It’s generally considered professional to be polite when interviewing a politician, or anyone, but when Dan Liljenquist was here last week, I have to admit I got a bit testy with him at one point.
He said he’s signed Grover Norquist’s “no tax hike ever” pledge and I told him, “you know, as a taxpayer, I find that offensive.” I cited the need to raise taxes to meet unexpected expenses, such as wars.
He quickly did a two-step muttering something about how “its really a pledge to the taxpayers,” and said that “well, hurum, of course in time of war we would naturally do what we need to do.”
I didn’t press it — I was working on a news story, not a fight, but it still steams me how many of these GOP candidates have pledged to an activist to essentially refuse to ever raise government revenues. It’s a pledge to blind ideological purity, not responsible governance.
It’s also a lie. Last time I checked, we ARE at war, in Afghanistan, pouring a trillion dollars a year down a rathole that Republicans like to pretend doesn’t matter because the deficit is really just a matter of spending, not taxing. Where’s the War Bond drive? Where’s the war loan? Where’s the special War Tax?
Oh, right. Cutting taxes, that’s the way. That’ll raise revenues. Sure has worked well.
How many budgets did President George W. Bush propose that he swore would balance the budget? Almost all of them.
And how many worked? None of them.
So, needless to say, the GOP wants to keep doing the same thing. They seem to work on the “it’s gotta work sometime” theory.
Such a pledge — and its economic underpinnings – is nonsense. Anyone who claims to know how to run a business — Mr. L used to work for Bain Capitol, Mitt Romney’s old bunch — ought to know that revenue matters as much as spending on the balance sheet. To say otherwise is stupid, plain and simple. He builds a career figuring out how to make businesses make more money, then pledges to go into government and do the opposite.
Yeah yeah, I know: No tax hike has ever balanced government. Why? Because YOU IDIOTS IN GOVERNMENT KEEP SPENDING MORE!!!
Yes, you, the republicans too. Cripes, defense spending has doubled since the Iraq War started, DOUBLED and you guys cut taxes at the same time. Rob Bishop, our congressman from Top of Utah, took the pledge at the same time he was lobbying for increased government spending to save jobs for his constituents in Box Elder County at ATK Space Systems.
In that light it is nice to see stories like this one (click) where some in the GOP — brave souls, no doubt — are not taking Herr. Norquist’s pledge. At last, a little bit of real responsibility.
We need more. It’s a stupid pledge. It’s a bumper sticker. It’s saying costs never rise, but we all know they do, and revenues have to rise too.
Dan L said he took the pledge to “the taxpayers,” not Norquist.
Well, Dan, I’m a taxpayer. Cancel the pledge. Denouce it.
You want me to consider voting for you, work for responsible taxes, work for balanced government, but don’t hem yourself in making promises to some guy in Washington who I’ve never met, who doesn’t live in Utah, and doesn’t care about Utah anyway.