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)

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.


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

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In