, Salem, MA


December 15, 2012

Column: Spending billions to stop a tax hike, and other oddities

With the exhaustion of the debt ceiling (of about 14 months ago), followed by the gargantuan media blight of the election, we now face the distasteful and totally unnecessary “crisis” denominated as the “fiscal cliff.” At this Rod Serling-like juncture, I would like to submit, for your approval, a few of my observations. The degree of importance may not be denoted by the order of listing.

A U.S. congressman’s and a U.S. senator’s first and only obligation is to their oath of office and the voters who put them in a position to take it. There is a document we know as “The Anti-Tax Pledge,” put forth by a lobbyist whose name is Grover Norquist. The first time I heard that name, I thought it was a knockwurst that you could order at Oktoberfest, with mustard and onions. This hot dog, who is 70 percent financed by Carl Rove and the Koch brothers, somehow holds sway over our elected representatives and senators.

Without getting too verbose, I’d like to say that this type of threat could be prevented if we had open primaries for all parties in every state of the union.

One of the tools needed to take the financial pressure off the country is to eliminate the George W. Bush tax cuts for the top 2 percent of earners, which raises their taxes by only 2.6 percent. It should be noted that the top 2 percent owns 88.8 percent of the wealth in the United States. It’s pointed out by the G.O.P. (Grind Ordinary People) that this potential increase would stifle job creation. Well, with the rate they’ve had since the W.’s first term, “job creation” has pretty much been a myth. Historically, every time the rich got a tax break, there has been a depletion of job creation.

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