A take on taxes — and the no-tax pledge


Grover Norquist was in Boise to talk mostly about immigration — saying the current immigration reform will help grow the economy and deserves support from his fellow conservatives.

But the founder of Americans for Tax Reform couldn’t avoid questions about taxes, and the no-tax increase pledge his group pushes at the federal and state level.

Norquist

Grover Norquist talks to reporters after his speech Tuesday to the City Club of Boise.

A no-tax increase stance is the only way to reform government, Norquist told City Club of Boise members during a noon forum Tuesday. Government reform doesn’t occur if politicians can easily or painlessly raise taxes.

When politicians say they care so much about education, or other initiatives, that they will raise taxes to pay for them, Norquist says they have it backwards. In actuality, they care so little about these initiatives that they are unwilling to cut anything else to pay for them.

The Norquist tax pledge originated in 1986. The pledge has been signed by 219 U.S. House members and 39 U.S. senators, including all four members of Idaho’s congressional delegation. Three Idaho House members — Republicans Lenore Barrett of Challis, Paul Shepherd of Riggins and JoAn Wood of Rigby — are among more than 1,000 state officials who have signed the pledge.