Grover Norquist enters POLITICO’s Arena: “Today’s Question: Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, plans to return to teaching economics at the University of Chicago this fall. Goolsbee’s departure once again puts the president’s economic team in flux as the administration grapples with tepid jobs numbers and other weak indicators. Does this turnover reflect a lack of a coherent economic recovery plan? Or is it a chance for the administration to reinvent its economic policies as the 2012 campaign approaches? Grover Norquist: ‘What? Just when the stimulus and bailout spending had turned everything around. Why throw in a winning hand?’”

From the Louisville Courier-Journal, James R. Carroll writes: “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., considers tax increases a non-starter in the budget and debt ceiling negotiations with the Obama administration. ‘We're not going to raise taxes,’ McConnell told reporters last month. ‘That was decided in last November's election. I think the American people pretty clearly believe that we have the deficit problem because we spend too much, not because we tax too little.’ That is certainly the position of the Republican Party's tea party contingent. And it is the position of influential conservative organizations such as Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, which asks for and usually secures a pledge from GOP candidates ‘to oppose and vote against tax increases.’”

From Karyn McDermott at the Richmond Republican Examiner: “Conservative Republican Bryan Rhode became the first candidate in the 22nd Senate district to sign Americans for Tax Reform’s (ATR) ‘Taxpayer Protection Pledge.’ By signing the key pledge Monday, Rhode promised to oppose any efforts to raise taxes in the Virginia state senate. ‘It is critically important that Virginia keep its taxes low to preserve a business friendly environment, especially as the economy is struggling and unemployment is high,’ Rhode says.