“…pause and reflect how much it cost us to redeem ourselves from the government of one man.”

“…pause and reflect how much it cost us to redeem ourselves from the government of one man.”

“The time will and must come,

when honesty will receive its reward,

and when the people of this nation

will be brought to a sense of their duty,

and will pause and reflect how much it cost us to redeem ourselves from the government of one man.”     

                                       Davy Crockett

 

To a generation of early television viewers, Davy Crockett was a larger than life mythical  television character, (“Raised in the woods so’s he knew every tree, Killed him a bear when he was only three”) but the real Col. David “Davy” Crockett’s life story doesn’t need any embellishing.  Born into the infant nation in August of 1786, Crockett developed a reputation as a frontiersman, folk hero, story teller, politician, and soldier.  His reputation carried him to Congress for three terms, though he also lost his seat twice because of his anti-Jackson advocacy.

In early May of 1834 (just two years before he died fighting at The Alamo), Col. Crockett arrived in Boston via stagecoach by way of Providence as part of a tour (“Object being to examine the grand manufacturing establishments of the country; and also to find out the condition of its literature and morals, the extent of its commerce, and the practical operation of ‘The Experiment'”).  Crockett was treated like a prince in Boston.  Crockett’s memoir of his travels documents his positive impressions of Boston,  the hospitality he received,  and the commerce and manufacturing he witnessed.    

On one evening he was invited to speak to some young Whigs.  On his way to speak to them, he toured the Charlestown Navy Yard and noted that The Constitution was in drydock there being retimbered.  At the front of the ship, was a figure-head of Andrew Jackson.  “…they had fixed him just where he had fixed himself, that was, before the Constitution”. 

Crockett was a prominent and vocal opponent of Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act.  He knew that this position would cost him politically in his district in Tennessee, but he stood firm in his opposition.  (“I believed it was a wicked, unjust measure, and that I should go against it, let the cost against me be what it might.”) 

 Crockett’s speech to the young Whigs was a litany of Jackson’s abuses of power.  Crockett lamented that the blood of our revolutionary forefathers may have been spilled in vain, less than 60 years after the Revolutionary War.  “It has been decided by a majority of Congress, that Andrew Jackson shall be the Government,  and that his will shall be the law of the land”.   

180 years after Col. Crockett bared his concerns about our damaged Republic, it seems like we continue to repeat the same mistakes.  For decades, Congress has ceded more and more power to the President, to unelected career bureaucrats, to appointed judges, and to petty regulators.  Congress is supposed to represent the people and control the purse, but it has decayed into a useless, fetid, corpse of what our Constitution requires.

While many may feel comfort when their party occupies the White House, the imbalance in what was supposed to be a system of checks and balances will be fatal to the republic.

Republicans have failed as the party of fiscal conservatism, which was probably the single greatest concern that sparked the Tea Party movement almost 10 years ago.  Republicans exploited this issue to gain support from Tea Party members, but their words have turned out to be empty rhetoric.  We can cheer tax cuts, but there have been no counter balancing spending cuts.  The pig that we used to represent Congress in 2009 is immobilized by its morbid obesity.  The pig consumes everything, whether it is a blue pig or a red pig.

In his speech to the Whigs in Boston, Col. Crockett said “I this day walked over the great battle-ground of Bunker’s hill and thought whether it was possible that it was moistened with the sacred blood of our heroes in vain, and that we should forget what they fought for.  I hope to see our once happy country restored to its former peace and happiness, and once more redeemed from tyranny and despotism…the true friends of liberty see the laws and constitution blotted out from the heads and hearts of the people’s leaders…They meet the same fate that they did before King George and his parliament.” 

It is well past time for all Americans, regardless of party, to  “pause and reflect how much it cost us to redeem ourselves from the government of one man.”  Congress must reclaim its equal place in our tripartite system. 

Magnificent promises, Lackluster results.

