An unacceptable tax cut measure
The federal tax compromise is unacceptable on moral grounds and is equally unacceptable politically.It is simply wrong to allow Congress to cut unemployment benefits on which families depend. Too many good, honest people are out of work for reasons not of their own making to close down unemployment benefits that are needed to pay for the necessities of food, clothing, housing, and, particularly in New England, for the high cost of heat.Think of this in terms of evictions in the dead of winter. This is a moral argument that must be made, and made not just by those who are out of work, because we all benefit by maintaining a modicum of economic stability in our communities.An even more important moral argument should compel us to condemn in clear and unequivocal terms the tactic of holding these safety net benefits hostage to tax cuts for the ultra rich. The Bush-era tax cuts for the rich are, to me, bad public policy. Putting that aside, however, it is hard to imagine a more morally repugnant tactic than to threaten to cut off benefits unless the administration allows tax cuts to protect the wealth of our highest wage earners.Those who support this gambit need to be called out for what they are – evil, and willing to let us fail as a society in order to serve their own narrow conceits.For those not moved by the moral considerations, the compromise should be rejected on purely political grounds.When the economic recovery becomes more apparent in the next few years, the Republican echo chamber will claim that the recovery is a product of the tax cuts and will deny credit to the other stimulus efforts that have been enacted. At best, this will create an impossibly garbled message that will neutralize any effort to understand what policies contributed to economic recovery.More likely, the story of the next election will be who cut your taxes and who tried to raise them. There isn’t a more effective, or more misleading, simplistic political story line, and this compromise serves it up on a silver platter for the next election.Manchester-based attorney Andru Volinsky also blogs on NHBR Network, where this column originally appeared.