As Lawrence O'Donnell noted during his Rewrite segment this Thursday, there is a group of those one percent of Americans who are doing better than the rest of us that actually care about income disparity in the United States and this week they went after Grover Norquist for his lobbying that no one in Congress ever raises taxes on the wealthy, ever, and lobbied the super committee themselves to please do the right thing, and raise their taxes.
O'Donnell invited anyone who would like equal time that disagreed with them that is among the wealthiest one percent that doesn't want to see their taxes raised to come on the air on his show and explain why.
Here's more from The Huffington Post on the Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength and their meeting with Norquist -- Patriotic Millionaires To Grover Norquist: 'Move To Somalia' :
Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength, millionaires who want the government to tax them more, met with foremost anti-tax guru Grover Norquist in Washington late Wednesday afternoon. Not surprisingly, they couldn't find common ground -- and ended up debating the state of Somalia.
Patriotic Millionaires, a group of 200-plus people making more than $1 million per year (including actress Edie Falco and economist Nouriel Roubini, among others), believe that America has been good to them and that it is their duty to give back. "[The government] provided a foundation through which we could succeed," writes the group on their website. "Now, we want to do our part to keep that foundation strong so that others can succeed as we have."
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Norquist felt the group only represented liberal interests. [...]
Eric Schoenberg, a member of Patriotic Millionaires and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia Business School met with Norquist in his offices Wednesday. He said that Patriotic feel that liberty only fits within a context and that government has a truly fundamental role in ensuring that people have liberty. Part of the way they do that is by investing in things that benefit the public.
In a phone call directly after the meeting, Schoenberg debriefed HuffPost in full:
[Norquist] raised an issue we get all the time which is, 'Well there's nothing stopping you guys from paying higher taxes, just send a check to the government!' And this to me is frankly an absurd position; I don't consider it to be a very serious argument. Government is not a charity and we can't rely on voluntary contributions from people to support the things that government does.
And I also said to him, 'Look would you be willing to sign a pledge where you're willing to forgo all the benefits that government provides? Are you willing to sign a pledge that says you don't want the U.S. military to protect you? That you will refuse to contact the police if somebody steals from you? That you will refuse to contact the fire department if your house is on fire? Because that's the equivalent! Why should you get a free ride? Why should you benefit from my willingness to support the government? Let's do it together.'
And he said, 'If I don't have to pay any taxes for it, I would forgo all those things!' To which my response was, 'Well there's an easy way to do that, move to Somalia!' And his argument was, 'Somalia doesn't suffer from too little government, it suffers from too much government.' I don't even begin to understand what that means, but again there's only so much you can go into in these conversations.
O'Donnell weighed in during the segment with some of his thoughts on Norquist's response:
O'DONNELL: Grover Norquist's response was of course "They can write their own checks to the treasury if they really want to. Norquist also said "If I don't have to pay any taxes for it, I would forgo all of those things." The things Grover is willing forgo include police officers, firefighters, public school teachers, the list goes on and on. Grover you see, is at heart, not just anti-tax. Grover Norquist is an anarchist.
Here's more on the Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength and their lobbying to the super committee to raise their taxes -- Millionaires lobby deficit-reduction super committee to please, raise its taxes:
A group of 21 millionaires spanning from Berkeley to Boston lobbied Congress today to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
The group, Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength, includes Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream founder Ben Cohen; actress Edie Falco; economist Nouriel Roubini; and Garrett Gruener, founder of Ask.com. Together, they’re asking the deficit reduction super committee to create a new tax bracket for households making over $1 million a year with a tax rate of 39.6%, an increase of 13%. After meeting with members of the super committee, the group headed to the offices of conservative anti-tax activist Grover Norquist to convince him of their proposal. Patt checks in with both parties about how the day went.
It's long past due Grover Norquist and his Randian, Libertarian, selfish nonsense is getting some more push back and from those that would be benefiting from it. Good for the group that came out and spoke out against him.