I write today with a request for all Republican legislators: PLEASE SEND GROVER NORQUIST PACKING! For those who may be unaware, Norquist is the founder and dictator of a group called Americans for Tax Reform, which has chained down an unbelievable 238 of 242 House and 41 of 47 Senate Republicans to a preposterous Taxpayer Protection Pledge to never raise taxes, under ANY circumstances. That’s right: under threat of having an anti-tax opponent run against them in primaries for the next election, Norquist has blackmailed these lawmakers into doing his bidding. It is astounding how this despicable man, holding absolutely NO elected office whatsoever, has enabled himself to have such crippling control over our national budget! It is high time that he be put on the run and is thoroughly stripped of his ability to influence public and economic policy in such a fashion.
Unlike the overwhelming majority of today’s American citizens, Grover Norquist has NEVER known economic insecurity. The son of a former Polaroid vice president, Norquist attended posh schools like Weston Senior High in suburban Boston (recently named the 60th best high school in the entire country by U.S. News and World Report ) and Harvard. Naturally, this upbringing has made him severely myopic and insensitive to the needs of the 99% of the population who live far more modestly below him. In his very early teens, he plunged into Republican politics, volunteering in the disgraced Richard Nixon’s successful 1968 bid for the presidency. Alomg the way, he became interested in libertarian principles, which led him to edit and publish the Harvard Chronicle while in college. After he left school, he became involved in a nimber of shadowy far-right causes outside the country, among which were Oliver North’s Nicaragua contra efforts against the democratically-elected Sandanista government, and other anti-Soviet clandestine guerilla activities across the world. He also attended the conservative Leadership Institute in Arlington, VA, Here he was taught how to influence public policy through activism. We are paying the heavy price for that activism today through steadily shrinking government revenues caused by George W. Bush’s two unfunded wars and his utterly ridiculous and totally unneeded tax cuts for the wealthy. From an average expenditure of 18-19% of Gross Domestic Product (and 24% today, as we suffer through an unbearable period of high unemployment caused by his preferred libertarian, “free market” economic policies) , these revenues have now shrunken to BELOW 15%! And THAT is why our budget deficit has ballooned and why Congress has been talking about reducing desperately-needed Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security programs, JUST SO NORQUIST’S PLEDGE CAN BE HONORED AND THE RICHEST 1% OF INCOMES WON’T SEE A TAX INCREASE!
Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform in 1985, and last year this anti-tax lobbying group paid him more than $200,000 for PART-TIME work! Yes, he only averages 24 hours per week there, which is understandable, because he spends an awful lot of his time pushing his fat-faced mug onto numerous TV talk shows as well as being on the Board of Directors for the odious National Rifle Association and the American Conservative Union. This, my friends, is a VERY dangerous man who is the enemy of poor and working people as well as the elderly on fixed incomes. Simultaneously, of course, he is the darling of government-hating, far-right libertarian and reactionary groups. Below is his ridiculous Taxpayer Protection Pledge for you to view:
TAXPAYER PROTECTION PLEDGE
I, _______________, pledge to the taxpayers of the ______ district of the state of _______________, and to the American people that I will:
ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the personal income tax rates for individuals and/or business; and
TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of reductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar, by further reducing tax rates.
Signed _____________________________ Date ________________________
Witness _____________________________ Witness ______________________________
This, of course, fits in perfectly with Norquist’s desire to strangle the federal government and make it completely ineffectual; unable to do anything. This government-hating jerk has stated, “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” He has also said, “We functioned in this country with government at 8% of GDP for a long time and quite well.” HOW IGNORANT IS THAT ?
Norquist knows full well that the golden era he talks about is all but impossible today. For that was a time when cheap, child labor and long work hours were rampant; unemployment benefits, Disability, Social Security, food stamps, or workman’s compensation simply did not exist; we had no ravenously hungry military/industrial complex to feed; and if you were sick and unable to work, you simply starved. THAT is the unrealistic reactionary dream world Norquist is pushing us into. This blind, uncaring trust-funder must be STOPPED!
There are signs that a number of Republicans who took Norquist’s foolish pledge want OUT of such craziness. For example, first-term Virginia 2nd district congressman Scott Rigell , a businessman of impeccable conservative credentials who was backed by anti-tax advocate and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor,has spoken out on how important a balance of REVENUE INCREASES as well as cuts to entitlements are to reduce the deficit. He and many others are starting to realize just how confining and foolish Norquist’s pledge is. I applaud their sensibility and courage, and I encourage other Republicans to follow their lead. The Democrats have more than met you on budget cuts; it is now YOUR turn to do the proper thing by allowing the very wealthiest of us to receive a long-overdue tax INCREASE! The balancing of this budget CANNOT be done on the backs of the poor, the handicapped, the sick, the elderly, or working and middle class families!
GROVER NORQUIST IS A SHORT-SIGHTED, DESTRUCTIVE FOOL WHO SHOULD BE SENT PACKING, AND THE SOONER THE BETTER!!!