Monday, November 21, 2011

60 Minutes Segment on Grover Norquist



(CBS News - 60 Minutes) "As head of Americans for Tax Reform since 1986, Grover Norquist has transformed a single issue - preventing tax hikes - into one of the key platforms of the Republican Party. As Steve Kroft reports in the video above, his biggest coup was getting more than 270 members of Congress, and nearly all of the 2012 Republican presidential primary candidates, to sign a pledge promising never to vote to raise taxes. But some opponents say the pledge may be hindering a solution to America's debt crisis."

MP: If you missed it last night, "60 Minutes" profiled libertarian, anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform.  Watch the full episode above.

30 Comments:

At 11/21/2011 4:19 PM, Blogger The King said...

The segment had an anti-tax bias. There was little contrast between no tax hike & spending cuts. Norquist was painted as the "bad" guy holding back necessary tax hikes. There was no balance toward reducing spending first. The "super" committee is the perfect example of Congress' inability to reduce spending. And, when one party has sway over the purse strings, spending gets worse. Both parties are equal-opportunity spenders. Fortunately, most of our national debt is held within our borders. Congressional spending just eats-up private liquidity and boxes-out private investment. Government investment is an oxymoron!

 
At 11/21/2011 4:51 PM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

I would be much more open to the idea of tax increases if there were some way to refund the money (from the additional tax increase).
It could go something like this:

a) make a deal for spending cuts in exchange for tax increases;

b) raise taxes and put the new money into a separate escrow-like account;

c) after two years, determine if the promised spending cuts materialized;

d) if the promised spending cuts did not materialize after two years, refund the money to the people who paid the additional tax.


Of course, there’s not a snowballs’ chance in hell that the Democrats would agree to such a thing. But if they did, there’s a chance that the spending cuts would actually occur.

 
At 11/21/2011 5:42 PM, Blogger Seth said...

I enjoyed this segment. Norquist seemed to baffle Kroft and critics with the idea that he (Norquist) does not have any power. That only the voters had power. That only the voters decide.

They kept trying to pin it back on Norquist.

They never seemed to grasp the idea that perhaps voters actually want their politicians to not vote for tax increases. That can't be.

 
At 11/21/2011 6:14 PM, Blogger mmanagedaccounts said...

It depends on how you define a tax increase. Is the elimination of the earned income credit a tax increase? I could go along with that increase, so I'd be hesitant to sign the pledge.

THE KING is right to point out the spending issue. That's the problem. It's not revenue.

We have a major ideological battle in this country between collectivism and free market capitalism. Government, the media and academia all support collectivism and that support will make it difficult to turn this around.

Although I favor very low taxes and a small government, I know that power corrupts, and if Norquist becomes corrupt, his cause will also be discredited.

 
At 11/21/2011 6:24 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Wow, what a politically voted smear job. I lost some respect for Steve Kroft, who usually played his politics closer to the vest in the past, for fronting this blatant hatchet job, timed to coincide with the budget super-committee failure, to make Norquist the scapegoat, and constantly repeating OWS/leftie propaganda about how the rich and corporate interests are really behind all the anti-tax rhetoric. It really showcases the leftie mindset, which is so focused on taking from the "rich" to supposedly give to the "poor," that they assume of course that if someone fights back, it must be the "rich" who "greedily" just want to keep more of their money. Forget the fact that the rich already pay disproportionately much more for tons of services they don't use or that it's tons of middle-class voters who are voting the tax pledge-breakers out.

No, according to lefties like Kroft and his producers, those voters are all sheep who are simply brainwashed election after election by Norquist and his money! The govt scam that Kroft fronts has been running for so long and so eroded the checks and balances in the Constitution of this country over the last century that I despair that it can ever be repaired. I suspect the only real solution is an exodus, whether to charter cities or seasteading, just like the US was created by an exodus from European despots once upon a time.

 
At 11/21/2011 6:44 PM, Blogger scomi said...

