Tag Archives: Grover Norquist

Oh please, don’t wake me up . . .

Bet you didn’t know this. Neither did I, but it’s right there on Glenn Beck’s own site, The Blaze, the place for dystopian paranoia and apocalyptic terror – plus there are many wonderful things available for purchase!

Glenn Beck on Monday began what he said is “just the beginning” of his work to reveal the background and motivations of Grover Norquist, the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform.

Beck began by playing recent clips of Norquist calling out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for his efforts to derail Obamacare, noting that while he used to joke about the left’s portrayal of Norquist as a “big power player,” he’s since revised his dismissive opinion in light of the warnings that you “don’t ever take this guy on unless you’re prepared.”

Beck’s show Monday primarily concentrated on Norquist’s alleged connections to Islamists. He invited Frank Gaffney, the president of the Center for Security Policy, and Daniel Greenfield of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, to weigh in.

There’s a David Horowitz Freedom Center? Seriously?

And they damn well know it!

In the mid-80’s, Ronald Reagan sat down with Speaker Tip O’Neill and crafted a few fixes to secure Social Security as a self-funding program for the next quarter century. It worked, just as planned. They knew, as did congress then and as does congress now, that future congresses would be required to do the same from time to time. They knew then as they know now, that Social Security is sound policy and a sound program, unless . . . .

For nearly a century, this marvel of policy engineering has kept generations of our elders out of poverty.

For all of that time, it’s also had enemies, determined to destroy it. In the 80’s, Reagan and O’Neill and the sensible policy establishment (much more centrist then) in Washington hadn’t yet heard of Newt Gingrich or Grover Norquist or Pete Peterson (well, those aforementoined  ‘enemies’ had heard of Peterson all right – he financed them).  Nor did they know that a well-funded campaign was already underway to convince younger Americans that SS wouldn’t be there for them, while quietly engineering its destruction.

They’ve pretty much succeeded. Because they knew that all it would take to break Social Security was to refuse to fix it.

Did you ever think of this?

Sorry Ronnie, you don't make the cut

Good thing Ronald Reagan, a president nearly deified by the right, is not in office today . . . were he, and had he ever signed Grover Norquist’s ‘pledge‘, his 11 tax increases would have doomed him to Jimmy Carter territory. No statues or  monuments would have been raised in his honor.

They seem to have confused the U.S. Constitution with the Articles of Confederation

Don’t tell the Tea Party caucus who, along with Grover Norquist and a cabal (yes, cabal) of soulless financiers who crave power and hate taxes, that when they dream of a balanced budget and  call for a return to our ‘founding principles’, they only reveal ignorance of American history. In Salon, William Hogeland points out that The Founding Fathers would have hated the debt ceiling.

The Constitution came about precisely to enable a newly large government — a national one — to tax all Americans for the specific purpose of funding a large public debt. Neither Alexander Hamilton nor his mentor the financier Robert Morris made any bones about that purpose; James Madison was among their closest allies; and Edmund Randolph of Virginia opened the Constitutional Convention by charging the delegates to redress the country’s failure to fund — not pay off, fund — the public debt, by creating a national government.

Beginning during the War of Independence, and continuing throughout the 1780s, American nationalists committed themselves to a small class of upscale high financiers (largely identical with the American nationalists), who had bought bonds from the confederation Congress in hopes of earning regular, tax-free, 6 percent interest payments — not in the Congress’s crashing paper currency but in hard, cold metal or its equivalent, stable bills of exchange. Morris, Hamilton, Madison and others believed that swelling the debt to immense proportions would make a coherent nation out of 13 squabbling states and make that nation a player on the world economic stage. Their plan to do so depended partly on making military-officer pay a pension, thus turning the entire officer class into public bondholders — and giving Congress new power to tax all Americans to support that debt.

But they are certain of their righteousness (as defined by right-wing Christian Evangelicals and FOX News) and will fight on, financed by those whose allegiance is not to any nation, much less our own.

Must shrink government. Must shrink government.

via Digby, from a story at ourfuture.org, here’s another example of how a flawed bit of received wisdom (probably originated with  Grover Norquist!) settles into lazy minds to be plucked out as necessary with no further examination required. Schieffer, whom I generally like, has obviously not bothered to inform himself beyond the universal script, but fer Elvis’ sake, Warner is a US Senator. My expectations are apparently too high.

On Face the Nation, Sen. Mark Warner was asked by host Bob Schieffer [what action] his ‘Gang of Six’ would take on Social Security reform . . . Warner gave. . .  the popular refrain that “part of this is just math: 16 workers for every one retiree 50 years ago, three workers for every retiree now.”

. . .  In fact, the high ratio of workers to retirees in 1950 was an anomaly, which resulted from the larger number of workers that were incorporated into the program at the time, such as millions of farm workers and domestic workers. Furthermore, because the program was still relatively new, the first workers to contribute to the program had not yet started to collect benefits. To demonstrate how meaningless the 16:1 number it, consider this: Only five years later [in 1955], the worker-to-beneficiary ratio was halved to 8:1, and by 1975 it was down to what it is today. And just ten years earlier, in 1940, the ratio  had been 149.5 workers for every one retiree!

. . .  The worker-to-retiree ratio has been stable for almost forty years and has not failed to supply adequate levels of benefits.

Betcha didn’t know that.

The adults have left the room.

Okay, so our one-story-at-a-time-all-the-time news media are obsessed with the play by play of ‘will they or won’t they?’. Will they pass the 2010-11 budget? Will they pass a continuing resolution? 

Whatever they pass – and they’ll pass something – it takes us to October. So the work on the  2011-12 budget needs to be underway now. And in July we have the matter of raising the debt limit, which is something I believe we have done pretty much every time.

So something will resolve today’s cliff hanger. What’s the next one?  And the next one?

It has occurred to me that maybe all the Republicans  really want is to keep the government shut down long enough to see Grover Norquist smile. Just once.