I spent this morning watching the Sunday morning network TV pundits discuss tax pledges and the fiscal cliff that promises to plunge the US in another recession. This would have been a colossal waste of time if that cliff did not have such serious consequences. This is the first part of a 2 part blog post. The second will deal with how New Media’s popularity in emerging demographic voting blocks is changing the balance of political power. Without taking a position on who is right in the US tax policy battle (it would not matter if I did) the tax rate on the top 2% must increase. Here is why.
I Pledge Allegiance, To A Policy
Schoolchildren and government officials routinely pledge allegiance to the flag of the USA, and to the Republic… When a congressman takes office, he/she also takes a pledge to fulfill the duties of the office. These pledges are traditional methods to publicly proclaim and personally acknowledge intentions. Until this past election, Congressmen always pledged on a Bible to ensure God was also aware of their pledge. The problem with pledging allegiance to the flag or to the duties of an office arises when these are thought by the pledger to conflict with a previous pledge.
We elect people to represent us. We don’t elect policies. The advantage to electing people is that we are placing confidence in more than a set of policy beliefs. We are placing our confidence in the character and intellectual capabilities of an individual who while professing some biased point of view on policy that agrees with our own, can negotiate with other elected viewpoints, adapt his/her positions to unforeseen events, and craft policy to meet changing circumstances. Otherwise, why would we need Congressmen? The populace could just vote en masse on legislation. No need for analysis or nuance, no grey areas, just black and white policy commandments.