Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist joined HuffPost Live Friday to explain why, despite his famous pledge for members of Congress to never raise taxes, he approves of Tuesday’s deal on the fiscal cliff that raised taxes on upper-income Americans. Norquist went so far to use the word “progress” to describe the deal, which he says permanently restores 85% of the Bush tax cuts, and despite public opinion, believes that the Republican anti-tax supporters actually won this political battle.
I’m too much of a cynic to believe this, but I hope it is a step towards the pledge’s ultimate death.
If the fiscal cliff debate told us anything it should be that Grover Norquist’s tax pledge is dead – now and forever more.
After having far too long a life, Norquist’s pledge died a slow death on January 1st, 2013 when 89 House Republicans joined a majority of GOP Senators to help pass the first major tax increases on the wealthiest Americans in two decades – effectively rendering the pledge irrelevant.
Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-a-budget/275445-rip-grover-norquist-tax-pledge#ixzz2GzVnCPOJ
Norquist endorsed the recommendation made by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre at a press conference on Friday to place armed guards in schools across the country.
Well, at least the conservatives who are willing to put the country at risk in order to push their political agenda are honest about it.
“I want conservatives to stay strong,” says Christine Morabito, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party. “Sometimes things have to get a lot worse before they get better.”
Anti-tax conservatives from every corner of the nation echo her sentiment.
And I really hope that when tax rates go up, Obama and the Democrats remind the American people every single day that the reason the country is going into recession, the reason unemployment will increase, the reason they are paying more taxes is because of the Republican elected officials who work for a lobbyist (Norquist) instead of working for their constituents.
From the Huffington Post:
On Thursday, House Republicans walked out on Speaker John Boehner and formally rebuffed his public suggestion that they might be prepared to make a meaningful contribution to the fiscal cliff negotiations. But like the NRA, the House Republicans were unmoved by the urgency of the moment. The anti-tax pledge of the Republican party was formulated a quarter century ago under the premise that denying revenue to government would necessarily result in smaller government. Starve the beast was the mantra, and shrinking the size of government was the objective. But Norquist and his acolytes misjudged the American public and the Republican Party itself. As much as Americans in general, and Republicans in particular, might dislike paying taxes, neither has shown any interest in shrinking the size of government.
Norquist and the Republicans would risk a recession that would cripple our slowly recovering economy rather than increase taxes for people who can afford to donate millions of dollars to political campaigns, but don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes.
Trust Bill Moyers to cover this story.
BILL MOYERS: Don’t you wonder just who is this Grover Norquist who has such a maniacal hold on the Republican Party? Mickey Edwards isn’t the only conservative who would like to see the party free itself from his grip. Writing in the “Financial Times” last week, the conservative journalist Christopher Caldwell describes the Norquist Pledge as a “partisan document,” “a ratchet driving taxes down to unsustainable levels,” and it “symbolizes a political system short on legitimacy.” Norquist claims the pledge is something politicians make to their constituents, not to him. But Caldwell wonders “who authorized him to collect politicians’ signatures on their constituents’ behalf.”
Even this misses the main point. Norquist’s efforts – keep taxes low for his donor base, billionaires like the Koch brothers and the plutocrats secretly clustered around Norquist’s comrade, Karl Rove. This past election, Norquist’s group, Americans for Tax Reform, spent nearly $16 million to support his favored candidates; that’s according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Where did that money come from, and what did it buy? Back in the 1990’s it was the tobacco industry backing Norquist’s fight against cigarette taxes; now it’s the pharmaceutical companies, among others. Not long ago, this same Grover Norquist was using his organization to launder money for the notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff. How about that for tax reform!
Check it out yourself in the documentary “Capitol Crimes” on our website BillMoyers.com. You’ll see the story of how the man who has the Republican Party under his thumb came to Washington to start a revolution and wound up running a racket. Now he’s the proxy for the powerful interest groups that finance him. So, not only does the Norquist Pledge symbolize a “political system short on legitimacy,” as Christopher Caldwell wrote, it isn’t even about principle or ideology. Conservatism my foot, it’s all about the money.
“GOP lawmakers face a difficult choice. To pass any bill that Obama seems likely to sign, they must break their pledge by agreeing to raise tax rates on high incomes – such as those above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.”
I would love to see every article about this issue reference the fact that GOP members have signed this pledge to a lobbyist and face primary challengers, funded by this same lobbyist, if they break the pledge. This issue is largely completely ignored, but even at times like in this article, it is a vague reference with no explanation as to what pledge the writer is talking about.