They came with signs commanding death to socialism and placards bearing slogans like "Honk if you think your neighbors' mortgage is their own damn fault!" The Kansas City Tea Party was one of dozens of protests around the country this week that took a stand against a federal stimulus package that, opponents say, undermines personal responsibility and shackles future generations with staggering debt. At the rally near the Plaza on Saturday morning, a bundled up young couple said they work hard to make ends meet and others should be required to do the same.
Name: Ben and Andrea Jones
Braved the snow because: "We're mad and there are only a few ways to peacefully say that we're mad," Andrea said. "And standing with others is a really great way to get that message across."
Why they're pissed: "We work hard for our money," Ben said. "We don't need the government giving out what we're earning to people who aren't willing to go get it. Too many people are abusing the system."
If I can do it, so can you: Sure, the economy is soft but the Joneses said they don't understand why they should be picking up the tab for their neighbors' bad decisions. "It's like, we're a family on a single income that makes it," Ben said. "We own a house. We don't have any debt. It's like, I don't need to pay for somebody else's mistakes or their mortgage or their healthcare. It's important to go out and do it yourself."
Bailouts are bullshit: "No business is too big to fail," Ben said, referencing the argument that allowing certain industries to falter would put too many people out of work. "If they're using bad business practice and gotten themselves in a bad situation, they need to have the ability to get out from underneath that or go under." Andrea agreed that bailouts turn capitalism on its head. "If they take away the ability to fail, they take away success, too," she added.
Worried about their kids' bank accounts: "We've got a three-year-old and a 20-month-old and one on the way," Andrea said. "And those three kids -- and their kids -- are going to be paying for this crap, this staggering amount of debt that he, Obama, is wracking up for us. We'll be paying that back for generations."