With people from across America racing to get their federal tax returns in today, members of the national tea party groups saw it as the perfect opportunity to rally against the size of government and tax rates generally.
Thousands came to Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington D.C. with signs and protests against big spending and the politicians they see being responsible for it.
“I want to see spending come to a screeching halt,” said Tom Bayer, a Vietnam veteran from Ohio. “If the government doesn’t manage their money, what do they do? Raise taxes.”
Many protestors also expressed anger that 47 percent of Americans do not pay any federal income taxes.
Another concern of supporters was the government giving itself too much power.
There were shouts from the crowd, comments from speakers and signs that emphasized the belief that America is moving toward socialism.
“We’ve got a government right now that isn’t interested in serving the people. They want the people to bow down and serve them,” said Scott DuBose, who traveled from Michigan to attend the rally.
Despite denunciations from left-leaning groups about alleged racism at the mostly white events, the Washington event was peaceful with no racist signs or comments observed.
“Why would being against big government make me a racist?” said Donna McLaren, a Maryland resident. She added that the crowd contained a good blend of American people and the real issue is not about racism but different political views.
“Our taxes are out of control. It’s just going up and up and up. Everything is getting taxed, and it’s ridiculous,” said Sue Ellen McCullar, a New York resident. “We’re not leaving anything to our children and grandchildren.”
Throughout the event, speakers and the crowd emphasized that the government is ignoring their voice for lower taxes and less government control.
“I do think we need taxes,” said Colleen Alexander, a Tea Party supporter from Virginia. “I do think that’s important, but it’s gotten way out of control.”
Supporters stressed that they will continue to voice their concerns until they feel the government and elected officials are listening. If the government does not make any desired tax reforms, they said their voices will be heard via the ballot box in the upcoming November election.