My syndicated column today spotlights two related phenomenon: the Tea Party revolt on the streets and the “Going Galt” revolt with our wallets. For new readers who are just learning about the protest movement and want to join, the best organizational resources are Tax Day Tea Party (nationwide April 15 events), Twitter #teaparty, PJTV’s list of upcoming protests,
Some tinfoil-hatted kooks are still pimping their conspiracy theories about the movement. The latest: Aha! Malkin once gave a speech to Americans for Prosperity and AFP organized the Denver anti-pork protest two weeks ago before Santelli went on his Tea Party rant last week, ergo it’s all a vast plot!!!!!!
Protesters should take this nonsense as a sign of success. You haven’t really made it until you’ve aroused the paranoia of the unhinged Left.
“Going Galt:” America’s wealth producers vs. wealth redistributors
by Michelle Malkin
Enough. In a word, that is the message of disgusted taxpayers fed up with the confiscatory policies of both parties in Washington. George Bush pre-socialized the economy with billion-dollar bailouts of the financial and auto industries. Barack Obama is pouring billions more down those sinkholes. The camel’s back isn’t just broken. His neck and four legs have all snapped, too.
Enough. Last Friday, thousands of Americans turned out to protest reckless government spending in the pork-laden stimulus package, the earmark-clogged budget bill, the massive mortgage entitlement program, and taxpayer-funded corporate rescues. Contrary to false left-wing blog smears that the hastily-planned impromptu events were “Astro-turfed,” the crowds were packed with first-time grass-roots activists. They were people with families and day jobs whose usual definition of “community organizing” involves neighborhood yard sales or their kids’ soccer matches. They were members of the silent majority who decided to be silent no more.
Enough. These “Tea Party” protests spanned the sunny Santa Monica pier to the icy streets of Chicago and Cleveland to rain-drenched Atlanta, overflowing grounds of the St. Louis Gateway Arch, massive crowds in Greenville, S.C., several hundred each in New York City and Washington, D.C., and all points in between. Like those who demonstrated before them in Seattle, Denver, Mesa, Arizona, and Overland Park, Kansas two weeks ago, the Tea Party participants held homemade signs that said it all: “Your mortgage is not my problem;” “Liberty: All the stimulus we need; “No taxation without deliberation.”
The speed and scope with which they mobilized were due not to nefarious outside conspiracists, but to social networking websites Facebook and Twitter (where a burgeoning network called Top Conservatives on Twitter became the central clearinghouse for information). Planning for a new wave of demonstrations on April 15 has begun at www.taxdayteaparty.com.
Enough. While they take to the streets politically, untold numbers of America’s wealth producers are going on strike financially. Dr. Helen Smith, a Knoxville forensic pathologist and political blogger, dubbed the phenomenon “Going Galt” last fall. It’s a reference to the famed Ayn Rand novel, “Atlas Shrugged,” in which protagonist John Galt leads the entrepreneur class to cease productive activities in order to starve the government of revenue. (Not coincidentally, Rand’s novel sales are up and John Galt references punctuated many of the Tea Party demonstrations.) Dr. Smith was inundated with stories like these:
“I have frozen hiring in my firm…No investments will be made in taxable accounts (only 401k/IRAs). I am buying silver and gold instead of CD’s or stocks with non-qualified money/savings. I have stopped taking new clients (thus freezing my income). I barter more and more. Spend less. I stopped Leveraging assets (don’t borrow).”
“I have cut WAY back–I’m no longer buying retail, driving out of a 10-mile radius, spending money on eating out, and am no longer putting my money in a savings account. I am using the money to pay off all of our debt. It has made our family closer, more appreciative…”
Another blogger at Pursuing Holiness wrote: “Last year my family paid nearly a thousand dollars a month in federal taxes, and we are not by any stretch of the imagination rich. I’m going to make it my business to cut that amount in half, using every legal means possible and reducing my income so there is less to tax.”
Enough. Those business owners are not alone. This week, ABC News spotlighted upper-income earners going Galt in response to President Obama’s proposed tax hikes on families with incomes of $250,000 or more. A Lafayette, La. Attorney told the reporter she was cutting back on her business to avoid the tax threshhold: “Why kill yourself working if you’re going to give it all away to people who aren’t working as hard? Tax hikes have consequences. Incentives matter. Only self-deluded wealth redistributors living in la-la-land believe otherwise. Another business owner, Dr. Sharon Poczatek, explained:
“The motivation for a lot of people like me — dentists, entrepreneurs, lawyers — is that the more you work the more money you make,” said Poczatek. “But if I’m going to be working just to give it back to the government — it’s de-motivating and demoralizing.”
The perpetual Borrow-Spend-Panic-Repeat machine in Washington depends on the capitulation of the wealth producers. There’s only one monkey wrench that can stop the redistributionist thieves’ engine. It’s engraved with the word:
(Photo credit: Free Colorado)
I’ve pulled together a video round-up of last week’s events. Enjoy!
Smart Girl Politics put together a nice video of the nationwide Feb. 27 Tea Party protests:
Here’s video of the Houston Tea Party via reader Morris:
D.C. from Reason TV:
New York City: