Well, our illustrious and peerless Congress has done it again. Just think of it. There was the Simpson-Bowles bi-partisan commission, which suggested, in late 2010, that the financial ills of our country could be tamed by a combination of judicious cuts and increased revenue, but Congress refused. Then Mr. Obama proposed just such a combination during the debacle concerning managing our debt ceiling crisis in July 2011, but no, Congress refused. Then, after the U.S’s credit rating was lowered, there was the Gang of Six, another bi-partisan committee, but they failed to agree, leading to the appointment of a – ta-dah! – Super Committee, with a November 23 deadline, and guess what, it failed! If this were a baseball game, Congress would have been out after the third strike, right?
But this is not a game. Because, you see, there is an individual named Grover Norquist who has entrapped almost the entire Republican Party by their voluntary pledge to refuse to raise taxes, except of course, on the poor and the elderly and the disabled; for what else are steep cuts in benefits except a type of tax. But there will be absolutely no increase in taxes for the wealthiest among us, who, interestingly enough, are understood to fund the organization Mr. Norquist operates to entangle and monitor all elected Republicans everywhere and which is dedicated to preventing the re-election of anyone who breaks their pledge of no tax increases. Yes, that’s right. If the reader doubts this, look up the 60 Minutes Program on the CBS website, for the date November 20, 2011. There, in Mr. Norquist’s own words from his own mouth, he explains his ‘system’ and seems quite proud of it. It is quite terrifying.
So here’s the way I see it: a conspiracy of staunch Republicans have voluntarily taken an oath that supersedes their oath to their country and their constituents, and they are not only willing but determined to block any viable means of meeting our country’s obligations to both its debt holders and its people, by refusing to raise revenues from the top corporations and the top CEO’s and all other millionaires and billionaires. They will happily preside over the lowering of America’s prestige in the world, over drastic cuts in Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid benefits, in VA benefits for our returning injured, and in unemployment benefits and help for our returning military. And somehow they think that the American people will overlook their intransigence, one might say disloyalty, and they’ll be re-elected, which for Congress is the true purpose of that blasted no-tax oath, to begin with. (For Mr. Norquist and his masters, there are obviously other reasons.)
So the title of this piece is a misnomer. Because goodness has nothing to do with it.