Protestors brew anti-tax sentiment

April 21, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

More than 200 demonstrators gathered on the steps of City Hall during an April 15 Tax Day Tea Party to protest against taxes and federal spending. By Warren Kagarise

More than 200 demonstrators gathered on the steps of City Hall during an April 15 Tax Day Tea Party to protest against taxes and federal spending. By Warren Kagarise

When local Tax Day Tea Party organizer Tom Price arrived at the corner of Sunset Way and Front Street just after noon April 15, he was alone. Then, he looked down Sunset — less than 500 feet away, hundreds of protestors were gathered on the steps of City Hall.

Price and more than 200 others were part of a groundswell of frustration with government bailouts, federal spending and the policies of Congress and the Obama administration. Demonstrators in Issaquah and across the nation used the government deadline for filing income tax returns for an event modeled on the Boston Tea Party.

Instead of dumping tea into Issaquah Creek, however, demonstrators dangled tea bags from placards, clothing and sunglasses. The “tea” to which the protestors referred stood for “taxed enough already.”During the hourlong protest, demonstrators sang “God Bless America” and waved American flags and handmade signs with slogans, like “Note to Congress: you are not representing me!” and “No more public money for private failure.” Another placard called out Washington’s senior senator: “Do you hear us, Patty Murray?” A protestor dressed as a minuteman rallied the crowd.

“It’s not just a party issue,” said Mary Austin, a Sammamish resident who wore headgear decorated with a bar graph that depicted deficit spending.

She said the sudden increase in government spending required community action.

Austin and many other protestors learned about the local Tax Day Tea Party online. Organizers used the Web site to rally supporters from coast to coast. Similar events were scheduled in Seattle, Bellevue and other Washington cities. Thousands of anti-tax protestors descended on the state capitol in Olympia.

Price, of Issaquah, said the event was the first political protest in which he had participated. Price and a handful of others moved the protest to the intersection of Front and Sunset, in front of the Issaquah Library, as the day progressed.

Price said he was surprised by the strong turnout.

“I thought it was going to be just me,” he said.

As he spoke from the street corner at 4:30 p.m., motorists sped past and blared their horns.

“It’s surprising how much support we got in a Democratic stronghold,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Issaquah resident Skip Blain stood in front of City Hall and held aloft a cardboard sign that read, “Don’t tax me, bro.” He expressed concern about passing along budget deficits to future generations.

Other protestors said using tax dollars to pay for government bailouts of the automotive and financial industries rankled them. As one sign put it, the demonstrators were TEA’D OFF — an acronym for “Taxed Enough Already Discontinue Obama’s Funding Frenzy.”

“Spending, spending, spending,” Price said, listing the reasons he decided to protest.

Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment on this story at

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8 Responses to “Protestors brew anti-tax sentiment”

  1. bryan w on April 22nd, 2009 12:42 pm

    Not one to enjoy paying taxes without purpose, I anxiously read the “Protestors” article in the Press today. What? No solutions provided by these Tea party patrons? Just community anger at money being thrown down a chute in the hopes of reviving our national economy? Where are the big ideas from these folks? What? Just signs with tea pots, tea bags and tee’d off locals? Stop signs and flags and, “please don’t spend our money!” sentiment? I like a protest as much as the next person, but part of the protest is the suggestion of alternative ideas. Don’t have any except your anger? Then try this food group: stew.

  2. Diane Mashek on April 22nd, 2009 1:47 pm

    Where were these “protestors” the last eight years when our Federal budget deficit
    ballooned to $450 billion? Not a single protest heard. They were warned for years they would have to pay the bill for the outrageous spending that took place during the last administration. The tea-baggers are a little late to “the party.”

  3. wendy sabean on April 22nd, 2009 3:30 pm

    450billion in 8 years? How about 9T in 3 years that the our children will be saddled with, without a vote. That does not include TARP, stimulus, cap & trade, ETC.

