Published: Sunday, Dec. 9 2012 12:00 a.m. MST
Throw Norquist overboard. I've heard numerous interviews of the man, and he
does a very poor job of defending his no tax increase at any cost dogma. You
could drive one of those Kennecott ore haulers through the logical holes in his
arguments, and when pressed, Norquist simply reverts to his broken-record
rhetoric about small government ideals instead of answering the specific
question. He's an ideologue and lobbyist, nothing more. "Allowing the upper-bracket Bush tax breaks to expire simply restores the
tax rates of the Clinton years, a time of unprecedented, widely-shared
prosperity."As much sense as that makes, you will only be
accused of class warfare and victimizing a too-often picked on minority. Right
now, you could lower taxes on the wealthy even further, and next year propose to
bring them back to the rates of today, and conservatives would still holler and
wail about the injustice of it all.
Had Grover's pledge included a promise not to raise taxes OR SPENDING, our
deficit would be in much better shape.The GOP would be reluctant to
champion things like the Iraq war, Medicare part D and No Child Left Behind, if
they were required to be funded through cuts elsewhere or tax hikes.
"The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in
the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear
correlated with economic growth. The reduction in the top tax rates appears to
be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth. The top tax
rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie.However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the
increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution. As
measured by IRS data, the share of income accruing to the top 0.1% of U.S.
families increased from 4.2% in 1945 to 12.3% by 2007 before falling to 9.2% due
to the 2007-2009 recession. At the same time, the average tax rate paid by the
top 0.1% fell from over 50% in 1945 to about 25% in 2009."
[Congressional Research Service, 9/14/12]"Federal revenue is
lower today than it would have been without the tax cuts. There's really no
dispute among economists about that," said Alan D. Viard, a former Bush
White House economist now at the American Enterprise Institute.."(Washington Post, 10/17/06)
Yes, throw Grover under the biggest bus you can find. But the real scandal is
the Republicans who sighed a pledge essentially giving up their right to
function as a Representative during there term of office. Legislative
perogative should never be surrendered, especially not to some dolt that has
never been elected to anything. Gover is essentially a political blackmailer.
Grover Norquist needs to lose this one, and he needs to lose again and again
going forward. Period. His irresponsible and foolish pledge damages our
ability as a nation to solve our problems.
Yes, and as soon as possible. Let's bring some common senses back.
Eventually, Grover and his crusade will go away. But, Faux news will
still trot him out for comic relief much like they do now w/ Steve Forbes.
Our country, the people and the government, are extremely unwise financially.
Both get further into debt in good times AND bad. How is it that this country of
ours can be so dumb?
If the Republicans break their vow to their constituents (not Grover) and raise
taxes, watch the Dems use that as a club against them in the next election.
Remember Bush one?
KDave points out the main reason why we can never come together to solve ANY of
the Country's problems: solving the problem is secondary to reelection
calculus. If I vote this way, my base will never vote for me again. Voters are
not informed enough to look past the partisan rants of the left and the right to
the only question we should consider at election time for an incumbent...did
they solve problems or just contribute to gridlock. PS. Norquist
never asked me permission to use my name!
How lovely to get lectured by a Representative of the brokest State (California)
in the brokest nation in human history. So according to Rep Woolsey we have a
moral responsibility to raise tax rates on "the rich". And according to
her we can't afford to cut any spending. Here is what she wrote: "But
the bottom line is this: any cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid
benefits are unacceptable. As a matter of fundamental fairness and moral
decency, our fiscal policy cannot be based on coddling those who have the most
and squeezing those who have the least". This is Democrat
economic/political theory 101: tax and spend (and demagogue). Repeat until
bankruptcy. But Republicans are somehow irrational. Can any rational leftist who
frequents these message boards explain how we reduce our deficit without
restructuring entitlements in some way? We have nearly 100 trillion in unfunded
liabilities. Are you really going to bridge that gap simply by raising rates on
"the rich"? She's basically proposing national suicide. And
I'm sure Rep Woolsey will expect other Americans to pick up the tab when
California's fiscal condition becomes completely untenable.
William Shugharth's defense of Grover is pure Swiss cheese. He, like most
Republicans, falls for the fallacy that government spending occurs in a vacuum
and is not part of economy. In fact, government spending keeps many private
businesses afloat and pays the wages of many people. It's not as if the
money government spends just vanishes into thin air. And if we suddenly slash
government spending, it will have a devastating effect on the economy, as
businesses and jobs that depend on government will suddenly vanish.Shugharth says, "How government finances its spending--through current
taxes or by borrowing--is of second-order importance." Really. It is because
we have refused to pay our way by taxing sufficiently that we have our debt
problem in the first place. We could learn a few things from our parents and
grandparents, who were willing to accept a top marginal tax rate of over 90
percent to pay off our war debt, educate our veterans, jumpstart an economic
boom, and rebuild Europe. We, on the other hand, opted to pay for two endless
wars with tax cuts. Go figure.
Whether they throw Norquist over the cliff, along with a lot of the Conservative
entertainment establishment, depends significantly on whether or not
they're intention is to be a permanent Republican minority where various
crazies, fringes, purists and ideologues cannot make common cause with
rational, thinking, moderates, centrists and RINO's.Stupidity
and arrogance can bring down the Democrats in another four years but only if the
Republicans do something to effectively address their own home-grown disaster.
Sad day in America when Congressmen Nationwide are held hostage, and only seem
accountable to 1 Grover Norquist, and not the Millions of constituents
they are supposed to Represent.
The greater shame is in Republicans ever allowing Norquist to intimidate them in
the first place.
It is so blatantly obvious that the main problem is that we are continually
spending more money than we have. I honestly couldn't care less if go with
Clinton-era or Bush-era tax-rates; they aren't nearly so far apart (nor as
consequential) as everyone seems to pretend. WE HAVE TO STOP SPENDING TRILLIONS
OF DOLLARS MORE THAN WE HAVE. Sorry for raising my voice, but the math on all
these things is so mind-boggling, that even well-regarded economists can't
agree. But the writing is on the wall, and it looks like an elephant in a
living room. Everything that is good isn't necessary, and we can't
afford everything that is good.
"This past election, Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform, spent
nearly $16 million to support his favored candidates; that's according to
the Center for Responsive Politics. Where did that money come from, and what did
it buy? Back in the 1990's, it was the tobacco industry backing
Norquist's fight against cigarette taxes; now it's pharmaceutical
companies, among others. Not long ago, this same Grover Norquist was using his
organization to launder money for the notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff. How
about that for tax reform!So, not only does the Norquist Pledge
symbolize a "political system short on legitimacy," as Christopher
Caldwell wrote. It isn't even about principle or ideology. Conservatism, my
foot. It's all about the money."(Bill Moyers, Capital Crimes)
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