I got to the morning session of the Right Online conference in time to catch Grover Norquist’s address to the Americans for Prosperity gathering. Grover has worked tirelessly for conservative, responsible tax policy, and he’s always been a delight.
No tax increase has come from DC for 15 years, the longest such period in American history. During the same period, we have had 15 tax cuts of various kinds, which he says has moved the country in the right direction. People want to be left alone, Grover insists, and want less government interference, not more. The NRA, on whose board he also sits, has the same philosophy. They don’t want to require people to arm themselves, but want to be left alone to exercise their own 2nd Amendment rights.
It’s not necessary, Grover says, that all of the conservative factions agree on all points, but they should all agree on the need to get government out of their lives. The Left, on the other hand, has a list of government mandates that is “slightly longer and more tedious than Leviticus”. The only way to combat that is to starve the government of the funds necessary to impose those mandates.
“The Left is not made up of friends and allies, but of competing parasites. If we don’t let them feed on us, they will gnaw on each other.”
The branding of No New Taxes is important. When voters elect people who take that pledge, they can reasonably expect people to resist new taxes, irrespective of any other silliness they may commit. Those who do are akin to “ratheads in a Coke bottle,” Norquist says. If you get one, you don’t just stop drinking that particular bottle of Coke, you consider switching brands and tell all your friends about it.
Norquist believes that this could be the winning issue in this election, if the Republicans are smart enough to capitalize on it. America has become an investor nation, and the tax increases that Barack Obama proposes will damage retirement funds and income. It affects more than two-thirds of all Americans, and properly posed, would cast a huge difference between McCain and Obama.
We need to fix spending as well as tax policy. Grover thinks we’re starting to make progress on this front, but we need more transparency. He thinks that within ten years every government agency in the US will have to post their expenditure details on line, which will force more fiscal discipline.
Grover Norquist’s organization is Americans for Tax Reform.