By MARC McDONALD
Lately, Fox News has been hyping the upcoming "Tea Party Protests," set for April 15. The event is supposed to be nonpartisan. But the people who purport to represent the movement are doing a lot of Obama-bashing.
Typical of the latter is a comment by a group organizing a local Tea Party event in Florida, which claims the protest is targeting the "outrageous spending by the Obama administration."
Which leads to me wonder: where in the f*ck were these protesters during the administration of George W. Bush?
Bush, as you'll recall, inherited a $128 billion budget surplus from Bill Clinton when he took office in 2001. Bush quickly squandered that and then proceeded to rack up gigantic budget deficits every year of his two terms in office.
Under Bush, the national debt grew by more than $4 trillion: the biggest debt increase of any president in U.S. history.
When Bush took office in 2001, the national debt stood at $5.7 trillion. At the end of Bush's two terms, the debt had skyrocketed to more than $9.849 trillion. And remember: Bush enjoyed a Republican Senate and House of Representatives during most of his time in office.
Things weren't helped along any by Bush's illegal and totally unnecessary Iraq War. That disaster will probably wind up costing the U.S. $3 trillion. It would be nice if some of these Tea Party protesters asked for an immediate halt to the $10 billion a month that America continues to squander in Iraq every month to this day. But I suspect there won't be too many "Stop the Iraq War" signs at these Tea Party events.
Like I said, where were these "tea party" protesters during the Bush years? Where were they when Bush was handing out billions of our tax dollars to his wealthy friends? Where were they when Dick Cheney's former company, Halliburton, was pocketing billions of dollars in closed, no-bid contracts? Where were they when $12 billion in cash disappeared without a trace after it was shipped to Iraq?
Obama has only been in office a few months. He inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression.
I'd suspect that most of the nearly 70 million Americans who voted for him understood very well what an Obama administration would bring: higher taxes on the rich and more domestic spending by the government to re-start the disastrous economy Obama inherited. Ten million more voters supported Obama's plans than the 59 million McCain voters who wanted more of the same failed GOP policies that got us into this mess in the first place.
The fact is, Obama is simply carrying out the policies that he promised during his campaign. They are policies that the majority of voters want---a fact that the Tea Party Protesters appear to be totally ignorant about.
The Tea Party Protesters clearly do not represent what the majority of Americans want. They claim to speak for "the people," but the people have already spoken. They spoke with their ballots in the 2008 presidential election.
Incidentally, the Tea Party Protesters seem to be clueless about the original 1773 Boston Tea Party, which was prompted by an decrease, not increase, on tea taxes.
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