Themen und Begriffe / Subjects and Definitions



Tea Party



Two things that have the name in common, but nothing else.

Left: Boston Tea Party in 1774. In book: The History of North America. London: E. Newberry, 1789.

Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division. This image is Public domain. Source: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/british/images/vc40.jpg

Right: Typical slogan of the Tea Party, Albuquerque, 2009: The little soldiers are fighting for their chiefs.

Foto: Matthew Reichbach (nmfbihop). Dieses Foto ist unter der Creative Commons-Lizenz Namensnennung 2.0 US-amerikanisch (nicht portiert) (CC BY 2.0) lizensiert.

Orig.-URL: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28016916@N08/3445557099/


That is a special type of “freedom”[1] that really is standing behind the slogans of the so-called “Tea Party”: the “freedom of the pike”, or, as others call it, the “freedom of the wolf”.


One main point is the “freedom” from taxes as far as possible. Who likes to pay taxes? Nobody likes. By such slogans many can be lured and mobilized – and so it happens that those, who prefer to pay 3.000 Dollar taxes a year to 4.000 Dollar or 6.000 Dollar to 8.000 Dollar fight for those who prefer to pay 1 million instead of 10 millions or 10 millions instead of 100 millions. And the whole thing is called “Tea Party”.


But already this name is wrong. In this case, a positive moment of American history which was important for the creation of the American nation is misused for creating a connection to a movement of our days which really does not have anything to do with this historical event.


“No taxation without representation”, that was the slogan of the American colonists at the very beginning of America’s fight for independence. That was the slogan which led to the famous “Boston Tea Party” in 1774. The slogan was NOT : ”No taxation”.


What had happened? The settlers in the British colonies in Northern America did not accept that they should be charged with taxes by a parliament they were not represented in. What they required was adequate and equal representation in a state asking taxes from them. That clearly is expressed by their slogan. As this representation was refused to them, they refused to pay taxes to such a state.


And today? The slogan in reality has been shortened to “No taxation!” – and so it is quite something different compared to the goals of 1774. Off course, today there IS representation, so the 1774 slogan would make no more sense at all.


And for those behind today’s “Tea Party”[2] there exists even much more than just “representation”. You are angry about “those in Washington”, who as you think only care for their own advantage and don’t represent you as they should do?


Well, you should be aware that exactly those who want you to fight for (their) “liberty” from taxes more or less have “hijacked” exactly this “Washington”, that they have much more “representation” than would be adequate to their percentage of the total population.


Did you ever hear the word “Lobbying”? It will need no explanation. Who, do you think, has the connections, the money, to influence politics and politicians, to channel and bring about decisions? Who is able to direct this “Washington” to act mostly for his own benefit? And who DOES it?   Paul Volcker, Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1979 to 1987, in 2011 called Washington D.C. a “temple of lobbyists and advocates”. Whose lobbyists and advocates will that be, what do you think? Yes, the 1 % again.


Read and hear what David Stockman, former budget director of President Reagan, and Gretchen Morgenson from the New York Times have to tell about that.[3]


And if you look, did these 1 % do not even more than just “lobbying”? Did they not already take over a great part of this “Washington” directly? Do you know, how many millionaires and multi-millionaires are sitting in Congress? Do you know, how many of the present Republican candidates for President are belonging to this 1 % of the population who have hijacked all this?


How can just these people tell everybody that exactly this “Washington” should be the source of all evil? As it is just THEY THEMSELVES who control it? This should not be a crazy thing?


So, what just is the main purpose of the “Tea Party”: “No taxation” or “Less taxation” for the rich 1 %. The “liberty” they speak of, that in reality is the liberty of the free wolf in the free chicken house with it’s free chickens.


Well, and you, you are the chickens. Might be once the “Tea Party” activists will have been fighting successfully for you that you pay 500 or 1.000 Dollars less taxes a year. In the same time, the schools your kids go to become more and more horrible, teachers are missing and not motivated, the infrastructure you use and which makes your life agreeable is rotting away, the public library and the public swimming pool have been closed, you no more like to walk in the street because there is no more money to pay the police to guarantee your safety and so on.


Well, these 1 % do not depend on that “public services” as you do. They have their own private schools, their own swimming pools, their own gated communities and security services. That is you who got screwed with his 1.000 Dollar saved taxes.


And also think of that: Is it really the taxes – that means the money you spend for your nation and for the public services you benefit from – that are the main problem when you see your income being downsized all the time? Are you aware of the fact that the vast majority of Americans have been left behind by the economic growth of the past few decades? That means, that the average income (in 2008 Dollars) has stayed all the same for 90 % of all Americans, but has tripled for the top 1 %? That for the lower 80 % it even has diminished, down to a loss of nearly 30 % for the lower 40 % of Americans?


