By CARL SMITH
The Starkville Tea Party is hosting its third annual Tax Day Patriot Rally noon today on the Oktibbeha County Court House steps.
Kim Wade, a conservative radio talk show host with 20 years of on-air experience, is the day’s featured speaker and will be joined by syndicated columnist Daniel Gardner and recent Congressional candidate Robert J. Allen. Fellowship Baptist Church Minister of Music Jesse Bennett will provide music during the event.
An open mic-style segment is scheduled during the event for members of the public who would like to voice their concerns and opinions.
Tea Party member Gary Chesser said a tax day-themed event coincides with the issues which led to the group’s formation: over-taxation and the misuse of tax dollars by the federal government.
“We do not want to let this day pass without bringing recognition to the fact that this situation has not been remedied. This is our way of speaking out and also allowing the public a chance to voice their feelings,” Chesser said.
Wade, who describes himself as an unabashed, unapologetic conservative, says the current U.S. tax code is used for social engineering and needs major revisions. Americans desire responsibility and accountability from their government, he said.
“Presently, the tax system right now criminalizes everyone in some way. The American people desire accountability with our tax code,” he said. “We hear about how the rich need to pay their fair share, but everyone has to pitch in. I’m for the Fair Tax where everyone pays a fair rate.”
Wade said the U.S. could be in better economic shape if those who skip out on paying taxes are brought back into the system, if the governmental chains on businesses are broken and if federal spending is controlled.
“We’re not trying to harm widows and orphans, but at the end of the day we need a fair tax system. People need to know that our present tax system is unsustainable,” Wade said. “If we allow the American people to engage in free enterprise as intended, then the commerce that comes from economic activity could be used to retire our debts. This is an issue that affects everyone because of our rights to keep the fruit of your labor.”
Gardner said the U.S. is currently at a crossroads between two competing philosophies to solve the national debt issue: reduced spending versus “spending out of debt.”
“I believe progressives believe they can spend us out of the recession. The conservatives are trying to do something about it, but I don’t believe they’re trying to do enough. Even the idea proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wi.) only cuts the growth of spending, not spending itself. If I was in charge, I’d cap all federal spending. There’s a lack of leadership in Congress and the White House.”
Allen said he will discuss how federal expenditures impact each single taxpaying American.
“There’s roughly 311 million people in America. If you round that off, there’s roughly 250 million people who pay taxes in some way,” Allen said. “If you divide that into $1 billion, then a tax payer pays roughly $4 for every $1 billion,” Allen said. “I think the current tax code is too high, we pay too many taxes in general and the government wastes too much money. If you look at the total taxes we pay — federal, state and local — we pay about 30-50 percent of our income on one tax or another.”