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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.
                                                                                 Lone Citizen

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Comment Preferences

  •  Logic fail alert! (0+ / 0-)

    Norquist fails to respond to logic. lol.

    But I do think that envisioning a letter is far better than the vision that interrupts any view I get of his face: a baseball bat.

    Carry on.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:11:32 AM PST

  •  Grover's response will be the usual contemptuous (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    sneer and chuckle.  

    Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

    by judyms9 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:14:06 AM PST

    Recommended by:

    Is it a violation of the pledge to write legislation that provides a temporary tax cut?  Since that legislation includes a tax cut on one day, but a tax increase on a later day.

    (If the answer is "yes", then the pledge was widely violated in 2001/2003.  If "no", then the expiration of the temporary tax cuts is not a violation of the pledge.)

    Extra Credit:

    Have you considered a pledge to not pass any new spending instead?  Since taxes are the effect of spending, not the cause.  Forcing lawmakers to constrain taxes without constraining spending appears to be ineffectual and results in interest-bearing debt accumulating over time.

    •  Simpler questions? (0+ / 0-)

      My opinion? A tax cut doesn't affect the pledge. The pledge says "oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates." A temporary tax cut might be ok to the pledge taker because he or she is not voting to increase but temporarily decrease tax. One can always try to extend the lower tax rates later as is the case today. I don't know how many votes Norquist had in his pocket back when the Bush tax cuts were voted in. You can read the pledge at

      •  OK (0+ / 0-)

        So your POV on the first question is that the answer is "no".  So if Grover agrees he should not be voicing any opposition to the upcoming expirations (nor, historically, should he have opposed their originally scheduled expiration in 2010, we could go back and check whether that is the case).

        I actually disagree on the notion of extending things that were voted on as temporary.

        •  Not so simple. (0+ / 0-)

          Correct. Although this is my opinion.  For a Norquist pledger, a temporary tax cut would not be an increase. Later it will increase, but later, perhaps the cut could be extended. I believe Norquist is opposed to the current expirations. But for now it appers he is willing to let the tax cuts expire if not extended for those earning more than $$$. That would be interpreted as a tax increase to the wealthy. Keep in mind my argument revolves around a literal interpretation of the pledge and I am not sure what Norquist will deem a tax increase. He holds the cards and will tell his minions what they must do to honor their pledge. I do not know what his positions were in the past.

          I think we should continue to extend some of these cuts for some folks but taxes on dividends and cap gains should revert to the old rules. Maybe this increase could be phased in over two or three years but in any case it should be resolved sooner rather than later and "pledges" should be banned.

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