[ the actual title of this page:]


Why Republicans oppose just about all taxes and
want your government to be  bankrupt !

"I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."
– Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform and "Godfather of Conservative Republicanism, (NPR Morning Edition, 05-25-01 ) [ Apart from this introduction in brackets, the text below comes verbatim from http://www.atr.org/nationalpledge/questions.html, part of the official site of "American Tax Reform", an organization that has persuaded the vast majority of Republican legislators in Congress [as of 2001], the current resident of the White House, 8 Republican governors, and nearly 1200 state legislators nationwide, to sign a pledge that is considered sacred and life long, which commits legislators to "oppose and vote against any effort (ever) to raise the federal income tax on individuals or corporations." at the Federal level, and any taxes at the state level- emphasis mine -. 
        The Conservatives behind these pledges don't necessarily enforce them when it comes to matters of national defense, such as military expenditures, the coast guard and immigration control, as this is the one function they believe the national government should address.  But, when it comes to improving the lives of citizens through government expenditures, they threaten retribution on any signers who break what they consider a sacred vow.  Although they claim to oppose Federal spending on society's various needs, on the grounds that such matters are State responsibilities, they have a State version of the pledge which reads, "I pledge to the taxpayers of (this) district of (this) State that I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes."
        Keep in mind that once taxes have been cut, the former level of taxation cannot be supported as it would require voting to "raise taxes".
        The article "Why Republicans want your Government to be Broke" explains why Republicans are so intent on cutting taxes at every level, at all times.]

American Tax Reform Pledge
for National Office Holders:

Questions & Answers about the National Taxpayer Protection Pledge

When did the pledge begin?

Candidates and elected officials began taking the pledge in 1986. After President Reagan's Tax Reform Act of 1986 was passed, many taxpayers feared that some politicians would raise income tax rates.  With President Reagan's support and endorsement, Americans for Tax Reform and a broad-based coalition of groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and hundreds of taxpayer groups throughout the nation began to ask all candidates for public office to "take the pledge.  " Every year, all members of Congress are asked to take the pledge by Americans for Tax Reform, and all challengers are asked to take the pledge during each election cycle.

How many members of Congress have taken the pledge?

As of year 2001 (107th Congress), 212 members of the House of Representatives and 37 members of the Senate and President George W. Bush have taken the pledge. 

Just what does the pledge commit a member of Congress to do?
  The pledge commits a member to oppose and vote against any effort to raise the federal income tax on individuals or corporations.  The pledge does not stand in the way of any tax decreases or revenue neutral changes to the income tax.

What if I wanted to trade one tax deduction or credit for another of equal value?

No problem.  The pledge only opposes changes in tax deductions or credits that increase the tax burden on Americans.  Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas has proposed restoring tax deductibility of health insurance for the self-employed and trading it for a tax credit of equal value that gives preference to businesses that sell television and radio stations to certain politically favored groups.  As this is revenue neutral, the pledge is not violated.

What about a cut in the capital gains tax that would increase revenue?

A cut in tax rates is always allowed under the pledge.  Americans for Tax Reform strongly supports reducing the capital gains tax rate.  All tax rate reductions that increase revenue due to economic growth are allowable under the pledge and are greatly desired.

Do I have to take the pledge every time I run for office?

No.  A candidate only needs to take the pledge once.  Candidates are always welcome to take the pledge each election cycle and show their continued support of taxpayers.

The National Signers, as of January, 2003 :

President George W. Bush, 41 U.S. Senators & 216 Congressmen

[ The few Republican holdouts include mavericks like
Senators Snow and Collins from Maine, and Chaffee from R.I.,
but even "moderates" like McCain and Spector are signators.]
The official State versions of
American Tax Reform Pledge:

the version signed by state legislators:

I, ____________, pledge to the taxpayers of the _____ district of the State of _________ and to all the people of this state, that I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.

____________________   ________
signed (Candidate)             Date

____________________ Witness - 1

____________________ Witness - 2

and here's the governor's version, which Gov. John Rowland signed:
[ He's the same governor who went to Federal prison after being convicted of corruption.]

