Spoiler Alert: This is why the GOP got spanked in the 2012 elections, and why they will likely be spanked again in 2014.
Over the weekend Grover Norquist came out of the woodwork waving his little tax pledge around, trying to keep the Republicans following his marching orders.
Reading this article in the Wall Street Journal this weekend made so clear to me what the GOP's real problem is: they are completely out of touch with the real world. This is the root cause of the party's image issues with Hispanics, Asians, women- basically everybody who isn't a white male.
From Americans for Tax Reform's website:
We believe in a system in which taxes are simpler, flatter, more visible, and lower than they are today. The government's power to control one's life derives from its power to tax. We believe that power should be minimized.
Fact: we the people, via our elected leaders, have chosen to have a government that is more involved than not in our daily lives. In exchange for that, we have to pay for it. For a long time we haven't been paying what we should for it. So we have two options:
- Hack and slash our way to a balanced budget.
- Raise taxes for everybody.
Continuing to borrow more money is not a long term solution. Ask Greece and Co. how that's working out for them.
I'm all for individual liberty, etc., but I'm also a realist. I honestly don't have a problem with my taxes going up if it means that long term the country is more stable and I can get more benefits that would normally cost more if the government didn't provide them.
God forbid we do things like the Germans do.
I do however have a problem with the concept of a tax increase being essentially a blank check for yet more reckless spending. I understand that's what Grover is trying to fight, but he's completely missing the other part of the equation: issuing debt. As long as the ability to borrow money is essentially unlimited, his little pledge has no meaning.
Ultimately though it's not about taxes, it's not about abortion, it's not about starting wars. Fewer people are relating to the GOP because they have fewer things to relate to. The party isn't changing with the times, they don't just get it. That's why people like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock are still running around.
Of course it would be great if nobody paid any taxes, but still collected all the government benefits. Unfortunately that's not the framework in which we are operating. It's about willingness to compromise, and all options need to be on the table. Grover can take his little tax pledge and shove it, because there's real work to be done.
We have to consider all the options in our daily lives. I think it's fair that we hold our leaders to the same standard.