In a recent editorial in the Huffington Post, Grover Norquist has penned one of the most dishonest pieces I have read in a long while. In it he writes:
As it would happen, Haugh is no conservative – he’s not even remotely libertarian. Haugh is a liberal and a man of the left; don’t take my work for it, just look at his positions.
Haugh is open to higher taxes. Not only did Thom Tillis, the Republican nominee, pass one of the most pro-growth tax relief packages ever to come out of any state, he has committed to oppose efforts to raise federal taxes if elected to the U.S. Senate. Haugh, in contrast, refuses to make such a commitment to North Carolina taxpayers.
This is pure bunk. A more accurate statement is that Grover Norquist is no conservative. Indeed he is not a patriotic American. He is one of the many scammers preying on the political right. (See the ads on Newsmax for more examples.) His programme is dishonest and dangerous.
But before I dissect his programme, let’s deal with the dishonesty of the moment. I know Sean Haugh. I have my differences with Mr. Haugh and have had some heated arguments with him over the years. I can think of numerous reasons not to vote for him. You may think his ideas are too extreme. Maybe you want more government than Sean wants. Maybe you believe our meddling in the Middle East is doing some good. Maybe you are discomfited by the idea of someone rising from pizza delivery man to U.S. Senator in one step. Maybe you take great joy in the fact that the United States has the largest prison population on earth. Maybe you believe a U.S. Senator should have executive hair…
But to argue that Sean Haugh is not a libertarian is insulting and utterly dishonest. Mr. Haugh currently has the uninspiring job of pizza delivery man because he spent much of his career working as Executive Director of the North Carolina Libertarian Party — a very low paying position suitable only for someone truly dedicated to libertarian ideas. The number of big donors to the LP is limited and what each can donate is limited by law, unlike for libertarian-sounding lobbying groups like
the Committee to Undermine the United States Americans for Tax Reform.
A Habit of Dishonesty
Mr. Norquist’s repulsive editorial is perhaps a symptom of a long-running habit of dishonesty. The mission of his organization is to get Republican politicians to commit to zero tax increases come hell or high water. Sorry, young man, refusing to raise taxes without coming up with some truly spectacular spending cuts is utterly irresponsible. Grow up. No one deserves small government cred based on merely lowering tax rates. Government takes wealth when it spends money. If the program in question is worth the money, levy taxes accordingly. Otherwise cut/eliminate the program.
Running chronic budget deficits is to small government what paying the minimum payment on your credit card is to thrift. Worse yet, a hefty chunk of the federal budget is devoted to social programs and reducing the income gap. Deficit spending takes from the poor and gives to the rich, putting the government at cross purposes to itself. Tax cuts in times of budget deficits make the federal government bigger.