Grover Norquist And A Radical Tea Party Agenda: What More Do You Need To Know?

Grover Norquist And A Radical Tea Party Agenda: What More Do You Need To Know?

According to Thom Hartmann, Grover Norquist is President of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), an extreme right-wing anti-government lobbying group. Their radical agenda centers on shifting Wealth Accumulation to the rich and building-up the military-industrial complex. It should be noted that Grover Norquist is also a very wealthy man, so while the Tea Party has embraced the so-called Norquist Pledge of no new taxes and passing themselves off as somehow being "populist," the truth of the matter is - they are not anywhere near being populist!

I am sure by now that most people are sick of my assertions that the original Tea Party Movement was a broad coalition of fed-up Americans wanting fairer government and, more importantly, that their elected officials actually listen to them - but I continue to believe it with conviction. You see, I was once all-in with that message because as a nation, we needed a new direction in our political discourse. However, I began seeing very early on that the lack of a credible National Leadership Organization would be the undoing of that grassroots movement. And that held true.

The fundamental mistake, as I saw it, was that the movement could not unify the energies of the many localized and regional organizations with what eventually opened the door for the Radical Right to seize the momentum and infiltrate it. Unfortunately, at least for some of us, those who associated with the original ideals of the movement had no choice but to fall away. Personally, I think America missed a golden opportunity to establish a more moderate agenda and forge some common-sense and forward thinking policies. I also believe that that missed opportunity has led to more vitriol in our politics.

There is no doubt in my mind that America needs a viable 3rd Party to diffuse the rancor between Democrats and Republicans. And until we get that - the nation will remain fractured politically. Both sides of the aisle refuse to bargain in good faith, if at all. The Tea Party, meanwhile has even splintered the very party they are aligned with. In spite of the staged for media appearances by Speaker of the House Boehner and Eric Cantor, the reality is the GOP is in danger of imploding. While the prospect of that may be an enticing one, given the latest poll showing that 71% of Americans are blaming Republicans for the current debt impasse, the reality of that should make people shudder. If you don't believe me, well, ask any Illinoisan what one party control means to the masses. However, if you want to save the time and effort, I can assure that it has been nothing short of being a fiscal disaster!

I have tried my best to warn readers that the Tea Party has an ulterior motive, and in spite of their public pronouncements of being "For The People" - they are not! The Middle Class, which spurred the grassroots movement in the first place, has again been left disenfranchised and are even closer to extinction than before. Redistribution of wealth, to the already mega-wealthy, is just not a common sense or sound policy. But, that is exactly what Oliver Norquist and his Tea Party disciples are pushing for. Sure, they will sprinkle in a populist message or two during their stump speeches, but, that is merely done to further dupe the unsuspecting.

If you recall, I have said all along that Paul Ryan's Path To Prosperity fails to address the huge costs associated with the military-industrial complex, and as such, cannot be viewed as a credible means to an end. It does, however, confirm exactly what the true Oliver Norquist / Tea Party Agenda is.

Well, I happen to find that very troubling. The Tea Party is so far removed from what began as a promising populist grassroots movement, and designed to protect the Middle Class, that they simply cannot be trusted as being the agents of change that we were looking for. Look, Americans have a right to to demand that they have "a government of the people, by the people and for the people." Unfortunately, that is something that we have not been given in quite some time. At the same token, though, I have to believe that anyone still thinking that the Tea Party is the one to give it back to us is seriously deluded.

America needs to wake up again, but, this time for real!


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  • The links you provide indicate that that was a pre-1986 tax reform pledge. While that "tax reform" still left us with too complicated of an Internal Revenue Code, it was a step in the right direction. To the extent anyone advocates that kind of reform, or something close to a flat tax, that is o.k. with me.

    However, if current dim bulb politicians are trying to impose a 1985 pledge on 2011 conditions, that is a mistake. For instance, the mere fact that George Steinbrenner had the good sense or fortune to die when there wasn't an estate tax for one year doesn't mean we have to perpetuate that. I have no objection to an estate tax, although I suppose it should have some mechanism for protecting family businesses (and maybe even the Steinbrenner one, but not to the extent of no taxes).

    There are other ways to tax. For instance, I think we discussed corporate taxes before, and how they should be tied to real job growth. Corporations have always fought the "unified tax," which would tax corporation-wide earnings based on the percentage earned in the state or country, but I suppose that is because of the offshoring of income, previously discussed.

    Considering other tax shelters, a flat tax, even if it got more out of people that make a million a year, doesn't bother me.

    However, the other thing you have to figure is that I have continuously characterized the Internal Revenue Code as the "accountants' and lawyers' relief act." I don't know what they did the year the estate tax was repealed.

  • In reply to jack:

    Everything I have read about, and heard about Grover's Pledge would suggest that the dim-bulbs want exactly that. I don't know if you watched PBS this weekend due to the power disruptions in your area, but the recurring theme was "how is Grover Norquist able to exert so much pressure?" It is a good question and one that needs to be answered. However, it also shows the might of special interests in the unhallowed Halls of Congress. Political analysts suggest Grover is the force behind the Tea Party Caucus and is considered the most powerful "non-elected official" in politics today.

