It's not the taxes we're facing today, it's the taxes that must come later - when the bill for today's bailouts and stimuli comes due.
The amount of money involved in all this would be staggering to anyone not benumbed by the incessant torrent of bad news. But judging from the tea party protests, the numbness is not universal. No matter what the state of the economy, some Americans are still capable of being shocked to see trillions of federal dollars pouring out like water rushing over a broken dam. And like many reputable economists, they suspect most of it will be wasted.
The invocations of the Boston Tea Party -- on April 15, no less -- suggested that the protests stemmed from anger about taxes under Obama. But Obama has not actually increased income taxes -- only the federal tax on tobacco, which the majority of people don't pay. His tax plan calls for cutting income taxes for most Americans, and not raising them on the rest until 2011.
So why did people rally across the country when they should have been planning how to spend their tax refunds? Because their true dismay is about the mushrooming of federal outlays, which the demonstrators regard as a future tax increase in the making. Which, of course, it is.