Power Players

Grover Norquist: The tax pledge is forever

Power Players

Spinners and Winners

This week, Spinners and Winners went to Americans for Tax Reform to talk to the man behind the pledge. 'The Taxpayer Protection Pledge' has been signed by virtually every Republican office holder over the last 20 years, binding congressman, senators, and governors to promise no tax increases of any kind, ever. There's talk that pledge is now dead, but as you can see, Grover Norquist is not backing down.

Those who have disavowed the pledge -- such Senators Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., and John McCain, R-Ariz. -- will hear from their constituents, Norquist says.

"I think that people should keep their commitment to voters. I think they need to if they get elected with an open promise, they should keep that promise to voters," says the founder of Americans for Tax Reform.

With about a third of incoming freshman Republicans dodging the pledge, the majority of the Republican House has now either not signed the pledge or disavowed it. But Norquist insists this is not the end.

"Name another issue that 217 members have in writing stated their position on. And most of the others have made further comments that they're not for raising taxes," says Norquist.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, signed the pledge in 1992. That was nearly 20 years ago, a lot has changed since then. But for Norquist, the pledge is forever.

"When you got married did your wife understand there was an expiration date on that promise? When you borrowed money to buy your house did you say, 'Oh geez. That mortgage? That was 10 years ago. You're still asking me for money?' You make a commitment, you make a commitment," says Norquist.

For more on Grover Norquist, including what he views as compromise, check out this week's Spinners and Winners.

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