Group promotes lower spending, less government

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Broadcasting live Friday afternoon from an Italian restaurant in Martinez, Tony Powers was inciting revolution, but not through violence.

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Tony Powers, the host of conservative talk show  Powers to the People   on WNRR-AM 1230 , is part of a loosely organized group of area Tea Partyers lining up facilities for the April 15 Tax Day Tea Party. He also helped organize the event last year.  Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Tony Powers, the host of conservative talk show Powers to the People on WNRR-AM 1230 , is part of a loosely organized group of area Tea Partyers lining up facilities for the April 15 Tax Day Tea Party. He also helped organize the event last year.

Powers, the new co-owner of Revolution Radio, WNRR-AM 1230, read from the "Joseph Stack Manifesto," the document left by a disgruntled software engineer who recently flew his plane into an Austin, Texas, IRS building.

Whatever his motivation, Powers said, Stack found the wrong outlet for his unhappiness.

"I think that Mr. Stack misunderstood the American people," Powers said, urging dissatisfied Americans to instead "come out and get organized with people of like minds in a peaceful way.

"Vent those frustrations, but don't do it like this guy," he said.

Powers is part of a small, loosely organized network of area Tea Partyers lining up facilities for the April 15 Tax Day Tea Party, to be held from 5 to 9 p.m. at Augusta Common.

Powers, who helped plan April's Tea Party in Augusta, said he expects a turnout upwards of 10,000 for this year's event.

They'll likely include advocates for smaller government, tax reform, personal liberty and other causes.

The Tea Party Movement might appear disorganized, but that's by design, said Bonnie Alba, an Aiken writer and blogger on conservative issues.

"It's a grass-roots movement. The power doesn't lie in being organized," said Alba, a retired Department of Defense employee.

Alba said she knows very few Tea Partyers personally but knows they are numerous. The "Tea Party Nation" consists of thousands of groups spread across the United States, she said.

"We have all kinds of people -- Democrats, Independents, groups with the Tea Party name -- if they are following the Tea Party movement, that's who we are," said Joy McGraw of Atlanta, the state co-coordinator for a group called the Georgia Tea Party Patriots.

In an effort to get the groups "under a more structured umbrella," Georgia Tea Party Patriots is conducting grass-roots training Saturday in Atlanta on the one-year anniversary of the first Tea Parties, McGraw said.

The movement boasts 15 million followers nationwide, most of whom emphasize limited government, fiscal responsibility and following the Constitution, McGraw said.

"We do not hit -- as much as the media likes to say we do -- the social issues," McGraw said.

Social conservatives generally promote a pro-life stance on abortion and emphasize traditional family values.

Augusta Tea Party organizer Megan Seda, the president and founding member of Columbia County Young Republicans, said she became involved with the 2009 event to find like-minded supporters for her group, open to Republicans age 18-40.

"Last year, we had around 2,000 people, but the whole Tea Party movement didn't even get started until Feb. 27, 2009. This year, people know what it is, and they're looking for it," Seda said.

Unlike last year, the Tea Party will offer booth space for various groups to distribute information and sign up volunteers, she said.

Seda, the daughter and granddaughter of Columbia County Republican Party officials, acknowledged that Tea Parties attract "a lot more libertarian-minded people."

And while there are many elections she considers critical to advancing a conservative agenda this year, organizers don't want the event to be a candidates' forum, she said.

Georgia has seven candidates seeking the Republican nomination for governor.

"If you invite one (to speak), you have to invite them all," Seda said. "Really, the focus of the Tea Party is trying to get people involved."

The theme that does unite most Tea Partyers is dissatisfaction with spending by the current administration and the health care public option, Seda and Powers agreed.

"President Obama has spent $1 trillion in his first year of the presidency," Seda said.

Joseph Galpin is head of Conservatives of Columbia County, which includes about 15 active "Tea Party patriots," he said.

In frequent contact with the public through his work with a soft drink distributor, Galpin said he hears much discontent among conservatives but little desire to break off into a separate political party.

"The (Tea) party's definitely becoming more organized, but it's been stressed that we're not going to become a third political party," Galpin said. "We want to support the candidate, not the platform."

"We want candidates to answer to us, rather than the other way around," Powers said.

A group with specific interests that has found a home at Tea Parties is Georgia's Fair Tax movement, whose state director is retired Hephzibah accountant Lloyd Newsome.

"Generally, as the Tea Party groups have evolved, they tend to be more supportive of the Fair Tax," Newsome said.

Fair Tax proposes eliminating all federal income taxes on individuals and businesses and replacing them with a national sales tax.

"Everything about the Fair Tax treats everyone, every household the same," Newsome said.