April 15 marks the 9th anniversary of the first Tax Day Tea Party rallies.  It was a time of incredible passion for the Constitution, limited government, and fiscal responsibility.  Thousands, perhaps millions, of people who had never done anything more political than vote or write a letter-to-the-editor, joined in rallies, marches, and campaigns.  They called talk shows, collected signatures, gave money, and even ran for office.  What happened to that passion?  Where are the thousands who fought so hard against bloated government?

Did the Tea Party live up to its promise or
did it wither in the hypocrisy of political partisanship?

Last week, a Republican House, a Republican Senate, and a Republican President passed and signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that funds the government through September.  It includes a treasure trove of liberal spending, along with dramatically increased defense spending.

The Atlantic Magazine said of the bill:

“President Obama finally got a Republican-controlled Congress to fund his domestic budget.  All it took was Donald Trump in the White House to get it done.”

According to The Atlantic, “Congress eliminated none of the 18 independent agencies Trump wanted to scrap, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. And several of the programs he wanted to zero out won huge increases instead. Take the TIGER grants, an infrastructure program created by Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package. Congress had allocated $500 million to it each of the last several years, despite annual Obama requests to boost it to $1.25 billion. Trump’s budget called for axing it entirely, but lawmakers went even higher than Obama, giving $1.5 billion to TIGER. Or the Community Development Block Grant, a federal housing program that had been receiving $3 billion from Congress annually. Obama actually proposed cutting its funding by $200 million in 2016, while Trump called for chopping it altogether. In the end, it received $3.3 billion—a 10 percent boost.”

This legislation is an insult to the thousands of Americans who have fought for fiscal responsibility over the past nine years.  But, where are the protests?  I see vigorous discussions on Facebook.  Has this replaced the real activism of the patriots who rallied and marched in 2009 and 2010?  The lack of real response leaves the Tea Party movement subject to accurate labels of hypocrisy.

The Republican majority in Congress, President Trump, and all who support them should be ashamed of this spending bill.  “Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska accused his party of hypocrisy. “Every Republican would vote against this disgusting pork bill if a Democrat were president,” he said in a statement.” said The Atlantic.  President Trump and the Republicans promised balanced budgets.  Instead they’ve continued to saddle our children and grand children with never ending debt.

Liberals and Progressives make themselves easy targets because of their expected and blatant hypocrisy.  Millions of people marched around the country, in Washington, DC, and in Lincoln Square to protest bank bailouts and President Obama’s stimulus bill (which was a puny $831 billion over 10 years compared to this $1.4 trillion over 6 months).  When so-called fiscal conservatives fail to live up to their promises, we must hold them responsible.  An (R) after their names should provide no protection from their lies.

In Liberty,
Ken Mandile
Senior Fellow
Worcester Tea Party

Patriots beat Buccaneers!!

By the beginning of February, almost every American worker will see a jump in their net income because of the recently enacted tax cut and reform legislation.  While the tax bill (burdened with the unfortunate name “To provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018.”) is far from perfect, it is the first major reform in personal and corporate taxes in many years.  We are already seeing an enthusiastic response from companies who are sharing the benefits of the tax bill with their employees, repatriating overseas profits, and investing in capital improvements and employee training.

Taxes are probably the most enduring contentious issue in any political body.  The philosophical view of property rights and social obligations are ingrained in our political views and are most obvious in our positions on taxes.  Who has a right to the fruits of my labor?  What obligation do I have to share in the common needs of our society.  What are the limits on how my tax dollars are appropriated?  While we may revel in the passage of this bill, the battle for our wallets will continue unabated.

In “The City of God”, St. Augustine tells the story of a pirate who was brought before Alexander the Great.  In defense of his crimes, the pirate points out the hypocrisy of one of history’s greatest plunderers.

“Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies?
For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms?

All governments are inherently flawed, forced to take from its citizens to administer its works.  They pretend that they have moral authority because they operate under the fabricated illusion of voluntary consent by its citizens. We know from almost every recent election, this authority is granted by bare majorities. Forty-nine percent have not consented.  Lacking that consent, do they still have the moral authority to take our wages?

