The anti-tax protests are lame and misguided by right-wing populism. Of all the shit our taxes go to (i.e., corporate welfare and augmenting an Empire) some folks are complaining about the "economic stimulus" bill. They have a warped understanding of the significance of spending on certain programs.
I understand that they see spending while having a defecit is wreckless and in some circumstances that is certainly true but as imperfect as analogies are, consider this: Our cars need fuel. When fuel is low our cars stop working. "Saving" our fuel does not help. Likewise, when the economy is running out of "fuel" you don’t "save" or cut fuel intake.
At the same time you don’t put sugar in your gas tank either. That is to say that what we spend should be aimed at increasing employment and wages. The bailout money for the banks obviously didn’t achieve that and a lot of what was originally in the economic stimulus package could have done this but was gutted.
We need tax justice, not necessarily less taxes. The problems Social Security and Medicare face are due to other economic factors like inflation and high health care costs (which is due to private medicine, not socialized medicine which is cheaper, more efficient and more accessible). Take Social Security. There is a phony scare about it being insolvent. Despite it is paid up past 2040 (what other program can say that?) the problems it faces internally are due to the cap (e.g., Warren Buffett, the richest man in the world, sees less than half of one percent of his annual income taxed for the program while a waitress working double-shifts sees 100% of hers taxed).
Increasing spending on our social infrastructure like roads, schools and hospitals is a good thing because it provides jobs to millions of Americans and puts money in their pocket.
Outlawing the privatization of basic health insurance will save us money since considerably less will be spent on administrative costs as has been proving in most of the developed world. We spend on average nearly twice as much as Canada and yet we have 50 million uninsured or underinsured Americans (imagine how much bigger your paychecks would be if your health insurance costs were cut by half and you didn’t have to spend money on prescriptions, co-pays or emergency visits!). On top of that most of those who file bankruptcy over medical bills have insurance. In Canada and UK it is a crime for private companies to sell basic health insurance.
Having good quality schools, social infrastructure and health will require taxes and spending. In return we get jobs, public safety, an education and healthier lives. When employment is likely already in double-digits, social infrastructure is in poor shape and the health care industry is quickly becoming its own crisis then why on Earth are we protesting spending? We should be out in the streets for particular kinds of spending and radically opposed to other kinds (i.e., universal health care versus universal bank care).
Spending is not the enemy anymore than putting gas in your tank is the enemy (or if you want another analogy: putting nourishment in our bodies). What we spend on and how we can manipulate and control the results is what matters. We need a wage-based economy that provides quality social services, as close to full-employment as possible and government policies that not only empowers workers and retiree’s but is also accountable to the public at large (i.e., self-managing and participatory democracy). Having tea parties and falling prey to right-wing populism is not and will not help, nor is dogmatic support for the Democrats.