you’re welcome for the traffic Matt. I intend to link to you from freenorwich.com, a 3 year, 300+ unique hit per day site. Your obvious talent for writing compels me to invite you as an editor as well. Why The Day chose to cut you before others does baffle me. I like that Ted Mann btw.

    I took the time to read around your site and found that we also enjoy similar pop culture and music. Please don’t take my “you’re welcome” as an insult.

    For JP, your point #2 is dead wrong. The Fed was established as a stopgap to carry our nation through insolvent bankruptcy. The Fed Act is essentially the license to tax our labor as collateral in the “recovery” (which never happened. I’d love to have a couple of cold ones with you and share ideas. I have no pride issues, and value learning from people like you over “being right” myself.

    I’m nervous as heck about my responsibilities tomorrow and can’t sleep just yet. Wish me well fellas…

    Rich

  12. I just want to point out that in the article Rich Curtis says, ‘”We’re the silent majority, and finally we’re standing up and standing together,” he said.’ Perhaps what he should have said was, “We were (or have been) the silent majority, and finally we’re standing up and standing together.” But as far as the inadvertent allusion to Nixon and the concept of a large group of people who exist but remain unheard, it seems fairly sound to me –right, Clark? I mean, once they start talking of course, then they’re no longer silent. Then they’re just a bunch of people yelling in a marina in a CT, I think.

    And yeah, that “coming to your house and stealing half your shit” comparison is crazy talk.

    • The problem with the analogy is that, in this case, the “Silent Majority” would be the 60 percent of the country who approve of Obama’s agenda, not the small group of people yelling at a marina.

  13. “For JP, your point #2 is dead wrong. The Fed was established as a stopgap to carry our nation through insolvent bankruptcy. The Fed Act is essentially the license to tax our labor as collateral in the “recovery” (which never happened.”

    I have no idea what you mean by this. However, you read me wrong if you assume I thought it was capable of doing anything good.

  14. A recommended reading: The Forgotten Man by Amity Schlaes. She is a conservative, but gives a fair retelling of the history of the Great Depression. Her research coroborates the comment earlier in this thread about Hoover laying the groundwork for Roosevelt. As Schlaes notes, the only difference between the two is that Hoover refused to stretch the constitution to exercise Keynsianism and Roosevelt was ready to ride rough shod all over it to implement it.

    • “A fair retelling”? By whose account? Schlaes’ most notable achievement is having been fired by the Financial Times because she was incompetent.

      Yes, she’s a “senior economic fellow” on the Council on Foreign Relations, but she only has a bachelors degree in English, which, by those standards, makes me qualified to be on the CFR and write a widely-criticized, best-selling popular history of the Great Depression.

      From Paul Krugman (who, as you may have heard, is actually an economist who actually has a Nobel Prize) to Jon Chait to John Updike, who, as you might have heard, grew up in the shadow of the Depression, smart people everywhere have criticized The Forgotten Man for being revisionist tripe.

  15. “From Paul Krugman (who, as you may have heard, is actually an economist who actually has a Nobel Prize)”

    Krugman is a sham of an economist who received a sham of an award from the central bank in Sweden. Shockingly, the central bank tends to give their award to those who support interventionism.

    If you wish to speak on economics, business cycles, and banking, quoting hack economists simply won’t do. If you wish not to understand them yourself, maybe decide you are better at critiques of newspapering, a field more to your area of expertise. I will be sure to avoid literary critique so as to extend you the same courtesy.

    “And yeah, that “coming to your house and stealing half your shit” comparison is crazy talk.”

    Does the government not steal a large portion of a person’s wealth only to provide “services” like imprisonment for peaceful activities (drug war), killing innocents abroad (the war on terror) amongst its greatest hits? I don’t know about you, but I most certainly don’t hand over a cent of my paycheck voluntarily. I do it because it is taken under threat of murder or imprisonment.

    Sometimes “crazy ideas” are true.

    • Jimmy, I’m not claiming to be an expert on these things, and toe-to-toe of course you’ll out-Econ me, but it also seems pretty unfreedomish of you to claim that simply because a person isn’t a trained expert, he can’t have an opinion about broad and multi-faceted topics, like say books, newspapers or the economy.

      If you like the Da Vinci Code, that’s fine. You’re allowed. We might not agree about its quality, but I’m not gonna try to stop you.

  16. Ay JP-
    I guess I see what you’re getting at. You’re making a somewhat provocative statement to make a larger point. And your point is taken. But it seems simplistic. This is the same kind of thinking that conspiracy theorist nut jobs like to do. It’s like assuming that the Bush administration was willfully out to perform evil deeds, as opposed to just stupidly bumbling through. The reality of taxation seems much more complex. You only point out two “services” that play into your argument – two “greatest hits” that don’t jive with your sensibilities. You ignore lots of the other “services” that allow you to acquire a paycheck in the first place, i.e. the stuff Clark pointed out: education, infrastructure, and military and police protection. You may not agree with how your tax dollars are spent, but you can’t pick and choose in a democracy. If you object to the way your tax dollars are spent that’s a sensible argument, but that’s not really the same thing as saying the government is “stealing your shit.”

  17. “You ignore lots of the other “services” that allow you to acquire a paycheck in the first place, i.e. the stuff Clark pointed out: education, infrastructure, and military and police protection.”

    I could hire a private security force where I could likely afford 20% of an employees time for the amount I pay in income taxes alone. Surely my gas taxes could afford to pay for the roads and then some.

    “You may not agree with how your tax dollars are spent, but you can’t pick and choose in a democracy.”

    This is a fundamental problem with the system. Other people shouldn’t be able to decide what to do with my money, particularly when the decide to spend it in an effort to hurt others (or me).

    And, ultimately, taking something that is not yours is stealing, even if you provide some “service”.

  18. There are serivces that the government provides that I love . . . police, EMS, etc. There are others, well . . . not so much. For example, the Mayor of the large city near our town wanted to use $75,000 of Obama’s stimulus money to clean local historical plaques. A local radio show host gathered a crew of citizens, learned how to clean them and then did it; eliminating the need to use $75,000 to do something that citizens can get together and do for their communities.

    When we lived in the larger city near our town, we had city trash pick up. It cost me 3x as much as the private company that now picks up my trash. And the private company is more efficient. The private company runs one man on the truck – vs. the larger city which puts four men to one truck. Government is not always – almost never – efficient.

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