Everyone knows that avoiding the "fiscal cliff" is essential to preventing another recession.
Everyone knows that a balanced approach of raising taxes, together with spending cuts, will have a positive effect on our economy, the stock market and the world beyond the United States. So what is preventing our elected officials from hammering out an agreement before the end of the year?
A recent letter writer mentioned the oath of office taken by Congress since 1884, which includes this promise: "I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion." His letter suggested that having previously pledged not to raise taxes presents a real conflict of interest for the 238 representatives and 41 senators who have signed Grover Norquist's no-tax increase pledge. If they violate the pledge to Norquist, he will get them thrown out of office. But what happens if they violate the oath of office?
Surely, there should be consequences. The people have every right to demand that all those in government who signed the Norquist pledge tear it up and make no pledge except to represent those who voted them into office, pay their salaries and provide them fabulous benefits. Bottom line: Dump Norquist. Do it together and throw Norquist out of Washington. Then you can sit down and do the unthinkable -- compromise.