Tea-d Off!

by Don Boudreaux on April 15, 2009

in Current Affairs, Taxes

Here’s Glenn Reynolds, writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, on today’s “Tea Parties.”  His take on these events is decidedly different — and far clearer, in my view — than is Paul Krugman’s take.  I sent the letter (below) to the New York Times in response to Krugman’s take.

Paul Krugman criticizes the anti-tax tea parties to be held around the country on Wednesday (“Tea Parties Forever,” April 13).  But Mr. Krugman’s message never rises above tabloid journalism.  Rather than address the issues, he merely rehashes absurdities spewed (mostly years ago) by right-wingers such as Tom DeLay and Karl Rove.  The implication is that, because the likes of Messrs. DeLay and Rove oppose higher taxes, persons who attend these tea parties must be similarly crazy partisans.

But is it really so absurd for ordinary Americans to be furious that Uncle Sam now promises to run up $9.3 trillion in debt during the next decade – an unfathomable sum that will inevitably lead to much higher taxes or higher inflation or both?  Is it small-minded to oppose corporate welfare for automakers, banks, and insurance companies?  Is it lunatic to fear further socialization of medical-care provision?  Do these concerns really signal that those of us who hold them are, as Mr. Krugman alleges, “refusing to grow up”?

One need not agree with the tea-partiers to concede that these worries are ones that reasonable people can, and do, have.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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Kurt Henning October 21, 2009 at 2:34 am

Well, this post may have been from six months ago, but its relevance goes all year long. I agree that those who oppose higher taxes are not necessarily crazed Republicans. To assert such an idea is to completely ignore the point or legitimacy of the protest. I am a typepad blogger – http://www.compellinginterest.typepad.com – who happens to be in the midst of an exchange (via letters) with the IRS and Illinois Department of Revenue regarding (you guessed it!) taxation. It has been an interesting exchange thus far. Please visit my blog and click on “Letters To (and From) the Tax Man” if you would like to see what’s going on. Incidentally, I am about to read Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” for the first time, which will be followed by “The Constitution of Liberty.” I just read Bastiat’s “The Law.” Good stuff, and amazingly relevant after 160 years.

Kurt Henning October 21, 2009 at 2:34 am

Well, this post may have been from six months ago, but its relevance goes all year long. I agree that those who oppose higher taxes are not necessarily crazed Republicans. To assert such an idea is to completely ignore the point or legitimacy of the protest. I am a typepad blogger – http://www.compellinginterest.typepad.com – who happens to be in the midst of an exchange (via letters) with the IRS and Illinois Department of Revenue regarding (you guessed it!) taxation. It has been an interesting exchange thus far. Please visit my blog and click on “Letters To (and From) the Tax Man” if you would like to see what’s going on. Incidentally, I am about to read Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” for the first time, which will be followed by “The Constitution of Liberty.” I just read Bastiat’s “The Law.” Good stuff, and amazingly relevant after 160 years.

Kurt Henning October 21, 2009 at 2:34 am

Well, this post may have been from six months ago, but its relevance goes all year long. I agree that those who oppose higher taxes are not necessarily crazed Republicans. To assert such an idea is to completely ignore the point or legitimacy of the protest. I am a typepad blogger – http://www.compellinginterest.typepad.com – who happens to be in the midst of an exchange (via letters) with the IRS and Illinois Department of Revenue regarding (you guessed it!) taxation. It has been an interesting exchange thus far. Please visit my blog and click on “Letters To (and From) the Tax Man” if you would like to see what’s going on. Incidentally, I am about to read Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” for the first time, which will be followed by “The Constitution of Liberty.” I just read Bastiat’s “The Law.” Good stuff, and amazingly relevant after 160 years.

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