Mr. Speaker, when the British Crown initially ignored the Boston Tea Party in 1773 and regarded the participants as rabble, authorities thought nothing would come of the protest. They, of course, were wrong. Early Americans were objecting to the British government for not responding to the concerns of the people.

Now, this year, TEA parties, which means taxed enough already, were held throughout the country where citizens exercised the absolute right under the first amendment ``to peaceably assemble and petition government for redress of grievances.'' Most people seemed to be protesting spending and taxation.

The critics said no one would show up. They, of course, were wrong. Many in the media didn't want to cover the events because, frankly, they were politically opposed to the idea, so they responded by calling the protesters kooks and extremists, sort of like the British calling the colonists rabble and troublemakers.

But thousands of Americans, normal taxpayers who work for a living and not beholden to government giveaway programs showed up to let government know that citizens don't like the government spending so much of their money, borrowing money from China and taxing citizens out of existence. Government would do well to listen.

And that's just the way it is.