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Friday, December 16, 2011

Boston Tea Party Anniversary

On this anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, which took place on December 16, 1773 in Boston Harbor, let us ask ourselves the question: Do Americans today face taxation without representation?

This was one of the major grievances that motivated the Sons of Liberty to disguise themselves as Native Americans, board a ship bearing tea from the recently bailed out East India Company, and throw all of the tea overboard in defiance of a distant, disinterested, and corrupt government. Sound anything like what we're going through today?

The 2009 Tea Party movement that has rallied grassroots organizers in cities across America to protest the abuses of our very own distant, disinterested, and corrupt government in Washington, has been criticized by its detractors who say American taxpayers do have representation, so our situation is not the same as the colonists' in 1773.

Nothing could be further from the truth. One of the steepest taxes (and certainly most regressive- meaning that it burdens the poor more heavily than the rich) Americans pay is the "inflation tax." Inflation is a way for government to fund its massive spending without overtly raising taxes; instead it shaves a little bit of purchasing power off of every dollar you have, and it spends that.

How is this done? By means of the Federal Reserve Bank. A private, government-sponsored corporation that prints all of the money in your wallet or purse. When the government needs more money to afford its reckless spending spree, it has the Fed print up more bills to pay its debts. These bills are worth the dollar's present value, but after the government spends them and puts them into circulation, everyone's dollars become worth a little less- inflation.

Now who again has this power over the value of our money? The Federal Reserve Bank. And who elected the Federal Reserve Bank's decision makers? Certainly not you or me! And what do we call that? Taxation without representation! Period.

Happy Tea Day!

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