THE COLONY — Dozens of tea party groups from North Texas will gather in Grand Prairie on Thursday to protest high taxes.
Many Republican leaders will join them, hoping to capitalize on their energy. But is the tea party just for Republicans?
At the Castle Hills Conservative Club's tea party on Wednesday evening, the letters T-E-A stand for "taxed enough already."
"We asked for lower taxes; he responded with more taxes. We asked for less spending; he responded with more spending."
All but one of the speakers was a conservative Republican, but organizers say the tea party is not aligned with any political party.
"We're concerned about fiscal conservative behavior; making sure that the representatives are actually representing what the people want; and spending taxes appropriately," said Seth Higgins of the Castle Hills Conservative Club.
Congressional candidate John Jay Myers puts that theory to the test. He's a Libertarian who is trying to unseat Rep. Pete Sessions.
Myers says Republicans — epsicially during the Bush years — helped bust the federal budget.
"Our national debt didn't go from $5 trillion to $10 trillion from 2001 to 2008 because of Barack Obama's health care plan," he told the crowd. "He hadn't had time to kick in to any of that to happen."
For Libertarians like Myers, the fastest way to cut the deficit is reduce spending overseas — and that includes both wars.
"There's only one thing: We cant afford it," Myers said. "This country is going broke. We will be broke if we continue to do what we're doing right now."
At this tea party, the idea of cutting defense is a tough sell.
"No, of course not," said registered Republican Margaret Smith. "They are leaving us wide open for anything."
For Republicans, that's good news, because they are counting on tea party power to gain power in November.