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Friday, October 7, 2011

Cracks In The Norquist Pledge

Oct 7th, 2011

For months, the GOP's slavish devotion to the so-called "Norquist Pledge" against raising taxes ever, for any purpose, on anyone (except the lower and middle class, apparently) has been one of the most obvious sources of gridlock in congress.

This week, two very prominent members of the Republican Party stated quite publicly that enough is enough.

via The Hill:

"Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) on Tuesday ripped the Grover Norquist tax pledge and the tax activist himself.

Wolf criticized Norquist's pledge, which most Republicans have taken in promising to not raise taxes, and said Norquist had used it to advance other issues he said most voters would oppose.

He also slammed the conservative for profiting from "unsavory people" and questioned Norquist's background."

Drawing attention to Norquist's past association's with the notorious criminal, ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Rep. Wolf said, "I believe Mr. Norquist is connected with and has profited from a number of unsavory people and groups out of the mainstream. I also believe that Mr. Norquist has used the ATR pledge as leverage to advance many other issues that many Americans would find inappropriate, and when taken as a whole should give people pause."

On Wednesday, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) joined Rep. Wolf. Via Politico:

"Thune told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that pledges stood in the way of tax reform.

"We shouldn’t be bound by something that could be interpreted different ways if what we’re trying to accomplish is broad-based tax reform," Thune said. "I think broad-based tax reform ought to be part of our agenda up here. I hope that outside groups that have pledges in the past will recognize that. It’s important that we do something on tax reform."

Thune, himself a signatory of Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform pledge to not increase taxes, suggested that those who signed taxpayer pledges should rethink their worth.

"There are going to be lots of people who made pledges in the past about on various tax pledges that have been put out there that are probably going to have to revisit those," said Thune."

This is to be commended. However long overdue this may be, at least it's a start.

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