Monday, August 6, 2007

Commentary on Republican Tax Policy

I should never write when I am angry or annoyed, but I cannot help it right now.

Robert Novak published an article recently that discussed the political pressure being applied to Republicans supporting the expansion of State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The expansion of this program is being financed with an increase in taxes on cigarettes.

This tax increase has elicited harsh words from Grover Norquists' "Americans for Tax Reform."

This organization is disappointed with Republican supporters of this bill that have signed a no-tax-increase pledge (42 senators and 196 House members have signed the pledge). They argue that a vote for this bill equals a broken promise.

Perhaps it does, but that is not why I am writing.

Can we consider, for a moment, the folly in such a pledge?

I am well aware of the economic arguments for keeping taxes as low as possible. They make a lot of sense and I think increases should be a last resort and rigorously justified before being enacted.

That being said, I want to consider the motivation and indeed, the very character and competence of any one that would sign such a pledge to never raise taxes.

Could these people actually be saying that they would not raise taxes to pay for a war (or two)?

Could these people actually be saying that they would not raise taxes to help rebuild a major American city that was destroyed by a hurricane?

Could these people actually be saying that they would not raise taxes to rebuild critical American infrastructure like, say, structurally deficient bridges?

Apparently they are saying exactly that.

Ok, well what exactly does this mean for our country's financial situation?

It means that instead, we are borrowing money from and paying interest to China and other countries to finance these endeavors.

This is an absolutely brilliant solution if your first and only objective is to ensure your own political survival. After all, children can't vote against these bills that they will one day be asked to pay. My generation can, but historically has not.

Very, very convenient for the Republican Party.

Far less convenient for the United States of America that our children and grandchildren will inherit.

But that is not a problem for these Senators and Representatives. By then, their careers will be over.

Novak's article is here.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Anyone in this country who still calls him or herself a Republican (and I consciously say "Republican," not "conservative") is a disgrace. The Democratic Party may not be any great prize, but the Republican Party has become a club for the pathologically avaricious, the insane, and the stupid. The sensible conservatives, if there are any left, had better take back their party.