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Pledge to St. Grover Norquist Haunts Bentley

by: mooncat

Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 13:00:00 PM CDT

Grover Norquist's no tax pledge has been an absolute disaster at the national level, now it's biting Gov. Bentley in the behind as Alabama struggles with a big budget deficit and the lowest taxes in the nation.

We've got trouble, folks -- deficit trouble -- right here in River City Montgomery!

River City faces a terrible deficit, and if we don't cut spending on the things We, the People do for each other right now, there will be trouble. We gotta do some austerity! We gotta eat that seed corn. We gotta stop taxing the 1% and stop paying for things the 99% need!

The state of Alabama is $188 million short of meeting its general fund obligations, but Gov. Bentley won't entertain any kind of tax increase to balance our budget.  Instead, he is forcing massive cuts to already bare bones state services.  That's like being unable to balance your family budget and refusing to ask for a pay raise or take on a second job to make ends meet ... instead asking the family to give up health care, transportation, a roof over their heads and even food.  All because you signed a pledge to Grover Norquist saying you'll never look at raising revenue to solve a budget crisis. 

It's an insane way to to run a state, and no less a bastion of conservatism than the Birmingham News is taking Bentley to task for putting his pledge to Norquist ahead of his fiscal responsibility to the state of Alabama.

Vowing not to increase taxes in Alabama at a time like this is nothing but demagoguing to voters. It is hardly leadership.


If the governor were interested in leading rather than political pandering, he would propose a real tax increase with the twin goals of raising revenue for state government and righting an immoral, upside-down Alabama tax system. 


The only taxpayers Bentley is protecting with Norquist's Taxpayer Protection Pledge are the wealthiest Alabamians. Most Alabama families would see their tax burden decrease if the state sales tax on groceries and over-the-counter drugs went away. 

As for his finance director's idea to raise fees, not taxes, because "nothing is off the table, but tax increases," the News also called that out for the hogwash eyewash it is.

A fee increase has exactly the same effect a tax increase does: It raises revenue for government.

If the point of a no-new-taxes pledge is to keep government small, why would a governor who took the pledge support any new revenue?

Voters in Alabama, for good or ill, elected Robert Bentley as governor, not Grover Norquist It's about time Bentley grew a backbone and admiedt that his pledge to St. Grover was a ridiculous political gimmick intended to garner votes, not a serious expression of his philosophy of governance.  If the $180 million general fund proration this year doesn't make Bentley see reality, we can only hope looking ahead to the even more disastrous 2013 shortfall will shock some sense into him.

mooncat :: Pledge to St. Grover Norquist Haunts Bentley
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Sorry, but (4.00 / 2)

 "It's about time Bentley grew a backbone and admiedt that his pledge to St. Grover was a ridiculous political gimmick intended to garner votes, not a serious expression of his philosophy of governance"

I think for Bentley, Norquistism IS his "philosophy of governance."  Sad.

Well, we're going to find out in the next few months (4.00 / 1)
If Bentley is truly an ideologue, in thrall to Norquist's version of no-tax utopia (think Somalia) then he'll push even deeper cuts for 2012.  He's already closing mental hospitals and saying there's no money to provide even basic medical treatment for the poor (Medicaid), we'll know we're living in Norquist la-la land when they close the prisons and give the inmates back to the community.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
He's already crowing (4.00 / 1)

about how more cuts are coming. 

Marquis deSade has nothing over Robert Bentley.

[ Parent ]
NO. Voting Republican means voting for Grover Norquist (4.00 / 2)


Even Rush Limbaugh must acknowledge Norquist's Lordship.

Lessers such as Robert Bentley just toe the line, as they know that any signs of deviance, much less backbone, will be punished by  Lord Norquist and his minions.

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
- John Adams

This may not be nice but (0.00 / 0)

I wish someone would take out a contract on Norquist and get rid of that festering boil on America's collective ass once and for all.

I would love for Norquist to have to survive--for even one lousy month--on the average person's income.  Or better yet, send the sorry f**k to Somalia where that SOB can live in his "no-tax, drowned-in-the-bathtub-government paradise" and leave the rest of us the eff alone.  I'm sure a man as resourceful as Norquist wouldn't have any trouble becoming the proverbial king of the hill when he doesn't have a pesky government to deal with.  Now, of course, he might have a little problem dealing with the various warlords trying to control their own little fiefdoms, meaning Norquist would have to figure out some way of raising money to pay for the little army of mercenaries to keep his fiefdom intact (he could, of course, try to force the locals into his little militia but I'm thinking that would probably backfire on his fat white ass).



Comes down to money.... (4.00 / 1)
Norquist & company can flood a state or district with money & defeat anyone who doesn't toe the line.  Face it: the GOP is more afraid of Norquist than voters.  It's pretty sad that so many of our state "leaders" care more about staying office than about actually helping the state & people in it.

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

Norquist's pledge has been a disaster at the federal level (0.00 / 0)

Republicans used to decry "tax and spend."  Norquist has them by the short hairs to stop the "tax" part, but they still felt comfortable "spending" like drunken sailors all through George W. Bush's administration.  Now at the federal level the government can at least borrow to sustain some level of deficit spending, irresponsible as it may be to start 2 wars and pay for them on credit.  BUT ... and this is a big but ... when you apply Grover logic to the states, all you get is reduced services.  There is no deficit authority in most states.  No increased revenue -- at a time when normal revenue is falling anyway because of the poor economy and less federal assistance -- necessitates cuts in essential services.  We're seeing in in Alabama, where we did not have the luxury of non-essential services to start with. 

The proration we saw last year and this year has been bad; 2013 is going to be a bloodbath if they stick to this "no new revenue" pledge.

Work harder and work smarter!

zealot (4.00 / 1)
norquist found a hook into the body politic and he's used it perfectly and successfully. (and disasterously, from my point of view). he's not above siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars washed through his hands, as the abramoff-mississippi indian casino business showed. my son-in-law's sister was in classes with norquist at harvard and she says he's the same now as he was then -- a relentless and unyelding personality. so he wont give up despite whatever we say or do. voters in alabama love his pledge -- those that are told what it is, that is. i think bentley knows he's leading us into chaos but he wants to be relected. show riley. and bentley naturally sees no new taxes as a better avenue to reelection that raising taxes (which he'd never get passed) and running on saving public schools. one of the democrats in the state house who signed the pledge is trying to run for gov. 



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