Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist sent the following letter today to Senators Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.):


I write to express in the strongest possible terms Americans for Tax Reform’s opposition to your “Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action Act of 2009.”  As written, it would lead to a guaranteed tax increase.

The bill establishes an eighteen-member task force comprised of ten Democrat and eight Republican Congressmen, Senators, and Administration officials.  A report from the commission would need to gather fourteen votes in order to make an expedited recommendation to both bodies.  The recommendation would only pass with a supermajority vote in each chamber.

Despite the appearance of protection for taxpayers, this commission would guarantee a net tax increase be in its proposal.  Every Democrat on the commission would insist on tax increases to “balance” spending cuts in the recommendation.  There is no conceivable scenario whereby the commission would issue a report that does not contain tax hikes.  Therefore, this commission is unacceptable from a taxpayer perspective.

In order to make this commission acceptable from a taxpayer perspective, language must be included that explicitly removes tax increases and/or new taxes from commission consideration.