Many people today are looking to the Declaration of Independence ("DoI") for guidance and support for their concerns with the way our government works and what it does.
The DoI announced bold principles of liberty. It also provided a list of the many tyrannies the colonists were fighting against (which details the founders said had to be included in the DoI.)
Most of the tyrannies listed involved questions of governance. Two were:
"For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:
"For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever."
The Republicans in Michigan are openly engaged in that very tyranny, and it is reported that they are drafting legislation in Wisconsin to do the very same.
Tea Party people: Where are you on these Republican tyrannies?
Another complaint both then and now is taxation. Today, the objection is to paying them.
For our founders, the objection was to "imposing taxes on us without our consent." The rallying cry on this issue was "No taxation without representation."
We have a representative democracy, so that one is simply off the table.
I don't intend to disrespect for Tea Party participants; I believe that many of their concerns are quite real in a way. On the other hand, I believe they have been mislead and misinformed on many of those issues, on the facts involved in those issues, and on effective solutions to those issues. (As noted above, the founders didn't complain about taxes, they complained about no representation, no vote, no power at the ballot box. And history tells us that they threw the tea into Boston harbor because it belonged to a huge corporation which had just been given tax breaks by the government.)
"Take back our government!"
I agree completely. And who has taken control of it?
From 1998 to mid 2010 $28.58 billion was spent lobbying the federal government.
- $23.87 billion (83.5%) was paid by corporations.
- $0.42 billion (1.5%) came from labor unions.
- (The remaining $4.7 billion, 16.,4%, came from sources which are not easily characterized as to goals.)
So who do we need to take our government and country back from?
On Edit: My data came from Open Secrets at the Center for Responsive Politics' site
As indicated, I originally got my data in mid 2010. On checking, the figures through the end of 2010 have changed a bit, and I was just too lazy to recreate the spreadsheet and recalculate -- it looks as if te totals changed bu the basic ratios remain pretty much the same.