The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

On Tax Day, Tea Parties, Free Food and Calls for Reform

By Ben Pershing
It's Tax Day, and aside from the traditional "wait in line at the post office" ritual, everyone is celebrating a bit differently.

Conservatives across the land are organizing "tea parties," which, depending on whom you ask, are either inspirational displays of grassroots activism, or AstroTurf. President Obama will give a speech later this morning on "restoring fairness to the tax code," while other folks will take the opportunity to get free or discounted ice cream, cinnamon rolls and Chinese food.

Ari Fleischer is marking the day by writing that the current tax code is an "inverted pyramid scheme" and comparing it unfavorably to Bernard Madoff's scams. His complaint -- that millions of Americans at the low end of the pay scale pay little to no income tax. But a new survey out from Gallup shows that 41 percent of respondents believe lower-income people are paying their "fair share" of taxes, while 39 percent say they're paying "too much." That leaves only 16 percent in the Fleischer camp, though it turns out that the numbers are less sympathetic to lower-income people this year than they were in 2008. Overall, 48 percent say the amount of income tax they pay is "about right." Presumably, those people won't be attending any tea parties.

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Posted at 8:21 AM ET on Apr 15, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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That's my rough (unofficial) count from those reporting crowd estimates so far:

Posted by: JakeD | April 16, 2009 12:26 PM


I don't know about "Drugball" and Hannity, but I was not upset about Bush spending that money because 1) we weren't in an economic CRISIS, and 2) I agreed with the spending.

Everyone else:

There had to have been over 200,000 people coming out to the protests nationwide. Quite a success!

Posted by: JakeD | April 16, 2009 11:54 AM

Where was Drugball and Hannity when Bush was spending billions in Iraq and Blackwater and Halliburton was stealing millions of tax dollars. At least the Obama money is going somewhere in the good old U.S.A.and even I am getting some of it as I got a tax cut on my pension check. Oh! I forgot the little man has nothing coming only the elite. You fools out there protesting because the elite are going to start paying their taxes again and if you don't make over $250,000.00 you are not losing anything. Did the elite protest for you? {NO} Hannity & Drugball are paid millions to tell you lies, check for yourself. Just ask who is paying for everything that went on today. {BACKERS OF THE R PARTY, THE LOSERS}

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | April 15, 2009 11:07 PM

As far as these "Tea Parties" go, I am of the philosophy or our late, great, speaker of the California Assembly; If you can't drink their booze, ______ their women, and vote against them, you have no business being (there) here.

Posted by: nwsjnky1 | April 15, 2009 7:42 PM

Hey, LABC! Where have you been hiding?

Posted by: JakeD | April 15, 2009 3:51 PM

Might have known JakeDuh was into tea-baggin'

Posted by: LABC | April 15, 2009 2:47 PM

Posted by: JakeD | April 15, 2009 2:38 PM

wHO DO YOU PEOPLE THINK IS PAYING FOR ALL OF THE DOUNUTS, COFFEE, DISCOUNTED ICE CREAM, ADVERTISING ON tv AND RADIO AND BULLETINS EVERYWHERE. It is the republican party and all of you making less than $250,000.00 who are not getting a tax increase are out there protesting for the same top 10% who have been enjoying large tax cuts while you got none from the Bush Adm. {FOOLS}

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | April 15, 2009 2:13 PM

If you had possibly taken time to acttually READ what I said... my earnings in the late 70's and 1980 were taxes at over 50%. It was Reagan's tax-cuts which made it possible for me to enjoy life again (see, I'm old, 74, going on 23).
No brag, just fact -- at one time I guess I was in the Top One or Two-percent.
And I still have the tax returns hidden away somewhere.
Incidentally, asked for a source for earlier things, I failed to write it down, but I think it was the Office of Management & Budget, or the Government Accounting Office... I think.

Posted by: frost1 | April 15, 2009 2:11 PM

frost1, who are you kidding Make $8,000.00 and only get $3350.00 after taxes. Now that is an absolute lie. I made over $40,000.00 last year and paid less than $1500.00 when I did my taxes just for me and my wife. If wHAT YOU SAY IS RIGHT SOMEONE AND NOT THE GOVERNMENT GOT YOUR MONEY.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | April 15, 2009 1:59 PM

Somebody asked for the source on that Tax payment percentages stuff cited earlier? Those were good ol' government numbers, the bureaucracy kinda forced to admit who pays the freight.
Personally, it was Jimmy Carter's ugly era; it's pretty frustrating when you EARN (for example) $8,000 but get a check for, say, $3,350, not counting insurance, savings and other things withheld, stiffles incentive. And, yeah, I got sick of it and started goofing-off, royally! So, thank God for Reagan's tax-cut in '82
when I could start working again, so as to keep a little more of what I'd Earn.

Posted by: frost1 | April 15, 2009 1:13 PM

frost1 writes
"The Top TEN-percent pay 72.4% of all Income taxes.
And, the bottom 50% pay less than 3½% to IRS."

Sounds like the top 10% should be paying the bottom 50% higher salaries so they can bear more of the tax burden.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 15, 2009 12:45 PM

The Top TEN-percent pay 72.4% of all Income taxes.