The most interesting part is the final few minutes with Congressmen Steve LaTourette who basically says he signed the pledge 18 years ago and, "...to be bound by circumstances from 18 years ago when the circumstances are different I think is a little naive." By my count the Constitution of the United States is over 200 years old and was created at a time with no Social Security, EPA, Medicare, Medicaid and thousand other government functions that now exist. If this man cannot follow a pledge for over 18 years than how can elected officials like him be expected to uphold the pledge to protect the Constitution? The Constitution is slowly fading away into oblivion.

 
At 11/21/2011 6:58 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

If we could balance the budget with cuts only how come the Republicans have not put that on the table?

they say they want to cut ...."some" but what about the rest?

how do we balance the budget?

if we can do it with cuts-alone why not put that on the table?

I do not think we can get there with cuts-alone but I'm willing to listen to proposals.

what's maddening about this is they won't produce a cut-only balanced budget - ...and they blame the to other side for ...basically insisting on a balanced budget.....

the Medicare kerfuffle is an example.

The Medicare that is at issue is Part B. Part B is not really an entitlement.

You have to sign up for Medicare Part B. If you do not sign up, you do not get it.

We're selling health insurance for $100 a month to people who are at the age when their need for health care is a sure thing.

We certainly need to have that program largely self-sustaining - certainly for the people who can afford to pay full premiums.

but that program is only 210 billion dollars out of the 1.5 trillion deficit.

Social Security will need to be fixed but right now it's not but a 30 billion ding on the 1.5 trillion.

so that takes care of SS and Medicare and we still have 1.3 trillion in deficit.

what to cut next?

MedicAid is 500 billion.

MedicAid is totally voluntary for the states.

they do not have to take it.

the states, however, holler like stuck pigs when you say cut Medicare.

I say cut it. Cut it by half.

Now we're down to 1 trillion dollars.

what to cut next?

Paul Ryan punted on this. His proposal does not balance until 2030.

Even Ron Paul's draconian proposal takes five years to get to balance and by that time the debt will be 20+ trillion.

The Dems have never been known for cutting taxes - we know that.

but the Republicans have based their brand on fiscal responsible budgeting....until the Bush tax cuts came alone and since that time... all we get from them is sound bites about reducing govt and cutting spending - but they never actually produce a balanced budget....

Grover, bless his pea-picking soul, is just having fun....watching the Dems and Dem supports twist and turn at Grover's simple idea.

The basic Grover/Republican strategy these days is "starve the beast"....

they won't do cuts... they just won't allow increased taxes...

but the previous poster is correct.

If you get rid of tax deductions and "reform" the tax code, isn't that a tax increase for those that are affected?

does that violate the "pledge"?

 
At 11/21/2011 7:30 PM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

mmanagedaccounts,

Elimination of a tax deduction, or a tax credit is absolutely a tax increase, if unaccompanied by a reduction in marginal rates.

 
At 11/21/2011 7:41 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

It's buried in Larry's rambling post, but he does stumble across a point somewhere in there. Norquist and many other Republicans have only focused on taxes in the past, hoping to sell that as a free lunch, when govt spending is the real tax, since they simply "borrow" from the future, ie higher taxes on your kids, to make up the deficit. Norquist now tries to spin his anti-tax fervor as the first step towards cutting spending, but I don't see the Republicans doing shit about that, simply playing the same old media game, ie blatant lies, about "cuts" from increased future budgets, so spending only increases less than they would have under Obama's blown out spending proposals, but still increases a lot. The only real game is spending cuts and it's going to take a lot more Republicans and particularly Democrats voted out of office before that happens.

 
At 11/21/2011 8:21 PM, Blogger Tom said...

60 Minutes is nothing but a socialist propaganda outlet. That show dripped with bias.

Balancing the budget is easy. The Tea Party released a 10-year budget plan to reduce the federal government into balance in 4 years, and cut it to 16% of GDP in 10 years.

 
At 11/21/2011 9:38 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

...." The Tea Party released a 10-year budget plan..."

we've got lots of "plans" by various players but we have NONE on the table from the Republicans - as a party.

that's the frustration.

I do not believe we can balance the budget with cuts only especially since we have doubled the DOD budget in a decade .. it appears to be impossible....unless we're going to roll DOD back to 2000 levels.

