by Grover G. Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform.
Op-Ed Contributor, nytimes.com -- July 21, 2011
[ ... Grover Norquist: ]
The problem to be solved is not the deficit; it is overspending. Federal spending in the 2008 fiscal year was $2.9 trillion, and Washington will now spend $3.8 trillion in the fiscal year that ends on Sept. 30. Raising taxes is what politicians do instead of reforming and reducing the cost of government. Advocates of larger government prefer to talk about deficits rather than spending. Why? Because there are two solutions to a deficit problem: spend less or raise taxes. The issue, in other words, isn’t the pledge; it’s Washington’s inability to deal with its own overspending. There is only one fix for a spending problem: spend less.
How many wrong things can you count in that defense of Grover's "No New Taxes" Pledge?
1. Norquist: "The problem to be solved is not the deficit; it is overspending."
That is an assertion -- without all the pertinent Facts.
Mr Norquist describes the recent Govt Spending (without context, or spending targets)
WITHOUT citing the other half of the Equation -- the Lost Trillions of Revenues due to the decade-plus of misguided Bush Tax Cuts.
[continuing with: How many wrong things can you count in that defense of Grover's "No New Taxes" Pledge ...]
2. Norquist: "Raising taxes is what politicians do instead of reforming and reducing the cost of government."
That is an "ad hominem" attack on the motives of politicians --
When what is needed is a review to the Constitutional powers, that instructs Congress (Govt)
to actually RAISE REVENUES to provide for "the Common Defense and the General Welfare."
3. Norquist: "Because there are two solutions to a deficit problem: Spend less or Raise taxes"
Well that is partially True -- when you have a Budget to keep, you either Spend Less, Earn More, Borrow More, or Sell/Leverage your Assets. Income = Outcome. That's the goal.
The main problem with Mr Norquirst's statement there is that he attributes that simple truism to the "advocates of larger government" -- a camp he himself is personally not in, according his long history of statements that he intends to 'destroy' 'kill' 'shrink' or otherwise 'drown' Govt, in his rhetorical bathtub.
Funny, with those being the stated goals Pledge's Author -- you would think that GOVT PUBLIC SERVANTS, signing that Pledge -- just might have a few 'troubling' Conflicts of Interests, with that Constitution they HAVE ALSO PLEDGED to serve?
4. Norquist: "The issue, in other words, isn’t the pledge; it’s Washington’s inability to deal with its own overspending. There is only one fix for a spending problem: spend less."
Ahh ... Grover have you ever heard of the term Tautology? Quit doing that.
A rhetorical tautology can also be defined as a series of statements that comprise an argument, whereby the statements are constructed in such a way that the truth of the proposition is guaranteed or that the truth of the proposition cannot be disputed by defining a term in terms of another self-referentially. Consequently, the statement conveys no useful information regardless of its length or complexity making it unfalsifiable. It is a way of formulating a description such that it masquerades as an explanation when the real reason for the phenomena cannot be independently derived.
[...] defined by Fowler as "saying the same thing twice"
In other words "Circular Logic". Most students of Rhetoric avoid that one like a ... a Pledge.
The problem IS according to Mr Norquist is: "Overspending." Therefore "We need to Spend Less".
QED. Glad you cleared that up for us, Grover.
Taxes are Bad right? ... Even though the Constitution instructs us to Collect Taxes?
Hmmmm? it must follow that "the Constitution is Bad too", eh?
Nice Syllogism, sir. Well Not really "nice" per se; Ironic maybe. An unstated conclusion -- indeed, but certainly not un-derivable.
All Taxes are Bad.
The Constitution tells us to Raise Taxes.
Therefore the Constitution is Bad, too.
When you discard half of the axioms of Govt -- the Revenue Half -- out of hand as Evil.
you may end up with half of the Govt, half of the Nation, half of the Hope and Happiness, that the Govt's Founders intended, for the America People -- who ARE the Govt.
Of course, if your stated goal is to Shrink and then Dismantle that Govt, to Drown that Govt,
to extinguish that Dream -- well then, half-baked "Circular Logic" is probably just what the Tea Party Doctor ordered.
Conflict of Interest, much Doc? Read the Constitution, much Doc?
Now some parting words of faux-wisdom, from he who sees the Half-full Glass,
as still being, much, much TOO Full ...
[ ... Grover Norquist: ]
But ultimately, the pledge is only one expression of the Republicans’ commitment to shrinking the size of the federal government. The Republican leaders -- Mr. Boehner, Representative Eric Cantor, Senator Mitch McConnell and Senator Jon Kyl -- have repeatedly and clearly stated that they will not allow a net tax hike to be imposed on the American people as part of a debt ceiling deal -- especially when the goal of that deal is to reduce the runaway spending now damaging America’s economic future and killing the jobs we need.
Funny Mr Norquist, you got "your Debt Ceiling Deal" -- with not a Penny of Tax Revenues -- and the S&P has deemed it "Fiscally Irresponsible";
Because it does NOT deal with the Revenues the Country desperately needs.
Funny that. Of course Standard and Poors probably has some different intended Outcomes for our Govt, than you do, Grover. They probably want the Govt to recover to a state Growth and Stability. To Productivity. To strong Consumer Demand.
-- Not the Chaos and Anemia ... that your prescription protends.
Of course a "Healthy Govt" would not be so easy to Drown now, would it, Mr "NO New Taxes"?
And afterall they all signed your Pledge ... they OWE you.