The Star-News


Tea and taxes

Mon, Apr 26 2010 12:17 PM Posted By: Jon Campbell

On April 15 clumps of Tea Party protesters appeared at post offices across the county to denounce a range of ills, from the new health care overhaul to what participants said were excessive tax increases. A group of about 30 gathered on Third Avenue in Chula Vista, bearing signs with slogans like "all steamed up," "BO=Socialism," an apparent reference to President Barack Obama, and "honk for lower taxes."

A number of people did honk as they passed the group, which included Nick Popaditch, a candidate for U.S. Congress currently running in the 51st district against incumbent Bob Filner. Popaditch is a former Marine made famous in an iconic Iraq war image widely circulated after the invasion in 2003. In the photograph, a statue of Saddam Hussein is being pulled down with a cable in the background while Popaditch, perched on the top of an armored vehicle, chomps on a cigar.

Popaditch said he supported the message of the rally not because he was opposed to taxes, but because taxpayers should be able to trust that their money is being used wisely.

"At the federal level, there's absolutely a lack of responsibility with how we're spending our taxes. There are a lot of things that we can cut back on, and lots of things we shouldn't be spending money on. The constitution gives a very clear roadmap of where this money should be spent. National security and to promote the general welfare," said Popaditch. The second purpose, he said, is vaguely defined, and that's why leaders need to look to their constituents to set priorities for spending.

Cheryl Perez, who helped organize the event, said she was upset that government wasn't engaging in the kind of belt-tightening that citizens are during the current economic climate.

"I think people are frustrated that we're having to watch our money, that we have to cut back. Everybody I know is talking about how they're budgeting and they're doing without. But we're paying more taxes and they keep talking about raising taxes," said Perez.

Perez cited the state's one-cent sales tax increase last year as one example of higher taxation, as well as the potential expiration of income tax breaks enacted by the Bush Administration. She said she was relieved that Proposition A, which would have instituted a one-cent sales tax increase in Chula Vista, was defeated, but said the spending of the current administration is unsustainable.

"They cannot spend what they're spending without raising our taxes, where's the money going to come from?" said Perez.

Jim Williams held a sign that said "more liberty, less govt"... and smiled as a car going by blared its horn. He said he was generally unhappy with a raft of issues and administration policies.

"I'm protesting the high taxes and too much government overspending... This is related to health care, national defense, energy, a whole bunch of different issues," said Williams.


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