WASHINGTON-There has been much said in the press during George W. Bush’s transition about the incoming president’s bipartisanship.
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, one of the nation’s leading organizations in the fight against tax increases, says the time is right for citizens to join the fight to combat the tax-and-spend forces in our Nation’s Capital and it is a bipartisan issue.
The Washington Post recently reported on the action being taken by House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas) to meet with moderate Democrats in Congress to forge an alliance on important issues such as tax cuts. Norquist said, “This is exactly what ATR has long advocated – outreach to elected officials of all parties to help protect the taxpayers’ money from the big spenders.”
Rep. DeLay’s meetings with conservative Democrats, such as the members of the caucus known as the “Blue Dogs,” could prove to be invaluable to President-elect Bush in getting his programs to control federal spending and cut government waste enacted.
There are skeptics, however, regarding DeLay’s effort. House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt’s (D-Mo.) chief of staff, Steve Elmendorf, said DeLay was establishing ties with Democrats to promote his conservative agenda.
Many Blue Dog Democrats are already on record as being opposed to increased taxes. They, like DeLay and Bush, have signed “The Taxpayer Protection Pledge” which was created by ATR in 1986. Si ning the Pledge commits an elected official to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal tax rates for individuals and/or businesses.”
In the outgoing 106th Congress, 209 House members and 40 senators, Democrats and Republicans alike, signed on the dotted line in opposition to federal raids on the average citizen’s wallet. With the 107th due into its First Session soon ATR will be striving to get members of the new Congress to sign on to the Pledge.
Norquist, citing the ATR Pledge, said DeLay’s underscoring tax cuts in his meetings with his Democratic colleagues is bipartisan. “We all have to ante up for tax increases. Cutting taxes should be high priority with all parties. It should be a nonpartisan – top of the order – issue.”