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I swear that I will support any and all tax increases on the wealthy and oppose any and all top-level tax cuts until every public service in America is completely free of charge and accessible, every public school in America provides the highest quality education in the world, every public hospital in America provides the highest-quality healthcare in the world, every electrical grid in America is sustainable and robust, every water supply in America is sustainable and safe, every bridge and tunnel in America meets the highest safety standards, and every city in America is safe and clean above and beyond the standards of a civilized nation.  I further swear to support any and all budget increases and oppose any and all budget cuts on these priorities until the stated objectives are achieved with room to spare.

Why have I called this the "American Tax Pledge"?  Quite simply, because you can't seriously call yourself American if you value the private income and idle privilege of an elite minority over achieving these basic expectations for your country and its people.  This pledge is the minimum necessary demonstration that a person even considers themselves to be part of this country and acknowledges any obligation whatsoever to their countrymen, because the alternative is the attitude that to be American is a meaningless statement of geography - that our country is nothing more than a power vacuum within which predators and parasites alone feel free while everyone else lives only by the grace of wealthy masters.  That is the most egregious betrayal of our Founding principles, to say nothing of our finest hours as a nation.

Moreover, as strong as the above pledge may sound at first glance, on close inspection you will realize it carries no inherent ideological bias.  Ubiquitous, high-quality public education does not preclude or inhibit private education, nor does the same level of public healthcare impede private healthcare - and there are certainly no private sector disadvantages to having safe and clean cities, reliable and sustainable water and power supplies, well-maintained roads and transit options, and all the various other elements of an intelligent public sector.  Rather, the only intrinsic reason to reject such a pledge would be if one fundamentally sees one's self as being in a zero-sum struggle for supremacy over others, and that cannot fit any remotely workable definition of morality, patriotism, or humanity.

So I say to Mr. Grover Norquist and his fanatic disciples who've pledged the exact opposite of this: Your neurotic, irrational, and irrelevant fixation on the "size" of government has claimed enough victims for a thousand lifetimes, and we are no longer interested in feeding your fantasies with the blood of the neglected, the sweat of a perpetually indentured working class, and the insecurity of a dwindling middle-class you have undermined and preyed upon with a malevolence equal to or beyond any foreign enemy.  Any American who is indeed American can agree that a public service should in fact be public and a service, that education and healthcare are not to be hoarded as privileges of the few, and that everyone deserves to live in a clean, safe, and opportunity-enriching community.  And anyone with eyes can see that coddling the wealthy beyond all reason and decency has failed to provide any of this, and in fact has done the opposite.  

So regardless of what Party your elected representatives on every level of government belong to, present them with the American Tax Pledge and ask them to support it.  Few will, at first, but this is how change begins: With the decision of a single citizen to no longer tolerate the intolerable, and to speak Common Sense to their countrymen and their government.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

    by Troubadour on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:19:40 AM PST

  •  How many members of Congress will sign it? (0+ / 0-)

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:23:47 AM PST

  •  Love it, love it, *LOVE IT* (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, GDbot, isabelle hayes

    I wonder, could you frame this in a way that would appeal to the wingers out there? Make it seem a bit more "flag wavey" perhaps. Toss in some wording like "strong" and "freedom" and, of course, "patriotism". Because whether they want to admit it or not the real things that make America great are its roads and schools. Its bridges and waterways. If we could get them to realize and accept that taxes are the way those get built and maintained then Grover Norquislings of the Right would shrivel up and die.

    To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:27:38 AM PST

    •  Any wording that carries the gist is acceptable. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ontheleftcoast, isabelle hayes

      1.  No new tax cuts for the rich under any circumstances.
      2.  Support all tax increases for the rich.
      3.  No budget cuts in education, healthcare, science, technology, transportation, energy, water, or any other area of critical infrastructure and investment to a 21st century society.
      4.  Support all budget increases in these areas until we have met all objectives.
      5.  THEN, and only then, will we entertain the possibility of cutting rich people's taxes and cutting budgets again, IF there are rational reasons to do so that don't involve trickle-down mumbo jumbo that no credible person believes in.

      "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

      by Troubadour on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:40:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We need to work on framing patriotism as (5+ / 0-)

        actually supporting the country, not just rockets and bombs blowing up shit half a world away. Take the freeways in this country, the original name for them -- National System of Interstate and Defense Highways -- tells you why Eisenhower wanted them in the first place. Good roads make a strong defense system. But who talks about them that way anymore? Many colleges and universities get funding from the DoD, much to our dismay, but wingnuts talk about colleges as liberal hell-holes and gay orgy pits. The average Joe Blow American Republican loves many things that taxes pay for, they just don't realize the connection. We've let the Repukes frame this issue since Reagan -- time for us to set the record straight and cripple the anti-tax assholes for at least a generation or two.

        To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

        by ontheleftcoast on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:51:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Their oath of office mentions the Constitution, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, Janet 707, isabelle hayes

    but there's no mention of a loyalty oath to someone else, especially an unelected someone else.

    Signing something that says they're loyal to Norquist over loyalty to the Constitution is treasonous.  

    That won't change their minds, though.  An election can have some influence.  And very slowly they sense that their appeal in elections isn't good, and oceans of money didn't sway the vote much.  And they surely noticed that the Democrats, who had far more seats up for vote, still gained.  Hmm.  

    There may not be enough racist rich white misogynists left to populate the party.  The donors were sold a bill of goods by Rove and Norquist whose influence is mainly through $ support in campaigns. And those campaigns showed nearly unblemished results. Maybe Grover's day has come and gone.

    I think that Republicanism is revealing itself as a personality disorder, not so much an ideology." -- Naomi Klein

    by AllanTBG on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 11:13:30 AM PST

  •  Call it the "Patriots Tax Pledge" (4+ / 0-)

    and let's send it to Congress! We need the same type of marketing for our policies that Grover's dumb pledge was. Democrats need to be leaned on to sign it! It should be a litmus test for public office! "Sign the Patriots Tax Pledge if you believe in freedom and opportunity for all." Go go go!

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 11:18:09 AM PST

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