Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hello everyone, and welcome to the 129th episode of the Atla Society, asks Live from New York. My name is Jennifer Anju Grossman. My friends call me Jag. I am the CEO of the Atla Society. We are the leading organization introducing young people to the ideas of Iron Rand in fun, creative ways like our animated videos and graphic novels. Today we are joined by my dear friend returning guest Rover Norquist. I'm about to introduce him, but first wanna remind all of you who are joining us, whether it's on Zoom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube, please go ahead, get started. Use the comments section to type in your questions. We've got 45 minutes today, so we'll get to as many of them as we can now, uh, when it comes to talking about politics and of course, the most recent midterm elections, no one is better than Grover Norquist. He lives and works it every single day. He's the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform. And by the way, our first ever guest on the at Society asks back in 2020, as many books include, uh, a u-Turn on the Road to Surf Dam and the IRS before it ends us. And my favorite leave us alone getting the government, uh, hands off our money, our guns, and our lives. So, uh, welcome back Rover.
Speaker 1 00:01:37 Good to be with you. Thank you very much.
Speaker 0 00:01:39 Yeah, and good to see you again. We, uh, caught up at the, at Society's gala in Malibu just a few weeks ago, so that was fun. Uh, well, it was not so much fun at, at least, uh, for me because, uh, November 8th was my birthday. Um, and that was the midterm, uh, election results maybe because, uh, expectations were out of wax. So, my first question to you is, were you as surprised as many of us by the results?
Speaker 1 00:02:07 Well, I was surprised that the Republicans didn't gain another 10 or 20 house seats, uh, and that they didn't get one, two, or three more Senate seat. When you looked at the polling, it suggested Republicans were 5% ahead of the Democrats, uh, in terms of whether people gonna vote Republican or Democrat Normally, that would've suggested 25, 30 additional house seats and good stuff in the Senate. What was interesting is the polls wrong. The polls were correct. The Republicans got 5% more of the vote than Democrats did. It was a red way for purposes of votes.
Speaker 0 00:02:48 Popul water votes. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:02:50 But what it didn't do is translate into as many house seats as it would have under the previous redistricting. So what the Democrats have been, been very active doing at the house side, um, is redistricting California to limit the number of Republicans way beyond the percentage of the vote at Illinois. Very aggressive redistrict, uh, taking away a bunch of seats that would otherwise been Republican. New York had such an aggressive redistricting that even the, the very left of center Supreme Court in New York struck it down and came up with something more reasonable. It still was, uh, strict compared to other states, uh, Dito, Connecticut, ditto, uh, New Jersey. So, um, gerrymandering, redistricting limited the Republican bounce, uh, or wave, uh, even though they had certainly more votes, uh, on the Senate's side there, you don't have redistricting or gerrymandering, or if they did gerrymandering. It was the guys who created the original states, <laugh>, you know, 200, 100 years ago.
Speaker 1 00:03:53 Um, and I don't think that, uh, Wyoming's lines were drawn to, to maximize Republican or Democrat, uh, votes. Although North and South Dakota did give you two Republican states, which is perhaps what they had in mind. Um, and they hurri California into statehood because it was a pre-state, a Republican, uh, state that said losing, um, Nevada. Nevada, and in the Senate races in Nevada, in New Hampshire, in Pennsylvania, and in Arizona, those four, all of which could have been Republican wins. Uh, but the candidates that were run were flawed. They had little experience. They did not, in many cases, did not run at ever before. And two, they were tied to Trump in a way that helped them win the primary. But then, uh, scared away independent voters and Democrats who might have cheerfully voted because of taxes, because of energy costs, because of inflation, because of crime.
Speaker 1 00:04:58 Uh, and yet some people pulled back from voting for, its for these Senate candidates. They, in many cases, elected governors, overwhelming Governor Wyn 20 points in Ohio. But the candidates who never run before advance, uh, was ran 13 points behind him, still won, but he had to be carried across the finish line in New Hampshire, overwhelming victory for the Republican governor. Sunu governed, well cut taxes, uh, limited spending, but General Bullock that he got crushed. Um, so people made a distinction between two Rs. They said, I want that governor. And then they said, the other guy's only criteria was Bush. And Trump had said something nice about him. He hadn't been in office before. He didn't have a record. Um, and they weren't necessarily particularly articulated in the case of Bullock. He didn't take any advice from anybody on how to run a campaign, uh, partly cuz he'd never done it before.
