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Grover Norquist is the president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a coalition of taxpayer groups, individuals and businesses opposed to higher taxes at both the federal, state and local[…]

Will this administration’s spending require a future tax hike?

Question: Will this administration’s spending require a future tax hike?


Grover Norquist:Well at the end of the day, the total cost to the government _________. So the taxpayer protection pledge – the commitment not to raise taxes – is the necessary but not sufficient part of limiting government. Now you have to reform government spending programs. You need to take Social Security; you take the same amount of money and __________ the government take your money and give it to your grandmother, we’re going to have the government require you to save the same amount of money. And so you don’t give it to us and then give it back 60 years later maybe. You hold onto it and you own it. You control it. It’s yours. It doesn’t go to the government and go back.

So same amount of money, same; actually if you do that – because you invest, and you get to save the resources, and they accumulate over time – you would have about three times the value of income stream with a personalized Social Security system than the present system promises but can’t afford and can’t deliver. So you can make people richer, and you basically take 20 percent of the federal government and take it out of the hands of the government. It’s not free market nirvana, because if the government, “You must save 10 percent of your income, but you must save 10 percent of your income and it’s yours. It’s not somebody else’s promise to dribble something back to you.”

On education, which is half of all state and local spending, we need to take all the spending they do in Texas, and say divvy it up by kids, and give a voucher or a scholarship to each child so that parents can go to any school they want to and say, “My kid’s got a voucher that’s worth $8,000, or $7,000, or $10,000,” whatever the per capita spending per kid is. And then parents would be treated the way customers are treated when you go into an auto show room. They just fall all over themselves.

Walk into the local public school and they tell you to go away. “Hey, no parents are allowed in here. We already have your money. We don’t have to talk to you. Give me your kid. We’ve got your money already. It’s illegal if you don’t give me your kid to talk to babysit for six hours a day.” But if parents had that empowerment, and they say, “Excuse me. You don’t have a penny unless you explain to me what you’re going to do for my child. And by the way at the end of the year, if I don’t like you, I’ll go to another school.” There would be a dramatic improvement in quality. But you’d also find _________ private schools cost half of what government schools cost, over time you would dramatically reduce the cost of education in the same way that the cost of computers, and software, and everything else in the world that the government doesn’t touch; the quality increases over time, and the cost decreases over time unless it’s the post office or education. And then monopolies never improve.


Recorded on: September 12, 2007