G.I. hearts G.N.

by David Safier

Where does the Goldwater Institute go for inspiration on the issues of taxation and the cutting government spending? Grover Norquist.

That's right. The same Grover Norquist who gave us this bit of wisdom:

My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.

The same Grover Norquist whose taxpayer protection pledge has legislators swearing allegiance to his No New Taxes dictum rather than paying attention to the needs of their constituents.

G.I. puts out a daily email blast. Today's is written by Norquist, as was the March 13 edition.

On 13th, the message was, any Arizona legislator who signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge has to vote against sending a tax hike measure to the voters.

Today's message is, "Raising taxes, Bad! Cutting government, Good!" (That's a paraphrase, by the way.) Here's the final line:

Reducing state and local government overspending is long overdue. Reducing tax and regulatory burdens that kill jobs and reduce incomes in Arizona is long overdue. Raising taxes doesn't fix anything. It makes things worse.

But here's my favorite line:

Call your relatives in Michigan and Zimbabwe and ask how ever higher taxes are helping on the jobs and earnings front.

Right. Michigan is having trouble because of high taxes. Remind me, don't they make cars somewhere around there?

And Zimbabwe? Can you say "Non sequitur," boys and girls?

0 responses to “G.I. hearts G.N.

  1. As for Thane, his post put me in mind of Shakespeare’s Thane of Cawdor: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

  2. If there was a dictionary definition of “intellectual backwater,” it would be illustrated by a map of the Cactus-for-Brains State.

    I admire what you’re doing here, but basically Arizona is an educational hellhole, and you’d be better off trying to emigrate to someplace more enlightened.

  3. The family-hating Goldwater Institute declared war on American families decades ago and they will spare no expense to destroy the American family.

  4. Shorter Thane Eichenauer:
    Running government that is responsive to constituents, rather than out-of-state special-interest-groups is Communism.

  5. LOL – Funny, I had actually talked to my Michigan relatives on Sunday and they had said – “What the heck is going on down there in Arizona? We heard you were cutting education again…aren’t you guys already last in the nation?”

    So there you go, Mr. Norquist. I called & what I got was some ribbing for living in an “intellectual backwater”. (Their words – not mine. They get a little testy after a long, gray winter.)

    Although I’m lacking in Zimbabwe aunties, I do have some background in international economics and can fill in the basics on the aforementioned collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar:

    2. Economic decline in Zimbabwe began around 1997. Mugabe placed politics before reality and led a populist takeover of the agricultural sector (Zimbabwe’s economic backbone). The tobacco industry – their main source of foreign income – completely collapsed and their wheat production plummeted. Failure to comply w/IMF regulations meant that international borrowing went out the window and domestic interest rates shot up through the roof.

    3. Manufacturers who are still lucky enough to be in business had to sell up to 30% of their foreign exchange to the central bank for a fraction of the true currency rate. The government, in an attempt to curb inflation, also declared that all businesses had to cut all of their prices in HALF in 2006. This effectively killed off another 50% of their national output.

    4. Then there are all Mugabe’s social ‘reforms’…Operation Murambatsvina (rougly translated to ‘clean up the filth’) drove over 700,000 people out of the slums, he enthusiastically drove out international investors, etc.

    5. Zimbabwe’s inflation = Mugabe’s gov’t says 8,000%+ year. International economists place the figure closer to 150,000%. Unemployment = 80% Life expectancy for women = 34 years. Men = 37 years.

    “Non sequitur” is an understatement. Anyone who tries to draw a comparison between Zimbabwe’s economy and the current US crisis is more Drama Queen than economic sage. The US economy is in a serious crisis, but this kind of grandstanding just serves to detract from addressing the real issues of our nation. Mr. Norquist (who also once observed that ‘obsessions turn people off’) needs to get a grip.

  6. This post just goes to show that there are plenty of people who can’t see the evidence that taxes impair business growth. I imagine there are some people who will believe to the very end that the reason Michigan is having problems is that the state and local governments haven’t provided enough tax subsidies to the auto companies.
    Of course since high government education funding is so important to business prosperity I would think that due to having the 11th highest government education spending according to the NEA means that all the stories about the dearth of jobs in Michigan are largely planted by closet members of the Grover Norquist fan club.


    As for paying attention to the “needs” of the constituents, that sounds a bit too much like a phrase I learned about many years ago:


    As for “non sequitur” Zimbabwe, I would encourage more people to read up on that country and the collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar. The monetary policy they pursued is all too easily replicated via the central bank model present in most countries these days.

    When business columnists from the UK are writing articles titled “From now on, think of the US as a bigger Zimbabwe” it might be a good idea to not simply discount the comparison out of hand.


    I am happy that gold is still less than $1,000 an ounce (and I hope it stays under $1,000), but I wouldn’t place any bets that it will stay that way.