Speaker 1 00:06:00 So there, there were flawed, I mean, not flawed people, but flawed candidates. I would be a flaw. I've never done it before, you know, do not have me run for the Senate next week. Um, I would not do it well. Uh, and similarly, you know, one guy had been a businessman, very smart in Arizona, but he never run for office before. Uh, and he wouldn't even know how to pick consultants, sorts of things. So the challenges were different between governors, senators where you don't have redistricting, and the house where you have redistricting, which limited the wave from turning into more house seats.
Speaker 0 00:06:41 So, I mean, while republicans obviously have to be disappointed that, uh, voters are not voting straight party line, um, on all of the seats on a ticket. But I mean, in a way it's a little bit encouraging and to, and vis-a-vis the fact that voters are being more selective and they are picking and choosing, and they are not just voting, voting straight party line.
Speaker 1 00:07:06 Yeah, it, I think we will see more party line voting in general as the party, uh, actually mean something. Uh, a hundred years ago, heck, even 50 years ago, if somebody said they were a Democrat, you were pretty sure they were born south of the Mason. And if they said they were Republican, they were born north of the Mason D line. They might be liberal, they might be conservative, they want lots of wars or few wars or gun control or not. Uh, because the two parties didn't tell you where someone was on freedoms. Uh, I mean, it's, Democrats had some things, right? The Republicans had some things right, but during the Reagan's presidency, his political lifetime, you really did separate out the two parties. So that one party's default position is less government, less spending fewer regulations. They don't accomplish everything they want to all the time.
Speaker 1 00:08:00 Sometimes there's a Democratic president and you have a Republican in Congress. You don't get to make the rules if you can't get a signature from the president or the other way around. Reagan was president, but he had Democratic house for all the time he was president. That limits what he would accomplish. But what they would try and do each time the Republicans move towards lower taxes, less spending, less regulation, Democrats move in the opposite direction. Um, and that's pretty clear. Now. There's, uh, of all the people who've signed the Taxpayer protection Pledge, that Americans for tax from shares with presidents, congressmen, senators, state legislators, governors, uh, almost all the Republican at the national level, all Republican, all the governors that have signed, most governors have signed the pledge. Uh, most House and Senate Republicans have signed the pledge. What we, uh, and house members. There may be some Democrats out there that just, there are a thousand of 'em. So I'm not quite sure everybody's party affiliation. But that is the issue that in Washington, every Republican will vote for a tax cut. Every Republican will oppose a tax increase. Every Democrat will vote for a tax increase and oppose tax cuts. That issue alone divides the two parties completely.
Speaker 0 00:09:15 All right. Well, as mentioned, we have a bit of an abbreviated, um, webinar today. So I'm gonna turn in short order to your questions. So please start typing them into the comments section. But first, Grover, picking up on what you said in terms of one of the reasons why, uh, the Republican bounce or wave wasn't, um, as big as expected, you are specifically pointing to the influence of Trump. Do you think, from the conversations that you're having, I understand that you just came back maybe yesterday from meeting with, uh, Republican mayors, um, up in Atlantic City. Are you hearing talk of, Hey, no, we really gotta, uh, shake this and return to, um, to the, the kind of Reagan Republican agenda of old?
Speaker 1 00:10:06 Well, what what is interesting is people say, look, the judges he gave us were as good or better than Reagans because the Federalist Society, which helps vet judges, had an extra 20 plus years of learning how to vet judges. So Reagan had to guess how good some judges were going to be appointed one person because she dated conservative judge. That was literally the best idea of how, where, how she was gonna vote, what she was for, which doesn't predict everything. Um, and, uh, now we've had decades more of people knowing these judges as they come through high school, college, law school, uh, being, working in the courts. Uh, when you appoint a Federalist Society judge, you're pretty sure that for liberty and for limited government and for property rights and, uh, the reading of the Constitution that was intended when the founding fathers created it.