Posted by: JakeD | April 15, 2009 12:03 PM

Anyone who has actually looked at the history of the current economic crisis can see that it lays squarely at the feet of Jimmy Carter, Barney Frank and Bill Clinton. Their insistence that the mortgage houses give mortgage loans to those who could not afford them, and their threat of the force of government if they did not comply, led many to obtain these "sub-prime" mortgages. When they couldn't or wouldn't make the payments, the loans were called, and the house of cards came crashing down.
Now government has stepped to try to fix the problem by taxing those who were able to pay their mortgages, and, by the way, virtually all of the taxes, in order to help the people who can't or won't pay their mortgages and don't pay much in the way of taxes either. Fair, I think not.
Adopt the "Fair Tax."

Posted by: OveyFan | April 15, 2009 11:56 AM

We all know that there is a cultural civil war going and the left and right hate eachother's guts, this is a given, but the Post has abdicated its reponsibility to the truth. Where are the stars of Journalism that the Post used to have? Where is the critical research into what and who Obama really is? Why have you become a dictating machine for Obama?

Posted by: walterndebby | April 15, 2009 11:50 AM

Obama wants to "restore fairness" to the tax code? When has it ever been "fair"? How can any columnist quote Obama on "restoring fairness" without raising the question of when the tax code was ever fair? You want "fairness". Go to the "Fair Tax" as laid out by Boortz and Linder. All Obama wants is to fine tune income redistribution, to tax more Social Security benefits, and exempt millions more Americans from paying any income taxes at all.

Posted by: dougmatt | April 15, 2009 10:43 AM


What are your sources? Yes, the top 2% pay a large percentage of the taxes. However, the top 2% also make a far greater percentage of the income. Seems fair.

Posted by: 01-20-09 | April 15, 2009 10:41 AM

Ben Pershing,
You are so out of touch with reality!
Todays TEA Parties have nothing to do with conservative vs liberal, but all about the Federal government taking our freedoms away from us including the freedom to fail!

Posted by: rteske | April 15, 2009 10:41 AM

They have a twitter tea time mind feed has about 15 messages per minute right now.

Posted by: richard0thomas | April 15, 2009 10:17 AM

The Top One-percent of income-earners (1.65-million people making $388K or more) pay FORTY-PERCENT of the Income Taxes, while earning 22% of the money.
AGAIN, that’s the Top 1% earn 22% of the money, but pay 40% of the taxes! I know, I've been there and paid my UNfair share. Prior to Reagan's tax-cut, that caused me to take up golf and drinking -- sure kills incentive when over 50% of your EARNINGS are withheld by IRS alone, not to mention those many other taxes.
The top TWO-PERCENT (7% of all returns received by IRS) pay 62% of the taxes.
The Top TEN-percent pay 72.4% of all Income taxes.
And, the bottom 50% pay less than 3½% to IRS.
Indisputable. Your witness...

Posted by: frost1 | April 15, 2009 10:00 AM




Same goes for mainstream media, which can't rid itself of the temptation to invoke double-entendre and a thinly-veiled contempt for those who dare to question what does look like excessive government intrusion into what used to be private enterprise.

These are legitimate concerns. By dismissing these concerns as the ranting of lunatics, the Dem establishment risks coming off as the elitists, the protectors of corporate privilege -- when the facts would tend to argue that laissez-faire GOP economic policies led the nation to economic ruin.



Attorney General Eric Holder
DHS Sec. Napolitano
DoD Sec. Gates
Treas. Sec. Geithner
DNI Dennis Blair, DNI Inspector General-designate Roslyn Mazer
Rahm Emanuel. David Axelrod, Jay Carney, White House
(staffs, please forward)


Google it.

YOU -- or someone close to you -- could be the next victim.

Unless Team Obama takes down the draconian Bush-Cheney extrajudicial punishment network... array of secret "programs of personal financial destruction" and a government-funded army of citizen vigilante "community gang stalkers"... using the GPS satellite system to hunt and harass human prey (with the full knowledge of law enforcement)...

...coupled with the proliferation of mind- and body-degrading "directed energy" microwave radiation weapons -- the Zyklon B of a grassroots, military/intel- enabled civilian American Gestapo. These federal programs and policies have corrupted local law enforcement nationwide, allowing vigilante injustice to rule the streets.

Attorney General Holder, you must act NOW to restore human and civil rights in America.

Before the naivete of liberals empowers the saboteurs and Dr. Strangeloves who say "No!" to change.

Where is the civil rights division investigation that victims have demanded?

Or is there "nothing to investigate" -- because the government already knows all about this?

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 15, 2009 9:49 AM

I find this interesting. Didn't Obama call for Americans to become involved in their government? Or did he mean only if you support his agenda?

If Obama beleives in the principles of organiziing then he should know that organizing is more about getting people involved and less about the actual issue.

So, it seems to me that that Obama should support the tea parties. People getting involved in their government.

Unless of course Obama really meant that he only supports people getting involved in government, so long as they do what he tells them too!

Posted by: heathergreeneyes | April 15, 2009 9:21 AM

Ah yes, we all know how very dangerous and unstable those middle class, Christian, conservative, working Americans are.

Posted by: thebink | April 15, 2009 9:16 AM

Why just complain about paying taxes when you can SING about complaining about paying taxes?!?
Watch “Goin’ to the C.P.A. (The Tax Song)” at

See more parodies at

Posted by: thincaboutit | April 15, 2009 9:12 AM

These "tea parties" are less a wave of populist anger at Obama than they are a bizarre and potentially dangerous push for conservative insurrection by none other than Fox News.

Didn't they call Bush bashing "treason" only a few months ago? What about this incendiary political stunt?

Posted by: parkerfl1 | April 15, 2009 8:30 AM

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