Tea party patriots

HOW THEY DEFINE THEMSELVES

According to the Web site for Tea Party Patriots Inc., the impetus for the Tea Party movement is excessive government spending and taxation. The group says its mission is to "attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens" to promote public policy consistent with three core values:

- Fiscal responsibility

- Constitutionally limited government

- Free markets

Source: teapartypatriots.ning.com

Learn more online

Georgia Tea Party Patriots: georgiateapartypatriots.com/wordpress/

Find other Georgia groups:

teapartypatriots.org/State/Georgia

Find South Carolina groups:

teapartypatriots.org/State/South_Carolina

Comments (67) Add comment
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springstorm
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springstorm 02/24/10 - 03:43 am
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Taxes are only going up 3% on

Taxes are only going up 3% on those making over $250,000. Do you expect Pres. Obama to refrain from spending any tax money? At least, he's spending it to improve America. We need health care. Thousands of people die each year without it.
I agree, the IRS can be ruthless and unethical. Stack could have found a better way. I don't think it will make a differance to the government. They'll just protect their buildings more.

Petey Aitchess
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Petey Aitchess 02/24/10 - 04:10 am
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The only part of that comment

The only part of that comment that is factually correct is that the IRS can be ruthless. The rest of it isn't even close enough to reality to even worry about taking it apart line by line.

trujustis
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trujustis 02/24/10 - 06:57 am
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Petey you are absolutely

Petey you are absolutely correct on that one, it would be a waste of energy typing a rebuttal.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 02/24/10 - 07:18 am
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Of course the two major

Of course the two major parties are corruptions of what they started out to be. They've both moved well past the "evolution" stage and are now answerable first to their largest supporters, lobbyists and organized donors, usually corporate. When a politician gets to D.C., regardless of his original intent, he quickly learns the rules for being reelected and gaining personal wealth. The TEA party movement seeks to address this trend, among others. The whole purpose of government is to aid the people of the nation, not support some of the people by confiscating money from the others. The purpose of government is to aid the population, not the other way around.

southernguy08
496
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southernguy08 02/24/10 - 07:16 am
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SPRING, the top wage earners
Unpublished

SPRING, the top wage earners in this country already pay the bulk of taxes. Please justify why they should pay more. We do need healthcare, but not government run, taxpayer funded healthcare. You can't afford healthcare? Get a better job. Can't get one? Get the education and training to get the job. It's called self reliance.

robaroo
661
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robaroo 02/24/10 - 07:30 am
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I'm all for anyone who wants

I'm all for anyone who wants to balance the budget. Unfortunately, that doesn't include the Tea Party folks. Some of them are advocating lower taxes at a time when the US is drowning in debt. (I want lower taxes, but only after the budget is balanced.)

That makes the Tea Party no better than the Obamanites - everybody wants Santa Claus to pay their taxes for them while they get services from the Federal government.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 02/24/10 - 07:35 am
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It is excellent news that

It is excellent news that Tony Powers condemns the terrorist act perpetrated by Joe Stack. Violence is not the way to change domestic policy, nor is it the way to "wage diplomacy by other means" in foreign affairs.

United States has the right to self-defense when "self-defense" is defined in strict, narrow terms.United States has the right and responsibility to bring those DIRECTLY responsible for 9/11 to justice. United States does not have the right to wage misguided, endless, un-winnable, highly costly, counterproductive wars claiming "self-defense" and "war on terror" as reasons.

Conservatives cannot support "small government" and a military-industrial war economy at the same time. The U.S. military budget is a record $708 billion. President Obama will soon ask for another $33 billion (off budget) to support the surge of U.S. troops to Afghanistan that he ordered. SecDef Gates yesterday upbraided Europeans for being anti-military, for having an anti-war mood, and for being unwilling to spend more money on NATO.

Spending more money and waging more war does not lead to more security, less taxes, and a smaller government. Waging endless, unwinnable, unjust wars leads to a lower standard of living, less security, bigger government, and higher taxes.

reader54
120
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reader54 02/24/10 - 02:02 pm
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Who do you think pays for the

Who do you think pays for the heathcare of the uninsured at the emergency room? As far as the jobs comment, I don't have to time to disect the ignorance outlined.

Waymore
103
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Waymore 02/24/10 - 07:48 am
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Robaroo, the government can

Robaroo, the government can balance the budget by slashing spending. Taxing the American people more and continuing to spend is irresponsible and stupid! The working man is getting laid off, furloughed, facing higher insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, while our tax dollars are being wasted. We need to slash "benefits" to healthy but lazy leeches, slash wasteful spending, stop pork projects, stop bailouts, and demand a more fiscally responsible government. Taxes can be frozen, but the out of control spending needs to stop! You can only tax the working man so much. At some point, working Americans will realize that it's not worth working anymore. The government needs to realize that money does not grow on trees. Lazy leeches and corrupt, irresponsible corporations need to realize that they cannot continue to be irresponsible and have the government bail them out.

