Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Who The Hell Is Grover Norquist Anyway?...George H. W. Bush.


That's a question that needs an answer, George, so I decided to look it up. And the answer is . . . he's just a guy who is fixated on one thing and one thing only. As he puts it, “My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” In other words, he wants to eliminate government. Period.
One of the ways he hopes to accomplish his goal is through his Taxpayer Protection Pledge, in which the pledger promises to "oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and to oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."
In 1985 Norquist founded the Americans For Tax Reform (ATR),which he claims was in response to a request by President Reagan. Although the stated primary policy goal of ATR is to reduce government revenues as a percentage of the GDP, ATR also states that it "opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle." As stated by a Reagan staffer, the idea is to “starve the beast.” According to an ATR spokesman, as of 6 July 2012, a total of 539 incumbent lawmakers and candidates have signed the pledge.
Officially Norquist is a lobbyist for ATR, so why does he exercise such a strong influence over Republican Congressmen? Because of the principles he advocates, he is loudly singing the same song as the “tea party,” the all-powerful NRA, the Conservative Caucus and other far-right causes.
The fallacy of the “no-government” group is that there are some activities that only government can perform efficiently. Imagine how well 50 individual state militias would fare against almost any invader. Would we really need several competing highways between Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia? What organization would or could finance basic science research? If there were no educational requirements, would there be communities that decided that public schools were a waste of money? Whose private money would be good nationwide? If banks were unrestricted, what sort of mechanism would be set up to prevent another great depression? (Admittedly, the current mechanism is not operating 100% efficiently, but it beats nothing.) But you get the idea.
As G.H.W. Bush says, conditions change. If your landlord decided to double your rent, would you give up food, or would you look for some way to increase your income?
A nation after government elimination does not enjoy freedom – it suffers chaos.
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My books, “There Are Only Seven Jokes” and “The Spirit Runs Through It” are available in paperback or Kindle at Amazon.

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