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Grover Norquist: The Man Behind Our Revenue Problem

Grover Norquist: The Man Behind Our Revenue Problem


Let’s be clear.  Despite what the press may say, we don’t have a spending problem.  We have a revenue problem, and, if Grover Norquist has his way, that’s exactly how things will stay.

Grover Norquist, founder of the conservative think-tank Americans for Tax Reform has been orchestrating this anti-revenue strain in the Republican party for decades.  In a recent profile in the New York Times, Norquist practically crows about his ability to dominate the taxing/spending narrative and, likely permanently, alter the landscape of American politics.

Norquist is not a man of moderation.  His mantra that government is an overbearing glutton is as pervasive and pernicious as the idea of “frivolous lawsuits.”  It’s an idea that government, on the whole, is burdensome and unnecessary.  Get the people served by government to believe it and you’ve created the perfect foundation for people voting against their own economic interests.  Again and again and again.

He’s also perfected the art of creating the non-compromisers with his “pledge,” a public promise not to vote for any net tax increase under any circumstances.  Those who don’t sign this pledge face the wrath, complete with considerable financial backing, of Norquist’s AFT and subsidiary groups.  So far all but 6 of the 240 Republicans in the House, and even two Democrats, have signed the pledge.

Despite close ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Norquist manages to remain a key and influential player in Washington, if not the most influential.  Not only is he influencing politics on the national level, he is doing so at the state level as well, with equally devastating consequences.

But politics is not the same as governance, a point lost on those elected officials answering not to their constituents but to Norquist, and the difference between the two is about to become painfully obvious.

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Photo from gageskidmore via flickr

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6:24AM PST on Dec 25, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

9:30PM PST on Dec 8, 2011

Let’s be clear. Despite what the press may say, we don’t have a spending problem. We have a revenue problem,

It is very difficult to put any confidence in an opinion that starts with a blatant falsehood. The federal government needs to perform its constitutionally assigned duties with a sense of thrift, as opposed to a sense of granting itself a raise whenever it outspends its means. After all, each one of us is expected to do likewise.

6:01AM PST on Dec 8, 2011

I have to wonder what this creep has on all these republicans that they sign his "pledge". But then, I also wonder why he is still breathing when he so happily drowns the middle class and poor to keep the rich getting richer. When this "fine" man finally does us all a favor and dies, I recommend they place marshmallows in his coffin. There will be lots of fire to roast them over when he gets to his final destination. I said fine because the real word to describe him starts with an f but I try not to talk like that.

2:13AM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

@Ed G, - Continued -
Your quote: "I can't prove that Bush didn't lean on the house" is a very telling statement. The reason you can't is because he didn't. AND, ... there was NO legislation that passed under Bush's watch that caused the housing downfall.

2:12AM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

@Ed G,
regulations governing "Fannie Mae", that lowered or removed financial eligibility requirements for getting a loan, and placed GOVERNMENT MANDATED QUOTAS the lenders had to meet or they would be severely penalized. Fannie Mae was ordered to buy all home mortgages the banks wanted to sell to them whether the loans were bad on not. That in turn allowed (even encouraged) the lenders to make very risky (or even knowingly bad loans) so they could collect and pocket the loan origination fees, then sell the loans to Fannie Mae so they could not be held accountable for the bad loans when they came due.

What is your A+B+C babbling? Your speculations don't mean squat. Where are your facts? Where is your timeline of what happened? Who created or signed the bills that you claim involved the Republicans in the housing fiasco? Your claim that Bush was involved is absolutely horse pucky. I know exactly what fracking is. Your "example of a clean A=B is Cheney excluding EPA oversight" from fracking is a bunch of hooey. In 2004, the EPA deemed FRACKING DID NOT HARM THE ENVIRONMENT, so prey tell us why it would have been such a monumentous screw-up?

Your quote: "I can't prove that Bush didn't lean on the house" is a very telling statement. The reason you can't is because he didn't. AND, ... there was NO legislation that passed under Bush's watch that caused the housing downfall.

2:10AM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

@Ed G, - Continued -
Bush didn't goad anyone to do anything, and certainly didn't screw up a system the Democrats had already screwed up royally. Your gut feeling must just be indigestion. Jimmy Carter[D] can be thanked for deregulating the banking industry in 1980. You're just like most other lefties who don't know what's going on.