If you compare the actual situation to the assumption of there would not have been such a change in the relative growth rates for various income groups after 1979, how much you could have earned more (or less) today? That means, as you do not earn this supposed surplus, what is the amount which you in fact really pay just for the top 1 %?


In 2005, the top 1 % actually made $ billion 673 more as they should have done compared to this assumption, and the bottom 80 % made $ billion 743 less. And that means, the average loss per income, what they actually pay to the top 1 %, is 8.000 to 9.000 Dollar a year for most of these 80 %, and even for the bottom 20 % it still is 5.000 Dollar!


Why the hell do you pay these “taxes” for the top rich, wherefore, and for whose’s benefit? So, what is the sense of the rebellion against the taxes for the state? Whatever your political opinion might be, just look at a few charts, made up from official figures. Let these charts just speak for themselves.


Income-inequality-in-america and One-percent-income-inequality.[4]


And think: Whose game is this game which is calling itself “Tea Party”?


To enable the 1% for Making money – Making still more money – Spending less money for the community – that is the main goal of those behind the “Tea Party”.


Many of them like to call themselves “patriots” – can you imagine anybody who is less patriot than one of these who deny to help their nation facing great problems (public dept; rotting infrastructure; more and more people getting poor), who just care for their own fortune to increase?


Think of another time, think of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who in a similar critical situation heavily rose taxes, mostly for these rich 1 %: Finally, the maximum income tax had risen up to 79 % in 1935. And when there came a still more critical situation for the United States in 1941 when entering World War II, the maximum income tax was risen once more up to more than 90 %.


And that is how America could get over the crisis: Making the “New Deal” in the 1930s and winning the war in the 1940s.


Be aware, that America has been in war in the last decade and that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan up to now have been more expansive for the US than had been World War II. Did any of these selfish so-called “patriots”, as they are not ashamed to call themselves, think of how all this mess should be paid?


On the contrary, these “patriots” commit politicians to swear by oath that they never will agree to rise any taxes. Something like that never has happened before: Politicians agreeing to castrate themselves and giving away one main right politicians have, the right to decide on the budget and the means how it should be financed. Giving this right away just to these 1 % and for the benefit of these 1 %. The 1% really have “hijacked” this “Washington”, that means politics.


So, what above all matters for the “Tea Party” is: “Less taxation” or even “No taxation” for the rich 1 %: The liberty of the free wolf in the free chicken-house with the free chickens. Well, and you are the chickens. Let’s say, not definitely. You are free to decide whether you further want to support the wolf – or help to kick him out.

[1]  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/19/bastardised-libertarianism-makes-freedom-oppression (Georges Monbiot, This bastardised libertarianism makes ‘freedom’ an instrument of oppression, The Guardian Dec. 19, 2011).

[2]  The Koch brothers are just one – might be the most prominent and best-known – case: See http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/13/tea-party-billionaire-koch-brothers (Suzanne Goldenberg, Tea Party movement: Billionaire Koch brothers who helped it grow, The Guardian, Oct. 13, 2010) and http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer (Jane Mayer, Covert Operations, The New Yorker, Aug. 30, 2010). Still more: See more: http://www.billionairesteaparty.com/ (The film: “The Billionaires’ Tea Party”); http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QePoDp9UtFE and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeHxX9d1Ms8&feature=related (this film on Youtube); http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2011/08/19/of-the-tea-party-by-the-tea-party-for-the-tea-party/ (Blog of Maureen Tkacik, 2011); http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29rich.html?pagewanted=all (Frank Rich: The Billionaires bankrolling the Tea Party, New York Times, Aug. 28, 2010); http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/oct/25/tea-party-koch-brothers (George Monbiot, The Tea Party movement: deluded and inspired by billionaires, The Guardian, Oct. 25, 2010); http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/01/us-debt-deal-tea-party (George Monbiot, Debt deal: anger and deceit has led the US into a billionaires' coup; The Guardian, Aug. 1, 2011), full version http://www.monbiot.com/2011/08/01/how-the-billionaires-broke-the-system/.

[3]  The adress in full is:

http://www.alternet.org/story/153844/how_big_money_bought_our_democracy,_corrupted_both_parties,_and_set_us_up_for_another_financial_crisis_?page=entire or http://www.protestation.org/blog/how-big-money-bought-our-democracy-corrupted-both-parties-and-set-us-up-for-another-financial-crisis/.

[4]  URL: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph and http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/10/one-percent-income-inequality-OWS. And if you also are interested in how the average American has to work harder for just the same or a shrinking income (that means with a growing benefit for others than you) also look at http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/06/speedup-americans-working-harder-charts. Who do you think grabs the surplus the average American should have made for working harder? “Washington”? Taxes had diminished in the last 30 years. If you have guessed “mostly the 1 %”, you definitely will be right.