In case any of us forgot, Andrew Malcolm of the Los Angeles Times blog Top of the Ticket reminds that Our Congressman, Ron Paul, started the whole tea party thing back in 2007, during his run for the Republican presidential nomination.
Anyone monitoring varied blog comments and Twitter exchanges in recent days, however, recognizes the familiar grassroots flavor of the dedicated past Paulites in their chatrooms, exchanging organizing tips, alerting each other, making signs and alerting the media.
Many Republican politicians back home for the Easter recess, which seems to last well past the time that anyone else gets to mark that holiday, appeared to be playing catch-up, inviting themselves to the local rallies.
The question, of course, remains whether the grassroots organizers with complicit political allies can over time turn the anger into an actual effective political movement, as Howard Jarvis did with the anti-tax Prop. 13 in California years ago. And which party can most effectively tap into the protesters’ anger, using the new social networking methods that Obama’s campaign itself employed so well the last two years.
Meanwhile, since he proved so prescient last year about the approaching economic bust, here are some of Ron Paul’s recent thoughts on taxes and government spending, which, it may not surprise you to learn, he blames for much of the contemporary economic turmoil:
Could America exist without an income tax? The idea seems radical, yet in truth America did just fine without a federal income tax for the first 126 years of its history.
Prior to 1913, the government operated with revenues raised through tariffs, excise taxes and property taxes, without ever touching a worker's paycheck.
The harmful effects of the income tax are obvious. First and foremost, it has enabled government to expand far beyond its proper constitutional limits, regulating virtually every aspect of our lives. It has given government a claim on our lives and work, destroying our privacy in the process.
It takes billions of dollars out of the legitimate private economy, with most Americans giving more than a third of everything they make to the federal government. This economic drain destroys jobs and penalizes productive behavior.
The ridiculous complexity of the tax laws makes compliance a nightmare for both individuals and businesses.
Is it impossible to end the income tax? I don't believe so. In fact, I believe a serious groundswell movement of disaffected taxpayers is growing in this country. Millions of Americans are fed up with the current tax system, and they will bring pressure on Congress.