Speaker 1 00:11:05 So Trump did a very good job on judges. He had a fine tax cut. One of the reasons economy's doing as well as it is, instead of a lot worse, is the corporate rate, which used to be the highest in the world. If you can imagine the United States having the worst tax structure in the world, in how we tax corporations, uh, up at 35%. Um, France was like at 25 stupider than France is not where you wanna be on tax policy. Uh, but we were worse than than Russia. China, China was at 25, we were at 35. How do you expect to compete? Uh, and he took that down to 21, uh, with the Republican party. So Trump did very good on taxes, very good on the other, some effort on, um, reducing regulations. The challenge is moving forward, uh, that if you look at the, uh, not the predictions, but look backwards at this last election, uh, congressional candidates who were endorsed by Trump, who were in competitive districts, not ones where the Republicans were obviously gonna win or obviously gonna lose, but where it was competitive, where it was within 15 points, the Rs and the Ds in a district, the ones that Trump endorsed did were 5% lower than the average Republican vote.
Speaker 1 00:12:20 So they got fewer votes than the average Republican. And the ones that he didn't, uh, endorse, uh, got 2%, 2% better. So not being endorsed by Trump helped you in most cases, uh, on average. Uh, and it hurt you to be endorsed by Trump, again, in divided districts. In a district that's all blue or all red, it may be worse, worse for you and all blue, and it may be better for you and all red, but those aren't the ones that we were fighting over. We were the ones, and we already have the red ones. We're never getting the blue ones or unlikely to, it's the ones in the middle that you need to win many of. And so there was, for, for whatever reason, um, people were uncomfortable with candidates, Trump endorsed some of that. You could look at and say some of those candidates won because Trump endorsed them, and that overrode less interesting or competent.
Speaker 1 00:13:21 Uh, they didn't have a lot of mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, and so they, but they still across the finish line to be, to win the primary, but they couldn't get through the general. So there is an argument that the prof, you know, professional Republican make, but also average citizens. Polling now shows that DeSantis, the governor of Florida is polling 10 points on average ahead of Trump in the five first, uh, primary states, uh, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida's 20 points at, he has the Governor Florida, but 20 points is a pretty big number. And those are numbers where Trump is falling and DeSantis is facing over the last several last two weeks. So if that trend continues, Trump may not run, or he may not be the 800 pound gorilla that many people, including me, thought he was likely to be in this election cycle.
Speaker 0 00:14:23 Interesting. All right. Well, dipp into the pantry of questions that we have here. Uh, on Instagram. My modern gat asks Expo showed that economy and inflation were people's top concerns. But media says, uh, the main issue was abortion. Any evidence that held one, uh, that one held more sway than the other. I've actually seen reports that in fact, abortion did rank right up there with the economy, uh, for for many voters. Um, in, in those exit polls. And I know you and I have gone back and forth over decades on the abortion issue. Um, and, uh, while we can agree on the, the moral aspects of it, um, you know, do, do you still feel that that issue politically is a winner for Republicans?
Speaker 1 00:15:14 Some places, yes. Some places, no. Um, in some <inaudible>, uh, where they could identify pro-choice on abortion borders, young people, uh, students, and a lot of effort in Michigan to drive out the pro choice on abortion voter, and one, the Michigan governor had a lot of money. So you could make, so you could say you may care about crime, you may care about, uh, inflation. Uh, but you know, what you're gonna see on TV for the next two weeks is that the abortion issue, and that you can, with advertising raise the visibility and the importance of an issue like that. You're, you're competing with everybody buying groceries each week, <laugh>, you know, that you're constantly reminded of inflation, uh, and people reading the headlines about murders and rapes and, and robberies. Uh, but with enough TV ads, you can re take an issue that has a certain salience and increase that. And also with social media, you can target the people most likely to move on that issue. So I think it'll be state by state where you'll see that. Um, the, the governor in Ohio who ran 20 points ahead of the Democrat, he beat, um, his most prominent feature is he's pro-life. He's not particularly good on tax cuts. He's okay. But, um, the big thing is he's pro-life and he pulled very well. So Ohio, it wasn't the thing that mattered. Uh, but if you look at Michigan, it kinda looks like it was mm-hmm.
