Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Rising Taxes - How Fed Up Are We?

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

Don’t buy into that myth that the Republican Party is the party of the rich. If true, I certainly wouldn’t qualify for membership – or many of my Republican friends. There are rich, poor, and middle class members of both parties and there always have been.

Widening philosophical differences, not wealth, are what make it easier to distinguish one party from the other. Republicans emphasize accountability and initiative while nurturing and promoting the free enterprise system. Republicans stand for lower taxes. Democrats see government as the solution to any problem. In the process they create a costly, cumbersome, and inefficient bureaucracy that continues to consume more of our individual wealth each year through higher taxes. Will further increasing taxes risk a full-fledged taxpayer revolt? The seeds for such an event may already be sown.

The Republican Party paid a huge price in 2006 by forgetting why people sent them to Washington. Their “Contract with America” in 1994 gave them control of the House and Senate for the first time since 1952. It was a mandate for change. Voters sought and were promised fiscal responsibility and accountability from this new regime. In the beginning that’s just what they got. But by the turn of the century Republicans were stricken with “spenditis,” a contagious disease that seems most prevalent in areas where legislative business is conducted. This disease is also referred to as the “arrogance of incumbency.” Reckless spending cost Republicans control of the House and Senate.

Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, feels candidates who oppose new taxes increase the likelihood of their being elected. Most Republican candidates for president have signed the Americans for Tax Reform “No Tax Increase Pledge.” Democrats have not. Democrats know this will be a hot issue in ‘08, but are muzzled by organizations like, heavy contributors to the Democrat Party and advocates of bigger government and more spending.

Local government is no better. These politicians have joined their counterparts in Washington and Raleigh in increasing the intensity of their menacing tax bite on the very people they are supposed to fairly represent. Voters here and elsewhere are beginning to bite back.

In November, North Carolina rejected an increase to the real estate transfer tax. Sixteen county referendums were overwhelmingly defeated.

In Indianapolis, a political neophyte, Republican Greg Ballard, made incumbent Bart Peterson’s increasing taxes the central issue in his campaign. In spite of little money and no major endorsements, Ballard won the race for mayor.

New Jersey voters defeated ballot questions for the first time in 17 years, rejecting a “property tax reform fund” and one where they would have picked up the tab for a questionable form of stem cell research.

In Wisconsin, a state known for spending heavily on education, voters soundly defeated a referendum to authorize the largest school bond issue in state history.

It appears there is a trend. The middle class, squeezed by escalating costs in housing, food, gasoline, utility costs, health care, their children’s college education, and ever increasing tax burdens, have had enough. While tax cuts might help, they are not a free lunch. We need to first decide what government should and shouldn’t be doing for us. Government must maintain a delicate balance to help insure our nation’s economic engine keeps humming while providing us an equitable tax structure.

To get government to cut taxes they must first eliminate waste. As the bereaved widow in “Death of a Salesman” says, “Attention must be paid.” There are billions of dollars in government waste. Federal, state and local—it’s at every level of government. Incredulously some politicians tell us they are doing all they can to control spending. Yet if we look beyond the rhetoric we can find waste and duplicity everywhere. Here is one example.

In Washington County the tax department used to be run by two people. This was before computers and when the county had a larger population than today. Everything was done manually. Now armed with modern, efficient computers this same department employs five full-time personnel. After voters rejected the land transfer tax referendum this November, county officials stated they now have no choice but to raise property taxes. Really?

This is only one of thousands of examples of fiscal ineptness in county and local government. Imagine the waste in state and federal spending. No wonder voters are saying “Whoa Nellie” to tax increases.

Taxpayers of all stripes have run out of patience with their elected officials. I know I have.

They say in life timing is everything. If that’s true, than the Republican Party needs to successfully articulate and sell their vision for less government, fiscal responsibility, lower taxes and renewed financial accountability before the November 2008 elections.

Good article Bob. The image of Republican "fat cats" is becoming a thing of the past. The term "limousine liberal" has become the reality. Whether they are registered as Republicans or as Democrats . . . . today the rich give their money and their allegiance to Democrat politicians, who are all too often corrupt. More Republicans need to say loud and clear, effective government is limited government. We are not against government. We simply believe that all society, including government, should be run as well as most business is run. That will not happen as long as Republican "fat cats" talk a good story but give money to Democrats. We don't even hold Republican leaders to that accountability. We are the party of principaled middle class, hard working and moral. We need to run the rich out of the Repubican Party.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home