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Steel Cage Death Tax Match: David Cay Johnston vs. Grover Norquist

Yesterday we called attention to the 60 Minutes interview of tax hatchetman Grover Norquist. Norquist haters nationwide were no doubt gritting their teeth while GGN yukked it up with Steve Kroft and spread the gospel of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge (aka “THE PLEDGE”). This may have inspired today’s column by the Godfather of Tax Journalists, David Cay Johnston. It explains first, how the utter failure of the Congressional Supercommittee actually will result in tax increases:

[B]arring a mad scramble to pass new laws in the next six weeks, workers will pay around $110 billion more in payroll taxes next year and they will not get a $55 billion tax cut proposed two months ago by President Barack Obama. Absent another last-minute fix, more than 22 million families will be required to pay higher income taxes due to the Alternative Minimum Tax, some only because a parent or child has cancer or some other costly medical need.

DCJ is of the opinion that these tax increases would violate THE PLEDGE and thus, should put every signer of THE PLEDGE directly in the tax assassin’s crosshairs. In short, THE PLEDGE is bullshit, says DCJ and its signers should really thinking about another pledge they took and act accordingly:

Pledge signers cannot serve two masters, Norquist and the Constitution. Politicians who do not renounce their pledge of allegiance to Norquist do not deserve to hold office as it prevents them from doing whatever is in the country’s best interests.

You have a choice to make, GOP lawmakers. This plea comes from another bearded man, so it should be taken just as serious.

GOP inaction means higher taxes [DCJ/Reuters]

Former Deloitte Employee Wants to Know If Returning to Public Accounting Is a Good Idea

Back with more from the accounting career mailbag: a former Deloitte employee left the firm recently only to discover that life outside public accounting isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Should they return to the Greed Dot???

Have a question about your career? Looking for guidance on how to give your firm some honest feedback? Need some pointers on Twitter etiquette? Email us at [email protected] and will whip something up for you.

Back to our ex-Del


I am writing to you in the hopes that you can provide some insight. Here is my situation, I worked at Deloitte for about four years now in the Pacific Southwest region of the US. I recently quit and took a job at one of the big public Companies in my city. After being there for a couple of months I’ve realized that I am kind of bored and am considering going back to public accounting.

The partner I worked for at DT told me to call him anytime. Before I make that call I wanted to get some input. If I go back I’ll be a manager within a year, does the job function change that much like they are telling me? I’m single and in the long term I’m not sure what I want, for now I just want to work get some more experience and then figure it out.

Considering Going Back

Dear Considering,

Your problem is not an uncommon one. Many people have spent their entire careers bitching about life inside public accounting only once they leave, they come to the conclusion that they never had it so good. There are a couple of ways to interpret this:

1. You really do love public accounting and you truly believe it is your calling in life.


Of course every situation is different and in your case, you’re looking at a promotion to manager in a year. Let’s give the partner the benefit of the doubt here and consider your question about life as a manager. Personally, we didn’t have the pleasure of reaching the rank but know plenty of friends and colleagues who did and many, many, many of them said it was their toughest year of their career to date.

What happens is that your auditing skills become less important and your time management and people skills begin to take center stage. Can you handle staffing issues? Prepare a presentation for a RFP? Convince a partner that a client really isn’t that pissed and you’re not getting fired (when, in fact, the opposite is true)? This is just a taste of your responsibilities. OH! And do you like reviewing other people’s work? Because you’ll have to squeeze that in as well.

Now that we’ve scared the living daylights out of you – it sounds like you’re more concerned with enjoying your job and getting good experience rather than money. That’s rare around these parts, so good for you.

Bottom line is this – if you’re not happy at your current job and think that career bliss awaits you back at the Green Dot with Sharon and the Costanza Twins, you should go back.

Peanut gallery – what do we think here? Back into the belly of the beast or is it a huge mistake? Fire away.