Remember when The Daily Show destroyed anti-tax guru Grover Norquist with a think tank of twelve-year olds? In that segment, a group of kids were asked about the feasibility of pledging to never raise taxes under any circumstances, even if the country needed to. The group of twelve-year olds agreed that Norquist’s pledge is irresponsible and damaging to the nation. It seems that adults are now following in the lead of these children. Republicans such as Steve King (R-IA), Tim Johnson (R-IL), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Charles Boustany (R-LA), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Frank Wolf (R-VA), among many others have all blasted the pledge, and earlier this week, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush also rejected the Norquist pledge.
The general consensus among this group of Republicans is that the Norquist pledge ties the hands of members of Congress, preventing the necessary compromise that moves the country forward. Such a pledge also creates dead-lock and fierce partisanship that puts the nation in danger as it did during the debt ceiling debate last year when Republicans refused to accept any plan that included even the slightest tax increase on the wealthy. Even closing tax loopholes has been rejected by Republicans. Jeb Bush told the House Budget Committee that by signing such a pledge, Republicans have “outsourced their principles” and are beholden to one man instead of the American people as a whole.
This didn’t sit well with Grover Norquist, who promptly went on the Situation Room on CNN to whine about Jeb Bush’s remarks, saying that Bush “stepped in it” and insulted Mitt Romney, who has signed the pledge.
Grover Norquist: “[Bush] went on to kind of insult Governor Romney because Governor Romney has made a written commitment to the American people saying, ‘when I get to Washington I’m not going to raise taxes. The problem is too much spending and we’ll reform government and we’re not going raise taxes, so when I go and see a problem in Washington like Obama’s overspending, I’m not going to raise taxes, I’m going to reduce spending.’ And unfortunately what Jeb Bush said was that that was outsourcing his principles.”
Here’s the video:
As most sane elected officials will say, raising taxes is sometimes necessary to help solve the problems of the nation. Even Ronald Reagan raised taxes eleven times to deal with debt and deficit issues. Refusing to even consider tax increases is a dangerous policy stance, especially when spending cuts alone will not solve the nation’s debt crisis. The only spending problem this country has is on defense. What this country really has is a revenue problem. The Bush Tax Cuts alone have robbed the government of trillions of crucial revenues that would pay for the many programs Republicans seek to destroy.
Grover Norquist is an unelected official who doesn’t care that a majority of Americans want to raise taxes. This makes Mitt Romney all the more dangerous because he will be controlled by Norquist. This is, of course, what Norquist has always wanted after all. During a CPAC speech earlier this year Norquist suggested that conservatives elect a President who will be a puppet. If Mitt Romney is elected President, the will of the American people won’t matter because Norquist will be the puppet master.