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Reader Commentary: Why Republicans won't raise taxes on the rich


By Jack R. Rickel

Any small businessman will tell you that he and his business will not survive if the company's income is not greater than his expenses.

The government's main income is derived from taxes. If the taxes are not greater than the country's expenditures, the economy is going to fail. Yet the Republicans have pledged not to raise taxes on the top 2 percent of the wealthiest people in the U.S. The entire concept results from the efforts of a single individual named Grover Norquist.

Grover Norquist is a Harvard-trained lawyer who once was an economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the major contributors to the Republican Party. He has no government-assigned authority to coerce the party to accept his line of thinking. Then why do they follow him like sheep? He founded a lobbying organization called "Americans for Tax Reform." It is a very large and well-financed organization, but Norquist refuses to identify any of his major financial contributors. He is, however a favorite boy of the Koch Brothers and people like Karl Rove and Jack Abramoff.

Norquist's favorite belief is that "the size of the U.S. government should be shrunk until it can be drowned in a bathtub." He singlehandedly got 238 members of the House of Representatives and 41 senators from the Republican Party to sign the "Americans for Tax Reform" pledge that under no circumstances would they raise taxes on the wealthiest people in the U. S. How did he accomplish this? We may never know. We do know the Republican Party was given nearly a billion dollars to spend on the most recent election.
Norquist's background is certainly colorful. He assisted guerilla groups fight off their oppressors in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Mozambique, Angola, and Laos. He married a woman from a Muslim family in Pakistan and has been accused of having Muslim leanings in several articles.

He is the ultimate joiner. He is on the board of the National Rifle Association, worked with Newt Gingrich on the Contract for America and co-founded the "Islamic Free Market Institute."

It has been said that the three most dangerous men in the politics today are Rove, Sen. Mitch McConnell and Norquist.

It would seem that electing Barack Obama for a second term saved the U.S. from complete disaster. Fortunately, the billion or so dollars spent by the very wealthy on the 2012 election went to TV stations, video production houses, advertising agencies and the workers in each of those organizations. The financiers are furious that their wealth was spent for an election they lost, but ultimately, it will end up in the hands of the above workers and be spent to improve our general economy.

Jack R. Rickel is a resident of Front Royal.
Jack R. Rickel is a resident of Front Royal.


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