This editorial appeared in The Anchorage Daily News.
About 1,200 tax protesters took to the street in downtown Anchorage on Wednesday for a peaceful protest against the fiscal policies of the Obama Administration. That's their right, and may it always be so.
The Tax Day Tea Party, repeated in cities across the nation, aimed at a range of targets, from taxes to pork to stimulus spending to the federal deficit. In more general terms, protesters decried socialism and what they see as increasing government control of our lives.
At the extreme, there's fear of an Obama agenda that involves gun confiscation, world government, an end to the free market system and a deliberate attack on Christianity.
Tough times make for frustrated, angry people. And given some of the news about what's been done with bailout money during both the end of the Bush presidency and the first months of Obama's – bonuses to some of the people who have helped drive the economy into the ground, for example – it's no wonder people took to the streets. American tax dollars shouldn't cover executive bonuses or employee appreciation junkets. Tax money meant to loosen credit shouldn't disappear into banks while businesses go begging for money. Americans all across the political spectrum are angry about that.
Obama's policy is to cut federal income taxes for the vast majority of Americans. Payroll withholding is down to reflect the tax credit Congress approved. Social Security recipients are due to receive a $250 bonus in May, and first-time home buyers are eligible for a tax credit.
The president has even backed off his campaign promise to seek speedy repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, instead allowing them to expire as scheduled after 2010. The wealthiest would see their tax rate go from 35 percent to 39 percent.
If this is the march to socialism, relax, we'll never get there.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Anchorage Daily News.