To the editor:
There is something sinister, something inherently wrong, in the idea that a non-governmental group called Americans For Tax Reform, run by Grover Norquist, a citizen having no official authority, should be able to decide how our elected legislators vote on budget issues. However this is exactly what the AFTR has done. It has handcuffed all those Republican legislators who have signed onto the American Tax Protection Pledge, (created by the AFTR), to one position: Government cannot raise taxes to raise revenue unless it cuts the same dollar amount from government programs.
On the surface it seems reasonable but the intentions and the ultimate effects of this pledge are not so harmless. For example: It places much-needed government programs on the chopping block and jeopardizes America’s future prosperity. It places on hold, fairness and equal opportunity for all Americans. It prohibits the funding of any economic stimulus programs. It stymies any sincere, fruitful, bipartisan negotiations between Democrats and Republicans. Moreover, it does all of these things while leaving the unfair, unjustified tax evasion schemes of the ultra-rich and powerful practically unscathed.
A first step to end the gridlock in Washington, which the Republicans say they are committed to, would be for those same Republicans to resign from the pledge. This act would be a clear, effective demonstration they are sincere and completely free from any constraints, that they are open-minded and willing to place everything on the table to find solutions to the serious problems that face America. It would not only be a great starting point in moving forward for our country, but it would also be good for the Republican Party.
The people have spoken. This is what they want from their leaders. Those who don’t comply with the will of the people do so at their peril come election time.