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One Woman's Opinion

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Take Tea and See

Urbanna, Va.— On Wednesday, April 15, at exactly noon, I’m going to go down to the Urbanna Town Marina on Virginia Street at Upton Point with my two dogs, “Lord” and “Lady,” and throw a few tea leaves into Urbanna Creek.

I am not throwing an entire teabag in the creek, because I do not wish to be cited by the EPA and fined for polluting the creek.

by Mary Wakefield Buxton
I am not doing this as a group, simply as an individual . . . not Republican, Democrat or Independent, but in a non-partisan spirit and as a concerned citizen. I am alarmed about the recent huge debt our nation is taking on and I am bone-cold worried about the future. I don’t see how we can ever pay it off.

Such ideas are considered archaic in today’s world; worrying about government spending and concern with balancing budgets, as many economists teach that such ideas are hopelessly passé these days. But I am not so sure.

Throwing tea leaves in the creek may be senseless, but what else can I do? I have tried writing my senators, asking them to be cautious with spending, but I have not received answers to my correspondence. I have tried writing in this column about my concerns. But what can one newspaper columnist in Urbanna, Virginia, writing in a county of maybe 10,000 or so do to influence the nation?

So, I am going to throw a few tea leaves in the creek.

Such action reminds me of the Colonists who, masquerading as Indians, boarded a British ship in the port of Boston and threw bundles of tea in the harbor. The Colonists were angry about having to pay special taxes on English tea. “Taxation without representation,” they called it. For the first time in my life, I am starting to feel the same sentiment.

When I think of how little those taxes were on that English tea, and compare them to all the taxes we pay today, I could laugh. But not quite.

I am not organizing this event (although I am emailing a few people stating my intentions) nor am I seeking any publicity. Maybe, or maybe not, Tom C. from the Sentinel will come down and take my picture for the newspaper as I fling my tea leaves into the wind and, I guess if he does, I will look kind of silly standing there with my two dogs in next week’s paper.

I can’t help it. I’m upset that the U.S. Treasury Department has printed almost a trillion dollars of money which may deflate the dollar and devalue cash. And that isn’t all. I understand it is now seeking a $2 trillion loan from China and maybe even a few more trillion in the coming years.

A budget has always been a part of my life. Is it naïve to hope government would be as responsible? If we can’t afford something, I respectfully request Congress to consider waiting until we can before it votes to spend any more trillions.

There are many citizens who believe Congress is on the right course. Who knows? Maybe they are. But we are risking the nation over this humongous new debt.

I am not a professional “demonstrator,” “zealot,” or official “protester.” I am not even a wild-eyed “radical.” Well, maybe I am a bit wild-eyed at times. I don’t expect to “save my country.” I am simply an everyday dog-loving American grandmother who seeks to enjoy life and maybe even retire one day. At this rate, there is no retirement in sight.

I don’t seek to “blame anyone” for what is happening. I just want to say to Congress: “Please stop the spending frenzy . . . take a deep breath . . . wait and see before we take on any more gigantic federal debt to see if there is improvement in the economy.”

Oh, I know I may feel the fool come April 15 as I fling my tea leaves in Urbanna Creek. I don’t care. It won’t be the first time I have felt foolish. Nor the last.

But, I wonder if I can sweet talk my husband Chip into joining me at noon on April 15?

Would you, would you, dearest? That would, at least, make two of us. Not counting the dogs.

Not exactly a revolution. ©2009

posted 04.01.2009

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