    So far as taxation goes - hey I can live with a flat tax.

    Never the less, we have a global problem when it comes to corporations paying their fair share and until something is resolved on a global basis; i.e. World Court to look into the various tax shelters - I am not sure how we resolve it. I mean everyone is being affected and even though we "hear" of stifling corporate tax rates, I seriously doubt that is the case. Having a rate is one thing - actually getting the money is quite another, you know?

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    With regard to your last paragraph, it isn't so much an issue of the World Court, which doesn't have any teeth, but the federal and state governments banding together into doing something effective.

    IIRC, the unified tax was tried in Florida, but repealed when corporations threatened to move out. However, they are now threatening to move out of Illinois unless they get a tax break.

    It is similar to the sales tax on products bought on the Internet--the Supreme Court has said what is constitutional (in a case coming from Illinois), but Congress has never implemented it, and the states make half-hearted attempts. When Illinois made an effort to enforce that ruling, Amazon pulled all of its local agents. However, things would be different if Congress passed something nationwide--and it could under the Commerce Clause. But then all the people who buy from infomercials or the Web would scream.

  • In reply to jack:

    Can't say you are wrong on the World Court, but here is my point - corporations are constantly ducking into tax shelters off shore, how else can you logically combat it? You know, from a global standpoint. I agree if the states banded together along with the federal government supporting it we would see something, but I don't know if that would happen. I think some states would reject it if they can capitalize on it - I mean look at Arizona and their Amazon deal as an example of that. I honestly don't know what the answers are Jack. Sometimes I just throw things out there hoping something would stick, you know?

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    My only point is that you don't need the World Court to impose a unitary tax system, you just need the U.S. Congress to do so. Unlike leaving this state or that, a corporation would have to totally cease doing any business in the U.S. to avoid taxation under that theory. It may have its headquarters in Bermuda and import all its goods from China, Malaysia, or Vietnam, but it is still doing business and earning money here.

  • In reply to jack:

    I now see how that would work since Federal Statute would trump State. Thanks Jack.

  • I found it interesting that this author mentioned that the tea party has become an organization for the redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy. It is this author and all others like him that are delusional. If that were true, than the tea party would disappear. The federal programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, Welfare and out of control defense spending are all true wealth redistribution programs that remove money from taxpayers pay checks and install them into these programs to be distributed among what the federal government considers qualified applicants. The federal government plays the role of Robin Hood, stealing from the middle class and giving to the poor. Soon we shall all be poor. One of our founding fathers, Samuel Adams, had this to say about programs like these, " The utopian schemes of leveling [ redistribution of the wealth], and a community of goods [central ownership of all the means of production and distribution], are as visionary and impracticable as those which vest all property in the crown. [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional." We need a constitutional awakening in our country and the tea party could serve that role without one central leader. And if the numbers in the poll are true, than the liberal media has managed another successful propaganda campaign against those who want limited government and therefore, reduced government spending. Most media outlets have not even mentioned that the Obama administration does not have a budget, in full violation of the 1974 Budget Act. The Senate does not have a budget either, which means it is also in violation of the Budget Act. Only the House has a budget. But the liberal media could not allow that information to spread. You want a real grass roots solution to an out of control government and media, do what our founding fathers did, start a militia!

  • In reply to rattlesnake:

    Can't say I disagree with much of what you say Rattlesnake. Your points are well reasoned. If, however, you have read all my posts you would know that both sides of the aisle are met with contempt by me. And I agree, by the way, with your assessment of a liberal mass media. Saying that, though, there is a perception, whether real or not that Americans find the Republicans engaging in some hypocrisy and that could cost them. Why is the debt ceiling a crisis now when it was met with disregard during W's Administration. (By the way I voted for him twice). Even though I am an Independent, I am Moderate and associate myself more than not with what was the Republican platform. Unfortunately that platform has been ignored at the expense of the Middle Class. So trust me, there are no delusions or even expectations of grandeur. Perhaps the Militia isn't a bad idea since we have seen one bad policy after another emerge from both sides of the aisle.

    Entitlements are out of control, yes, but there is also a runaway military budget that Paul Ryan has conveniently ignored. The fact of the matter is, once you add up the real costs of the defense budget - that is the greatest drag on the deficit, then it is entitlements.

    As for political discourse - we have none and I am not prepared to continue living one crisis after another while special interests clean up because they have hedged their bets with both parties. Is that really what the Founding Fathers envisioned? As far as I am concerned the whole system is broken and until there is a serious threat made by Americans to take it back - we all lose. And it doesn't really matter which side of the aisle someone supports.

    But thanks for your comments and as I said, I can't disagree with much of what you say. As with everything, it is in the interpretation of the actions that tell the complete story.

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