03/01/2013 10:26 am ET Updated Apr 29, 2013

No Taxation With Representation

The followers of the present Tea Party movement have stood the formula of the British colonists on its head. "No Taxation Without Representation" was the watchword that became widespread in the 1750s and 1760s. The colonists decried the fact that they had no presence in the faraway British Parliament, which was levying taxes on them, such as the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act. Now we have Republican representatives in the Congress, in a position to levy taxes, refusing to do so.

I say to myself, don't revenues reduce debt? Am I missing something? How can members of Congress vote to reduce expenditures, via the sequester, and thereby lower the debt, while at the same time refusing to levy taxes, which is another method of reducing the debt. Why go at half of the problem and refuse to consider the other half? The inconsistency is patent, at least to some, and the result is likely to be that many ordinary Americans are soon going to face lesser paychecks under the sequester.

Taxes are the way one pays for a government to carry out the common good. Do our gerrymandered confreres in the House want to reject this common good? What do other countries think of this petulant play? It is time for saner heads to prevail, as did John McCain -- finally -- over the Chuck Hagel confirmation issue. It is time, in our hydra-headed government, for the House of Representatives to exercise responsibly its power over the purse.