Tax protest poses as afternoon tea

Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 12:18am

More than a thousand people rallied near the State Capitol Wednesday to protest taxes on tax deadline day.

More than a thousand people gathered in front of the State Capitol on Wednesday, informally hosting what organizers called a "tea party" protest of taxes on tax day.

That may have been the reason they gathered, but in effect it was more of an anti-Barack Obama rally.

Signs being waved throughout the crowd and along Charlotte Avenue in front of the Capitol called President Obama a socialist, mocking him and his brand of "change." Some signs called for the Tennessee lawmakers to declare state sovereignty, others protesting abortion, a number demanding an end to federal bailouts, and even one lone protestor waving a sign calling for the legalization of marijuana.

Perhaps the most ominous sign of all was one that had the words "Soap Box" and "Ballot Box" on it and check marks beside those words, but underneath it also read "Cartridge Box" and was unchecked as if to say that was next.

"People expect more prudence, there should be more respect for the American taxpayers family bank accounts," said Ben Cunningham, a rally organizer and head of the Tennessee Tax Revolt, explaining the event’s ‘draw.’ When he spoke to the crowd he got a roar of support for cutting up a mock congressional credit card and decried what he said would become a trillion dollar a year deficit.

Asked where these crowds were when George W. Bush was president and why there weren't protests like this then, Cunningham said, "I certainly didn't hold back then but for many the size of the deficit now has pushed them to the tipping point."


22 Comments on this post:

By: eastnashville37207 on 4/16/09 at 3:35

Pleased there was a great turnout. Hope the next one doubles. These taxes are insane and especially since Obama claimed people earning under $250,000 wouldn't be victims of tax increases. We're all victims of this and want to thank everyone who went.

By: idgaf on 4/16/09 at 4:14

From the pictures on the tea party website and what people are saying there were a lot more people there then that.

There were over 300 at the Mt Juliet protest.

Enough is enough we don't have unlimited amounts of money.

btw Ralph Bristol is reporting that the Capitol police are estimateing the crowd at just short of 10,000. 10 times what this paper is reporting. (Gill said that last night too)

By: idgaf on 4/16/09 at 4:21

The Tennessean is reporting 3000 three times what this paper is reporting and we know which side they are on.

By: frodo on 4/16/09 at 7:04

Darn shame the CityPaper could not afford to send a real reporter or two to cover this event and this issue. There is no attempt here to understand the issue or the energy behind the TEA Party.

By: Kosh III on 4/16/09 at 7:17

I work near Legislative Plaza and saw the lemmings there. A thousand or so is about right.

By: TRHJR on 4/16/09 at 7:19

kosh 111 u lie.....

By: carleydale on 4/16/09 at 7:20

There were closer to 10,000.... how do I know? Because I drove to nearly every parking lot and garage downtown for 45 minutes just to find ONE parking space (cost not an issue at that point) so you do the MATH~ Puh-lease...... lousy lame reporting, if you ask me. My little kids noticed it was more than 4,000 just because of the size and volume of people down there. Very few of them stood in one place, while most just stayed for 15 minutes or so, then went back to work. Either way, it was a clear messge: "CHANGE $UX" "Size Matters in Taxing and Spending" and so on......

By: Kosh III on 4/16/09 at 7:23

frodo said: "There is no attempt here to understand the issue "

The real issue is not the President but the doubling of debt under Bush, the strain of an unnecessary and expensive war, the plundering and pillaging of our country by Bush and the Bankers and the need for the President to try to fix all the damage done by the Bushcovites.

By: gdiafante on 4/16/09 at 7:26

The stupidity of people never ceases to amaze. Everyone wants nice roads, good schools, clean water, etc, but no one wants to pay for it. How about we institute a "whine" tax. That would end the budget deficit, wouldn't it?

By: Dragon on 4/16/09 at 7:43

Obama promised that he would cause electricity costs to skyrocket. I expect him to keep his word.

He said that the $20 Billion in the stimulus to begin digitizing medical records was only a down payment to a much, much larger effort. Increasing your taxes to pay for it will be required.

Obama TRIPLED the deficit in his first three months. How will that money be repaid? The only source of government income is TAXES.

By: frodo on 4/16/09 at 7:50

Kosh and gdiafante, said like true 1770's loyalist.

The issue is the hard left turn to socialism. I knonw socialism. I lived and worked among it for years and heard the personal stories of people ravaged by that system. If we can take O at his words over the past ten years, then he is a socialist bent on steering this nation quickly to total government dependence. And that never, ever comes out well. Just look at history.

By: frodo on 4/16/09 at 7:51

Obama also said he would bring us together. Well, he certainly did that yesterday at Legislative Plaza.

