John Stossel writes for Townhall: “Republicans and Democrats under Bush and President Obama doubled spending. Now, Obama wants more taxes. Taxes shouldn't be the answer when spending is the problem. Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), leads the charge to keep the focus on spending. Norquist and ATR are famous for asking officeholders and candidates to sign a pledge not to raise taxes. ‘I think the reason there isn't a tax increase on the table,’ he told me, ‘is that 235 members of the House of Representatives signed a pledge never to raise taxes, a pledge to their voters, and 41 senators did. … Only if you take tax increases off the table do you even begin to … focus on spending, and that's what Obama wants to keep our focus off of. He wants us to talk about the deficit, not spending.’ Milton Friedman always said taxes don't tell the whole story. What counts is how much of our resources government spends, however it acquires them. The doubling of spending under Bush and Obama hasn't gotten enough attention. ‘We need to ask what it is government should do,’ Norquist said. ‘But it's going to be knockdown, drag-out. All government overspending creates the constituency for its own perpetuation. … Weaning people off, that is very difficult.’”

Patricia Murphy writes for The Daily Beast: “Although Republicans will absolutely fight to keep the Bush tax cuts alive, conservatives may have been so emboldened by the debt-ceiling debate that they may not think they need to negotiate with the president on the issue at all. ‘Of all the things I’m worried about, the idea that the Republican House of Representatives will pass a tax increase is not on my list of things to worry about,’ Grover Norquist told The Daily Beast. Norquist is the president of Americans for Tax Reform and a powerful voice on the tax issue for Republicans. He declared himself ‘peachy keen’ on Tuesday after the Senate vote. He noted that with 23 Democrats up for reelection in 2012, including several in conservative states, Republicans will drive the debate, even without control of the White House or Senate, for now.”

Kevin Derby writes for Sunshine News: On Wednesday, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, running in the Republican primary to take on Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012, announced that he had signed the pledge backed by Americans for Tax Reform to oppose tax increases. Americans for Tax Reform is led by conservative activist Grover Norquist who has been on center stage during the recent debate on the federal debt ceiling. ‘President Obama and Senator Nelson believe that higher taxes are the solution to our fiscal crisis. Their view would further burden our economic recovery,’ said Senator LeMieux. ‘To protect our nation's future for our children and grandchildren, we must address our debt crisis with meaningful spending reform. In the United States Senate, I voted against tax increases at every turn. I will stand up to the tax-raisers in Washington who are mortgaging our nation's future.’”