Dear Mr. Norquist:
I am writing to you to get answers to some serious questions and to refine my own understanding of the Federal income tax changes we are confronting.
It would appear that if our lawmakers do nothing before January 1, 2013, tax rates for all individuals will go up a lot because old laws that temporarily reduced those taxes will expire.
Having read the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” that is promoted by your organization, “Americans For Tax Reform,” I think I could make some assumptions. It would be difficult for you, your organization, or lawmakers who have signed your pledge to take any action to maintain the old lower tax rates for some and increase tax rates for others. This would completely contradict your pledge as well as your mission as I understand it from your website.
After January 1, 2013 the whole picture changes for you. All the tax rates will revert to older higher levels. Dividends will be taxed at ordinary rates and long-term capital gains tax rates will increase form fifteen percent to either eighteen or twenty percent depending on the holding period. At this point, any reduction in taxes would meet requirements of the pledge and be consistent with the mission of “Americans For Tax Reform.” Lawmakers could now lower taxes for some and not others without violating “The Pledge.”
So here is my first question. The media is telling us all that if we go past December 31, 2012 and go over the “Fiscal Cliff” that it will be bad for our nation and the world. By waiting, our lawmakers send a message of uncertainty to our own people and to people throughout the world. How can you and your supporters let this happen? I submit that your mission is flawed. You may be able to meet your goals by waiting until after the New Year but there will be a cost to all of us. You should abandon this folly now as you are causing great harm to this country.
I have read that there are 238 members of the House of Representatives and 41 members of the Senate that have signed the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” that is promoted by your organization, “Americans For Tax Reform.” This is astonishing to me. As the President of "Americans For Tax Reform” it is clear that you have great power and exercise a high degree of control over our nations tax policy. I have seen you on CNN several times and read about you in a number of media publications. How are you able to keep such a low profile and stay under the radar? Most people I talk to about political matters have never heard of you. I am sure that the Board of Directors of your organization elected you or appointed you to your position as President, but with the power that you wield it would have been better if you were on a ballot and I had the opportunity to vote for you or your opponent.
In the minimal amount of research that I did for this letter I noticed that “Americans for Tax Reform” is a 501(c)(4) lobbying organization. The Colbert Report recently broadcast a hilarious but scary piece about 501(c)(4) organizations. Did you see that Mr. Norquist? I would love to know your thoughts on this.
While I realize that it is unlikely you will ever read these words, let alone consider them seriously, I do hope you realize that waiting to go over the fiscal cliff, while consistent with your mission, is bad for everyone. Temporarily suspending your objectives in the National interest is a worthy cause. Waiting until January will yield the same result but there will be collateral damage for which you will bear a significant degree of responsibility. I am sure your ego will permit you to live with this but one has to try.