Speaker 0 00:16:51 <affirmative>. All right. Um, Jamie Kovich on Facebook asking, how do we reconcile both Republicans and Democrats voting to send more money overseas at the expense of the American taxpayer?
Speaker 1 00:17:04 Uh, well, we need to get them to stop spending money, period. Um, a lot of the money we send overseas in four and aid is, is is kind of like welfare. It's destructive. It hurts the very people you think you mean to help. If you hand free stuff out, free food to people in Africa, you don't do the farmers in Africa. And you could, because all of a sudden you've got free stuff coming and they've gotta go out and grow, you know, rice and corn, uh, other products, uh, and sell them, you know, for profit so they can plant next year. And you come in with free or free clothes, free medicine, all of a sudden, local industries are damaged. People don't have jobs. Um, and governments, if you give governments money, the only reason why governments want a prosperous, people like the king would like the peasants to have more money, so we could steal it or some of it anyway.
Speaker 1 00:18:06 Um, but if the king is getting money from another king, he doesn't care if the peasants have any money. Cause he is not living off and building castles or nice houses with money that he steals from the peasants. He's getting money handed to him from some American president who steals it from us and then gives it to him. Uh, so foreign aid is often done more damage than not. The af the Asian Tigers all became tigers after people cut them off before an aid said, we don't like you Taiwan, no money for you. South Korea. You know? And then that's when they started to do much better.
Speaker 0 00:18:42 Interesting. All right. Another interesting question from Jack Stone on Facebook. What is the outlook for the Republican Party's current leadership? Many are upset with McConnell's refusal to allocate funds to certain Republican candidates.
Speaker 1 00:18:59 Um, I, I've heard this, I I urged all the people involved from Rick Scott who saw the Senator Committee and Mitch McConnell, uh, and Club for Growth and others to make sure that it's out on the table so everybody could see how much money was raised. It's Rick Scott's job to get good candidates, and we didn't get the best candidates we could get. Now, Rick Scott didn't have all the authority to do that. He didn't get to pick them <laugh>, but, um, that was sort of under his watch and it didn't happen. You would've liked it. Um, but also he was raising money. Mitch McConnell raised 400 million on his own in order to help Senate candidates. And sometimes if one Senate candidate goes, well, you know, if you'd given me that money instead of that guy, I could've won. Maybe, um, people should raise their own money.
Speaker 1 00:19:54 And the Senatorial committee's supposed to be in charge of, I mean, if the gentleman in Arizona who ran Peter Teal gave him a bunch of money and he got nominated, but then there was no, there was no money there to help him in the campaign. And they spent $30 million attacking him before he could raise the money to then make the case for himself, and he'd already been decapped. So if you're going to help somebody win a primary, you really need to have the money there. Also, for the general, um, Mitch McConnell's, number one issue is how many Rs can I get across the finish line? You could always 2020 hindsight say, oh, looking at it, these are the three that were close and these are the three that weren't. Yeah, you didn't know that during, you know that now you didn't know that then. And if you'd moved the money the other way, you'd have been criticized for not funding other people.
Speaker 1 00:20:48 Uh, there were multiple sources. Rick Scott raised money. The Senator Committee McConnell raised money club for growth, raised money. Every candidate raised money friends of the candidates did. So it's really on the candidates to raise the money they need larger groups come in and try and help them if you're close. But as the guy in New Hampshire didn't really get close ever, I mean, there are a couple of polls that look really good towards the end, but I don't think those were real. Um, he was always running by, you could throw a lot of money. The Democrats spent 90 million trying to win the South Carolina race two years ago against Lindsey Graham. He survived 90 million. I mean, south Carolina's a lovely state. It's small <laugh>, it's not a big state, small state. Um, and 90 million is a lot of money. And still they couldn't win. So money can't get a bad candidate or a flawed campaign, or the wrong worldview for that state pass the finish line.
Speaker 0 00:21:53 Interesting. Well, um, we are gonna have more questions than time for you to be able to answer 'em. Uh, I see quite a few here that are a bit long. So if you wanna, I'll rephrase some of these questions, uh, shorter. I'm gonna, I'll dip back into them, but I definitely don't want to end this hour without talking a bit about your I Rand Origin story and, uh, your thoughts on Objectiveism favorite books, favorite characters.
