The Illinois Tea Party is celebrating the speech that was heard around the world on February 20, 2009:
Five years ago today, on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Rick Santelli, CNBC analyst, outraged that another huge spending bill had just passed, looked to the cameras and said: "This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgages when they have an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills? The government is promoting bad behavior! I'll tell you what, I have an idea... We're thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July!"
Social media lit up. Americans instinctively knew that the big government spending of other people's money was wrong! The $787 billion TARP bill had just passed to 'bail out' the biggest banks. Then the 'Stimulus' bill (American Recovery and Investment Act) had passed on 2/17/09 - filled with 'pork' for D.C. Legislators.
And the next day, the modern day Tea Party Movement began.
Twenty-two of us got on a phone call and began planning 'TEA parties' for 2/27/09. Most of us had little political experience - We just knew that Americans were fed up! And on that day, 30 Tea Parties were held across the country.
So we kept going. People who had never met before, but believed in less spending, lower taxes, and smaller government, sat down at kitchen tables, joined in phone calls and social media, to begin scheduling a 'Tax Day Tea Party' for 4/15/09.
And on that day, more than 850 Tea Parties, with 1.2 million in attendance, joined hands across the nation. We were determined to 'Restore America's Greatness the way our Founders intended it'.