Norquist also highlighted a letter Chambliss signed with fellow Gang of Six members Mike Crapo of Idaho and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma where the three said they hoped for a plan with “lower individual and corporate tax rates for all Americans.”Lower rates? Come now -- nearly two years after this letter was written, we're all familiar with the verbal gymnastics endemic to tax reform, or attempted tax reform. As Mitt Romney kept insisting, and as Bowles-Simpson and a half-dozen other tax reform plans laying out actual specified changes to the tax code demonstrate, lower rates do not always equal lower taxes. I parsed the letter in question (from Chambliss, Coburn and Crapo to Norquist ) in detail in February 2011. It quite plainly did not promise not to raise taxes. It promised to lower rates and target "provisions which only benefit a limited portion of Americans" and to "protect taxpayers, not special interests" -- notwithstanding (or acknowledging) that virtually all of us are both.
As the 2011 chronicles below demonstrate, we've seen this Norquist opera before. All of it. But now, more Republicans now are joining the antagonistic chorus.
Back to the future: Norquist's extortion (7/4/11)
A GOP oath best kept in the breaking? (6/17/11)
Coburn: ending the ethanol subsidy is (half?) a tax cut (6/15/11)
Did Tom Coburn just quadruple the debt ceiling ransom? (5/27/11)
Writhing out of Norquist's embrace, Part IV (5/20/11)
Writhing out of Norquist's embrace, Part III (3/9/11)
Chambliss Seizes the freedom to acknowledge that 2+2=4 (3/8/11)
Chambliss, Coburn, Crapo to Norquist: Kowtow or brush-off? (2/18/11)
* Chambliss's stated intention of violating Norquist's pledge may be slightly more unequivocal now than in March 2011 -- though then, too, he said, " “We’ve got to close the revenue gap” and characterized himself as a Republican who was "put[ting] revenues on the table."