St. Augustine believed that the state was challenging the authority of individual free will and that of God.  Yet, like us, he recognized the need for the state.   This recognition did not blind him to the potential and likely abuse of the (mostly fictitious) authority of the state to tax.  He understood that people joined by will or by force under a common cause allowed them to be robbed of some of the freedom.

In referring to the government, St. Augustine said:

“The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince,
it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy;
the booty is divided by the law agreed on.”

Unless we can find a piece of land on which to hermit ourselves for a lifetime, we have no choice but to concede that the state, with all of its flaws, is a necessary evil.  As with any evil though, we should never falter in our resolve to keep it contained.  The new tax cuts and reform will move us incrementally in the direction of restraining the government, but this win will be short lived.  The state and its worshipers will be back for more.

It is our duty to stop these pirates.

​In Liberty,
Ken Mandile
Senior Fellow
Worcester Tea Party

Taxes rob people of so much more than money.

Tax is Theft!!

. . . Is a common refrain that we could hear at any Tea Party meeting.  There is the obvious way in which taking taxes from someone is similar to theft such as the Sheriff of Nottingham taking the crops from the people of Sherwood Forest.  But there is a deeper and more insidious way that taxation is theft.  It is not as direct as the sheriff with the club demanding your produce, but it is just as damaging to our society.

People often will accept paying high taxes because they believe the taxes go to do “good.”  Those same people believe they have done enough “good” because they have paid those high taxes.

When Scrooge was asked to donate to the poor he said he had already done enough because his taxes paid for orphanages and poor houses.  The ghost of Scrooge’s partner howls a warning: “Mankind was my business.  The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were, all, my business.”

Since Dickens’ time there are more government programs to help people, but we can see they have only a few successes and many failures.  Executives of the VA are given hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money in bonuses for good performance, while our brave veterans wait, and wither, and die for lack of care.  In our Commonwealth, Auditor Bump has published lists of how poorly the DCF has served the families of at risk children.  But when confronted by the hard facts, politicians and bureaucrats insist that the problem is that you don’t pay enough in taxes.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing,

over and over again, and expecting a different result.”

Citizens of the Eurozone handed over more of their income to their governments and they have given up their responsibility for taking care of their neighbors.  They have also suspended their belief in their own judgment and ability to do so.  Conversely, the citizens of the United States not only give more to charity than those European governments, we do so voluntarily; unlike Europe that takes so much more of their citizen’s wealth and give so little in return.

Wealth and prosperity begets charity,

not coercion and politicization . . . i.e. taxes.

One of the reasons why Americans give more money to charities than people in Europe is because in the United States we feel a personal responsibility to help our neighbors and we also have a healthy skepticism of the positive effects of big government.

Our world is rich with people who are pursuing their passion to serve their fellow man, but time after time governments get in the way.  Good men and women are crafting new ways to help us all advance into a prosperous and peaceful future.  Mindless bureaucrats will arrest good Samaritans for giving sandwiches to the homeless without a license.  Big Government requires individuals to make themselves smaller.  When we shrink governments, we return power to individuals.  Only with truly limited government can we have truly unlimited individuals empowered to do good.

​In Liberty,
Matt O’Brien
President
Worcester Tea Party

No right to absolute arbitrary power!

In the fall of 1772, Massachusetts House of Representatives member Samuel Adams began to stir up some trouble in Boston.  The legislature had traditionally paid the salaries of the Governor and of judges, but the British decided that they would pay these officials directly.  This removed an important check on power, diminishing the power of the colony’s elected representatives.  Adams had had enough of dirty British political tricks.  It was time for action.

