Tuesday Debate: Tax Day Tea Parties

By Jake and Glenn

In 1773 a brave group of colonists threw all the tea from the British East India Company into Boston Harbor. They were mad because the British Parliament had passed the Tea Act earlier in the year, heavily taxing our ancestor's consumption of this wonderful drink. A large part of their frustration was having to pay taxes imposed by people they didn't elect and could not hold accountable. It serves as an iconic moment in American history and started the colonies down the road to the Revolutionary War. Equally iconic and crucial to American history, there are tea parties being put on around the country to oppose parts of President Obama's spending and budgetary plans. What follows is a discussion of their merit and what might happen if Billy Crystal became President.

Jake (Pro): Tea parties are the perfect way for patriots to symbolically protest their anger toward President Obama and his stimulus package, high taxes, the de-Christianification of America...pretty much anything that irks a true American citizen. It is our God given right to protest, and those liberals sure did their fair share when we were trying to liberate Iraq. The first time I heard about the Tax Day Tea Party was at a fundraising dinner. Me and my friends were sick of the government taking our hard earned money and using it on stupid things that we don't believe in. That dinner wasn't all anger, though. There was an Obama impersonator that rapped, and it was so funny. But I digress. The reason Tax Day Tea Parties are so important is that it gives people like you and I a forum to air our grievances toward the things that bother the true Americans. Our country is spinning out of control and throwing money away like it were confetti at a parade for an astronaut or a professional football team. Let's just let everything work itself out.

Glenn (Con): These tea parties are like Klu Klux Klan rallies with better speakers and much less racism. The first time I heard about these tea parties I thought "I wonder what those are." Then later when I found out I thought "that's not something I'd ever want to be involved with." I understand these people are upset that Obama is spending federal dollars on things like education, energy efficiency programs and bridges. We can debate the relative merits of these complaints, but let's look at the hypocrisy first. Where were these people for the past eight years, when we had a different President but our national debt doubled? They were someone else, because I had a lot of one man tea parties during that time. They're also mad about the bailouts of banks and organized crime insurance groups like AIG, but the bailouts started under President Bush last Fall. Where were they then? They must have had something going on that they just couldn't get out of.

Jake (Pro): First of all, thank you for the compliment in the first sentence toward the tea parties. I would like to address the Bush comments, of course. Bush was our president, he talked, loved, hated and acted confused just like us. He was a person we could relate to, unlike the new president, Obama. He is a character that a lot of Americans have a hard time relating to. Perhaps Bush didn't make great choices, some of them were the opposite of what should have happened, but Obama's choices so far aren't great either. With these Tea Parties we are trying to address some of the things that just don't seem right to us. An example would be the effect that this stimulus package is going to have on the economy, the worth of the dollar is going to go way down while inflation goes way up. Your precious poor people are going to be left eating dust our of Mother Hubbard's cupboard. Yet, you just want to spend that money on shit that private institutions could be working on, creating more jobs for America's workforce. Maybe alternative energy is important, but wouldn't it be better to let companies try to develop their own alternatives, creating more jobs that just the government trying to do so. You have to consider these little people, and this is just what we're doing by having these tea parties. These aren't your little sister's tea parties, these are the kind grown men have to make a difference in this country.

Glenn (Con): I am glad you brought up Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, which is a gas station in the Illinois-Iowa area. Mother Hubbard's is one of the many "private" enterprises that isn't hiring anyone. If MH's would hire any of the millions of unemployed people in America, I would agree we have no need for a stimulus. Perharps Mother Hubbard could afford to give health care not only to its own employees but the many uninsured people across the great state of Iowa and the less greater state of Illinois. Of course, like a Billy Crystal standup routine, I'm just joking. The government is spending all of this stupid money because they HAVE to. Some of the money in the federal stimulus bill might not have the most immediate stimulative fact and might just make us better off in five years, but most of it will have an immediate effect. For example, there was something in the stimulus bill to pay people from ACORN to go to tea parties across the country and assault everyone who attends. That stimulates the economy by putting poor people back to work and hurting libertarians.

