There is much talk about Grover Norquist's influence in the Republican party when it comes to their lockstep refusal to raise taxes on the rich. The talking points are repeated so often, that many on the left, including the Democratic party establishment start parroting talking points about "job creators" and the "national debt."
The propaganda, which has been honed in during decades of corporatist public relations campaigns aided by right wing think tanks, is so effective that the same talking points are repeated by the mainstream media. This causes many--even people on the left--to accept much of the right wing framing about this issue of taxes and deficits.
But the careful observant can easily discern the real reason behind the anti-tax cult as practiced by Grover Norquist followers: The total destruction of democratic institutions in favor of the imposition of a corporatist neo-fascist state. In the final analysis, that's what Grover Norquist meant when he said he wanted to shrink government to a size where it could be drowned in a bathtub.
Here are two cases that illustrate this agenda:
San Francisco Mid-market Community Ambassadors
According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, "A new team of city safety workers will hit the downtown streets Monday, relying on their cell phones and bright yellow jackets rather than handcuffs and a badge."
This opening sentence of the article is very telling. It alludes to law enforcement or policing duties to be performed by these so-called "Community Ambassadors.
And here's the thing about how creeping fascism works... The purported reason for the "ambassadors" is for them to patrol central Market Street areas, and to answer questions from new workers in the area, and from tourists. And to serve as additional "eyes and ears" for the police.
Think about this... Because of corrupt influence on our government institutions by the powerful moneyed elite, the proper functions of government are dismantled (by tearing down the regulatory infrastructure). Money and power is rapidly transferred to the plutocratic class, who then uses that power to starve the government off adequate tax revenue for it to function properly.
This power is then used to push down on the labor force (less economic security, dismantling of the social safety net). Services are cut down, including police protection.
As economic insecurity spreads, crime may start to creep up. But you also see a growing protest movement, and activism, rising up against the corruption and oppression.
Once the system reaches a certain level of depravity, of corruption, of oppression, it then starts resorting to try an true fascistic methods, including the recruitment of average citizens to serve as additional pairs of "eyes and ears" to the oppressive regime.
Although this "Community Ambassador" program is being presented as something benign, it should raise of all kind of red flags for those who care about civil liberties, and constitutional rights.
In essence you have a group of average citizens, who after being given some cursory training are unleashed into the community to spy for the State. To collect information about other citizens; to share that information with the authorities.
This is a very dangerous precedence. A police officer, an FBI agent, or any other government law enforcement agent can't just go around collecting information about citizens without "probable cause" as per our constitution.
But mask what is essentially a citizen on citizen spy program as "helpful," and all of the sudden you have an army of untrained (in constitutional issues dealing with privacy, surveillance, etc.) keeping tabs on people, at the behest of the business community.
Once you have this system set up, and as the economic oppression increases, then it is easy to turn these "Ambassadors'" attention on other "undesirable" and potentially "dangerous" characters, such as social justice activists, protest leaders, an labor leaders.
Finally, once people get use to this idea, what's to keep business districts from hiring their own private security forces?
Detroit's Emergency Manager Proposition
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the state of Michigan may step in to run Detroit. "The governor has taken steps in that direction, proposing an unprecedented move that could give an appointed manager virtually unchecked power to gut union contracts, cut health insurance and slash services."
So let me get this straight... The thievery by Wall Street (with the help of the government) causes a nationwide economic calamity, affecting city budgets, government services, and pension funds. Grover Norquist's economic cult further exacerbates the problem by further starving the national treasure of needed tax revenue.
And the solution is to strip entire cities off democracy? To disenfranchise citizens?
I would argue that that is precisely the plan... If you do a little research, you will find that business groups and lobbyists are behind many of these ideas.
An emergency financial manager would have the power to privatize utility departments, as well as the bus system and other agencies. A manager also could sell off city-owned parking lots and even Belle Isle, Detroit's popular island park, said Michael LaFaive, director of fiscal policy at Michigan's Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a nonpartisan group that espouses free markets.
The emphasis is mine... Folks, this is the real reason behind the Grover Norquist "don't-tax-the-rich" cult. It's to destroy the capability of a democratic government to function properly, so the country can then be taken over by business interests and form a fascistic corporatocracy.
It's treasonous; it's economic terrorism; it's fascistic. It's not about budgets and deficits, and about "living within our means." It's a scam.