Tea PartyWe live in an era in which more and more people, some of them never before involved in politics, are waking up. They do not like what they see.

With Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in Beijing today and President Obama planning to meet with Chinese Premier Hu Jintao in Washington next week, Members of Congress have been voicing their frustration over trade and economic policies that many believe are contributing to America's large balance-of-trade deficit and a loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs.

In March of this year, the Senate Agriculture Committee marked up legislation that calls for healthier choices on school cafeteria menus. Now New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand is asking the Senate Agriculture Committee to write legislation that will ban artificial trans fats from school foods, citing examples of New York City schools that have already done so.

Buried in Title X — Strengthening Quality, Affordable Health Care For All Americans, Subtitle H — Provisions Relating to Title IX, Section 10907 — Excise Tax on Indoor Tanning Services in Lieu of Elective Cosmetic Medical Procedures, of the recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a new tax on tanning salon services. Dubbed “the Caucasian tax,” it imposes a 10-percent tax on the amount paid for indoor tanning services.

President Obama’s Race to the Top program was intended to award states that implement “coherent, compelling, and comprehensive education reform.” Governors from a variety of states were excited at the prospect of competing for a share of the $4 billion set aside for the program, but the excitement very quickly transformed into disappointment when Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that only two states would be receiving a share of the money: Delaware and Tennessee.