By: SirKnight on 4/16/09 at 8:17

kosh III, you must have been at the shopping mall and mistook it for a protest. Take a look at this video of the event and tell me you see only about a thousand people. I was there and there were no less than 5,000! Could have been 8 or 10 thousand. I don't know.

gdiafante, no one is complaining about paying for our regular city, state and federal services. You obviously choose to ignore the national issues of bailing out banks, insurance co.s and GM using our tax dollars! I know you are not that uninformed.

By: SirKnight on 4/16/09 at 8:17


By: pandabear on 4/16/09 at 8:21

Ok, I've read the posts and seen the insanity
(especially from frodo...) and I have this to say:

Did anyone notice there wasn't any tea ?

I mean, I saw hamburgers, etc., but no tea, so I'd say
it was more of a party pooper than a tea party.

I wonder about any movement called a "Tea Party"
that forgets to bring the tea.

...might as well have a money party...

By: SirKnight on 4/16/09 at 8:40

TEA party = Taxed Enough Already Party

Get a clue, pandabear. This was OUR version of a modern day tea party to send the same message the Boston Tea Party (with only a few men dressed as Indians) did to their government. Enough is enough.

By the way, NO FOOD or drinks were served. It was a rally of thousands of individuals who came together to share anger and frustration with the direction our government is taking. We weren't happy with GWB nor are we happy with Pres. Obama. Heck, I'm afraid even Sen. McCain would have sent us down this wrong path, as well.

Are you guys not at all bothered by this illegal use of our tax dollars!?? Or are you so politically biased to the Left that you are oblivious to it. It's not a Republican or Democrat issue! It's an American issue.

By: carleydale on 4/16/09 at 9:33

Panda, there were tea bags on signs, dangling from hats, so much so that I kept all of mine in my purse..... LOL

Poor Panda, you haven't gotten the BILL that is due now from all the stupid spending our gov't is doing, including all the bailouts, and the GM fraud, the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac foolery, and so on. And those of us who HAD money and owed the IRS in years past, well, we got refunds this year. LOL ie.... now it's the lower middle class and poor who'll be footing all the taxes due because we certainly don't have it. And, good luck with that! ;-)

Panda....there IS NO MONEY.... my friends and business associates have been to the banks here and they STILL CAN'T GET A LOAN. Where did all your TARP $$ go? Ask O.

By: carleydale on 4/16/09 at 9:36

Gdia, the bailout debauchery has NOTHING to do with taxes for roads and other local infrastructure. GM and AIG are NOT, I repeat NOT associated with any local/state taxes you currently submit.

I as a taxpayer do not want to fund "bridges to nowhere" or other inane projects anymore, and Mr. O promised us he would stop the pork! He lied~ AND... I don't care what past presidents did. That's like punishing my current husband for what past inept husbands may've done. What counts the most is the current and future.

By: carleydale on 4/16/09 at 9:39

Frodo, were you there yesterday? I've never seen more Nashvillians at one location before other than at the TItans games. LOL And there were a bunch of "wannabe" politicians meandering around the area, trying their best to be inconspicuous, but alas, I recognized them anyway. My opinion: they were taking notice of those of us who are active participants verbally and physically (and monetarily) in our state's current political issues.

By: idgaf on 4/16/09 at 10:43

They loot the road fund money too so thats a bogus argument.

By: RyanHurd on 4/16/09 at 11:01

I find it funny that you protest high taxes when you support a war that is the largest government expenditure on the books. I too do not support the size of these government bailouts, but I most disagree with the oversight by paulson and others who wrote checks to their buddies and then let them run around and have a party. However, this is not a grass roots movement, you are not Martin Luther King or Ghandi, you are not oppressed, and this is not socialism (socialism is the state ownership of the major means of production, not the government simply being involved in private business. If this is your definition of socialism, then it started when GW started writing blank checks to Haliburton and Cargill). This is alot of whiny people upset because they lost a federal election to someone that they despise. I was at the tea party, I think 3000 is about right. I get that you are all "mad as hell" (there were more than ten signs that said so), and I agree with some of the reasons, but this was nothing more than a therapy session.

Oh, my favorite sign..... " OBAMA: Carter is no longer the worst president." Really? You didn't like carter? Where have you been for the past eight years?

By: carleydale on 4/16/09 at 2:17

Ryan, they're STILL writing those cute little checks.... and the partying is continuing even now. Isn't this just fun? At least the war got rid of some truly evil malicious people in this world. And last I checked, my friends' parents still had a retirement program they could rely on. Now..... not so much. Looks like none of us will ever be able to retire......ever.....