Erwin R. Rud, Published December 19 2011
No sympathy for the devilTo be a working-class person, defined as anyone below the upper 1 percent of income earners in this country, and support the Republican Grover Norquist’s “no new taxes” pledge, you have sympathy for the devil. My 93-year-old mother’s latest Republican-based 2012 property tax bill was a 14 percent increase on the same market value. Her Social Security pension will only increase 3.6 percent after three years to also pay increased food, heating fuel and gasoline expenses. While essential government services are carried on shrinking resources of the working class, real wealth from this Republican pledge goes only to the rich. A fair tax system would include income tax increases on the “1-percenters.”
There is no reason to support tax breaks for the rich, like that American Crystal Sugar Chairman Dave Berg. He earned $2 million in 2011 and then got a $400,000 bonus to break the company’s working-class union members, who pay taxes and mortgages and keep the local economy going. Berg whines about maintaining high profits in an investor-owned company now operated by untrained people breaking expensive machinery. Sympathetic Republican politicians, getting campaign contributions, just offer more company tax breaks and subsidies without more jobs for local people but cut funds for schools, elderly services and health care to “balance the budget.”
To support these Grover Norquist Republicans like Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, or Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas, means you are either a “1-percenter” or have low-watt intelligence. We taxpayers have been bullied for far too long by these types. In 2012, vote for other candidates who have not signed a devil’s pledge of “no new taxes” for shirkers like Berg. No more sympathy for the devil.