Washington, DC – In a demonstration of support, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo told Idahoans who are protesting high federal deficits and tax increases through “tea parties” today that he supports their efforts and has the voting record to demonstrate that. He also noted the similarities between today’s events and his protest 15 years ago when he dumped the U.S. Tax Code into the Boston Harbor. As a member of Congress in 1997, Crapo joined with a handful of other members of the U.S. House of Representatives to toss a copy into the Harbor, re-enacting the famous protest by American colonists.
Crapo addressed today’s tax rallies through a written letter, as he was unable to participate in person; he is hosting forums on federal health care reform in Coeur d’Alene and Lewiston. He sent letters through staff members attending the events. The letter reads as follows:
Many Americans are joining together today across the nation to take a stand against the injustice of excess taxes and spending. These are historic events that, as you know, mirror the famous Boston Tea Party in 1773, in which the colonists demonstrated their frustration and displeasure with the extent of the British Parliament’s sovereignty over the colonies. While today’s gatherings around the country focus on excessive spending, a common theme then and now is unfair taxes.
Those of you gathered here today are suffering the burden of the extreme spending that the federal government has engaged in over the past year. Let me recount the unbridled spending legislation passed by Congress since last spring, every one of which I opposed and voted against:
• The Fiscal Year 2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill,
• The 2008 stimulus bill which included the rebate checks,
• The Fiscal Year 2009 Appropriations Continuing Resolution,
• The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (otherwise known as TARP 1 and TARP 2),
• The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (otherwise known as the stimulus bill of 2009),
• The Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill.
These seven pieces of legislation total a staggering 3.2 trillion in taxpayer dollars.
I opposed and voted against each one of these. In fact, each time a vote came up, I warned that while Idahoans and Americans across the country were cutting back on their spending during difficult times, Congress and the Administration were proposing to further increase federal spending to unprecedented levels and increase the public debt, placing an additional debt burden of tens of thousands of dollars on the head of every single American.
This is your money; you deserve to see clearly how spending decisions by the Congress are reflected in a rising national debt that will be placed on our children and grandchildren. To no avail, I reminded my colleagues that we have relied far too heavily on spending and debt creation in hopes that we can revive the economy. In fact, small business creates 90 percent of the jobs in our economy, not the federal government. We need to increase incentives for business and rework our tax policy to encourage job creation and new investment in the American economy. The last thing we need during these difficult economic times is a tax increase.
$3.2 trillion represents grossly-inflated and fiscally-irresponsible expenditures of taxpayer dollars. We cannot spend ourselves into prosperity. Tripling federal programs is not the answer to economic stimulus, and it’s certainly not the answer to sustainable growth of small business—the heart and soul of our economy.
Debts in the trillions; expiring tax cuts; unchecked entitlement growth—it’s government run amok, or, as many here in Idaho have heard me say over the past few months: hold on, Big Government is back. Back in 1994, when I was a Member of the House of Representatives, I joined a few of my colleagues in the Boston Harbor on the very ship on which the original Boston Tea Party was held for a re-enactment of that event. At that time, we physically threw the Internal Revenue Code in Boston Harbor. My friends, today, you are having another Tea Party because we must continue to remain vigilant and active against excessive, unfair and outrageous government spending and taxation. My feelings about taxes remain unchanged. Limited government is best, and taxpayers know better than Congress how to allocate their hard-earned dollars.
I commend you all on your efforts today. Continue to let your elected officials know how you feel about how your hard-earned taxpayer dollars are being spent, not just today, but until your voices are heard and change truly happens.