Fort Mill Times

TEA time Tax protest a teachable moment for students

More than 150 people turned out April 15 for a TEA --Taxed Enough Already -- rally held in front of Fort Mill Town Hall.
More than 150 people turned out April 15 for a TEA --Taxed Enough Already -- rally held in front of Fort Mill Town Hall.

"This year, we have an American history focus," Knape said last week. "We've talked about government and how government policies will effect our spending at home."

To reinforce that lesson, the Fort Mill family last week took a field trip to a downtown TEA party held in protest of congressional spending.

"I wanted to show them that they have the right in this country to exercise the freedoms that are given to them," she said of her children." We're here because of freedom of speech."

And speak is just what Fort Mill residents and TEA -- Taxed Enough Already -- organizers Tom and Beth Donnelly did during an organized April 15 protest in front of Town Hall. In addition to Fort Mill's TEA party, others were held in York, Columbia and Charlotte.

"There are so many people who have no clue to what's going on in the government with their taxes and government spending," Beth Donnelly said after the protest. "They need to know. It's their future. It's their children's future and America's future. We need to protect it."

Approximately 164 adults and children carted signs that decried government spending and showcased America's signature red, white and blue. Some adults signed petitions earmarked for Congressman John Spratt (D-York) and President Barack Obama to stop excessive governmental spending, Donnelly said.

"Stop the insanity," she said after the protest ended.

During the hour-long national Tea Party events, Fort Mill residents repeated the cry, "enough already!" with spending.

"It's really about people getting out to let the government know that we're fed up with runaway government spending and the will of the people being ignored," Tom Donnelly said.

"We're spending money hands over fist," he added. "It's monopoly money now. It's not sustainable."

And spending, the Donnellys contend, yields consequence for America's children.

"It's their future that's being sold out right now," Tom Donnelly said. "It's our children who are being taxed to death before they even start working."

Angie Knape stood among the fired-up crowd. Mere steps away Knape's 6-year-old daughter, Halle, waved a banner.

"There's too much money being spent that doesn't even exist," Angie Knape said.

Ralph Sauers Jr. also found fault with governmental spending.

"We look at the debt crisis," Sauers said. "If we as citizens operated our homes the way Congress operates the federal budget, we'd be out of our homes because we couldn't float the debt."

To that end, fixing the country's financial woes means cutting back, he said.

"We as the people are becoming debtors to the federal government," Sauers said. "... We have become a culture accustomed to living in debt."