When April 15th rolled around, I really wanted to attend one of those tea parties, but alas, it was a payroll day and 65 people were relying on me to get their checks on time. A huge gathering was held on the state capitol steps in Lansing, and of course, there are always the rabble-rousing usual suspects in front of the Royal Oak Post Office, as well as in Troy, Plymouth and elsewhere.
Even though I couldn’t make it to any of the gatherings, I was there in spirit. Why? Well, if you must know, there were several reasons.
It’s not because I’m rich and don’t want to pay taxes. The operative word is “rich” which we are definitely not, especially in the contracting economy that is present-day Michigan. Okay, I’ll admit it: I don’t really want to pay taxes. If truth be told, nobody really wants to pay taxes; do you? My employees don’t want to pay taxes, and many of them don’t. I imagine that even the very patriotic Joe Biden doesn’t really want to pay taxes. What do you want to bet he has the most competent CPA around to make sure he takes advantage of any loophole he can find?
Taxes are inevitable. I don’t mind paying taxes if we can see a return on investment. If we pay a heavy gas tax, I do not want to travel on roads that are so pocked with potholes it makes four-wheeling over the Rockies look like a Sunday drive. I don’t want to see our non-elected or elected bureaucrats unreachable by phone every Friday because they have decided to take the weekly afternoon off.
I don’t want to see my tax dollars going toward the corrupt activities of our elected officials, to fund their family members or friends. I certainly do not want my tax dollars to go to pork projects that are in essence make-work for some and rewards for a few. Wastefulness? I’m against it. Fiscal responsibility and common sense? I’m for it.
The original Boston Tea Party was about taxation without representation, and in a way, so were the 2009 tea parties. I feel less than represented by my state senator Debbie Stabenow when I write to her expressing my concerns in reasonable language and her response is always the same boilerplate form letter. “Thanks anyway for your interest, but I’m doing what I want to do.” As much as she wants to think so, she does not represent ME.