(the above are copies of originals which were found at www.atr.org/statepledge, www.atr.org/pdffiles/state_wide_signers2003.pdf, and www.atr.org/pdffiles/state_pledge_gov.pdf)

[ although the following article was originally titled "Bush's River Boat Gamble—And Why Republicans Love It", I've renamed it to give potential readers a better idea of what is being offered for their consideration. The author is no relation to Steve Forbes. He is a lecturer in history and associate director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University,", it might better be called

"Why Republicans want your Government to be Broke"

by Robert Forbes
(sometime in 2001)

Now that President Bush's $1.35 trillion tax cut has been signed into law, the pundits and the experts have declared that the surplus is dead–and that that's a good thing.  Suddenly, politicians and economists who have for years stressed the urgency of fiscal discipline and the need to slash spending have found a new fondness for deficits.  It's a strange turnaround, to say the least.
        Why do President Bush and his allies want to knock the federal budget into the red?.  It's a familiar claim these days that Bush developed his $1.6 trillion tax cut plan to fend off a primary challenge from Steve Forbes, and continued to push it out of a stubborn consistency.  Others say that the slowdown in the economy makes a federal surplus dangerous and counterproductive.  Such views overlook the thirty-year commitment of conservative Republicans to preventing the accumulation of a budget surplus.  The reasons for this seemingly irrational policy are not hard to find if one looks to earlier American history.
        A federal surplus, as nineteenth-century slaveholders knew and feared, carries with it the potential for social transformation on a huge scale.  James Madison suggested that the government emancipate the slaves and relocate them to Africa.  The cost he projected as a staggering $600 million; but "happily," he wrote, the expense was not a problem because the nation's greatest resource, its public lands, were worth three times that amount.  Nine northern states called for just this policy in 1825.
        John Quincy Adams, the most strongly nationalist president between George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, urged that the United States apply the tremendous power it derived from its liberty to "ends of beneficence"–toward building the nation's infrastructure, chartering a national university, promoting scientific expeditions, and responsibly managing the country's natural resources.  For his proposal, Adams incurred the wrath of reactionary southerners and their Northern allies, who believed that national spending constituted a deadly threat to the slaveholding status quo.
        Adams was replaced by Andrew Jackson, a staunch friend of slavery.  But Jackson's policy of fiscal restraint, which first endeared him to slaveholders, later terrified them as the federal debt diminished.  An ally of South Carolina senator John C. Calhoun described the imminent extinction of the debt as "a crisis in the history of nations" that would shatter Jackson's Democratic Party, because a surplus would invite steps to end slavery.  Many anti-tariff South Carolina "nullifiers" explicitly declared that it was not federal power that they most feared, but the federal revenues that an increased tax on imports would generate and that would serve as a tempting catalyst to social changeFor this reason, most Southern leaders supported giving away the public lands to settlers at virtually no cost. ( for those unfamiliar with its precise meaning, "nullification"means "the action of a state impeding or attempting to prevent the operation and enforcement within its territory of a Federal law".)
        Quietly and without fanfare, the Clinton administration reversed thirty years of deficit spending and put the government in the black.  One would think that this would be the ideal time to resume John Quincy Adams's conversation about the proper means of applying American power toward "ends of beneficence."  Some commentators have begun this discussion, moving beyond the usual formulas of paying down the debt and shoring up Medicaid and Social Security.  Groups like the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities have promoted such uses as extending health coverage to the uninsured, reducing poverty, and investing in education, research, and the nation's infrastructure as appropriate ends for employing the surplus.
        These ideas are unlikely to receive a serious hearing, however.  Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, long an opponent of large tax cuts, cast a pall over spending for the common good by arguing that large surpluses "distort the structure of private economic growth."  Spending is bad, he asserted, because it leads to deficits – a somewhat Orwellian formulation when offered in defense of tax cuts.  Yet Greenspan made no objection to a hundred billion-dollar missile defense system that seems to have no feasible mission other than shooting down the nation's growing budget surplus.  Missing entirely from Greenspan's speeches has been any discussion of identifying common national priorities or addressing national needs.  Today, as the New York Times reports, "deficits are respectable again." Increased federal spending, even on basic human needs, isn't.
        What would an America look like that had the fiscal means to provide such benefits as health care, decent housing, and a first-rate public education to all of its citizens?  For the first time in our nation's history, we are on the cusp of finding out.  But as ever in the past, powerful forces are fighting to ensure that scarcity prevails.

Why Republicans think Government spending is so bad

Republicans are fond of saying that one good reason to not to tax people is that people are smarter than the government when it comes to spending their own money. Here are examples of the way rich people spend the money that they have not paid in taxes:

  • Park Place condos (for autos) start at $150,000 for a 620-square-foot condo for three cars (motorcycles, etc.) and go up to $400,000 for an 1,800-square-foot condo.
  • .
  • .
  • See why "Liberals Like Christ" recommend the very opposite of these policies at

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