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Editor’s Pick
APRIL 15, 2009 6:43PM

Tea Party on the Delaware

Rate: 14 Flag

Trenton, NJ

 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. 
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Fantastic pics. Good for you. I was unmotivated and too chilly to go downtown Cleveland for a piece of the local action.
Thanks, Lainey. It was cold, but probably not as cold as Cleveland.

That's funny, Stellaa. One of the guys at work said he always wondered what the people who listened to Rush Limbaugh looked like and here they all were.
What I absolutely cannot get over is the way FOX News covered these protesters all day long. Think about that for a moment, will you, and allow the cognitive dissonance to settle. When does FOXever cover protesters?? They don't, because protesters are always liberals! No wonder they were orgasmic over the whole thing. But what a complete hypocrisy--all those anti-war protests and Bush protests (and real election protests after both 2000 and 2004 elections) and FOX either didn't mention them at all or dismissed them contemptuously. And now they are getting their jollies over this great show of patriotism. *shiver*
I bet it did. It's interesting how within months of Obama taking office, all of a sudden thirty years of every other politician's mistakes are his now. So much of the problems we have now weren't liberal or conservative problems but personal problems. People treated homes like investments when they are not meant to be that. There were other factors, too, but while people were making money, the government turned its head. People knew this was coming years ago, long before Obama was a household name. The politicians love this divide and conquer game.
Good observation, Lainey.
Those wads need to beware of the "teabag runs."
I've said it before--I have absolutely no problem with peaceful protest, no matter how idiotic the cause.

And I certainly have no problem with peaceful protest of high taxation and/or deficit gov't spending.

But--if these protests are truly about those issues--where the hell were these people on April 15, 2002-2008?
I'm also pretty sure real revolutionary war generals did not wear polyester felt uniforms.

(Didn't the patriots at the REAL Boston Tea Party dress up like American Indians and not, um, George Washington? And didn't they manage to destroy an entire cargo ship's worth of tea, thus dealing an actual economic blow to the East India Company, which the British Government had pretty much given a de facto monopoly over tea trade in the colonies? Or am I just remembering my third-grade history book wrong?

Oh well...guess it was too cold for feathers and loincloths...)
Thanks for the report. Didn't seem like much. These people are totally and completely nuts.
Good reportage. But damn, never saw so many white folk on the streets of Trenton at one time in my lifetime. That's gotta be telling us something.

Of course the most of the black people were not there. They don't want to look like they might disagree with Obama

The truth is, this is about high spending and government bailouts of the big corporations, not so much about taxation. It is more about our representatives no matter who they are affiliated with spending way too much money when they need to cut spending. If the money was really going to stimulate the economy some of it may have been worth it. But most of it is not going to stimulate the economy. We are mad at Democrats And Republicans. Anyone who is voting in these bailouts and government spending and there are plenty on both sides voting for it.
Sage's rancid racism (Of course....."they"........) should not be left uncommented. Sage must derive from something smoked, not the root of sagacity.

From Reagan and Ed Rollins through Lee Atwater through Lardguts Rove and Grover Numbnuts, "taxes" has been a not thinly veiled code word expansion by the rabid right of Nixon's Southern Strategy. (Surprisingly, Nixon himself never used the tack -- in fact, his tax proposals were more of the "soak the rich avoiders" variety.)

Lee Atwater famously said (paraphrase): Our folks understand who the tax money comes from and who it goes to .

Link that with Reagan's campaign kickoff at Philadelphia, Miss., "welfare queens in Cadillacs", Willie Horton, George W. at Oral Roberts, George W./Rove re McCain's black love child, Harold Ford "Call Me", McCain and "Obama and Paris Hilton"..... the list goes on and on. This just might be the reason, "they" did not show up for the spurious "tax" photo ops.

i love your photos. was really hoping to be able to duck out of work to snap some over at the Denver protest, but no luck. thanks for posting these!
Thank you for this picture-perfect view of horses asses. Now how do we throw Haliburton's T-Bills overboard?
Please advise when next protest will be in New Jersey. thanks!