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Concerning Tea Parties

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Follow Me on Twitter     Message Mary Bell Lockhart
It's important for those who protest taxes and government spending to be advised that paying taxes enables them to exercise the right to protest.   Are our taxes too high?  The fact is that the federal income tax rate is about the lowest it's been in 3 decades.  Aside from the vocal few, a majority of Americans recently polled said that their taxes were about right or too low.  And the Obama Administration just enacted a huge tax cut helping 95% of American families. Was that mentioned at any of these protests?  
Further, while waving a sign condemning socialism, folks should look to see where they are standing.  Make sure it's not on any socialistic (i.e., collectively-owned) government property like public parks, sidewalks or roads.  Don't seek the help of socialistic organizations like police, courts, fire and emergency medicine, either. No public schools or higher education for your kids; no military to defend you.  Rugged individualism sounds good, but most of us, to one extent or another have to get through this life by relying on each other, by collective action.  So we vote to elect people to run the government and we pay taxes to fund government works. That is socialism no matter how we try to demonize the word.
In the United States we have a mix of capitalism and socialism.  It leaves people free to own private businesses and property and to earn money, most of which they can spend as they choose. Government at all levels enables private enterprise and government protects our individual rights and liberties.  It guides the economy and provides safety nets to keep our society thriving.   And increased spending now has unfortunately become necessary to save us from a depression brought on by anything-goes, deregulated capitalism.  The good news about the current mix of spending is that much of it is investment in the future and much of it will actually return to our collective coffers down the road.  This spending creates jobs which tax cuts for the rich just won't accomplish.
It is our patriotic duty to vote and a patriotic duty to pay our fair share of the cost of operating government.  How can someone stand on a street corner, wave an American flag, claim to be a patriot and a "supporter of our troops" then call for Texas to secede from the Union?  The rest of us, down here in Texas say, "It just don't make no sense!"
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I'm a retired public health worker focused these days on supporting a variety of progressive issues, such as criminal justice reform, energy efficiency, environmental protection, universal health care, civil rights, and worldwide peace and (more...)

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