Erosion of Norquist power base to impact budget negotiations
Growing Republican defections from Grover Norquist’s extreme pledge never to raise taxes under any circumstances means it’s now possible to reach a bipartisan deal to raise revenues from the wealthy to prevent major cuts to education, Medicare and other services, and to reduce the deficit.
“Every day you see stories about Grover Norquist losing his stranglehold on Republicans who have signed his pledge never to raise taxes under any circumstances, but now they are running away from it,” said Frank Clemente, campaign manager for Americans for Tax Fairness.
“At least 55 Republican House incumbents or candidates — and 24 Republican senators or hopefuls who signed the pledge — lost on Election Day, and influential Republican senators like Tom Coburn, Lindsey Graham and John McCain have publicly rejected it,” added Clemente. “That opens the door to Congress reaching a bipartisan deal to end the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent.”
“There have been numerous stories since the election about Norquist losing his vice grip on Republicans,” concluded Clemente. “Savvy Republicans know that voters rejected the Norquist doctrine and they can read the polls. Americans want Congress to reduce the deficit by raising revenues from the wealthy few, so they start paying their fair share, not by cutting programs that lower- and middle-income Americans depend on, including education, Medicare and Medicaid.”
Nearly two out of three voters (64 percent) disapprove of raising the age for Medicare eligibility from 65 percent to 67 percent, and nearly four out of five voters (78%) oppose cuts to Medicaid benefits, according to a post-election poll conducted by Hart Research Associates on behalf of Americans for Tax Fairness.
More than two out of three voters (68%) unfavorably view “members of Congress” who have signed a pledge that “includes a promise that they will never vote to make the very wealthy and corporations pay a penny more in taxes, even by eliminating special tax breaks or loopholes,” according to a June poll by Hart Research Associates on behalf of Americans for Tax Fairness. This group includes nearly nine of out 10 Democrats (89%), nearly three out of four Independents (73%) and nearly half of Republicans (43%).