Friday, July 22, 2011

Grover Norquist: Powerful Republican Wizard

Grover Glenn Norquist (born October 19, 1956) is president of taxpayer advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform. He has been described as "the driving force in pushing the Republican Party toward an ever-more rigid position of opposing any tax increase, of any kind, at any time, under any circumstances."

The Republican Party has long been beholden to Americans for Tax Reform, which is headed by Norquist. The "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," which nearly all Republican members of Congress have signed, says signatories will never vote to raise taxes. According to Norquist, the pledge has also ruled out voting to end certain tax breaks and subsidies without using the resulting money to lower rates elsewhere.

But ending the Bush-era tax cuts, which were extended last December by President Barack Obama, could now offer a way to raise revenue for a debt limit deal -- without Republicans breaking their pledge against voting to raise taxes.

Norquist said he still opposes ending the Bush tax cuts, but his shift on whether they would be interpreted as a violation of the pledge gives more leeway in negotiations for raising the debt limit.

Americans for Tax Reform quickly issued a clarification to Norquist's remarks.

"ATR opposes all tax increases on the American people. Any failure to extend or make permanent the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, in whole or in part, would clearly increase taxes on the American people," the statement said. "It is a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to trade temporary tax reductions for permanent tax hikes."

So, my question is "how powerful is this one man who is able to tell legislators how they may vote on matters that are critical to the American economy and to the American people"? And I thought Harry Potter ws a great Wizard...shame on me.
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