perusing DCist’s gallery of 9/12 Teaparty pics, I found this one:

For right now I’m going to leave alone the child cruelty aspect in this picture and focus on grumpy lady and her sign. The quote, if you can’t quite make it out is “It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from the government.” Cute, right? Because the teabaggers are protecting us all from Barack Hussein Hitler Stalin Pol-Pot Goebbels Obama and his socialist fascist Nazi health care plan. Tom Paine, as a guy who had a strong distrust for the government, would clearly be on the side of the protesters.
The problem is that quote could be useful for anyone protesting anything the government does. Free Mumia? Works. Truthers? Absolutely. Revolutionary Communist Party? Why not? It’s a pretty generic quote. If the teabaggers want to be the ideological heirs to Tom Paine, they’re gonna have to do a little bit better. For some context, here’s what Paine proposed in Agrarian Justice:

“To create a national fund, out of which there shall be paid to every person, when arrived at the age of twenty-one years, the sum of fifteen pounds sterling, as a compensation in part, for the loss of his or her natural inheritance, by the introduction of the system of landed property. And also, the sum of ten pounds per annum, during life, to every person now living, of the age of fifty years, and to all others as they shall arrive at that age.”

That’s a national pension system and a general redistribution of wealth. And he suggested paying for it by levying a ten percent inheritance tax against property owners. That’s right, Tom Paine was in favor of the death tax. The ten pounds he’s talking about isn’t a small sum either, Wiki puts the average agricultural laborer’s yearly pay at 23 pounds. The truth is that Paine was a socialist revolutionary, the Democrats don’t get to use him, nevermind these teabag yahoos. I guess that’s the problem with being conservative, history always proves their ideological parents wrong. The new rule should be only Bernie Sanders (I-VT) supporters get to use Tom Paine quotes and everyone else has to go back to eighth-grade history class and learn their shit.

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