The Democrats were the one's who used/abused Fannie Mae to increase their own wealth. Fannie Mae was being run by CEO's and administrators who were hard core Democrats. As I asked before. Please tell us all when a Republican was in charge of Fannie Mae during the housing fiasco. As I also pointed out, Fannie Mae contributed over 500 times more money to the Obama Campaign Fund than they contributed to McCain's Campaign Fund. Obama repaid Fannie Mae by NOT prosecuting the CEO or executives for defrauding America, and by giving Fannie Mae between $200 and $400 Billion dollars to bail them out. The Democrats also exempted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from having to follow regulations placed on all other banks and lending agencies by the Dodd/Frank act. Why do you suppose that is?

You claim the banks were responsible for making the bad loans. WRONG!!! The banks and other lenders were FORCED to make those bad/risky loans when Bill Clinton[D] changed the "Community Reinvestment Act" and regulations governing "Fannie Mae", that lowered or removed financial eligibility requirements for getting a loan, and placed GOVERNMENT MANDATED QUOTAS

2:08AM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

@Ed G,
I didn't misrepresent anything you said. I've outlines (with dates) the bills passed by Democrats that led to the housing/financial problems we're having today, with REAL facts. Why don't you use a few real facts to back up what your claims are. You claim the have read a few books, so I guess we're to assume you know what you're talking about, but with the nonsense you've been bringing up, those books certainly have NOT been about what caused the financial problems our country is in now. If you actually did know anything about what happened, you certainly wouldn't be spouting the nonsense you've been posting. I would bet you haven't even bothered to actually research the comments I've posted, showing what lead up to the our current situation.

Instead of just throwing out a bunch of the typical Democrat pabulum talking points, why don't you post the timeline of events YOU claim caused our problems?? Please be specific and use dates so I can research your assertions.

What the hell has the House got to do with the housing problem. During the Bush Presidency, the Republicans repeatedly tried to get legislation passed that would have stopped the way the Banks, Fannie Mae, and the other "TO BIG TO FAIL" entities were abusing the housing financial system. The Democrat controlled Senate stopped the legislation from passing each and every time. Bush didn't goad anyone to do anything, and certainly didn't screw up a system the Democrats had already screwed

2:18PM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

As to Fannie Mae *BOTH* parties were responsible for the mess there. As I have repeated in previous entries it was a politics "fiefdom" and *BOTH* parties had their finger in the pie so to speak. You keep seeming to forget the past always has ripple effects into the future. For some reason you do not want to realize this. You keep saying A when in reality its A + B + C + ...
Very rarely can you say A caused B in politics. Yes sometimes it does happen but but rarely is there a clean A=B situation. In other words its not black and white.

An example of a clean A=B is Cheney putting in wording to an environment bill that excludes EPA oversight explicitly from fracking. I won't go into what fracking is but to say the least it is a momentus screw up.

2:11PM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

@don I

Sigh... As I have said a number of times it was both Democrats *AND* republicans that caused the housing issue. I can't prove that Bush didn't lean on the house its like trying to prove a negative its difficult if not impossible. We have several hints that he pushed the housing legislation. BUT again this was WAY before Obama was even thinking of running for the presidency so again you keep trying to point a finger at him he was not even in the picture (other than the vote). Bush was "in charge" and it was o9n his watch that the legislation was passed. If he didn't want it he could have vetoed it. SO *HE* was the person.

1:29PM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

@don I

There you go again. The ihe problem is that that the legislation allowed people to go out and get into mortgages that they were ilol prepared for. Now before you say anything *IF* the banks (thats a BIG IF) thought the people couldn't afford it then it was the BANKS responsibility to say "NO", they have a fiduciary trust to their stockholdersa and their depositers to do so. What the banks saw was $$ as they could always take back the property and sell it to someone else and not lose anything. They thought the market was always ready too present new buyers. In short they got greedy.
What made it really bad was that they would sell the mortgages and get the rating company (like S&P) to rate the mortgages for higher than what they were really worth.
This was *NOT* chump change were were talking about and soon it grew over a trillion dollars (remember houses are not cheap) then another legislation allowed banks to to bundle these at best shaky loans and sell them off and essentially use it as a brick (or two of gold) and it became a "stock" that was sold between banks.
It was only a matter of time before the floor fell in.

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