Although budget and tax policy may not seem like very exciting topics, budgets are extremely important since they are essentially moral documents. The budgets we set for ourselves and the tax revenue we use to fund them reflect our shared values as a people. Just as our parents and grandparents budgeted and paid for the things we publicly share today, such as the paved roads and bridges we drive on, the public schools we send our children to, the hospitals we go to when we get sick, and the court system we use to protect the public by prosecuting those who violate the social norms and values we share.
These are just a few examples of what our ancestors thought were necessary and worthy values, so they decided to act on this information and budget our tax dollars to pay for these things in order to serve the common good.
Unfortunately, there is another group of ‘privileged’ individuals in society, who prefer to be separate from the rest of us by walling themselves off in gated communities, who choose not to send their kids to the same schools we do, and who don’t want to pay for the heavy use and abuse of the common good we all help pay for.
In fact, this privileged group of super-wealthy elites does not want to protect the rights, or support the values of anyone who is not a member of the “privileged sector.” This is reflected in their adamant opposition to participating in our Democracy by refusing to contribute any tax revenue to help solve the problems they are responsible for creating. The so called “debt crisis” Republicans constantly refer to was caused by the same two budget and tax priorities Mitt Romney supported at the CPAC convention.
The primary values favored by Mitt Romney and the Republican party are simple. Increase the size of Government through unsustainable military and war spending, and more tax breaks for members of the “privileged sector.”
In order to accomplish this goal of valuing profit over people, it becomes necessary to decrease spending and impose ‘austerity’ measures on the rest of us by eliminating or privatizing the social safety net (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid), deep cuts to public education, to include mass layoffs of teachers, cuts to our health and safety systems, including denying access to healthcare for people in need, laying off firefighters and police officers, and eliminating food, air and water safety protections. Basically, the destruction of our shared value system in order to satisfy the greedy needs of the “privileged sector.”
Mitt Romney admitted to supporting these values by favoring a budget and tax policy that is against raising taxes on the super-wealthy, ”Tax hikes are off the table”, his support for an unsustainable level of military spending, “I will not be cutting our military budget” and imposing austerity on the rest of us “without raising taxes, I will finally balance the American budget”.
In the end, Mitt Romney and other radical Republican politicians are getting away with their skewed immoral priorities by framing Democratic opponents for their actions. Budget and tax policies that are designed to increase the size of Government in order to protect and support the “privileged sector” are being framed as “tax & spend” policies that increase the size of Government to protect and support “welfare recipients.”
Unfortunately, many people believe these “frames” and actively support policies and programs that they mistakenly think will uphold our shared values. Instead, what tends to happen is that a belief in these frames leads people to support the very budget and tax policies that are detrimental to our health and well being. Policies that reflect underlying values that are diametrically opposed to the shared values we hold as a nation, and only serve to further enrich the already wealthy and powerful “privileged sector.”