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Slash-and-Burn With Grover Norquist

A brutal, take-no-prisoners war, camouflaged as a populist movement, is being waged against the government of the United States of America.

The Field Marshall in charge of operations is Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform (Founded-1985), one of America’s most powerful conservative organizations; their stated goal is to dissect and chop the U.S. government down to size, more precisely to cleave out government handout (welfare) programs, to debase, or totally eliminate, government regulations, and slash taxes to bare bones. In sum: eviscerate, disembowel, and plunder, like the Daleks, who are fictional extraterrestrial mutants in Doctor Who, the British sci-fi TV series, they robotically trudge along, screaming, “EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE.” The Daleks, led by the unnerving scientist Davros, are a powerful race that wants universal conquest, total domination with no remorse, no holds barred, no compassion. Similarly, Grover Norquist is on a mission of total conquest to EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE. Without a doubt, he and Tom Delay, aka: The Hammer, a convicted felon formerly a member of the House of Representatives and House Majority Leader, got along famously during Delay’s day, but that is altogether another story.

 

Norquist is the brains behind the “no-new-taxes pledge,” as the heart and soul of the GOP’s strategy. He is also the wizard behind the ‘curtain’ for the Tea Party and the ‘bell ringer’ for the Koch Brothers’ serpentine funding arrangements. According to Bruce Bartlett, former Reagan tax cut expert, regarding the Tea Party and Norquist: “He (Norquist) decides: This is a permissible tax action, or this is not….”

 

The Norquist pledge of no new taxes is as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar, signed by every GOP presidential candidate, 13 governors, 1,300 state lawmakers, 40 of 47 Republicans in the U.S. Senate and 236 of 242 Republicans in the House. Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, ‘runs the books’ for Norquist within the highest echelons of American politics. These are the people who built a wall around Congress’s deliberations last summer, responsible for the debt-ceiling standoff and subsequent degradation of the U.S.’s credit rating, a badge of accomplishment as far as they are concerned as long as the hand of the federal government is forced to cut programs to halt expanding deficits without raising taxes one penny.

 

Now, consider this: the Republican assault on the federal government is a very deep, detailed, difficult story to absorb that, in various publications, like Rolling Stone in a stellar article, has already received in-depth coverage (see: “How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich,” Rolling Stone Magazine, November 9, 2011); however, that coverage is, by its very nature, complex and a difficult read, convoluted stuff like how the Republicans have manipulated the tax code in favor of the wealthy, penalizing the middle and the poor along the way.  But after reading similar articles extant, it is still difficult for one to properly understand what in the hell is really going on because the tax code is riddled with so many various avenues subject to abuse and maneuvers that, unless one is a tax attorney, it is impossible to understand what’s happening. This, therefore, begs the question of whom takes the time to concentrate on, i.e., seriously read, these in-depth (wonderfully researched and beautifully written) articles about our Reverse Robin Hood Tax Code, i.e., taking from the poor and middle, giving to the rich.  AND, a Reverse Robin Hood tax code is precisely what has evolved these past couple of decades, accomplished with an exclamation point under the tutelage of George ‘W’ to an unprecedented, and a frightening, degree! It is malicious; it is reckless; it is immoral!

 

AND, Norquist’s troopers have only warmed up! They have much bigger plans in the hopper. Meanwhile, they have already accomplished this: Federal tax receipts as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”) are at the lowest since World War II at approximately 14% of GDP versus a four-decade average of 17%-20%, effectively cutting ¾ of a trillion dollars from the federal government’s coffers. Don’t you kind of wonder where the 750 billion goes, to whom? After all, there are always winners and losers in a zero-sum game!

 

Norquist has already calculated that, if the Democrats are in political control after the 2012 elections, and if Obama allows the Bush tax cuts to lapse, by 2014 the Republicans will have enough votes in the Senate to impeach him. The grounds? Stay tuned for further details.

 

Norquist recently addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference (“CPAC”), February 9-11, 2012, Washington, D.C. delivering his “The Left is Made Up… Of Competing Parasites,” speech. This man does not mince words, and you can read bold determination in his eyes, steely, narrow, and a perfidious mien, an aura of righteousness that is above the fray, but it is precisely the battle that he savors. You can see it in his constricted gaze; you just know at first glance this man could stare down a King Cobra.

 

According to the World of Grover, welfare does more harm than good, government programs for the poor and the elderly are actually abusive intrusions by the government against the best interests of the elderly and the poor, and the government must be cut back to circa 1900 social policies, or else… somebody will suffer greatly, but who will suffer greatly if the U.S. welfare state is not exterminated?

 

The wrath will fall upon any Republican politician who breaks ranks. Yes, they have all signed a blood pledge with the Field Marshall, and if any Republican violates this covenant, his/her head will roll because Norquist has let it be known, in a subtle fashion, the elite forces of his command post, wearing black arm bands, will stop at nothing to unseat a traitor, repurchasing his/her seat at the ballot box with a new face, a new Republican who toes-the-line.

According to former Republican Senator Alan Kool Simpson of Wyoming (1979-97) the ‘Jimmy Stewart-mannered’ co-chair of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform: “He (Norquist) may well be the most powerful man in America today,” a megalomaniac who will stop at nothing to disarm America’s social welfare apparatus, and Simpson has personally visited with several Republicans who deeply regret getting trapped by Norquist but do not know what to do to extricate themselves from his tight-fisted grip on the party, and by extension, the politics of the whole country.

It is entirely possible the United States of America is on a brand new path of politics never before witnessed in our lifetimes whereby the political decisions of one party are made by a very small group of anonymous wealthy families within Norquist’s inner sanctum, including the richest families in America, like the Koch brothers. Think of it this way: aside from interference by the Democrats, the Field Marshall has total control over tax policy of the country because any Republican who dares speak the words ‘new taxes’ will be exterminated from office. Nothing will be passed without Norquist’s imprimatur, baring a Democratic- controlled Congress.

It does not take a political scientist to figure out where all of this is headed. If our country’s special blend of representative government, an amalgamate of competing interests, is hijacked by the dictatorial control of one of the two parties, then what happens if that one party achieves control of the Congress and the presidency? This write-up does not even want to go there because the range of speculation may cause you, dear reader, to stop what you are now doing, and summarily toss this article aside as too outrageous, too provocative, too much nonsense to stomach!

With the advent of Super PACS, a brand new element in participatory democracy has arrived which anonymously spends as much money as required to win an issue or for a candidate. Look at what Super PACs did to Newt in his race against Mitt… it cratered him within two weeks.  There is absolutely no doubt there will be a fervid attempt to buy the election in November 2012… assuming the electorate ‘buys into’ TV advertising. So, the operative question going forward is: Can an election actually be bought? We’re about to find out, and the consequences may very well alter the shape of everything we cherish about the United States of America, and you probably thought the divide between the rich and the middle/poor classes had already reached a zenith similar to the infamous Gilded Age. Au contraire, mon frère!

Robert Hunziker earned an MA in economic history at DePaul University. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Robert Hunziker lives in Los Angeles and can be reached at rlhunziker@gmail.com.

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