Today, 277 members of Congress signed a pledge to never, ever raise taxes. And today, 277 members of Congress signed a pledge to make sure that our economy permanently fails. The comparison, or leap to judgment may sound drastic but that is exactly what is it when you look at the fact that our nation is growing numerically every second of every day. To say that taxes will not increase under any circumstances undermines the fact that as we continue to grow, our needs for services and government also continues to grow.
Neither does it takes into consideration the current needs of the economy. If our economy is thriving, this pledge is in effect and if our economy is failing, this pledge is still in effect. To me, this seems like a very poor strategy and renders our country ineffective and non-competitive.
Instead the pledge advocates for a top income tax rate of 25% for both individuals and businesses. I suppose that these provisions were put in place in order to appear as if the playing field was being evened. However, this does not even the playing field but only worsens the vast inequity that exists when it comes to paying taxes, as those who have the means can reduce their tax burden and those who cannot are left footing the bill. Oh yeah, the pledge also states that it (members of Congress) will vote against any measure that eliminates deductions and credits. Now who does that benefit? Surely not me, and most likely not you!
These provisions were born out of a desire to ensure that American wealth stays within the top 10%, if not 2% of all Americans. This pledge does not benefit those in the middle class at all, and definitely not the lower class, simply because local economies are not being stimulated and because funding for much needed services is being taken away.
Which brings me to another point: these provisions force the government to shut its doors on the programs and services that many people in the middle and lower class use. ‘If we cannot afford it,” people argue, “then we should not have it.’ Easier said than done, especially when so many lives depend on these services (health care, education, child care assistance, affordable housing, transportation, etc).
It seems to me that this pledge only protects a select few, and I am definitely not one of those few. So, Grover Norquist, where’s the protection for the rest of us? From where I am sitting it does not look like it exists!
Disclaimer: Lest someone accuse me of not trusting in God, I want to assure you that my question in the last paragraph is for satirical purposes only!