published Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Politics, taxes and Grover Norquist

The recent failure of a bipartisan "super committee" in Congress to reach agreement on $1.2 trillion in federal deficit cuts over the next 10 years was not terribly surprising.

After all, Democrats were pushing for massive tax increases and limited, "iffy" spending cuts, while Republicans on the committee wanted to focus on the spending cuts.

In the end, they predictably could not come to an agreement.

But in the wake of the committee's failure, Democrats and even a few Republicans have strangely focused blame on an anti-tax-increase advocate by the name of Grover Norquist.

You may or may not have heard of Norquist, who is the president of an organization called Americans for Tax Reform. But he has long argued -- effectively and correctly -- that government spending and taxation are out of control.

He has urged members of Congress to sign a pledge against tax increases, and some have done so.

But Norquist's critics argue that Republicans who signed the pledge are "afraid" of "crossing" him by violating that anti-tax-hike pledge, and they say that's what killed the deficit-reduction efforts of the congressional super committee.

But think about that for a moment. Are Republican lawmakers really fearful of one man's efforts to prevent tax hikes? Why should they be? After all, if he is just a single voice among the 300 million-plus citizens of our country, why would politicians worry about what he might do?

The answer, of course, is that Norquist is not the all-powerful bogeyman that Democrats portray him to be. Rather, the strength of his low-tax activism comes from the simple fact that a great many of the American people do not want higher taxes. If he didn't represent the views of millions of Americans, he would have little power to persuade politicians to oppose tax increases.

It does not take an advanced degree in mathematics for most Americans to look at our $15 trillion national debt and realize that the federal government is out of control. Norquist has merely tapped into the frustration that so many Americans feel about Congress' unwillingness to shrink the size of the bloated federal government.

Lawmakers are not obliged to sign Norquist's pledge on taxes. But pledge or no pledge, they should not be surprised when voters react negatively to attempts to raise taxes.

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Rickaroo said...

“But he has long argued – effectively and correctly – that government spending and taxation are out of control.”

I'm curious as to how effective and correct an argument for “out-of-control" taxation can be when today's tax rates are at their lowest level in decades. And the country never prospered so much, as a whole, as it did immediately following WW2 and for the next thirty years, when taxes were higher, by far, than they have ever been. Furthermore, overall taxes in the U.S. are lower than in any other G8 democracy, except for Japan. Taxation “out of control?” Not hardly. The only thing that's out of control is the spin on taxes put forth by the right wing, the lying propagandists at Faux News, and this editor.

“...the strength of his low-tax activism comes from the simple fact that a great many of the American people do not want higher taxes. If he didn't represent the views of millions of Americans, he would have little power to persuade politicians to oppose tax increases.”

While it may be true that “a great many American people do not want higher taxes,” it is truer yet that a vast many MORE Americans DO want higher taxes on the rich. Twenty three (23) recent polls show a vast majority of voters from among Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, favoring higher taxes on the rich. Most of the polls show a 2-1 majority in favor of higher taxes, and many show an even broader margin than that.

Grover Norquist is an unpatriotic weasel and those who signed his nefarious pledge don't give a rat's ass about the welfare of this country; they are beholden only to the fat cats who line their pockets. They are self-serving scum. The only pledge that our elected officials should concern themselves with is their pledge to uphold the Constitution - and taxation is sanctioned within the Constitution. Nobody likes to pay taxes but they are what civilized people do in civilized countries in order to maintain certain benefits and safeguards and a decent standard of living for the most number of people.

December 3, 2011 at 2:46 a.m.
conservative said...

"After all, Democrats were pushing for massive tax increases and limited, "iffy" spending cuts,"

The "spending cuts" were not cuts in spending. Spending and debt would INCREASE. It is a LIE to call INCREASES in spending a spending cut.

December 3, 2011 at 8:44 a.m.
chet123 said...

GROVER NORQUIST....HA HA HA....This is why its important to have campaige reform.....this bozo is running Washington and weakening this country with the seed of selfishness......RICKADOO you are so right!! Grover NORQUIST should be brought up on treason...and the republican who cooperates with him.....republican have all sworn an oath to United State of America.....not Grover Norquist....you can not argue logic nor compromise with these clowns....my attitude is let her sink.....we all go down together!!!!

This is what Grover Norquist represent.....THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION,CATO INSTITUTE,AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION,APAC,NATIONAL CONSERVATIVE CAMPAIGE ECT.....THEY ARE ALL INTERCONNECTED......THEY ARE HIDDEN IN THE BACKGROUND....BUT THATS WHO GROVER NORQUIST REPRESENT.......I SAY OBAMA SHOULDNT MOVE AN INCH.....THEY HAVE MORE TO LOSE THAN ANYONE.....WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT....WE SINK TOGETHER THEN START ALL OVER

December 3, 2011 at 9:11 a.m.
chet123 said...

THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OBAMA MADE WAS EARLIER IN HIS PRESIDENCY HE TRIED TO COMPROMISE WITH THESE PARASITES...I WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED IN HIM FOR DURING THAT....HES BACK ON TRACK NOW

December 3, 2011 at 9:22 a.m.
hixsondave said...

USA: The most successful country in history. Founded by religious tax protesters... How could that be? Is this the group that caused the Constitution and all the mayhem it's produced?

December 3, 2011 at 9:47 a.m.
conservative said...

Prior to Obamination, the spending record ( worse now ) of Congress was $1.40 for every $1.00 taken in. The rest was borrowed, which is why we have a massive debt. If the Demoncrats get their Santa wish of huge tax increases, then 40% of that amount will be added to our out of control debt. To REDUCE our debt we must cut SPENDING! It is IMPOSSIBLE to reduce debt by spending more!

December 3, 2011 at 10:05 a.m.
carlB said...

When the Republicans took office in 2001, The total National Debt was about $5.4 Trillion Dollars with a budget surplus of $200 billion dollars.
The Republicans made it clear that they did not intend to balance the budget or start paying down the National Debt. In fact, again they made it a point to destroy the entire financial status so our Government would be weakened as it took on the more than doubling of the National Debt. If we take a hard look at all of the Republicans' actions, it would be easy to say their actions were deliberate in putting this Republic on the verge of another great depression, into the unfinished crisis conditions which were passed onto President Obama. How easily the voters are fooled into turning the blame for this Republic having the crisis issues and it was the Republicans that got the country into the conditions that they apparently wanted and are now doing everything to continue to destroy every part of FDR's new deal. It would be hard to argue otherwise since they appear not to be doing what is best for this Republic, but are putting their political and ideologies ahead of "fixing" all of the wrongs that they complaining about.

December 3, 2011 at 8:08 p.m.
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