The ostensible purpose of the Tea Parties was to protest the massive amount of government spending and debt. Susan Roesgen, a CNN reporter in Chicago got it wrong when she argued with the man she was interviewing, trying to remind him that he was getting a $400 tax break. This was about the spending. Even if the government taxed the richest people in the country at 95%, there wouldn't be enough revenue to pay the bill. This means that either everyone's taxes will go sky high or the government will have to inflate the currency, taking away our purchasing power and making our money worth much less (eventually worthless). Our children and grandchildren will be paying for this spending spree one way or another.
However, as unconscionable as the spending is, the spending itself is not the problem; it's merely a symptom of a much deeper problem, namely that the federal government has grown far beyond the limits set by the Constitution and is involved in many areas and issues that aren't mentioned in our founding documents. Our Constitution states clearly that the federal government is bound regarding the areas it can legally be involved in. If the Constitution doesn't give specific authority over a specific jurisdiction to the federal level of government, then the federal government has no authority to do or legislate in that area. Instead, that authority rests with the States and the People. Until more everyday people realize this, we won't really make any progress.
One complaint I've been hearing is that, since these protests didn't happen during the Bush administration with its growth in both government and deficit spending, they're illegitimate. The assumption is that everyone at the Tea Parties supported everything that President Bush did, so now that President Obama is doing multiplied more of the same, we have no right to protest.
'Freedom is always just one generation away from extinction. We don’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream; we have to fight for it and protect it, and then hand it to them so that they shall do the same, or we’re going to find ourselves spending our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children about a time in America, back in the day, when men and women were free.'