I am writing this letter to correct an error reported in The Augusta Chronicle .
In the April 16 article "Tea Party serves seconds," it was stated I had a "tradition" of disrupting Tea Parties, when the truth is that I was there, both years, to express my personal views on taxation. I engaged in absolutely no disruptive behavior, nor did I interrupt or heckle anyone. This year, as last year, I handed out cards (see editor's note below). I was not collecting personal information from anyone. In fact, I repeatedly stated that the form was just to be read only. There was no return address on the cards.
My actions were completely independent of any group, and did not involve gathering any information. In the two hours I attended the Tea Party, I was friendly and civil to everyone and disruptive to no one. I was particularly glad that our publicly funded police force was there to protect me and my friend from the small angry group that was threatening us because we did not share their opinions.
As a taxpayer, I too am concerned about how my taxes are spent. Many government programs such as veterans' benefits, Medicare and Social Security are valuable services, and I wanted to make this point with the cards I was handing out. It is inconsistent to be on the receiving end of government-sponsored programs and not recognize that these are tax-supported.
The fundamental problem is that we demand our government provide more services than we are willing to pay for. Until we are willing to give up some of our personal benefits and/or pay more taxes, we will continue to have a huge deficit.
It is hard for me to see how my presence at a public gathering held in a city park supported by tax dollars could be interpreted by anyone as crashing a private party.
Beech Island, S.C.
Editor's note: The aforementioned card, provided to The Chronicle by the letter writer, reads: "I want to give up my socialized government-run health care. Please take away my socialized, government-run health care benefits immediately. I have had enough of participating in socialist, government-run programs and want to discontinue coverage for myself and my family. Please remove me from these programs as quickly as you can. Thank you very much."
The card then provides blank spaces for someone to provide a name, address, phone number, e-mail address and Social Security number; and blank check-off boxes with which to select a discontinuation of Medicare, Medicaid, veterans' benefits, Social Security and/or another government benefit.
The card ends: "This information will be forwarded to the government offices applicable and I understand that I have agreed to stop all coverage for the programs I have checked off."