    Shame on this reckless government. Breaking down the financial system, the auto industry, banking and so on,. Next it will be freedom of speech! And, what about all of the tax evaders in the cabinet? These folks have the audacity to call Americans cowards and arrogant. Don’t even get me started. This administration is bad mouthing the greatest and MOST GIVING country on earth, while trapsing across the planet, expending LOTS of carbon dioxide I might add, kissing up to dictators of banana republics and murders. Such a complete and utter disgrace.

    Obama campaigned in the middle, but he is about as LEFT as you can get. Watch out America. These folks mean business. If your head isn’t spinning now, it’s because you either drank the kool-aid or you’ve been living under a rock.

  4. wendy sabean on April 22nd, 2009 3:43 pm

    and here’s your solution… STOP SPENDING and breaking the backbone of this country!

    Follow Reagan’s recovery plan after the Carter debacle and stimulate the economy by 1) reducing the capital gain tax, 2) reducing the corporate tax (they actually employ people), and decrease the GOVERNMENT.

    Government is not the solution, it is the problem.

  5. Jeannie on April 22nd, 2009 3:56 pm

    As one of the attendees of the Issaquah, “Taxed Enough Already” rally, I believe this was a wonderful exercise in civil discourse. I found it enlightening so see, and briefly associate with, other locals that shared my own concerns. Who knew?

    I had never attended a rally or demonstration in my life, but this is my town too, and I thought I should poke my head out and see if there might be others with like-minded worries about our country. The real demonstration in my view was a statement depicting solidarity of fellow residents. That’s a worthy ideal.

    I love this city. I love this country. I loved being a participant in an American activity that made this country the greatest footprint in history. Freedom isn’t free.

  6. David Briggs on April 23rd, 2009 10:13 am

    The “tea-baggers” do seem ignorant and uninformed once you look at the facts. For one, they are protesting “increased taxes” when Obama and the Democrats have just passed the largest middle class tax cut in history! I repeat, “Tax cut!” Even those who make over $250,000 (who will see a modest tax increase) will still find their taxes lower than under Ronald Reagan. So what’s the protest about again? Oh, yea, Obama is a “socialist”. Once again, the protesters must either be ignorant of the facts, or just plain mis-informed (too much FOX News, I would guess). Would all of the tea-baggers be willing to give up their social security cards and payments when they retire?, or Medi-care payments for their parents and grand-parents? I guess some socialism is OK, then? Perhaps some reading on the differences between socialism and communism would help clear up things. And I saw tea-baggers with signs about deficit spending. Where were these protesters when George W. Bush turned a $ 1 trillion dollar Clinton surplus into a $1 trillion dollar debt? I guess FOX News wasn’t complaining when Bush did it, so the good sheep that you are just stayed home and cheered Bush’s war, a war that we now know was based on lies and was completely unneccessary. And just for the record, I’d rather spend some money on health care, infra-structure, education, and saving our economy then on an unjust and unneccessary war.

    And about cozying up to banana republics, don’t get me started on Reagan and his meddling in Central America and supporting murderous dictators and secret armies to keep dollares flowing to the US. Remember Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Chile in South America. And Cheney, Rumsfield, and the boys were alive and kicking in teeth back then too. Banana republics? You really don’t want to compare Obama’s handshake with the track record of millions of civilian deaths courtesy of the Republicans. Banana republics? Don’t get me started! Try turning off FOX Noise, reading some history, and then come back with an educated comment. Until then, keep your venom to yourself and your FOX loyalists and let the rest of us try to rebuild this country after 8 years of the worst presidency this country has ever seen.

  7. Joe Ryker on April 25th, 2009 10:50 am

    This kind of paper we need all over AMERICA , IT PRINTS JUST THE FACTS and lets the reader deceide!! Warren this isn’t because I KNOW you but it realy makes me proud to see you write like this!! Always write the truth and let US DECEIDE!! I enjoy reading how people so far away sort of think in the same DIRECTION!! GOD BLESS AMERICA!! Joe

  8. TOM PRICE on December 2nd, 2009 11:53 am


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