By Jeff Simpson
H/T Thom Hartmann!
There was a recent study published in the scientific journal, Tobacco Control, that tells us EXACTLY where the "tea party" came from(its been around longer than you think):
Starting in the 1980s, tobacco companies worked to create the appearance of broad opposition to tobacco control policies by attempting to create a grassroots smokers’ rights movement. Simultaneously, they funded and worked through third-party groups, such as Citizens for a Sound Economy, the predecessor of AFP and FreedomWorks, to accomplish their economic and political agenda. There has been continuity of some key players, strategies and messages from these groups to Tea Party organisations. As of 2012, the Tea Party was beginning to spread internationally.By the way guess who founded Citizens for a Sound Economy(CSE).....this guy:
Then in 1993, a Philip Morris PR flack wrote a memo outlining a strategy of fighting any new taxes by joining up with other anti-tax groups to create a “New Boston Tea Party.”
The memo reads, “Grounded in the theme of ‘The New American Tax Revolution’ or ‘The New Boston Tea Party,’ the campaign activity should take the form of citizens representing the widest constituency base mobilized with signage and other attention-drawing accoutrements such as lapel buttons, handouts, petitions and even costumes.”
Fast forward ten years and the Koch's still had not given up on trying to create astroturf:
But in 2002, the David Koch’s CSE purchased a website, USTeaParty.com. Eventually, plans for this Tea Party were put on hold. After all, A Republican corporatist, George W. Bush was in the White House, and Republicans were in control of Congress.This billionaire anti- American founded astroturf organization would make the Founders roll over in their graves:
Only after the banksters crashed our economy, and Democrats swept into Congress, would the so-called Tea Party be revived. And sure enough, it was revived by CSE. Only, by now, CSE had split into two Astroturf corporate-funded organizations: Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works.
Of course the original participants of the Boston Tea Party 240 years ago would have been horrified by this.
Many people today think that the Tea Act—which led to the Boston Tea Party—was simply an increase in the taxes on tea paid by American colonists. That’s where the whole “taxation without representation” meme came from.
Instead, the purpose of the Tea Act was to give the East India Company full and unlimited access to the American tea trade and to exempt the company from having to pay taxes to Britain on tea exported to the American colonies. It even gave the company a tax refund on millions of pounds of tea that it was unable to sell and holding in inventory.
In other words, the Tea Act was the largest corporate tax break in the history of the world. And since, at the time, most of the British government and royalty were stockholders in the East India Tea Company, it was also a classic example of crony capitalism.
The purpose of the Tea Act was to increase the profitability of the East India Company to its stockholders (which included the king) and to help the company drive its colonial small-business competitors out of business. Because the company temporarily no longer had to pay high taxes to England and held a monopoly on the tea it sold in the American colonies, it was able to lower its tea prices to undercut those of the local importers and the mom-and-pop tea merchants and teahouses in every town in America.
In response, the colonists dressed like Indians in the middle of the night, boarded ships, and commenced the dumping of hundreds of chests of tea overboard – an act that would eventually light the fuse to war.
As Hartmann sums up:
So this is an appeal to all the Americans out there who consider themselves proud Tea Partiers. Don’t be duped! The Boston Tea Party wasn’t started by a tobacco company – it was against a tobacco company.
The original Boston Tea Party wasn’t just against a tyrannical monarch across the Atlantic. It was also against transnational corporate power that was ruining the economy here in the colonies.