The anti-tax crusader who once famously said he wanted to shrink government so small that he could “drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub” may be finding his ironclad grip on Republicans slipping:
House Republican lawmakers want out of Norquist tax pledge
A growing number of GOP lawmakers have disavowed Norquist’s pledge against supporting tax increases in recent days, telling The Hill they no longer feel bound to uphold a document that they signed, in some cases, more than a decade ago.
Norquist’s advocacy group, Americans for Tax Reform, lists 238 House signers of its Taxpayer Protection Pledge, but several House Republicans, and at least one Democrat, now say the anti-tax group is being deceptive and want their names taken off the list.
“I haven’t signed it since 1994,” Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) said, explaining that he didn’t even remember endorsing the pledge until Americans for Tax Reform produced the original document earlier this year.
In its publicly displayed list of signers “in the 112th Congress,” Norquist’s group includes several members who say they have specifically refused to sign the pledge during their most recent campaigns.
The sheet of paper they signed years ago, the lawmakers say, is no longer valid.
“My driver’s license expires. The milk in my refrigerator expires. My gym membership expires, and I find the website to be a little deceptive,” LaTourette said.
Norquist immediately dismissed the claim, which was echoed by several other House Republicans.
“Does that even pass the laugh test?” Norquist told The Hill. “A promise not to do something doesn’t have a time limit.
Um, yeah, actually, I think if you’re talking about fiscal policy, that stuff changes. Things were different back in 1994; for one thing, we weren’t involved in two wars. So stuff it. Even some Republicans now recognize that a fiscal policy ossified in time makes no sense.
This is very interesting to me. It appears a lot of our politicians in Washington are recognizing that they’re completely out of touch with the majority of the American people, who want to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations to fill our budget hole.
I love this statement from Norquist:
“I haven’t even had junior state legislators pull that crap,” Norquist added.
The hubris of that comment! “I haven’t even had a junior legislator pull that crap,” you know, the ones who don’t know better, the ones fresh off the farm, the kids who haven’t learned their lesson, who don’t know that Grover Norquist pull the strings in this town.
Yeah. I’d say the weather is changing, ever so slightly perhaps but changing it is. Occupy Everywhere has sent a message and it’s resonating. And Grover Norquist is the last to know it.
True, it’s doubtful any of these Republicans would vote to increase taxes, as the article states,
Despite the recent complaints, most House Republicans remain broadly opposed to tax increases, and several of the signers of last week’s letter said they were calling for more revenues but not higher tax rates.
… but the first step in solving our problems is getting out from under the thumb of people like Grover Norquist. The wind is changing, people.