Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Norquist Pledge

Contrary to popular belief, the much ballyhooed anti-tax pledge signed by almost all Republicans in Congress, does not begin with the line, "I pledge allegiance to Grover Norquist." Instead, the pledge is a simple document that states that the signer will oppose efforts to increase marginal tax rates and efforts to eliminate deductions or credits that are not matched by decreases in tax rates. Simple enough; yet Norquist and his pledge are being blamed for a failure (so far) to reach agreement on the fiscal cliff. At one time it was thought impossible for a Republican to get elected (or reelected) if he or she refused to sign the pledge or violated the pledge.

It now appears that the tide has turned. Opinion polls strongly suggest Republicans will get the blame if a resolution to the fiscal cliff is not reached. The recent presidential election proved that Republicans were not very good at interpreting polls. They are trying to get better. Several have already said they will not be bound by the pledge. Norquist's stock is falling fast, but only time will tell if these Republicans can get reelected.

By the way, here is a link to my Fox Business interview on the fiscal cliff: The Fiscal Cliff and Your Portfolio