I had no idea how important the nationwide anti-tax tea parties were until hearing liberals denounce them with such ferocity. The New York Times’ Paul Krugman wrote a column attacking the tea parties, apologizing for making fun of “crazy people.” (It’s OK, Paul, you’re allowed to make fun of crazy people for the same reason Jews can make fun of Jews.)

On MSNBC, hosts Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow have been tittering over the similarity of the name “tea parties” to an obscure homosexual sexual practice known as “tea bagging.” Night after night, they sneer at Republicans for being so stupid as to call their rallies “tea bagging,”a practice they show a surprising degree of familiarity with.

Except no one is calling the tea parties “tea bagging.” Only Olbermann and Maddow call them that. Republicans call them “tea parties.”

But if the Republicans were calling them “tea-bagging parties,” the MSNBC hosts would have a fantastically hilarious segment for viewers in San Francisco and the West Village and not anyplace else in the rest of the country.

On the other hand, they’re not called “tea-bagging parties.”

You know what else would be hilarious? It would be hilarious if Hillary Clinton’s name were “Ima Douche.” Unfortunately, it’s not. It was just a dream. Most people would wake up, realize it was just a dream and scrap the joke. Not MSNBC hosts.

One point of the tea parties is to note that Democrats always tell voters they have absolutely no intention of raising taxes. (Most people who actually pay taxes consider raising them a bad idea.) Then they get elected and immediately raise taxes.

Obama’s biggest shortcoming is that he believes all the things believed by Democrats, which have devastating consequences when put into effect. Among these is the Democrats’ admiration for raising taxes on the productive.

For the last 50 years, Democrats have tried to stimulate the economy by giving “tax cuts” to people who don’t pay taxes. Obviously, these are simple welfare payments, but campaigning on a promise to grow welfare, evidently, isn’t a big vote-getter.

Even Bush had a “stimulus” bill that sent government checks to lots of people last year. Guess what happened? It didn’t stimulate the economy.

Obama’s stimulus bill is the mother of all pork bills for friends of Congressional Democrats of O and friends of O. (“O” stands for Obama, not Oprah, but there’s probably a lot of overlap.) And all that government spending on the Democrats’ constituents will be paid for by raising taxes on the productive.

Raise taxes and the productive will work less, adopt tax shelters, barter instead of sell, turn to an underground economy — and the government will get less money.

The perfect bar bet with a liberal would be to wager that massive government deficits in the ’80s were not caused by Reagan’s tax cuts. Casually mention that you thought Reagan’s tax cuts brought the government more revenue – they did – and you could get odds in Hollywood and Manhattan. (This became a less attractive wager in New York this week after Gov. David Paterson announced his new plan to tax bar bets.)

The lie at the heart of liberals’ mantra on taxes — “tax increases only for the rich” — is the ineluctable fact that unless taxes are raised across the board, the government won’t get enough money to fund layers and layers of useless government bureaucrats, none of whom can possibly be laid off.

How much would you have to raise taxes before any of Obama’s constituents noticed? They don’t pay taxes, they engage in “tax-reduction” strategies, they work for the government, or they’re too rich to care. (Or they have off-shore tax shelters, like George Soros.)

California tried Obama’s soak-the-productive plan years ago and was hailed as the perfect exemplar of Democratic governance.

In June 2002, the liberal American Prospect magazine called California a “laboratory” for Democratic policies, noting that “California is the only one of the nation’s 10 largest states that is uniformly under Democratic control.”

They said this, mind you, as if it were a good thing. California, the article proclaimed, “the next New Deal is in tryouts.”

In just a few years, Democrats had turned California into a state — or as it’s now known, a “job-free zone” — with a $41 billion deficit, a credit rating that was slashed to junk-bond status and a middle class now located in Arizona.

Democrats governed California the way Democrats always govern. They bought the votes of government workers with taxpayer-funded jobs, salaries and benefits — and then turned around and accused the productive class of “greed” for wanting not to have their taxes raised through the roof.

Having run out of things to tax, now the California legislature is considering a tax on taxes. The only way out now may be a tax on Botox and steroids.

California was, in fact, a laboratory of Democratic policies. The rabbit died. Now Obama is trying it on a national level. That’s what the tea parties are about.

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