LI’s Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast Welcomes Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist

August 4, 2011 | By Noelle Huffman and Lauren Hart

August 4, 2011, Arlington, VA— “We must recognize that there is a difference between compromise and losing,” explained Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), to the Leadership Institute’s Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast attendees yesterday. “We slowed the march toward statism and are moving in the right direction.”

A crowd of 86 conservatives filled LI yesterday morning to hear from the acclaimed tax reform promoter. Grover discussed the nature of the current fiscal crisis as well as his organization’s role in promoting limited government through the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

By way of a written commitment candidates and elected officials in federal and state offices pledge to oppose all tax increases. “The pledge makes possible elected official credibility,” said Grover. “Voters know who they are voting for when candidates put their promises in writing.”

The pledge has been signed by all but six GOP leaders in the U.S. House and seven in the U.S. Senate, according to the ATR website.  Two-hundred and thirty-six U.S. representatives and 41 senators have made a written commitment to not raise taxes on the American people. Their website also reports that more than 1,263 state legislators have signed the pledge, including: 13 governors, 5 lieutenant governors, 4 attorney generals, 3 secretaries of state, 3 treasurers, 1 auditor, and 1 board of equalization member.

Conservatives are united against expansive government spending and in favor of individual responsibility. “It is not necessary for all to agree on what to do with liberty, but it is necessary that we all have liberty.  Politically we are on the same page,” Grover said.

“The tea party is a visible part of the conservative movement and they care about spending. It acts as a hammer that says, ‘Don’t spend too much.’ It has effectively made spending a vote moving issue and acts as a mechanism for reigning in government spending.”

With increased pressure from grassroots conservatives in holding candidates and elected officials’ feet to the fire, Washington is on the path to responsible spending, despite minor setbacks, Grover said.

He is hopeful about this new direction.  Although the fiscal situation is far from ideal, “taxes have not been increased,” Grover said, “and the nation saw dollar for dollar spending cuts for every raise in the debt ceiling.”

“If one side is moving East and the other West, there is no room for compromise,” Grover noted, “however, if we’re moving, someone’s winning and we just won—two and a half trillion dollars are off the table.”

Grover affirmed that the country has taken a step in the right direction. “This is a small battle—it was only the first budget cut, not the last.  It set the rules for the fight and will make it easier to win.”

The next Wake-Up Club Breakfast scheduled for September 7th will host Dr. Edwin J. Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation. For more information and to RSVP, please go here.