Sunday, June 24, 2007

Saxman Panders to the Right--Again

Del. Chris Saxman's Op-Ed in today's News Leader misses the point--quite willfully, I'm sure. No one on the planet WANTS higher taxes and no one WANTS inefficient government. However, we do want government to provide services and many of us believe that equity dictates a broader array of services than most conservatives would agree with. His description of cuts in expenditures sounds nice in theory, but those cuts are a drop in the bucket. To accomplish his real goals, he and the other EXTREMISTS will need to cut far more than we can tolerate. Deep cuts in services, almost by definition, hit the poor hardest.

There are a couple of problems with the no-tax pledge, too. First, Saxman's characterization of it is self-serving and misleading, but the actual pledge as quoted by the Editors is different, isn't it? What about a revenue neutral tax reform that shifted tax burdens to the wealthy? Isn't that want most Democrats advocate? Wouldn't Saxman and Grover Norquist moan and groan and characterize such a bill as an "increase" that would violate their precious pledge? The other problem with the no-tax pledge is that it is simply bad policy, bad government and bad public administration to tie the hands of the legislature. It's pandering to his base and it makes him a spineless captive of special interests, not a leader.

If there was any chance that he'd get my vote this year, he lost it with this specious letter. Write-in candidates may not be able to win, but I hope they send Saxman a message. You're in Richmond to represent everyone, not just your right-wing fringe. He should try listening to the rest of us once in a while.

Write in Anybody but Saxman!

(Cross-posted at Cobalt 6)

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