In November, he formed the Committees of Correspondence, effectively forming a shadow government that was not accountable to the crown.  Adams’ document forming the Committees of Correspondence consisted of three parts:

“First, a State of the Rights of the Colonists and of this Province in particular–

Secondly, A List of the Infringements, and Violations of those Rights.–

Thirdly, A Letter of Correspondence with the other Towns.-“

In many ways, it was a precursor to the Declaration of Independence that would follow less than four years later.   Samuel Adams’ declaration of rights goes further than our other founding documents.  He felt that no citizen could voluntarily cede their rights.  These were gifts from God.:

“If men through fear, fraud or mistake, should in terms renounce and give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the great end of society, would absolutely vacate such renunciation; the right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of Man to alienate this gift, and voluntarily become a slave.”

Can we look at today’s federal government and believe anything less than that we have alienated this gift?  While we fight over football players and statues and fake news, others fight to cede their gifts (and ours) to a bloated power in Washington.

Eight years ago this month, tens of thousands of Tea Partiers marched on Washington in the 912 March, demanding an end to the bloat.  Looking back, it seems that much of our effort was futile.  We can look at Washington today and we see little effective effort in Congress to deflate the bubble of bureaucracy.  Yet, many of us still fight on.  The fight is a lot more lonely today, but no less important.  Are we going to cede the gift of liberty through inaction and apathy?   We may not gather again in enormous crowds, but we can fight on alone, in our neighborhoods, and in our towns.  This was where Sam Adams brought the battle.  And, it is there that he helped spark the brush fires of liberty that we celebrate today.

 

​In Liberty,
Ken Mandile
Senior Fellow
Worcester Tea Party

National Taxpayers Union Foundation Finds Zero Fiscally Responsible Legislators in Mass. Delegation

National Taxpayers Union Foundation Finds Zero Fiscally Responsible Legislators in Mass. Delegation

A National Taxpayers Union Foundation’s analysis of the 113th Congress found that there was not a single member of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation that proposed net spending cuts.  . The report provides a comprehensive overview of the net cost of all of the spending and savings bills sponsored or cosponsored by each member of Congress. The NTUF cross-index their database of cost estimates with each bill supported by each member to calculate their net spending agenda (excluding overlapping/duplicate measures).

 

There were no net budget cutters among Massachusetts’ delegation, spending agendas ranged from increases of $41 billion to over $1 trillion.

Details on the Massachusetts delegation can be found on the NTUF website at http://www.ntu.org/ntuf/bt-state/113-2/massachusetts.html .

 

 

January 9 Worcester Tea Party Meeting

January 9 Worcester Tea Party Meeting

Please attend our our January 9th meeting to equip yourself with the knowledge you need to be part of the solution to the issues facing our nation.   Come also to enjoy the company of like minded people and the great food at The Canal.

 

7:00 PM, Thursday, January 9th
65 Water St
Worcester

On the agenda:

  •  James Boudreau is a career entrepreneur, consultant and small business owner, and  author of the recently released book,  “Exporting Prosperity: Why The U.S. Economy May Never Recover”.  “The United States has spent a good portion of the past 20 years in or on the brink of economic recession. The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates at almost zero and the Federal Government has spent trillions on so-called “stimulus”, yet the standard of living for the average American continues to decline. Jobs are few and farbetween, age discrimination is rife and layoffs abound, yet politicians continue to “distract and deflect” everyone’s focus towards other issues and “kick the can down the road”. Exporting Prosperity explores the statistics that actually drive many aspects of the economy, in sharp contrast to the “feel-good” numbers reported each day.”
  •   Nathan Fatal is a familiar face to many Tea Party members in the Worcester area.  Nathan introduced Gov. Gary Johnson at our 2012 Tax Day Rally.  He is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, with a degree in Political Science.  He is also founder of the New England Objectivist Society. Nathan will talk to us about how we can attract more young people to our cause.
Our meetings are free and open to the public.
 
By expanding our knowledge and strengthening the bonds amongst the members of the Worcester Tea Party we will achieve our goals of “securing the benefits of liberty to our selves and our prosperity.”