Out of the 1.5 trillion - we can cut about 500 billion in entitlements - by making Medicare pay for itself and cutting MedicAid in half but that still leaves a trillion to cut.

I expect the people who insist that we can balance the budget with cuts alone to at least put forth a plan.

If the Republicans had done that then they'd have a very strong position against increasing taxes.

instead, they've taken a position where they are in favor of "some" cuts... no tax increases ... and no balanced budget..

this started back in 2000 when they said we had no choice but to respond to terrorism ... and 'no choice" to pay for it either... but then... they said we could pay for both wars if we CUT taxes.

that's the "logic".

of course, cutting taxes did not generate enough increased revenues to pay for the war ... it just doubled the debt ... and put in a semi-permanent 1.5 structural deficit that added to that 10 trillion debt so that now we have a 15 trillion debt ..STILL growing at 1.5 trillion a year.

Now the President says that he will veto any attempt to change the automatic mandatory cuts....INCLUDING DOD....

.... AND as well will veto any effort extend the Bush tax cuts...

people may not like this but unless he backs off of it - it WILL balance the budget.

that's more "plan" that the Republicans have put on the table, eh?

 
At 11/22/2011 9:57 AM, OpenID mndasher said...

As a conservative, I have refused to watch 60 minutes for the past 25 years or longer.

 
At 11/22/2011 1:48 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"If we could balance the budget with cuts only how come the Republicans have not put that on the table?"

Ever ask yourself how come Obama and the Democrats haven't put a balanced budget on the table? No, of course you haven't.

 
At 11/22/2011 2:13 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"..people may not like this but unless he backs off of it - it WILL balance the budget."

Where is the evidence for this?

 
At 11/22/2011 2:21 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"..of course, cutting taxes did not generate enough increased revenues to pay for the war ... it just doubled the debt ... and put in a semi-permanent 1.5 structural deficit that added to that 10 trillion debt.."

The tax cuts took place during Bush's first term. Yet somehow that annual 1.5 trillion shortfall didn't show up until Obama took over. Never his fault, is it Larry?

 
At 11/22/2011 3:25 PM, Blogger Charles said...

One challenge of making concrete budget cut proposals is that opponents then distort them for political gain. One example is the video implying that Ron Paul wanted to throw grandma over the cliff. For this reason I feel our best chance is across the board cuts in budget growth. According to John Stossel the defense budget is currently scheduled to grow by 23% over the next ten years so I see no problem with cutting some of that growth. According to the Congressional Budget Office budget outlays will grow from $3.7T in 2011 to $5.7T in 2021 with expected revenues of $5.0T in 2021.

People often talk about earth shattering cuts but I don't see where that is the case. Even if the automatic cuts from the super committee went into effect the Defense Department budget would still grow by 16% over the next ten years.

I have been in management in the high tech industry for many years. When a company I was working for had revenue issues one of the first things we generally did was slow down spending until we got the revenue issues under control. This often included hiring and salary freezes and sometimes included pay cuts, required vacation and layoffs. We still spent money on what we felt was needed to get the business back on the right track but we did that within a smaller budget envelope which often required us to make difficult choices.

One of the differences between the private enterprise case and that of the federal government is that we could not hold out for the possibility that we could take money from someone else to pay for our problems. By trying to take that option off the table for the government Grover Norquist is trying to change the dynamic of the conversation.

 
At 11/22/2011 3:48 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Ever ask yourself how come Obama and the Democrats haven't put a balanced budget on the table? No, of course you haven't. "

they have but it's not with cuts-only.

they say we cannot do it without taxes as part of the equation.

it's the folks who say we don't need the taxes and can do it with cuts alone that will not provide the cuts-only proposal.

" The tax cuts took place during Bush's first term. Yet somehow that annual 1.5 trillion shortfall didn't show up until Obama took over. Never his fault, is it Larry?"

by the time Obama took over didn't the total debt DOUBLE form 5 trillion to 10 trillion?

 
At 11/22/2011 3:55 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" One challenge of making concrete budget cut proposals is that opponents then distort them for political gain. One example is the video implying that Ron Paul wanted to throw grandma over the cliff."

