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Tea parties

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The Boston Tea Party of 1773 was led by British subjects in America resentful that the government in power was giving earmarks and tax favours to special interests such as the East India Company.

Revisionist historians have, of course, suggested that it was entirely the brainchild of Boston merchants and smugglers (often the same thing) whose tea would be undersold by the East India Company. But no one should underestimate the justified anger of taxpayers who felt their livelihoods were threatened by government.

This 18th century exercise in "outdoor activities" has recently received new life in America. Taxpayers across the country are demonstrating against a "stimulus" bill that stimulates government and special interests and hangs a millstone of debt around the necks of Americans and their children.

The idea that only "the rich" will pay for the trillion dollar deficit is rightfully dismissed as class warfare and inaccurate math. As we see with Senator Dodd's Irish 'cottage' and Representative Rangel's Caribbean getaway and the huge expenses collected by MEPs and the second homes mysteriously acquired by British politicians - we pay for government boondoggles and the politicians get rich.

For those interested in American tea parties, Instapundit has breaking updates. For those interested in making the most of media attention, Instapundit provides a helpful check list.

On the night of December 16, 150 British activists (now known as American patriots) disguised themselves as Red Indians, boarded the East India ships in Boston Harbour and dumped 200 tons of tea into the drink.

Comments (2)

Michael:

>>The Boston Tea Party of 1773 was led by British subjects in America resentful that the government in power was giving earmarks and tax favours to special interests such as the East India Company.
Uhh, not quite. That the Parliament had the authority to regulate trade within the Empire was not in dispute, including granting John Company a monopoly on importing tea to the colonies. The anger was over Parliament's unconstitutional levying of a tax upon tea to be paid by colonial subjects. Parliament had been attempting for several years to levy taxes in the colonies and these had been met with a wide variety of protests. Most recently the Townshend Acts had been repealed and the colonists had thought the matter settled. Then Parliament passed the Tea Act, once again seeking to tax British subjects outside the United Kingdom who had no representation in that body. Although the tax was minimal, the colonists recognised a camel's nose when they saw one and would not abide a slippery slope. Earmarks and tax breaks for the East India Company were not an aspect of the crisis.

Cat:

British subjects in America protested Parliament taxing them when they had no representation in Parliament. Yes!

Their boycott of tea put the East India Company on the ropes.

The British government passed the Tea Act to give the Company a tax break, which would allow the Company to undercut the price of American tea.

This resembles a modern earmark. Today Congress gives earmarks to certain companies as either tax breaks or as outright grants. We taxpayers have to pay for them.

What amazing people they were to launch protests two centuries ago. Let's hope Brits in Britain do the same with the EU.

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