A central figure in the effort to protect the one-percent of wealthiest Americans may be losing his grip on the Republican Party, specifically the TEA Party. His fame within conservative groups is waning. He is under attack, and will likely fade away from political notoriety.
Grover Norquist is the president of Americans for Tax Reform. This may sound like a lobby whose concerns represent the majority of Americans; the working class. It doesn’t. It was established to protect the wealth of the one-percent. To accomplish its goals, Norquist acquired the signatures of all TEA Party members and some Republicans swearing that they would never vote for legislation which would raise taxes. This is insurance that our wealthiest citizens would continue to receive the George W. Bush tax breaks. This effort is nothing more than a continuation of Republican’s failed theory of ‘trickle down economics’ originated by Ronald Reagan. Norquist convinced legislators to offer their loyalty to him instead of to the United States and its citizens.
Adding to his discredit is that Norquist is on the Board of Directors of the un-American lobby the National Rifle Association. But his position may be in jeopardy.
Norquist has been engaged in a year’s long battle with Frank Gaffney, an anti-Islamic activist. Gaffney was a member of Ronald Reagan’s Defense Department. Gaffney has long insisted that Norquist has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and that he was influential in gaining their support for George W. Bush during his failed ‘war on terrorism.’ Gaffney sent a letter to NRA President Wayne LaPierre making his assertions about Norquist.
Gaffney had previously attempted to have Norquist removed from the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
Norquist’s central focus remains on taxation and government spending. A recent graph displays a reduction in government spending, and although Norquist credits the Sequestration for much of the change, he does not have his economic facts straight.
Republicans have fallen in line with the TEA Party and focused all of their attention on the deficit. This has proven to be the central cause for slow economic growth in our nation. A program of continued austerity increased our nation’s number of homeless, and those living in poverty. In 2013 the Sequester was directly responsible for the loss of 1.2 million jobs. The vast majority of economists credit our nation’s rise from recession to the administration’s stimulus package, which not only created jobs but resulted in a mild increase in spending by the American people.
When the Murray-Ryan budget agreement was implemented at the end of 2014, many of the cuts resulting from Sequestration were lifted, and the nation’s economy began to climb more quickly.
Norquist and others have been proven wrong when they claim positive effects from Sequestration. The truth is that the President’s economic programs succeeded in spite of severe and damaging cuts to fiscal spending.
The truth is that the only method which will succeed in reducing the deficit significantly is raising taxes. Our citizens benefit from the lowest tax rate for all nations worldwide. Our wealthiest Americans control nearly 30 percent of all of our nation’s wealth, while contributing a far lower percentage to the economy. Economist predict that if income inequality continues at its present rate, one-percent of all Americans will control 50 percent of our entire wealth within a decade.
Norquist is bad for the American people, and bad for the United States.
Commentary by James Turnage