Apr 14, 2012

Grover Norquist: A Power Behind the Throne

Who is Grover Norquist? Why should you care? Simple answer-Grover is a power broker in the Republican Party and he will influence the tax policies of the presumptive Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney.

Meet Grover Norquist:
He's a Washington legend who single-handedly defined the GOP's brand as the "No Tax Party". His idea for the "No Tax Pledge" began when he was in high school. He successfully garnered signatures for this pledge from Republicans in the House of Representatives and in the U. S. Senate. At the present time 336 members of the House of Representatives, 41 Senators, 13 Governors and 1,247 State Legislatures have signed the Taxpayer Protection Plan. Thanks to his far reaching influence, no congressional Republican has voted for a major tax increase since 1991. He represents the oligarchy of the super rich. Accordingly, economic conservative Grover Norquist is one of the most powerful non-elected leaders in American political history.

Things you should know:
  • Anti-Crusader Grover Norquist worked his way through the Republican ranks. He worked on the staff of the Republican Platform Committee in 1988, 1992 and 1996 and was one of the co-authors, along with Newt Gingrich, of the 1994 Contract with America. He served as an economist and speechwriter for the United States Chamber of Commerce and is on the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association of America, American Conservative Union and The Nixon Center.
  • Ronald Reagan's White House asked him to lead Americans for Tax Reform in 1985 to lobby for bipartisan a tax reform plan which lowered income tax rates by closing tax loopholes.
  • Norquist announced his "No Tax Pledge" in 1986. Reagan supported and promoted congressional candidates who signed the "pledge".
  • Norquist reached his high point in 1988 when all Republican candidates for president signed the "pledge" except Bob Dole. The defining moment was when Dole, after winning the Iowa Caucuses, lost New Hampshire after publicly refusing to sign a Norquist "pledge".
  • Norquist has authored two books: Rock the House and Leave Us Alone- Getting the Government’s Hands off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives. He received his Bachelors degree in Economics and his Masters in Business Administration from Harvard University.
In recent congressional budget debates, Grover Norquist, claimed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge was never an obstacle to the House, Senate and White House reaching a budget compromise. According to Norquist the simple solution was to uncouple tax reform from spending limits. Norquist said, “We have a spending problem. So take taxes off the table and do tax reform separately at a different place and time.”

Although he works quietly behind the scenes and tries to stay out of the limelight, Grover Norquist is someone you should know. He has a profound effect on Republican politics and his policy positions will weigh heavily on the Republican Presidential Nominee.
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