The battle of the Tax Day tea parties

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 - 06:24 AM

Tax Day: The battle of the tea parties.

The original tea party, of course, was in 1773, when colonists dumped chests of tea into the Boston Harbor to protest taxation by the British government. This year, dueling groups of disgruntled taxpayers are hurling their own real and metaphorical sacks of tea into the water to protest how they're being taxed.

"Taxed enough" tea parties

CNBC's Rick Santelli sort of, vaguely called for a tea party protest in February, when he said in the midst of a rant about bailing out homeowners, "We're thinking of having a Chicago tea party... I think we're going to be dumping in some derivative securities with that."

A group of people have organized what could be thousands of "tea party" protests around the country to protest government spending under the Obama administration, particularly stimulus spending. Joining the crew are former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in New York and conservative commentator Sean Hannity in Atlanta. Rick Santelli apparently won't be there. Protesters will hurl tea into the nearest body of water.

"No taxation without representation" tea parties

They'll either be smaller or they're less hyped, but dozens of protests are planned across the country to fight "the discrimination that same-sex couples continue to face... when they file their federal tax return form."

The protests are co-sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, Join the Impact, and Marriage Equality USA. Supporters of gay marriage will throw "symbolic federal tax forms into Boston Harbor" — but they'll pull them back out to avoid pollution.

Most Americans are drinking coffee...

Nearly half of Americans aren't very interested in tax protests anyway, according to a new Gallup Poll. The poll says that 48 percent of Americans say the amount of federal income taxes they pay is "about right." Americans haven't felt better about paying taxes in since 1956.

Most people are just going to try to get their taxes in (or file extensions) on time. For all of you who still file by mail, check your post office's hours. In many places across the country, post offices won't have extended hours because of budget cutbacks. If procrastinators could organize in a timely fashion, they'd probably have their own protest for more forgiving deadlines.

Tips, nostalgia and you

If you still haven't paid your taxes, here are some tips from the Associated Press.

If all that talk about the original Boston Tea Party has made you nostalgic, you can check out how the 1040 form has mutated over the years. It all looked a lot simpler in 1913.

And tell us what you think. If there were a comment box on the bottom of your tax forms, what would you want to tell the government about how paying taxes makes you feel this year? Call 1-877-8-MY-TAKE, email mytake@thetakeaway.org, or leave a comment below to let us know.

Good luck!

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