Congressman Peter King deserves more respect and attention than he currently receives. He chairs the Homeland Security Committee. He has taken on the talking heads on the Sunday talk shows. Congressman King has led the investigation about the Benghazi terrorist attack, a terrible setback for this nation's relations with Arab states.
While he has a commendable and demonstrable record with foreign policy, King's recent pledge to step back from the Grover Norquist “Taxpayer Protection” pledge should raise a red flag with voters in his 3rd Congressional District. In an interview on "Meet the Press" with David Gregory, King first commented:
"A pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago, is for that Congress. . . The world has changed and the economic situation is different. Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill realized that in the 1980s. I think everything should be on the table."
Granted, Congressman King emphasized that he his "personally" opposed to tax increases, but no matter what the current circumstances, tax increases on wealth creators will only prolong anemic recovery while depriving those down-and-out or out of work with more opportunities to get back into the economy.
Grover Norquist rightly called out King for attempting to get out of the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.” While Norquist should have kept King’s wife out of the interview with Piers Morgan, his final riposte was noteworthy and newsworthy:
"If you make a commitment, you keep it.”
Congressman King has served New York constituents for twenty years. The pledge he signed then signaled to the voters that he would protect their pocketbook and maintain a standard or reducing spending before raising revenues.
Besides, the last thing that our government should do is raise taxes
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Majority Whip of the House of Representatives, just
released a short video of Jerry Gorski, a small businessman in Pennsylvania. In reaction to the sluggish economy which shows no sign of growing, he had to lay off workers and prepare for 40% less work. He has restructured his company so that he can make a profit, but he is not ready for another tax increase, which will set him back further. Gorski is not one of the "millionaires and billionaires" which the Democratic Party describes when raising taxes on the "top 2%", but the higher taxes would hurt his bottom line, perhaps even putting him out of business. An Illinois small businessman also explained the pain that will hurt small business gains if Congress increases taxes on the $250,000 per annum crowd. Instead of listening to politicians. Other advocates for the business class have already attacked Obama's projected tax increases. on high income earners.
Economists like classical liberal Milton Friedman have also attacked "soak the rich" schemes, including President Obama's argument that the "rich" should pay "their fair share". Instead of permitting Congress to punish people for having wealth, the voters deserve to recognize that wealthy people invest their earnings, which create industries, provide jobs, and contribute to more wealth creation.
Friedman also attacked the "Robin Hood Myth", a false premise which bolsters the rich pay fair share" mantra. The "Robin Hood Myth" posits that taxing the rich helps the poor. In truth, these programs benefit middle incomes earners at the expense of the poor. Middle-class individuals -- journalists, political activists, instructors -- are the most politically active, and they shape or press for laws which expand the welfare state. Friedman targeted federal student loans and social security, which come out of taxes paid by everyone. Lower-class individuals work sooner, pay more taxes, and die sooner than middle and upper-income earners, who in the end will take advantage of the taxes paid by everyone. While proponents claim to give everyone access to diverse financial aid, these programs primarily benefit the middle class.
Norquist rightly criticized the New York Congressman's waffling, King shared some sharp words about Grover Norquist's challenge about King's back-pedaling."I really don't care about Grover Norquist. It was a cheap thing to do. . . He's being a lowlife."
Like Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss and South Carolina's Lindsey Graham, King is shifting on revenue increases in order to deal with Democrats, who now hold the high ground on the "fiscal cliff". Still, this country needs jobs, wealth, and a freer economy. By sending the message to Democrats that Republicans are willing to cave on their core principles would only set back the already saddled economy, one which is suffering from regulations, a prolix tax code, and a political class still looking out for their jobs rather than the best interests of the people whom they represent.
To the voters of New York, please contact Congressman King and tell him to stay true to his pledge not to raise taxes or to close corporate loopholes without necessary spending cuts. No matter what the outcomes of election 2012, tax increases in the midst of a struggling economy will only cause more harm than good.