Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, has convinced most Republicans to sign his pledge never to raise taxes. This is a profoundly irresponsible act, as it abrogates lawmakers' duties to meet the country's needs during unforeseen circumstances. One of the worst results of Norquist's dictum is the continuance of the Bush tax cuts, which amounts to an $800 billion gift to the richest 1.6 percent. This wastefulness aids Norquist in his goal of reducing government "to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." Maintaining tax cuts for the wealthy leaves precious little for education, health, energy and jobs for the 99 percent. Despite the fact that most Americans want the tax cuts for the wealthy to expire, Norquist insists that the pledge expresses the will of the people, not him. Watch:
Norquist: All of the Republican presidential candidates, with the exception of Utah Jon Huntsman, have committed, in writing, to the American people, not to me, to the American people, that they won't raise taxes. What they say is, "I'm going to go to Washington. You know what I'm not going to do? I'm not going to raise your taxes. I'm going to fix the mess." It's the Democrats whose position is that the only problem in Washington, D.C., is the peasants aren't sending enough cash in for the king to spend.