Taxpayers from across Connecticut gathered outside the Supreme Court and State Capitol Friday afternoon to protest spending in the federal stimulus package and a handful of other policies proposed in President Barack Obama’s budget.
The protest was billed as a “tea party,” similar to the Boston Tea Party during which overtaxed tea was dumped into Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773 and is regarded as a major catalyst of the American Revolution. More than 100 taxpayers attended Friday’s event. Protesters didn’t claim a specific affiliation to any single organization, though many had learned of the event through conservative Web sites like FreeRepublic.com and conservative radio talk shows like the one hosted by WTIC’s Jim Vicevich.
“It’s time for taxpayers to get out and let the politicians know how angry we really are,” Rusty Haigh of Southington said while standing on the steps of the Supreme Court holding a sign that read: “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
Haigh, who is retired, said the fact that many of the people attending the rally took time off from work to attend should show how serious the situation is.
Jeff Sorrell said many people were unable to make it to the rally Friday because they have to work until May 8 in order to pay their taxes.
“The power to tax is ultimately the power to destroy,” Sorrell said.
Jim Bancroft of Bristol led the crowd in a number of chants, including “say no to pork,” and “no Chris Dodd.” He said Obama’s economic policies will bankrupt the country.
Bancroft, who seemed to take a leadership role at the rally, said there was no single organizing group behind the event, and reiterated the idea that attendees may have heard about it from FreeRepublic.com or Vicevich’s radio show.
Similar rallies were scheduled today in at least 50 other cities across the nation.
Vicevich, who showed up after finishing his radio program, refused to take credit for the turnout.
“I just talk about this stuff,” Vicevich said as he made his way through the crowd taking photos with his camera phone. He predicted that there will be many more of these types of protests in the future because it touches every single working American.
That includes Lora Feld, a nurse from Simsbury, who sported a “Don’t drink the Kool-Aid” T-shirt.
“All the liberals drank the Kool-Aid,” Feld said. “They sold their souls and now have Obama on their hands.”
Feld said she believes the country is sliding towards socialism.
“Socialism hasn’t worked anywhere,” said Feld, who added that she doesn’t think there is enough money for programs—especially the government’s health care plan. “People are being fooled. They bought the ‘hope and change’ Kool-Aid.”
Feld said Obama’s philosophy is based on Saul Alinsky’s book “Rules for Radicals,” in which the author explains how the end justifies the means.
“Obama will say anything,” Feld said. “He will cheat and lie as long as the end justifies the means.”
“His plan has nothing to do with the economy, and everything to do with power,” Joan Francis from Guilford said. “He’s taking control.”
Francis said she’s concerned about the government taking over health care. She said if Obama’s health care plan is passed, sick patients wouldn’t be allowed to receive the drugs they need and treatment could be withheld from patients.