Notreally
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Notreally 02/24/10 - 07:49 am
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Can someone tell me the

Can someone tell me the difference between a Tea Party Rally and a KKK Rally? seems about the same to me.

justus4
97
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justus4 02/24/10 - 07:50 am
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Ol' Joe's belief's are not
Unpublished

Ol' Joe's belief's are not being properly addressed in the AWM, because the man was a terrorist who looked like them. A killer. So how can his flawed life be an example that anyone uses to make a point? By using Joe Stack as an example, Powers is assumed to believe that Stack acted within his rights to make a point. He is wrong! Stack was a terrorist that killed American citizens and anyone who praises him must be condemned for their reckless & dangerous praise of terrorist acts. U see, like the president said, "You can't have it both ways." If terrorism is wrong for Muslims, then it must also be wrong for Americans, however, we know the history of the nation and selective memory is a huge part of it.

Waymore
103
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Waymore 02/24/10 - 07:50 am
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Where are the facts to

Where are the facts to support that thousands die each year without insurance, Spring?

Waymore
103
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Waymore 02/24/10 - 07:50 am
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Where are the facts to

Where are the facts to support that thousands die each year without insurance, Spring?

Brad Owens
4097
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Brad Owens 02/24/10 - 08:00 am
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Anytime citizens take an

Anytime citizens take an active role in government in America I think it is a good thing.

We need more folks active but voting too.

This is a movement, hence it will only go so far, and will have a significat impact on this election. Once the issues that have caused people to 'move' are addressed, or more pressing issues come up, the 'move' or shift will lose steam and hence the 'movement' will cease to move anymore.

That is how the two party system has been designed to keep us at bay.

If we ever want REAL change in politics, we must have free, open and fair ballot access for non-traditional candidates.

Independents should be allowed to run without having to jump through Jim Crow style obsatcles, either that, or ALL candidates should be required to get signatures to be on the ballot.

The problem is parity here, not party. The PEOPLE have very limited choices and it shows.

FREE the ballot box!,

Brad

Brad Owens
4097
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Brad Owens 02/24/10 - 08:13 am
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justus, as much as I

justus, as much as I shouldn't pay attention to your rhetoric you hit a nerve today and I wanted to address you ever race-baiting on this forum.

Let me recap the very first part of the article in case you missed it;

"Whatever his motivation, Powers said, Stack found the WRONG outlet for his unhappiness.

"I think that Mr. Stack misunderstood the American people," Powers said, urging dissatisfied Americans to instead "come out and get organized with people of like minds in a PEACEFUL way.

"Vent those frustrations, but DON'T do it like this guy," he said."

Now, can you tell me where you pulled from that the idea that Tony was saying what the guy did was OK and was a hero? I mean I may not be the smartest man in the world but I can read and comprehend the basic English written word. Can you?

And oh by the way, The ALL WHITE MEDIA helped elect the HALF BLACK President we have, so what is your point? And President Obama received a large amount of WHITE votes, how do you explain that if America is so racist?

I mean the President, the most powerful political position in America, is now held by a person of color. He is not 'white' so how on God's green earth can you act like the deck is stacked against African-Americans now?

This is getting REALLY old and I don't think you believe this racial 'All White Media' non-sense you spout on here.

It is a tired act and not amusing anymore. Why don't you try reading the articles on here before you comment.

Notreally
4
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Notreally 02/24/10 - 08:15 am
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I see Vidalia girls baskeball

I see Vidalia girls baskeball team has to play the high school from Nahunta, GA, Brantley County Herons (Where they had the recent KKK rally) in Vidalia this weekend. I wonder how many of those locals who believe in what was said by the KKK will be in Vidalia (hidden among the commoners).

sstea
1181
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sstea 02/24/10 - 08:21 am
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Notreally...you don't have a

Notreally...you don't have a clue

Brad Owens
4097
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Brad Owens 02/24/10 - 08:33 am
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Not Really, are you talking

Not Really, are you talking about the commies and leftist terrorist inside the far-left wing of the Democratic Party or who?

Also, the difference between the Tea Party folks and the KKK from my view is;

The KKK is a well organized set of groups that stands for racial segergation and proclaims the superiority of the White race over all others. The Tea Party doesn't support any of that.

They have been around since the late 1860's with the goal of oppressing blacks, jews, and non-pretestants. The Tea Party just formed up last year with the goal of having less government and taxes, and more control by the people.