Ironically (or not), Ron Paul's proposal did not get rid of SS nor Medicare but did cut Medicare.

as I recall 7 Republicans supported Ron Paul's version.

"For this reason I feel our best chance is across the board cuts in budget growth."

isn't that what the "automatic" trigger is - that they now want to kill?

"According to John Stossel the defense budget is currently scheduled to grow by 23% over the next ten years so I see no problem with cutting some of that growth. According to the Congressional Budget Office budget outlays will grow from $3.7T in 2011 to $5.7T in 2021 with expected revenues of $5.0T in 2021."

the DOD budget has doubled from 2000 and if you include all monies devoted to National Defense - we currently spend more than we take in - in income taxes.

"People often talk about earth shattering cuts but I don't see where that is the case. Even if the automatic cuts from the super committee went into effect the Defense Department budget would still grow by 16% over the next ten years."

to a certain extent but when you are already 15 trillion in debt and adding to it at the rate of 1.5 trillion a year... anything less that 1.5 trillion in less spending (or increased) revenues is only going to increase the debt - not reduce it.

"One of the differences between the private enterprise case and that of the federal government is that we could not hold out for the possibility that we could take money from someone else to pay for our problems. By trying to take that option off the table for the government Grover Norquist is trying to change the dynamic of the conversation."

the main question in my mind right now is that when we did the Bush tax cuts - did we go too far?

Can we keep the Bush Tax cuts and produce a Balanced "cuts-only" budget?

The Dems don't think so. The GOP says we can but won't deliver the goods.

Under the no-tax pledge.. it's not even clear if a majority of the GOP actually support reforming the tax code...

 
At 11/22/2011 4:22 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"..they have but it's not with cuts-only."

COMPLETE and UTTER BULLSHIT. Where?

"by the time Obama took over didn't the total debt DOUBLE form 5 trillion to 10 trillion?"

How does that translate into your claim of some structural deficit of 1.5 trillion due to the tax cuts(but not any of the zillion other failed liberal programs we piss money away on.)? Interest on the debt is about $200 billion. Let me guess, you pulled it out of your ass?

 
At 11/22/2011 4:30 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"the main question in my mind right now is that when we did the Bush tax cuts - did we go too far?"

When Obama wasted a trillion dollars on a stimulus, did we go too far? When the Democrats passed Obamacare, did we go too far? When annual spending jumped from around 19.6 % of GDP in 2007(hello Nancy!) to an everage of 24.4% of GDP since then, did we go too far?

These are the questions Larry doesn't trouble himself with while he's busy pretending to be the pragmatic thinker.

 
At 11/22/2011 5:05 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" COMPLETE and UTTER BULLSHIT. Where?

can you show me the Republican "cuts only" balance budget?


"by the time Obama took over didn't the total debt DOUBLE form 5 trillion to 10 trillion?"

"How does that translate into your claim of some structural deficit of 1.5 trillion due to the tax cuts(but not any of the zillion other failed liberal programs we piss money away on.)? Interest on the debt is about $200 billion. Let me guess, you pulled it out of your ass?"

because when Bush took over there was a 5 trillion debt and once the tax cuts passed the structural deficits began...

right?


" When Obama wasted a trillion dollars on a stimulus, did we go too far? When the Democrats passed Obamacare, did we go too far? When annual spending jumped from around 19.6 % of GDP in 2007(hello Nancy!) to an everage of 24.4% of GDP since then, did we go too far?"

I think the stimulus is arguable but it was a one-shot deal - not creating an annual structural deficit.

re: when spending jumped...

can you name the programs that increased under Obama?

re: ObamaCare

can you show where exactly ObamaCare has increased the deficit?

CBO says the opposite...


These are the questions Larry doesn't trouble himself with while he's busy pretending to be the pragmatic thinker.

Hey... I'm game here..

step 1 - show me the Republican proposal for a cuts-only balanced budget.

not some individual like Stossel..

I want to see the proposal put forth by the Republicans that they support that will balance the budget with cuts only.... and don't rely on supply-side fantasy magic.

