There has been some talk about continuing the payroll tax cuts that have put a bit more money in the pockets of working people. Some members of the GOP, who seem to like every tax cut, are not so happy about this one, or the tax credits that have help working people get out of poverty. Their argument is that everyone should pay taxes as a way to have a stake in the game. But nearly everyone, even those who don't pay income tax, pays federal taxes. For every tank of gas that I buy, the federal government gets $2.76 in fuel tax. That's not much, but it is a stake in the game. And if I didn't own a car, I would still be contributing to some trucking company's tax payments every time I bought anything. Put simply, we all have a stake in the game.
When I was a teenager my politics began to shift to the left. This got me in some trouble with my unwavering Republican grandmother. I wasn't allowed to wear Democrat's campaign pins in her house and I quickly learned to keep my politic convictions to myself. For a long time the memory of being told to take off a campaign bothered me. Years after her death, I found a way to make a kind of peace with my grandmother. I put a bumper sticker on my car: FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS VOTE REPUBLICAN!
Over the years that I drove that car and even after I passed it on to our son, I got a few negative responses to the bumper sticker, to which I always responded by saying that the bumper sticker was only a joke, and a very mild one at that. But this year I'm not so sure. With many Republicans in Congress unwilling to see that spending cuts alone won't eliminate the federal budget deficit or that spending increases for infrastructure would help the economy, I'm beginning to think that friends should not let friends vote for some of these Republicans.