politics, hypocrisy and meanness in public affairs, alligators, anti-empire-ism, occasional personal stuff

Monday, June 06, 2011

from Ezra Klein's Wonkbook (WaPo) today

The anti-tax pledge is limiting Republican maneuvering on the debt, reports Lori Montgomery: "On Capitol Hill, Norquist has admonished Coburn (Okla.), Crapo (Idaho) and Chambliss (Ga.) for suggesting a tax option for tackling the debt: reducing credits and deductions worth an estimated $1 trillion a year. Although most of the cash would be used to lower tax rates for everyone, a portion would be dedicated to restoring national solvency. No good, says Norquist’s group, Americans for Tax Reform. Under the pledge, raising revenue in any way requires an equal tax cut elsewhere to avoid expanding the size of government...Norquist argues that equating tax breaks with spending 'is a threat to the modern Republican Party’s worldview.'"
Why does Grover Norquist, whoever he was before he started this right-wing organization, merit any interest by readers and journalists, or merit any respect by members of Congress? Why does this guy exert a significant influence on tax policy that affects everyone who is not head of a group that he started? Coburn and Chambliss and right-wing goons - and Chambliss is lazy and hopelessly dishonest - yet they are actually under the influence of Norquist, who has no official authority but is simply a loud bully. This way of legislating, and determining public policy, is not what the Founders had in mind; and the U.S. cannot thrive under this system ... as we have been seeing for some years.


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