The timing of the CBS 60 Minutes segment Sunday 11/20 on Grover Norquist was brilliant, because it exposed his personal responsibility for the failure of the Special Congressional Debt Committee to reach any agreement in reducing our national debt obligations. To say that Norquist is a controversial figure is a massive understatement. In an effort to better understand just who and what Grover Norquist is, I have done some research and I urge you to read the attached links so you too can assess Norquist more accurately.
When I read this Wikipedia article I certainly learned some interesting background facts about this very influential lobbyist:
That article directly addresses and supports the suggestion of retired Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) who said, “It’s time to peel all the layers of the onion off of Grover Norquist.” I agree with that statement after reading the Wikipedia details of his past.
Take a look at the Oath of Office that our United States Senators and members of the House of Representatives are required to take upon their election, which is required by the Sixth Article of our Constitution:
“I, ______, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Now review the Taxpayer Protection Pledge that Norquist succeeded in having 267 Representatives and 41 Senators take:
“I,_____, pledge to the taxpayers of the ____th district of the state of ________ and to the American people that I will ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals, and businesses, and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”
In the interest of full disclosure I urge you to take a look at this link that specifies each and every member of the Senate and House who signed Norquist’s pledge:
I draw your attention to the fact that 6 GOP House members and 7 GOP Senators declined to sign the pledge and note that 2 Democrat House members and 1 Democrat Senator signed the pledge.
In a separate commentary I intend to address my deep concerns about our current tax code, but I believe the signers of Norquist’s anti-tax pledge have abrogated the specific requisites of their Oath of Office. Your Commander does not feel a member of the House or Senate can take a federal oath “take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office” when he or she in a pledge to a man or lobbying organization to ‘never’ raise taxes.
Your Commander further feels that Norquist is an egotistical opportunist who has attached himself to an emotionally charged con-job in the form of the Americans for Tax Reform movement that provides him with a healthy financial gain similar to the Jack Abramoff transgressions. Having been fortunate to have lived over 80 years, I know it is prudent to never say “NEVER” to anything.
I totally agree that our country desperately needs substantial tax reform to bring about a fairer distribution of personal and corporate tax liabilities. It is also absolutely essential to always have options available to our law makers to address any eventuality such as funding emergencies and sudden national defense issues. Any elected official who signed the Norquist pledge has abrogated their Oath, and should not be re-elected.
The Super Committee should have reached some agreement, and President Obama should have supported and urged legislation based upon the reasonable recommendations of the earlier Simpson/Bowles Debt Reduction Commission. As a result of the failure of the Special Committee and its inability to put a number of Simpson/Bowles Commission conclusions into its recommendations we have a falling stock market and are now in danger of another credit rating demotion and real economic chaos.
In conclusion, beware of Grover Norquist, because I consider him to be dangerous for the economic health of our country, and he could destroy the entire Republican Party, if they do not do it to themselves.