Tuesday, September 25, 2012
I am faced with a real dilemma when it comes to the Presidential election.
Here is my problem. I am a tax professional, and as a result the issue of taxation is very important to me – and I do not mean this selfishly. I am a vocal supporter of true tax reform and simplification. I believe the purpose of the federal income tax is to raise money to run the government – period. It should not be used to distribute social welfare subsidies or to redistribute income.
It is clear from the individual proposals of the two candidates and Parties that only the Republicans support true tax reform – rewriting the Tax Code from scratch to make it much simpler. I truly believe that under Obama and the Democrats the Tax Code will become more of a mucking fess, regardless of the “lip service” they may give to tax reform.
President Obama, like Dubya before him, established a panel to research and report on tax reform. The panel came up with an excellent report, and some very good suggestions. It basically suggested that we shred the current Tax Code and start over again by initially eliminating all “tax expenditures” and adding back only those that are absolutely appropriate. However, like Dubya before him, Obama totally ignored the report and banished it to gather dust in the government archives.
So solely from the point of view of federal tax policy, and perhaps economic policy in general, I support the Republican Party.
However, I oppose the policies of the Republicans in just about every other area.
I was pleased when Mitt Romney was selected as the Republican candidate for President. Of all the potential candidates he was, based on his past history, the most “centralist”. Actually, none of the other potential Republican candidates were even marginally acceptable to me.
However, in my opinion, Romney has, like his predecessor of 4 years ago, “shot himself in the foot” by selecting Tea Party sympathizer Paul Ryan as his running mate.
Winston Churchill Is credited with having said – “If you are not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you are not Conservative by 40, you have no brain.”
While, at age 58, I consider myself to have both heart and brain, I do tend to be more “true” conservative than “true” liberal.
But I do not support what passes for conservatism today – especially when it comes to incorporating religious beliefs into public policy. I am an enemy of the “religious right”. And therefore, as well as because of their inability to cooperate or compromise, I am an enemy of the Tea Party movement, and oppose any candidate who belongs to or courts this “movement”.
I have posted in the past –
Religious belief is personal and individual. It should not be legislated, or used as the basis for legislature.
If your religious beliefs instruct you that abortion is bad – then do not have an abortion. You can certainly bring to the attention of those who might consider such an act the various other options available. But you cannot force your religious belief on your inconveniently pregnant neighbor, regardless of any sincere desire to save her from the “fires of hell”.
A good example of “best practice” in this area is the Amish. They have very distinct and unique religious beliefs that govern every aspect of their daily life – but they do not require that all others accept their beliefs, nor do they condemn those who do not believe as they do. It is a personal choice. I do believe (and correct me if I am wrong) that they allow their matured children the opportunity to choose for themselves.
Murder is not illegal because God says “Thou shalt not kill”. It is illegal because it denies one of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Is not the charge of murder on a federal level considered “violating civil rights”?
It is very easy for many individuals to accept a strictly doctrinized organized religion – because the extreme protocol allows them to avoid the discomfort of individual thought and reasoning. “If the Bible says this is what we must do then this is what we must do.”
One’s religious beliefs may cause a person to become involved in political activity as a way of helping society and one’s “fellow man”, but one’s religious beliefs should NOT be made into law.
While I like Obama, and his actions as President, on several levels, I am certainly not his biggest fan. Yet, because of the danger of giving any credibility or potential power to the Tea Party movement and similar ilk, while I may like Mitt Romney I cannot wholeheartedly support his run for the Presidency.
I must decide if the benefit of the potential for true tax and economic reform is more important than the danger of the religious right – and I think I know the answer.