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Go over the cliff – Don’t fall for Norquist’s Strategy to eliminate our Progressive Tax System

I hope we don’t fall for this again.  After all these years of no new taxes and Grover Norquist controlling Congress with his pledge it’s time to accept the truth that Republicans want to minimize, if not eliminate the role of government both in social life and as a regulator.

For years, with Bush adding prescription coverage to Medicare without a way to pay for it, two wars, and then two tax breaks that mainly benefited the wealthy our government ballooned with debt and was weakened.  

The austerity measured that followed has slowed the economy to a crawl and continue to belabor the recovery.

Now, the Republicans faced with expiration of the tax cuts and a sequestration to deal with is ready to negotiate increased revenues.  

Note their choice of wording, “revenue increases” rather than “increased taxes.”  They use this language calling for the elimination of tax loopholes instead of tax increases to accomplish revenue increases.  But just like Mitt Romney, they fail to be specific.  It seems doubtful that they plan to put the capital gains tax rate or estate taxes on the table.

Here is their angle and if you allow them to get away with it you and all of the American middle class will lose.  

The Norquist agenda is to reduce as much as possible or eliminate entirely our progressive tax system.  By eliminating tax loopholes but leaving the tax rates at the current lower rates for the wealthy the Republicans win.  The tax burden can easily be shifted more to the middle class.  Tax loopholes closed can easily be re-opened later or rerouted by other means to accomplish the same ends.  Tax rates are not so easily manipulated...

With all this in mind it seems that the best possible outcome is to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire and then create a new tax deal for 98% of all Americans making less than $250,000 per year.

Let any discussion of tax code reform come later and in an open room where all can weigh in on it.

We need to move further to a fair progressive tax system not away from it.  No one making millions should get away with only paying 14% taxes no matter what the source of that income.

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