April 15, 2009

IN TODAY’S WALL STREET JOURNAL, I talk about “Tea Party” protests as an Army of Davids phenomenon.

UPDATE: New York Post: Time To Make Some Noise. ” Complaining about taxes is as American as apple pie. But the spending has never been so crazed. Nothing wrong with a few folks reminding the people they put in office that it’s time to get things under control.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Worth noting:

• If you’re a 50-year old-with a college degree, you will pay approximately $81,000 over your working life just to pay the interest on the debt in the Obama budget.
• If you’re a 40-year-old, you’ll pay $132,000.
• And if you’re a 20-year-old, just starting out after college, you will pay a whopping $114,000 just to service the interest on the debt created by the Obama budget.

Plus, IRS workers see double standard on tax errors:

The Treasury secretary, who oversees the IRS, didn’t pay all his taxes. Neither did five other top nominees for the Obama administration, or their spouses.

Now, as Wednesday’s tax deadline looms, some Americans are wondering why they should comply with the arcane requirements of the Internal Revenue Service when top administration officials failed to do the same. Even some IRS employees are upset at what they see as a double standard.

The most criticized example has been Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who admitted not paying $34,000 in payroll and Social Security taxes, saying his failure to pay was an oversight. Five other nominees disclosed similar tax issues, including one as recently as two weeks ago when Kathleen Sebelius, President Barack Obama’s pick for secretary of health and human services, admitted she didn’t pay $7,040.

“Our members are upset and angry,” said Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, referring to concern bubbling up within the IRS over unusually strict rules that can cost agents their jobs if they make a mistake. In some cases, IRS employees have lost jobs for simply filing a late return or failing to report a few hundred dollars of interest income.

Instead of loosening the rules for IRS employees, though, shouldn’t we tighten them for the folks at the top? And — just maybe — simplify the tax system to reduce the chance — or the excuse — of honest errors?

Plus, a history: How the Tea Party movement got started.

MORE: I was on C-Span talking about this earlier. Here’s the video. (Sorry — had to remove embedded video as it seems to have killed them.)

[LATER: Here it is via YouTube:]

Plus, from most Big Media, “confusion and ambivalence.” “A good story is to be had, but it’s not exactly a story they want to tell. So what to do?”

Some related thoughts here:

A few years ago, Glenn Reynolds, Rob Neppell, Ed Morrissey and other prominent bloggers tried putting the spotlight on the Bush administration’s runaway spending with an organization called Porkbusters. The outrage they expressed was genuine but it did’t light a fire with enough people.

Little did they know that the Bush administration’s spending would look modest compared with the next administration’s out-of-control spending spree. Little did these fiscal conservatives know that a Democratic administration would overreach as badly as this administration has overspent on one bailout after another.

The Obama administration’s proposed spending trillions of dollars on bailouts lit the fuse that the triumvirate of Reynolds, Neppell and Morrissey tried lighting.

So Obama, Pelosi and Reid succeeded where Reynolds, Neppell, and Morrissey failed! But at least we managed to annoy Trent Lott.

And we might as well run this graphic again. It’s pretty illustrative.

Plus: Rick Santelli: “I’m Pretty Proud of This.” He should be. He didn’t actually start it, but he gave it a huge boost, and a name.

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