The Grover Norquist pledge to never raise taxes is probably the single most idiotic idea ever hatched in American politics. Norquist, head of American for Tax Reform, an organization he formed after a suggestion by Saint Ronnie the Boneheaded (wouldn’t you know), has, is, and potentially will continue doing more damage to our personal and national well-being than any other organization I can think of. Apparently all but a handful of Republicans in Congress have signed this pledge. Each and every one should either publicly recant or resign from office.
Taken seriously and honored this pledge means you would not vote to raise taxes even in the most dire national emergency, if we were attacked and had to go to war, if there was a huge natural calamity, a monumental depression, or whatever. This has already occurred as Bush/Cheney started two wars that were not paid for with increased taxes but, rather, with more borrowing. Similarly they passed a huge Pharmaceutical bill that was also not paid for. At this very moment these anti-tax maniacs are refusing to fund disaster relief without first taking money from other necessary programs. Further, with our unemployment rate at over nine percent (the actual rate is probably closer to twenty percent), and apparently still rising, they refuse to even consider raising taxes even on the obscenely wealthy and corporations making record profits.
What this means, at least to me, is that they are refusing to govern, at least when it comes to the most basic of tasks, keeping the economy going, funding our “wars” and other hostilities, providing health care for the millions upon millions without it, and so on. If they refuse to govern they should not be in office. They should either recant their pledge or resign from office. This could mean a mass resignation of Republicans, small loss. If they had any decency they would get out of the way and allow more responsible people to do whatever is necessary to help the nation recover.
Don’t you wonder what these morons were thinking (I guess they weren’t really thinking) when they signed this ridiculous pledge. Would they have signed a similar pledge that said “I will not raise taxes even if we are attacked,” or one that said, “I will not raise taxes even to keep my fellow citizens from starving,” or “I will not raise taxes in the event of a nuclear attack that destroys one of our largest cities, like New York or Chicago,” or even if a meteor falls to earth and destroys a thousand square miles of the Midwest, or if fires or floods destroy an entire state. I have to presume that no one would have agreed to sign a pledge when stated in terms of precise potential disasters, but in effect they have signed such pledges, at least implicitly, and within certain limits they have and are already living up to such pledges. If they claim they would break their pledge in cases of national emergency they should not have signed in the first place. Grover Norquist should be considered public enemy number one, tarred and feathered and run out of the country. What he has done with his stupid pledge has been and is not in our national interest and thus is subversive. In fairness to Saint Ronnie I doubt that he himself had in mind such an absurd pledge, and as he raised taxes eleven times during his Presidency, I cannot help but wonder what he would think of the current situation. Somehow I don’t think he would be very proud.
[George Bush] has raised taxes on the people driving pickup trucks and lowered taxes on the people riding in limousines. We can do better.