Jake (Pro): Your argument is so absurd. Your constant reference to Billy Crystal is not going to win you any support. Billy Crystal is about as cool as being breast fed by Richard Speck. Also, I very seriously doubt that Mother Hubbard's Cupboard offers insurance to the few people that are lucky enough to find employment there. I guess the only thing to say about your other point about the stimulus package stimulating in five years is that we'll have to wait and see if that happens. That part of the debate will have to be slept on in a Rip Van Winkle-esque sleep. Also, as a former employee of ACORN, I can say that they treat their employees worse than anywhere else I have worked, including KFC. They cannot wait to throw you away or blame their own negligence on you.

Glenn (Con): I actually mentioned ACORN to be absurd. Email forwards - like the kind who accuse the Clintons of murdering Vince Foster or explain why same sex marriage is against the Bible - are warning tea baggers that ACORN is going to come to the tea parties and try to trick people into signing statements in support of Obama's budget. This reveals a few things about the mindset of the people supporting and attending these parties. The first is that many of them cannot read. The second is that they are conspiracy theorists. I will also jump to the conclusion that these tea parties are essentially planning meetings for our generation's Oklahoma City bombing. If you want to argue we should impeach George Bush, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Robert Byrd and every member of Obama's cabinent until we can put George Bush back into office and re-adopt his financial priorities, I can accept that argument. I just think that we're better off with Obama and even though his budget and stimulus aren't perfect, they're what we needed now. I think we need jobs and our economy repaired instead of just tea bags - even if they ARE very masculine.

Jake (Pro): You are blindly following Obama just as you earlier made fun of conservatives doing the same to Bush. You have no real problem with the fact that the dollar is going to be devalued and inflation is going to be so high that we'll have to work 2 hours just to afford a bag of apples. This is not the America I want to live in, not at all. My America is a eutopia where we are actually a democracy and actually a capitalist society, not a socialist one. You can say that Bush got us into this mess and only the biggest ditto heads are going to disagree with you, but if you're going to act like what we need to do is to spend an absurd amount of money to somehow make money and pull ourselves away from the oncoming depression, I just feel like you're just going along with what your hero Obama tells you. I hope we don't end up in a depression and that you're right, but somehow it just seems unlikely. I mean, you think Billy Crystal is funny, and everybody knows that's wrong.

Glenn (Con): Let me bring this back to the tea parties, in just a moment. We can all argue about the stimulus. No one knows if it's going to work, but most economists agree that if the government spends money it will have a stimulative effect. This makes sense, given that we literally refer to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as a stimulus. This is similar to what FDR did during the Great Depression. If you want to exhume his corpse, commit necrophilia and then try to rewrite history you are welcome to do it. People on Fox News do it every day. They also promote tea parties, which is a bizarre behavior for what pretends to be a news organization. I assert that these tea parties are mostly right-wing circle jerks full of crazy people who are only anti-government because the President is Barack Obama. If the President was Billy Crystal, these tea parties wouldn't be happening. Everyone would be too busy laughing! If they did somehow happen it'd only be because he's Jewish. Only white people go to tea parties and for me that's reason enough to be against them.


  1. wow, hard-core guys. while humorous, this is probably one of the most mind-stimulating (sexually) debate thus far.
    the thought of living in a great depression terrifies me and therefor i call a mass move-out to south america. why? because guerrilla warfare is the most effective form of protest and we could all learn a thing or two from our very southern cousins.

  2. nice last line glenn--trying to convince us you're not racist. ha!


  3. I went to a tea party yesterday and tried to start a "draft Billy Cristal for President" movement, but it didn't seem to catch on...

  4. "Billy Crystal is about as cool as being breast fed by Richard Speck." is one of my best lines.

  5. Agreed. I quoted it on a Thought Catalog article once and just now quoted it to Whitney.