The repeated assertions that a tax of a little over 39 percent punishes the successful is absurd. High incomes result not only from individual circumstances and initiative, but also opportunities our nation affords. Our government provides invaluable services through infrastructure, security, education, resources, and much more that private corporations cannot.
Our country has investments that deserve a fair return. Taxes are our way of paying for those services. Unfortunately, Grover Norquist and many of his GOP representatives act as if the wealthy are entitled to exploit governmental services at reduced rates. If the government were a private corporation, the Norquist gang would bankrupt it and dispose of its assets to their wealthy cohorts.
Congress has not acted responsibly with tax rates, tax revenues, and budgets. It is past time to increase revenues and cut unnecessary expenditures. As a start, Congress can follow New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to determine what services are essential, calculate the costs and find adequate sources of revenue.
Balancing the budget should not be difficult for reasonable adults, but with childish games, politicians avoid fiscal responsibility and weaken our country in a time when we and the world need a strong America. There is no excuse for the fiscal cliff.