 
At 11/22/2011 5:54 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"can you show me the Republican "cuts only" balance budget?"

YOU made the claim the Democrats offered a plan to balance the budget. You obviously just made that shit up.
Show me where or admit you lied.

"because when Bush took over there was a 5 trillion debt and once the tax cuts passed the structural deficits began...

right?"

No. the 1.5 trillion dollar deficits began under Obama. In fact, the deficit in 2007 was around $160 billion. That was the last year of unified GOP control of the government.

"I think the stimulus is arguable but it was a one-shot deal - not creating an annual structural deficit."

You JUST pointed out how Bush added to the debt. You're mixing up debt and deficit only when you can land a punch at the GOP. Hack.

"can you show where exactly ObamaCare has increased the deficit?

CBO says the opposite..."

CBO only showed that because the Obama clan sent them a rigged format with all kinds of tricks. The as-predicted failure of the CLASS program has already wiped away at least half of the pittance Obamacare was supposed to save.

"step 1 - show me the Republican proposal for a cuts-only balanced budget."

Step 1: Larry back up any of his bullshit claims about the Demcrats budget proposals.

 
At 11/22/2011 6:21 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

can you show me the Republican "cuts only" balance budget?"

YOU made the claim the Democrats offered a plan to balance the budget. You obviously just made that shit up."

No... I said they said that they COULD balance the budget but it could not be accomplished with cuts alone.

The Republicans insisted that it COULD be done with cuts alone but would now show how.

"Show me where or admit you lied."

I'm not lying. let's keep it polite here.


"because when Bush took over there was a 5 trillion debt and once the tax cuts passed the structural deficits began...

right?"

No. the 1.5 trillion dollar deficits began under Obama. In fact, the deficit in 2007 was around $160 billion. That was the last year of unified GOP control of the government.

then how did the debt go from 5 to 10 trillion under Bush?


"I think the stimulus is arguable but it was a one-shot deal - not creating an annual structural deficit."

You JUST pointed out how Bush added to the debt. You're mixing up debt and deficit only when you can land a punch at the GOP. Hack.

when I say "structural" I mean it's not a one shot expenditure - that it's a continuing annual expenditure - and that is called a deficit.

the accumulation of the annual deficits is the debt...

agree?


"can you show where exactly ObamaCare has increased the deficit?

CBO says the opposite..."

CBO only showed that because the Obama clan sent them a rigged format with all kinds of tricks. The as-predicted failure of the CLASS program has already wiped away at least half of the pittance Obamacare was supposed to save.


"step 1 - show me the Republican proposal for a cuts-only balanced budget."

Step 1: Larry back up any of his bullshit claims about the Demcrats budget proposals.

 
At 11/22/2011 6:24 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" "step 1 - show me the Republican proposal for a cuts-only balanced budget."

Step 1: Larry back up any of his bullshit claims about the Demcrats budget proposals. "

the Dems have never said that a balanced budget could be attained with cuts alone... they say it cannot.

they say that it will have to be a combination of cuts and revenues - like was done in the two deficit commission reports.

The Republicans have insisted that a cuts-only budget can reach balance but they have never provided one to show that it CAN be done.

they insist that since they know it can be done they will not negotiate for a budget that has taxes in it.

let me hear your version.

 
At 11/22/2011 10:57 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"the Dems have never said that a balanced budget could be attained with cuts alone... they say it cannot."

Yeah, they say alot of things, but what did Larry say? Larry said Obama and the Democrats offered a balanced budget. I repeat yet again, WHERE?? SHOW ME.

Larry, who never ever ever likes to play the blame game, also said Bush "..put in a semi-permanent 1.5 structural deficit that added to that 10 trillion debt.."

Amazing. Again, this is simply astounding considering the tax cuts were in Bush's first term, and the trillion plus deficits didn't happen until Obama was in charge.

"the Dems have never said that a balanced budget could be attained with cuts alone... they say it cannot."

