Laura Olson highlights Grover Norquist’s appearance The Colbert Report on Monday: “As he continues to make news amid the state budget debate, Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist chatted with fake news host Stephen Colbert last night. Colbert talked to Norquist about his group's infamous pledge against tax hikes (which Colbert signed when he was "running" for president in 2008). While Gov. Corbett has gotten flak for signing the pledge, which critics say makes him beholden to whatever Norquist says works under that promise, Norquist says it's supposed to be between the people and the politician. ‘The pledge is not to Americans for Tax Reform, it's to the people of their state,’ Norquist said. ‘People hold them responsible.’”

Warner Todd Huston writes for Publius Forum: In a recent National Review article, Ryan Ellis, Tax Policy Director for Americans for Tax Reform, clearly shows a tax history that makes Coburn’s position untenable. (Do read Ellis’ article. It has some great info on how constant tax hikes and spending hikes have brought us to the mess we are in today.) Ryan reminds us how politicians in 1982, 1990, and 1994 were sure that a tax hike was necessary to save the country. Ryan also points out that in nearly every case the same politicians promised to make cuts in spending to make the tax hikes less painful. Sadly, such spending cuts never materialized. What we ended up with was both higher spending and higher taxes. I spoke to Mr. Ryan about ATR’s position. ‘We don’t have an undertaxing problem, we have an over spending problem,’ he said. ‘We need to cut spending because congress has an out of control spending problem.’”

David Baumann writes for “Among the people closely watching the current debate over raising the debt ceiling is a man named Grover Norquist. He's president of a benign-sounding group known as Americans for Tax Reform. The hallmark of Norquist’s group is a pledge.  Americans for Tax Reform asks candidates for office and members of Congress to sign a pledge not to vote for a tax increase. As the group puts it, ‘The pledge commits an elected official 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.’ Norquist, who founded Americans for Tax Reform in 1985, is extremely influential among conservatives. Each week he convenes a session known as the ‘Wednesday Meeting,’ which consists of 150 conservative activists gathering for a strategy session in the ATR offices. As of June 1, 2011, Norquist says that 236 members of the House of Representatives and 41 members of the Senate have signed the pledge.”