Grover Norquist - Redux

Grover Norquist and his anti-tax pledge has the entire Republican party tied in knots.

Grover Norquist, the founder and head of Americans for Tax Reform, suffered some serious setbacks in the recent November election although he isn’t admitting to it.  Mr. Norquist is best known for his anti-tax pledge – the Taxpayer Protection Pledge – which he started promoting over 20 years ago.  Those
elected officials who signed the pledge agreed not to vote for any tax increase
for any reason ever.

Before the 2012 election, Mr. Norquist claimed that 279 incumbent candidates and 286 challenger candidates had signed the pledge.   The election results showed that 55 Republican incumbent  or challenger candidates for the House of Representatives who had signed the pledge had lost .  In the Senate 24 Republican incumbent or challenger candidates similarly lost.  At the same time, exit polls indicated that a majority of voters including Republican voters supported increased taxes for those with the highest incomes.

This disconnect is becoming more untenable for those who were elected and now must take steps to avoid the fiscal calamity that is possible at the first of the year.   Even though the majority of the newly elected Republicans in the House of Representatives have signed Mr. Norquist’s pledge, there 16 who have not and one new Republican Senator also has not signed.  Support is starting to fall  away.  Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) has announced he is no longer bound by his pledge of 20 years ago.  Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson,  co-chair of the Simpson/Bowles Commission, attempting to find a way to avoid the fiscal crisis, has denounced the pledge and its supporters, and  key prospective Republican Presidential candidate, Jeb Bush,  has refused to sign it. 

Mr. Norquist continues to say that the pledge-signers will not waiver going forward.  Maybe so, but has he noticed that the Republican leadership in Congress is twisting themselves into knots trying to find a way around the “tax” word and find other ways to  do the same thing by proposing to close tax code loopholes and eliminate deductions among other methods, all of which raise “taxes” by another name?   While not raising taxes is certainly a goal supported by most, being beholden to Grover Norquist, an individual who is not anyone’s representative, makes those who are elected to solve the fiscal problem look and act both foolish and ineffectual.

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Billy November 30, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Well the Republican's did something right as they control the House of Representatives. Both you & more importantly Obama need to deal with that fact & soon. The my way or the highway approach isn't working nor will it ever work. And why's Obama in PA today? Shouldn't he be in DC crafting a plan? Or is that not worthy of this time?
Brian November 30, 2012 at 08:48 PM
What kind of diet is starting two wars and borrowing every penny to fund it?
Walden Macnair November 30, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Billy, Yes the Republicans won the house. Gee! How did that happen? Well maybe because they gerrymandered the districts in 2010 so that they had an advantage by drawing the lines to include heavily republican areas. Your argument would have more weight if the figures didn't show that even though the Democrats lost the elections, they still had more of the popular vote than the Republicans. So you see, you can spin it either way, but President Obama is still President and Romney; well he's at the beach house, or the ski house or the city house or whatever but thank God he ain't in the White House.
John Gruber November 30, 2012 at 09:05 PM
I find it hilarious you're views are "cut entitlements to the bone" yet support the party that has increased entitlement spending at a higher rate than the other party over the last 3 and half decades. Aint' life funny
Billy November 30, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Walden, this isn't Obamacare all over again. He doesn't have the same majorites as when he tacked left in that debate so he better turn to the center now & figure how he's going to get things done for the betterment of everyone. I personally think going over the cliff is better than doing a bad deal, but its really up to the president to get things done and not wait for others to lead.


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