By Jessica Chau
Two Maine small business people had a killer op-ed published in yesterday’s Bangor Daily News explaining why raising taxes on the richest 2 percent is good for business. Also, are there signs in California that Grover Norquist is losing his influence over Republican lawmakers there?
Bangor [Maine] Daily News, Jim Amaral and Lisa Burton, 9/26/2012
We’re involved in two very different types of commerce, at two different ends of the state, but we’re united in the knowledge that cutting taxes for the wealthy during a debt crisis is bad for business. That’s not the message you’ve been hearing from politicians who claim to be standing up for “small business” when they oppose fair taxation on wealthy households and profitable multinational corporations. But it’s the truth, and here’s why.
Even though we both employ people in our businesses, we’re not the real “job creators.” That title belongs to our customers, the great mass of middle-class folks who buy our goods and services and make us profitable. So our main concern when it comes to government tax and spending policies is not how they will impact a tiny economic elite — or even our own finances — but how they will affect average families. That’s why we oppose maintaining artificially low tax rates on the wealthy when those rates endanger the prosperity of the middle class….
Right after the fall elections, there will be a great debate over what to do about tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year. It’s part of a larger question of how to get our federal budget back in shape and our economy back up to speed. Some politicians want to extend these cuts for all income levels — including millionaires and billionaires — but the wiser course would be to target this tax relief to the people who truly need and will spend the money: the middle class.
The Sacramento Bee, Dan Morain, 9/27/2012
Beltway conservative Grover Norquist promotes the pledge, using it to become a force in American politics and raise millions into his Americans for Tax Reform. Although the pledge plays well in Republican-dominated regions, cracks have developed in California.
Three of the four Republicans running in the most hotly contested state Senate races reject the pledge. No fewer than six Republicans who have legitimate shots at winning Assembly seats are non-signers. Five Republicans who could win congressional seats also reject it.
“I’m philosophically against abdicating my responsibility to someone else,” said Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione, a non-signing Republican who has a strong chance of winning his congressional race.
Perhaps rejecting the pledge suggests Republicans are facing reality. Clearly, the California GOP needs to try something new. The party teeters on insolvency, registration sits at 31 percent, and the political system has changed.