A strong wind blew through the large crowd gathered Friday afternoon at the Forsyth County Courthouse steps.
Debbie Dooley likened it the “wind of real change” headed to the White House in 2012.
Dooley, a Georgia Tea Party Patriot, was one of several speakers rallying the crowd at the third annual Tax Day Tea Party, organized by the Concerned Citizens of Forsyth County and the Forsyth County Tea Party Patriots.
Taxes, the budget and the nation’s debt were the topics of signs and speeches on America’s traditional tax day of April 15.
Thanks to Emancipation Day, a little known holiday observed Friday in the nation's capital, filers this year have until midnight Monday to get their returns postmarked.
Nate Whigham, an Atlanta-based tea party leader, addressed the crowd on the ideology of taxes in the Constitution.
As the Founding Fathers saw it, taxes were not able to be put on labor, Whigham said, yet the 16th Amendment granted that ability.
Taxes on labor are not a choice, he said, and are comparable to slavery,
“We’re here today on April 15 to tell the government that we’re not your slaves,” he said. “We will not be taxed anymore. We want an income-tax-free America back.”
Dooley commended the tea partiers for their work in standing up for their beliefs.
“Nobody thought when Mr. [President Barack] Obama was elected that the Republicans just two years later would take control of the House,” she said. “It’s because of people like you. It’s because of the tea party.”
She added that the “R” denoting a Republican on a ballot doesn’t make that candidate trustworthy without verification, a principle she borrowed from Ronald Reagan.
Dooley applauded Georgia tea party involvement in blocking the recent “so-called” tax reform bill, as she said, one example of “the power of the people.”
She looked toward the budget showdown in the Capitol as the next important issue to tackle.
Al Gainey, a north Georgia radio talk show host, said Obama’s outlook on the budget isn’t cutting it.
“We don’t need a scalpel to reform the fiscal policy,” Gainey said. “We need a leader willing to use a chainsaw.”
He also pointed to the national deficit of $14.5 trillion “and growing” at a rate out of control.
To put that number in perspective, Gainey said it would take basketball star Kobe Bryant 560,000 seasons to make that amount on his $25 million salary.
The government must live within its means, just like a family would, said Gainey, who added that the 55 million tea partiers in the nation must hold them to that principle.
Lorraine Stewart held up a sign that read “Give Us Liberty, Not Debt.”
A member of the Forsyth County Tea Party Patriots, she’s attended the previous tax rallies. The speakers, she said, were “spot on” this year.
“I think it’s important to stand up if you believe in a balanced budget, smaller government and liberty,” Stewart said.
Mitchell Easter said he enjoys the passion of the attendees.
“Everybody here wants to improve the government,” said Easter, adding that he hoped the broad discussions would filter down to specific solutions.
As Trilby Leech, a member of the Concerned Citizens of Forsyth County, reminded the crowd, “the government is for the people.”
Looking out from the courthouse steps on Friday, she could see a group who didn’t feel that principle held true in Washington.
“Your attendance here is a wake-up call to those seeking to take our country in a direction that most Americans don’t want it to go,” Leech said.