President and Founder
Americans for Tax Reform
is reportedly an admirer of Vladimir
Lenin, and David
by the Right stated that
Norquist had a portrait of Lenin on his
living-room wall.” Wikipedia
explains everything that follows about
Grover Norquist is probably the single most influential person
outside the government in America.
He is president and founder of
the highly influential political action
for Tax Reform" which is
devoted to lower taxes.
Norquist has a reputation for
rather blunt comments and has a long
list of people and organizations he
likes to blame for all the problems he
sees with America.
His number one choice of course
is "liberals" followed by
unions, trial lawyers, government, and
just about anyone who fails to conform
to his view of the world.
Like his contemporary, Stephen Moore, Norquist believes in limited
government and lower taxes.
His stated goal is to reduce the
federal government to a size so small
"that it could be drowned in a bathtub."
Norquist exemplifies Gordon Gekko
style greed and elevates it to a world
class sporting event.
for Tax Reform describes itself as "a coalition of taxpayer groups, individuals and businesses
opposed to higher taxes at both the
federal and state levels. ATR organizes
the TAXPAYER PROTECTION PLEDGE, which
asks all candidates for federal and
state office to commit themselves in
writing to oppose tax increases."
ATR was originally founded inside the Reagan White House and later
became officially independent.
Very closely tied to the Republican party, Norquist was on the
campaign staff on the 1988, 1992, and
1996 Republican Platform Committees, and
formerly was Executive Director of the
But his closed ties with the
Republican party cannot disguise his
tactics or motivations.
calls it the ‘Leave-Us-Alone
Coalition’ a grouping of gun owners,
the Christian right, homeschoolers,
libertarians, and business leaders that
he has almost single-handedly managed to
unite. The common vision: an America in
which the rich will be taxed at the same
rates as the poor, where capital is
freed from government constraints, where
government services are turned over to
the free market, where the minimum wage
is repealed, unions are made irrelevant,
and law-abiding citizens can pack
handguns in every state and town. ‘My
ideal citizen is the self-employed,
homeschooling, IRA-owning guy with a
concealed-carry permit,’ says Norquist.
‘Because that person doesn't need the
goddamn government for anything.
NORQUIST'S VISION OF AMERICA:
"In Norquist's vision, America a couple of decades from now will be a place in which elderly people make up a disproportionate share of the poor, as they did before Social Security. It will also be a country in which even middle-class elderly Americans are, in many cases, unable to afford expensive medical procedures or prescription drugs and in which poor Americans generally go without even basic health care. And it may well be a place in which only those who can afford expensive private schools can give their children a decent education."
MAN WHO PREFERS THE PAST:
Grover Norquist is a creature of the 19th century, the golden age
of the 'Robber Barons'.
His ideal presidential
administration was William McKinley's,
devoted to the prosperity of the Robber
Barons, and in turn, complete
subservience of the lower and middle
classes to the wealthy ruling class.
the McKinley era, absent the
protectionism," he agrees, is
the goal. "You're looking at the
history of the country for the first 120
years, up until Teddy Roosevelt, when
the socialists took over. The income
tax, the death tax, regulation, all
This is the McKinley that Norquist so admires.
Justifying the annexation of the
Philippines, McKinley famously explained
America's purpose in the world:
Sounds like 'nation building'.
FREE TRADE - GOOD FOR ME - TO HELL WITH YOU:
labor mobility is not the sine qua non
of hemispheric free trade: that
honor belongs exclusively to Trade
Promotion Authority. Empowering
President Bush (and every president
after him, for that matter) with Trade
Promotion Authority will ultimately make
labor mobility throughout the hemisphere
less of a concern by eliminating the
punitive taxes on imports that kill job
creation in developing nations and close
access to markets to our south."
of Grover Norquist to the Senate
Judiciary Committee, September 7, 2001
NORQUIST'S FOOTPRINT IN GOVERNMENT:
Shortly after Bill Clinton was elected president of the United
States in 1992, Norquist began hosting a
get-together of conservatives in his
Washington office to coordinate
activities and strategy. "We
were sort of like the Mensheviks after
the Russian Revolution," recalls
Marshall Wittmann, who attended the
first meeting as a representative of the
Christian Coalition. The "Wednesday
of Norquist's Leave Us Alone
Coalition has become an
important hub of conservative political
organizing. George W. Bush began sending
a representative to the Wednesday
Meeting even before he formally
announced his candidacy for president. "Now a White House aide attends each week,"
reported USA Today in June 2001. "Vice President Cheney sends his own representative. So do GOP
congressional leaders, right-leaning
think tanks, conservative advocacy
groups and some like-minded K Street
lobbyists. The meeting has been valuable
to the White House because it is the
political equivalent of one-stop
shopping. By making a single pitch, the
administration can generate pressure on
members of Congress, calls to radio talk
shows, and political buzz from dozens of
grassroots organizations. It also
enables the White House to hear
conservatives vent in private — and to
respond — before complaints
SPIN, DON'T LET THE FACTS OR TRUTH GET
IN THE WAY:
an interview on the National Public
Radio show Fresh Air, Norquist
claimed that the estate tax is just as
immoral as genocide, because both target
only a minority of the population:
the morality of the Holocaust.
"Well, it's only a small
percentage," you know. "I
mean, it's not you, it's somebody
TERRY GROSS: Excuse
me. Excuse me one second. Did you just
TERRY GROSS: --
compare the estate tax with the
the morality that says it's OK to do
something to do a group because they're
a small percentage of the population is
the morality that says that the
Holocaust is OK because they didn't
target everybody, just a small
percentage. What are you worried about?
It's not you. It's not you. It's them.
And arguing that it's OK to loot some
group because it's them, or kill some
group because it's them and because it's
a small number, that has no place in a
democratic society that treats people
TERRY GROSS: So
you see taxes as being the way they are
now terrible discrimination against the
wealthy comparable to the kind of
discrimination of, say, the Holocaust?
what you pick -- you can use different
rhetoric or different points for
different purposes, and I would argue
that those who say, 'Don't let this
bother you; I'm only doing it' -- I, the
government. The government is only doing
it to a small percentage of the
population. That is very wrong. And it's
immoral. They should treat everybody the
same. They shouldn't be shooting anyone,
and they shouldn't be taking half of
anybody's income or wealth when they
WILL GROVER NORQUIST HELP GRANNIE?
The following is a portion of a transcript
of Bill Moyers interviewing Norquist.
BILL MOYERS: But what about those real people we saw in that film,
the woman who needed the health
insurance, who needed the health
coverage, who was going to have to take
$400 out of her $800 a month salary to
meet medical costs that she didn't have?
GROVER NORQUIST: I think you have to look at the total level of
what government does to her in terms of
the taxes that they impose on...
BILL MOYERS: She's not paying much taxes, though, at $800 a month.
GROVER NORQUIST: And she's got...well, she's paying sales tax in
that state, she's paying Social Security
taxes in that state.
BILL MOYERS: But aren't all of those taxes sort of the membership
dues we pay for living in a cooperative
and collaborative society?
GROVER NORQUIST: Well, first we have to decide what we want the government to do. What is it legitimate to require with force people to pay for? It is not charity. I mean, guys with guns will show up if you don't pay your taxes and take that money from you. And I think that we want in order to have a free society to have as little as possible done coercively.