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Post Event Summary
On Thursday at AEI, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist discussed his recent book, “Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future” (co-authored with John Lott, Jr.) and offered his perspective on the future of conservative policy and politics in the United States.
Norquist identified a number of recent policies that have been counterproductive to economic recovery, singling out the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as an example of a particularly costly and ineffective reform. In comparing both previous American recoveries from recession and the recoveries of other industrialized counties since 2008, Norquist highlighted how unusually slow the U.S. economy has been in rebounding, placing the blame squarely on the president’s policies.
Norquist additionally discussed the interplay between pro-growth policies and electoral politics — in the 2012 election as well as the coming decade — which will define the future of America. He rejected calls for “compromise,” arguing that such a term is meaningless when Democrats and Republicans want to go in totally different directions. Instead, he argued in favor of gridlock as a bulwark against poor policy ideas.
Are Americans better off today than they were before Barack Obama was elected to office? Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and economist John Lott, Jr. argue that increases in government spending, mounting debt, new regulations and higher effective marginal tax rates collectively answer this question with a resounding “no.”
In their new book entitled "Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future," Norquist and Lott explore how policies promulgated by the current administration have increased unemployment, slowed economic growth, produced dramatically higher national debt and damaged the housing market.
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ARTHUR C. BROOKS, AEI
GROVER NORQUIST, Americans for Tax Reform
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Arthur C. Brooks is the president of AEI. Until January 1, 2009, he was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy at Syracuse University. He is the author of 10 books and many articles on topics ranging from the economics of the arts to applied mathematics. His most recent books include “The Battle: How the Fight Between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America's Future” (Basic Books, May 2010), “Gross National Happiness” (Basic Books, 2008), “Social Entrepreneurship” (Prentice-Hall, 2008) and “Who Really Cares” (Basic Books, 2006). Before pursuing his work in public policy, Brooks spent 12 years as a professional French hornist with the City Orchestra of Barcelona and other ensembles. Brooks is also the author of the forthcoming book “The Road to Freedom,” to be released on May 8, 2012.
Grover G. Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a taxpayer advocacy group he founded in 1985 at President Reagan’s request. ATR is a coalition of taxpayer groups, individuals and businesses opposed to higher taxes at the federal, state and local levels. ATR is perhaps best known for organizing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which asks all candidates for federal and state office to commit themselves in writing to oppose all tax increases. By 2011, 1,541 elected officials on the federal and state levels had signed the pledge. Norquist is the author of three books, including his most recent “Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future” (co-authored with John Lott Jr.). In the past, Norquist has served in a variety of positions, including as executive director of the National Taxpayers’ Union and the College Republicans.