Tea Party. April 15, 2009.
The shining gold dome of the statehouse belies the severe financial straits our state and citizens have found themselves in. As residents of New Jersey, we are some of the most heavily taxed people in the United States. Many people pay property taxes that are equivalent to a modest mortgage payment. In difficult economic times, the state which relies on the prosperity of its citizens, finds itself floundering. Budget shortfalls mean the specters of layoffs, wage freezes, and furloughs haunt everyone, whether one is employed by the government or by private industry.
The Trenton Tea Party was not far from my job in a government laboratory, so I hid my state I.D., grabbed my camera and hit the streets in an attempt to blend in. Here come two people armed with homemade signs and ready to protest the abuses perpetrated on their wallets by out of control spending.
"Hell yes, we're overtaxed!" Motorists honked their horns in approval of the crowd and their message.
Citizens gathered at the steps of the statehouse in attempt to get the attention of our state sentators and assemblymen, as well as our president.
Vintage message appropriate for the financial treading-on many people are taking.
President Obama was a popular target of the crowd's dissatisfaction, although it seems the worsening economy was a long time coming. It's been long known that this country was in debt, both the government and private citizens. Policies enacted decades ago set in motion this cascade leading to our present economic woes.
General George Washington is on scene and letting it be known that he is not happy! We fought a revolution, people. Let's get it together.
One speaker was commenting, "I believe in the Constitution!" and a protestor shouted, "Then you must be a terrorist!" to the delight of the audience.
Somehow the guy in power now is totally and completely responsible for the mess he inherited. Um, didn't Bush ram through the bailout, run up the deficit, and last I checked, McCain and Obama BOTH voted for the wasteful and expensive bank bailout.
Some political math.
Despite the chilly, windy and rainy weather, about 200 or so protestors had gathered at noon outside the statehouse.
I agree with their unhappiness with the tax situation. Once you start to "make it", that's when the taxes hit you hard.
New Jersey, a state famous for the cost of living and tempers running high.
People gather to listen to various speakers vent their frustration at the way government has been reckless with the budget. Passing trucks would lay on the air horn as soon as they were within sight of the statehouse and continue clear down West State Street. One speaker quipped as a garbage truck finished blasting its horn, "There goes Jon Corzine's limosine."
Man in sandwichboard touting the Libertarian Party.
A New Jersey State Trooper stands watch over the proceedings. The protest was peaceful and orderly while I was there.
"Everybody has to pay and pay." - Lou Reed
Our flags by the War Memorial.
The Old Barracks under cherry blossoms stand in testimony to a time when the citizens of this country became sick of oppressive government and started a revolution. It felt interestingly circuluar to pass by this historic structure from the Revolutionary War on my way to yet more tax protests. Over two hundred years later, and we are still upset about taxes, grumbling about taxes and paying taxes.
The geese had no comment.