The KKK has used terrorits tactics and violence to try to intimidate people into submission. The Tea Party folks seem to be building on the change happening at the ballot box in the Fall.

The Tea Party is just a group of American voters who are participating in the political process. The KK operates OUTSIDE that process.

I hope that cleared this up for you,

Brad

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 02/24/10 - 08:35 am
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2008 US military spending,

2008 US military spending, roughly $607 billion. The next 14 countries combined, roughly $581 billion. That would be a good place to start cutting.

whocareswhatyouthink
0
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whocareswhatyouthink 02/24/10 - 08:39 am
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The "Fair Tax" - a simple

The "Fair Tax" - a simple idea for simple minds.....

Notreally
4
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Notreally 02/24/10 - 08:42 am
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Oh hey I'm going Skiing this

Oh hey I'm going Skiing this weekend LOL, can't wait my very first time.

LEO1997
0
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LEO1997 02/24/10 - 08:45 am
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I don't doubt that

I don't doubt that 'thousands' die each year without health insurance. That doesn't mean they didn't have or don't have health CARE. Ever heard of Medicaid and Medicare? I'm sure most have also heard that the law requires that hospitals not turn away those who need treatment if they don't have insurance. This is a typical, pro-government health care advocate's way of skewing the truth to fit their agenda - they use the words 'health care' and 'health insurance' interchangeably, and demand it as a right. Am I wrong in saying that the US Constitution states that the federal government would provide "...FOR the general welfare", ... not provide the general welfare. If the entitlement mentality weren't so prevalent in this country, I doubt we would even be having this conversation.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 02/24/10 - 08:50 am
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Simple minds is correct.

Simple minds is correct. Again, I refer you to Dr Dale Jorgeson, and the unFair Taxers "research" that says prices will to equal the increase in taxes and you get to keep 100% of your paycheck. Dr Jorgeson said that prices would be able to fall if you still get your current NET paycheck, not 100% of your GROSS paycheck. Also since services would be taxed, little things like rent, hospital visits, and the service on your mortgage would have a 30% tax added.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 02/24/10 - 08:58 am
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I have good relationships

I have good relationships with nearly everyone mentioned in this article, and I will tell you that they are the real real. I will be there with bells on. Let us all on here who don't like what's going on to be there also. There are strength in numbers. We will not be ignored!

445
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Lakeside95 02/24/10 - 09:15 am
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There is nothing racist about

There is nothing racist about Americans gathering in public to protest the 'tax and spend' mentality that has permeated the government.
A balanced budget is a great thing. Zero-based budgeting would be a better goal. In order to jump start the sagging economy, create jobs and 'promote the general welfare' of our nation- we need tax cuts now! The small business owner in America is drowning in debt, taxes, and red tape.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 02/24/10 - 09:33 am
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The "Fair Tax" would have the

The "Fair Tax" would have the effect of raising taxes on the poor and on the middle class while reducing taxes on the super rich, and it would not generate an equivalent amount of tax revenues as the current system. That is what a study commissioned by The Bush 43 administration found. I say rewrite corporate tax laws, eliminate offshore tax shelters, and close loopholes in the present tax system.

Edward B. Turner
69
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Edward B. Turner 02/24/10 - 09:37 am
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I cannot commend Tony Powers

I cannot commend Tony Powers enough for his stellar work with the Tea Party Movement. Tony is in this fight for the right reason, and should be supported at every turn. He has no personal political agenda, and just wants to make a difference in attempting to rally everyday folks to fix a system that is flawed beyond belief. Thank you, Tony. Another example of a real local hero!

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 02/24/10 - 09:46 am
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What exactly would y'all like

What exactly would y'all like to cut from the budget to balance it?

Pay What U Owe
5
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Pay What U Owe 02/24/10 - 09:46 am
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LOL @ EBT. "He has no

LOL @ EBT. "He has no personal political agenda, and just wants to make a difference in attempting to rally everyday folks to fix a system". I submit to you the fundamental problem in the political process is that people no longer recognize a contradiction when they see one.

Pay What U Owe
5
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Pay What U Owe 02/24/10 - 09:51 am
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Waymore et al are correct.

Waymore et al are correct. You cannot fix the system with spending cuts.

In our budget, 2/3rd are non-discretion funds- things we legally owe because we are have entered into contract like SS, Medicare and interest on debts.

In the 1/3rd, the vast bulk is defense and homeland security - sacred cows in most places. What is left is trivial. Would you eliminate all national parks? That would reduce the budget by less than 1%. Medical research? Less than 1%. The two of them together? Less than 1%.

Your choices are:
Abandon social security
Abandon homeland security (my choice - it's a scam)
Raise Taxes

The Fair Tax crowd are just dupes. Ignore them.

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