Belton’s TEA party letter distorted facts, readers says
To the Editor:
In his letter last week, Mr. Belton questioned the reception of the “TEA Parties” by the left-wing media. I would like to respond to his correspondence, as I have a few points of my own, raised by his tome.
Mr. Belton speaks of the Boston Tea Party of 1773 as a tax revolt, and of Americans dressing up as Indians, but he takes no time in explaining the reasons why, but instead stated it illustrated a demonstration against “taxation without representation.”
However, he fails to mention that “taxation without representation” first started with opposition by Jonathan Mayhew and James Otis Jr. to the Stamp Act of 1765. No mention at all is given by Mr. Belton of those who opposed the tax in New York, Philadelphia and Charleston, or of those that chose the option of refusing the tea, rather than destroying it. I find it odd, that people would celebrate the destruction of private property, rather than commemorate those that protested by other means. Benjamin Franklin was horrified by the actions in Boston, and offered to pay for the tea himself. Mr. Belton also talks about the Americans dressing up as Indians, but fails to mention the significance of why they dressed as Mohawks. The greater irony being that those “sons of liberty” that sought to praise a nation of peoples (Mohawks), celebrating their ideals and freedoms, would in a short time be seeking ways to bury them.
Mr. Belton talks about Americans, shaking off the shackles of servitude, who became citizens, with the rights to protest and speak their mind. I am rather confused about this, as I was under the impression that African-Americans, were in shackles for almost another 100 years after 1773– or did I miss something?
Mr. Belton appears very concerned about left-wing politicians and pundits trying to discredit the “TEA parties.” Yet, at the same time, he states that free speech is at the core of American Society. I have no argument with Mr. Belton regarding the ability to express an opinion, I just find it odd that he would be against people expressing their displeasure about the “TEA parties” rather than commending them for living in a country, where people can take “TEA” or choose not to. Isn’t that the whole point? By not living in a tyranny, people are able to disagree. I would like to know, what happened to people in the 1980s. Did “TEA” parties go out of fashion? Or, perhaps, people went to sleep for almost 30 years.
Did we fail to notice that from 1981 to 1988, during the tenure of President Ronald Reagan, the deficit went from under $1 trillion to almost $3 trillion?
In fact, under the “great communicator” more federal debt was added than in the entire prior history of the United States.
Perhaps, he should have been called the “great accumulator.”
By November 2008, the national debt stood at $10 trillion, more than double when President Bush assumed office. My memory may be fading here, and I apologize for that, but I do not recall, during those eight years, any mention of “TEA parties.”
Now for the national debt to double during that time, I am sure somebody would have noticed, the Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts perhaps? Or, did things simply get, “curiouser and curiouser?” After all, Dick Cheney stated in 2002, “that deficits don’t matter.”
Mr. Belton questions the public’s reaction to the President, by claiming, “Obama’s approval rating at the 100-day mark is the second lowest of any president in the last 40 years according to Gallup.”
The poll, mentioned by Mr. Belton, is used to measure the popularity of the President, by an approve or disapprove rating.
The poll nowadays uses the terms excellent, good, just OK or terrible. So, interpretation may differ based on political bias. Gallup commissioned a second poll, using the approve/disapprove answer and President Obama came back with the second highest mark of any President in the last 40 years. I have included the Web site, should any one wish to verify the actual figures: http://www.gallup.com/poll/117598/Obama-Averages-Approval-First-Quarter....
Mr. Belton quotes a “Rasmussen poll said that 77 percent of Americans were against more government role in economic affairs.” He fails, however, to quote the survey that shows that voters are divided on more government regulation for big business. Forty-six percent support the idea, with 43 percent opposed. This figure has gone down since December, when 52 percent favored regulation, against 35 percent whom were opposed. The Web site can be found at: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/general_business...
Mr. Belton quoted a Fox News poll reporting that 62 percent vs. 20 percent said that government spending under Obama was "out of control.”
Yet again, Mr. Belton, failed to mention that in the same poll, President Obama, was given a job approval rating of 62 percent. That Web site can be found here: http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/042409_poll.pd Imagine the possibilities, such as a part or full privatization of education. For example, a tax credit for choosing which school a child can go to, regardless of it being public or private, with the private sector investing in the child’s future. Isn’t that what liberty is all about, freedom of choice? Mr. Belton quotes Thomas Jefferson, “When the people fear the government, that is tyranny. When the Government fears the people, that is liberty.” He then states that “It’s time our Government wakes up and hears our anger.”
I wonder if the anger of the people would be placated by scrapping payments to individuals which amount to around 58 percent of the total federal budget.
That is twice the share of the budget such payments claimed 40 years ago. Social security consumes 21 percent of the budget, Medicaid and Medicare 33 percent, would the “TEA party" participants choose ending these entitlements? Should their tea parties be renamed “Take Entitlements Away?” Please pass the milk and sugar.
I would also like to quote Thomas Jefferson:
“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.”
Newborn Via e-mail