SHOW ME how they balance the budget. Who cares what kind of crap they say? Obama lies through his teeth every time he opens his mouth. The only thing we know for sure he/they want to do is tax job creators, corporate jet owners, and oil companies. What are they going to cut, Larry? You must have the specifics since you keep assuring me they have a scary smart plan to balance the budget.
Don't give me the deficit commissions, Obama ignored the first, created the 2nd and blew that one off too.

"..they say that it will have to be a combination of cuts and revenues - like was done in the two deficit commission reports."

They "say." OOh, what a plan! Don't forget the super committe established after Obama punted on the 2 deficit commissions. But he's only the President. Let's hold the GOP's balls to the fire but let him off scott-free.

 
At 11/22/2011 11:00 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"The Republicans have insisted that a cuts-only budget can reach balance but they have never provided one to show that it CAN be done."

And the Democrats have insisted that a "balanced approach" can reach balance but they have never provided one to show that it CAN be done.

See what a partisan hack you are, Larry? It never occurs to you to hold your beloved President and Democrats to the same standard you demand from the GOP. Pathetic.

 
At 11/23/2011 7:49 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

I think this is the truth and what I said.

The Democrats have said that they do not believe that the budget can be balanced unless it includes both cuts and revenue.

The Republicans have said that they are opposed to revenue and will refuse to negotiate any budget where revenue is part of the equation.

The Republicans have already stated that ANY budget present to them that has revenues in it - they will oppose.

As someone who has voted Republican in the past at the State and National level and someone who would have voted for Romney ... and someone who is not at all devoted to Obama - as much of this budget issue at this point has little to do with him...

I believe that since the DOD budget has doubled since 2000 at the same time we cut taxes - I do not believe that we can balance the budget with cuts alone.

I do not need to provide a budget that has taxes in it if at the very beginning the Republicans say they will not entertain ANY proposal that has taxes.

For the record, I support BOTH of the deficit commission budgets and I would support Ron Paul's budget as a starting cuts-only proposal.

The President himself has said that he is in favor (and will veto any attempts to undo) the mandatory cuts that are scheduled to occur if a compromise budget is not agreed to.

So the long and short of it, is that I support ANY budget that will achieve balance or close to it - regardless of who proposes it and including a cuts-only if it is presented - even though right now I see no way for it to work.

 
At 11/23/2011 11:54 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Shorter Larry: I made up all that bullshit about the Democrats presenting a balanced budget plan.

 
At 11/23/2011 11:59 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"I do not need to provide a budget that has taxes in it if at the very beginning the Republicans say they will not entertain ANY proposal that has taxes."

I do not need to provide a budget that has cuts-only if at the very beginning Obama and the Democrats(who are responsible for running up trillion plus annual deficits) say they will not entertain ANY proposal without taxes.

Hack.

 
At 11/23/2011 1:14 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

the Dems/Obama have added 5 trillion to an EXISTING 10 trillion debt.

As far as I know they have not INCREASED the annual 1.5 trillion deficit that was there when they took over.

The Dems have said that EVERYTHING is ON THE TABLE... INCLUDING Medicare, MedicAid, Social Security, DOD ..... AND increased revenues if the cuts to the above are insufficient to zero the annual deficit and stem the total debt from growing.

The Republicans have said that they will not entertain ANY new revenue ..which would be fine ..if they put on the table their starting point - a no-tax balanced budget.

they could have started with Ron Pauls budget... or they could have started with one of the deficit commission budgets... or they could have even started with Ron Pauls budget ... but they refused to put anything on the table as their starting point to prove that a cuts-only budget WAS POSSIBLE.

Ron Paul, to his credit DID put forth a cuts-only budget but only 7 Republicans supported it and as far as I know it never got advanced as the Republican starting position on the Super Committee.

Somewhere along the line if you are a political party that says that a balanced budget is possible with cuts-only - you have to at least show one - no matter what the other side says or does.

If you say you can do a cut-only budget - then for your own credibility you need to show how.

ever since 2000, the Republicans have demonstrated that they cannot deliver a cuts-only budget.

No matter whether they were in charge with Bush..or not in charge with Obama or 1/2 in charge now... they have yet to deliver on what they promise - a simple straight-forward cuts-only balanced budget.

 

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