Pro and Con: Should Republicans throw Norquist over the fiscal cliff?

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  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 10, 2012 10:34 p.m.

    "This past election, Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform, spent nearly $16 million to support his favored candidates; that's according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Where did that money come from, and what did it buy? Back in the 1990's, it was the tobacco industry backing Norquist's fight against cigarette taxes; now it's pharmaceutical companies, among others. Not long ago, this same Grover Norquist was using his organization to launder money for the notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff. How about that for tax reform!

    So, not only does the Norquist Pledge symbolize a "political system short on legitimacy," as Christopher Caldwell wrote. It isn't even about principle or ideology. Conservatism, my foot. It's all about the money."
    (Bill Moyers, Capital Crimes)

  • Joe Moe Logan, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 3:38 p.m.

    It is so blatantly obvious that the main problem is that we are continually spending more money than we have. I honestly couldn't care less if go with Clinton-era or Bush-era tax-rates; they aren't nearly so far apart (nor as consequential) as everyone seems to pretend. WE HAVE TO STOP SPENDING TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS MORE THAN WE HAVE. Sorry for raising my voice, but the math on all these things is so mind-boggling, that even well-regarded economists can't agree. But the writing is on the wall, and it looks like an elephant in a living room. Everything that is good isn't necessary, and we can't afford everything that is good.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Dec. 10, 2012 12:27 p.m.

    The greater shame is in Republicans ever allowing Norquist to intimidate them in the first place.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    Sad day in America when Congressmen Nationwide are held hostage, and only seem accountable to 1 Grover Norquist,
    and not the Millions of constituents they are supposed to Represent.

  • Shelama SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 12:43 a.m.

    Whether they throw Norquist over the cliff, along with a lot of the Conservative entertainment establishment, depends significantly on whether or not they're intention is to be a permanent Republican minority where various crazies, fringes, purists and ideologues cannot make common cause with rational, thinking, moderates, centrists and RINO's.

    Stupidity and arrogance can bring down the Democrats in another four years but only if the Republicans do something to effectively address their own home-grown disaster.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 2:31 p.m.

    Only throw?

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 2:25 p.m.

    William Shugharth's defense of Grover is pure Swiss cheese. He, like most Republicans, falls for the fallacy that government spending occurs in a vacuum and is not part of economy. In fact, government spending keeps many private businesses afloat and pays the wages of many people. It's not as if the money government spends just vanishes into thin air. And if we suddenly slash government spending, it will have a devastating effect on the economy, as businesses and jobs that depend on government will suddenly vanish.

    Shugharth says, "How government finances its spending--through current taxes or by borrowing--is of second-order importance." Really. It is because we have refused to pay our way by taxing sufficiently that we have our debt problem in the first place. We could learn a few things from our parents and grandparents, who were willing to accept a top marginal tax rate of over 90 percent to pay off our war debt, educate our veterans, jumpstart an economic boom, and rebuild Europe. We, on the other hand, opted to pay for two endless wars with tax cuts. Go figure.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 1:51 p.m.

    How lovely to get lectured by a Representative of the brokest State (California) in the brokest nation in human history. So according to Rep Woolsey we have a moral responsibility to raise tax rates on "the rich". And according to her we can't afford to cut any spending. Here is what she wrote: "But the bottom line is this: any cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits are unacceptable. As a matter of fundamental fairness and moral decency, our fiscal policy cannot be based on coddling those who have the most and squeezing those who have the least".
    This is Democrat economic/political theory 101: tax and spend (and demagogue). Repeat until bankruptcy. But Republicans are somehow irrational. Can any rational leftist who frequents these message boards explain how we reduce our deficit without restructuring entitlements in some way? We have nearly 100 trillion in unfunded liabilities. Are you really going to bridge that gap simply by raising rates on "the rich"? She's basically proposing national suicide. And I'm sure Rep Woolsey will expect other Americans to pick up the tab when California's fiscal condition becomes completely untenable.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 12:16 p.m.


  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 11:36 a.m.

    KDave points out the main reason why we can never come together to solve ANY of the Country's problems: solving the problem is secondary to reelection calculus. If I vote this way, my base will never vote for me again. Voters are not informed enough to look past the partisan rants of the left and the right to the only question we should consider at election time for an incumbent...did they solve problems or just contribute to gridlock.

    PS. Norquist never asked me permission to use my name!

  • KDave Moab, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 11:17 a.m.

    If the Republicans break their vow to their constituents (not Grover) and raise taxes, watch the Dems use that as a club against them in the next election. Remember Bush one?

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 10:48 a.m.

    Our country, the people and the government, are extremely unwise financially. Both get further into debt in good times AND bad. How is it that this country of ours can be so dumb?

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    Eventually, Grover and his crusade will go away.

    But, Faux news will still trot him out for comic relief much like they do now w/ Steve Forbes.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 10:28 a.m.

    Yes, and as soon as possible. Let's bring some common senses back.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 10:09 a.m.

    Grover Norquist needs to lose this one, and he needs to lose again and again going forward. Period. His irresponsible and foolish pledge damages our ability as a nation to solve our problems.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Dec. 9, 2012 10:09 a.m.

    Yes, throw Grover under the biggest bus you can find. But the real scandal is the Republicans who sighed a pledge essentially giving up their right to function as a Representative during there term of office. Legislative perogative should never be surrendered, especially not to some dolt that has never been elected to anything. Gover is essentially a political blackmailer.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 9, 2012 8:36 a.m.

    "The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth. The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie.

    However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution. As measured by IRS data, the share of income accruing to the top 0.1% of U.S. families increased from 4.2% in 1945 to 12.3% by 2007 before falling to 9.2% due to the 2007-2009 recession. At the same time, the average tax rate paid by the top 0.1% fell from over 50% in 1945 to about 25% in 2009."
    [Congressional Research Service, 9/14/12]

    "Federal revenue is lower today than it would have been without the tax cuts. There's really no dispute among economists about that," said Alan D. Viard, a former Bush White House economist now at the American Enterprise Institute.."
    (Washington Post, 10/17/06)

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 9, 2012 5:34 a.m.

    Had Grover's pledge included a promise not to raise taxes OR SPENDING, our deficit would be in much better shape.

    The GOP would be reluctant to champion things like the Iraq war, Medicare part D and No Child Left Behind, if they were required to be funded through cuts elsewhere or tax hikes.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 4:02 a.m.

    Throw Norquist overboard. I've heard numerous interviews of the man, and he does a very poor job of defending his no tax increase at any cost dogma. You could drive one of those Kennecott ore haulers through the logical holes in his arguments, and when pressed, Norquist simply reverts to his broken-record rhetoric about small government ideals instead of answering the specific question. He's an ideologue and lobbyist, nothing more.

    "Allowing the upper-bracket Bush tax breaks to expire simply restores the tax rates of the Clinton years, a time of unprecedented, widely-shared prosperity."

    As much sense as that makes, you will only be accused of class warfare and victimizing a too-often picked on minority. Right now, you could lower taxes on the wealthy even further, and next year propose to bring them back to the rates of today, and conservatives would still holler and wail about the injustice of it all.