A Conservative Columnist Tells Grover Norquist Why His Tax Pledge Is Harmful

More

Ross Douthat debated the longtime anti-tax activist at a Washington, D.C., think tank


Grover Norquist is famous in Washington, D.C., for getting Republican candidates to pledge that they won't raise taxes, no matter what, if elected. His approach has drawn increased scrutiny lately due to America's ballooning deficit, the debate over raising the debt ceiling, and the fact that years of focusing on tax cuts has never succeeded in forcing legislators to cut spending -- instead the tax cuts have just forced more borrowing, effectively raising taxes on future generations.

In the video above, Ross Douthat, the New York Times columnist and Atlantic alum, explains to Norquist why his anti-tax pledge does harm to the GOP's ability to govern and sometimes its political fortunes. It is noteworthy that the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, decided to sponsor this debate. Afterward, Douthat gave Norquist credit for having the courage of his convictions:

Amid our current deficit woes he's been a consistent advocate for defense cuts and an Afghan pullout. In other words, he's actually willing to follow his vision of government closer to its logical conclusion than many people on both the right and left -- and I've been in our nation's capitol long enough to know that's no small thing. I don't agree with many of the choices Norquist would make.

But at least he's willing to make them.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In