Speaker 1 00:22:22 Oh, well, um, I started reading I Rand because I got tired of people telling me I was a Randian and <laugh>. Uh, so I said, okay, what are we talking about here? And then I was told about I rand in these books and saw her once, uh, when I was in at school in Cambridge, uh, Massachusetts. And so, uh, not
Speaker 0 00:22:42 Dropping the H bomb <laugh>.
Speaker 1 00:22:45 So I went out and read all of Rand's novels, uh, and then much for other reading. And then we, we had Harvard and MIT had a, uh, Randy newspaper that came out like monthly or something. Um, so that was kind of, that was interesting as well. Um, and so I, I read the books after sort of absorbing the thesis and, uh, I, I read we the Living First, which is the depressive one. They're the ones,
Speaker 0 00:23:14 Yeah. But you also read 'em in order,
Speaker 1 00:23:17 <laugh>. Well, I, you know, in the ones written in the United States, things are bad and they get better and we, the living things are bad and they get worse and everyone dies. <laugh>, um,
Speaker 0 00:23:30 Very tragic. Yeah. Yeah. Not, not very benevolent universe premise.
Speaker 1 00:23:34 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.
Speaker 0 00:23:37 All right. Uh, we've got another question here from Alex, uh, on Instagram. How will Biden's power be limited now that the Republicans have the house back? And also, did Republicans fail in our advertising and marketing to young voters?
Speaker 1 00:23:54 Uh, we certainly could have done better with young voters cuz we didn't do as well as we have in the past. So yes, we, we failed to win them. Um, do I know what we could have done different? I don't, but the answer is hopefully there is something different because we need to do better with that age cohort. Um, in addition, uh, what was the first part of the question?
Speaker 0 00:24:20 Uh, it is how will Biden's power be limited now that Republicans have, uh, the house back?
Speaker 1 00:24:26 Sorry, that was the obvious question. <laugh>, that's quite, um, one, he can't pass a tax increase done. Two, he can't pass new spending increases done. Uh, are there some spending that he promised, but he needs to revote on them because you do an annual budget? Yes. And so a lot of the spending that in Biden's mind is his money is not going to be there. We took 2 trillion off the table away from Obama, uh, when we said, you want, you want a 2 trillion increase in debt ceiling, we need to cut spending $2 trillion if you're going to do that. Um, and so that's a very, very important win there in reducing spending, stopping tax increases, bad laws. Uh, but what we can't do is go back and change entitlements because that takes 60 months.
Speaker 3 00:25:30 Okay. Sorry, it looks like we lost J for a moment. So I'll step in momentarily and ask another question in the meantime. Uh, this is a follow up to Jack Stone asking why was so much money spent on Meki and Alaska and a campaign between two Republicans?
Speaker 1 00:25:46 Uh, because the first thing that, that either Republicans or Democrats do is you defend the incumbent, uh, and she was the incumbent. So, uh, there's always the question about, well, shouldn't you let people fight it out in the primary? Um, the way you keep everybody together is you promise them that if you're with the team and you vote with us as we move along, that when you get in trouble someday we will be there for you. Six years ago she was primary, she lost Republican nomination and she ran as a write-in Makowski and she defeated the other guy with a write-in campaign. So she has a very strong support in Alaska, uh, and there was always the possibility that, um, she could have ended up winning and been very angry when she showed up. Uh, if leadership had not made the effort to get her across. But again, had she, if she lost, the Republicans would cheerfully welcome the other person in as McConnell did when he had a very certain he didn't want, he didn't want, um, Rand Paul to be the candidate. He had another candidate he picked who was a great guy, by the way. Um, but Rand Paul won and he embraced Rand Paul and has worked with him cheerfully ever since.
Speaker 0 00:27:06 All right. Uh, question from Steve Cross on Zoom. Is there any future for a third party, libertarians, t Gabbard, et cetera? I'm asking cuz we know that you there in DC will uh, have probably mostly voted for Libertarian candidates.
Speaker 1 00:27:25 This is true. Um, there, it's easy to vote for libertarian here cuz the Republican can't win. Uh, 40% of the population is solid Republican Reagan Republican would vote for Trump or somebody like him in the future, 40% like Hillary Clinton and would vote for the equivalent there. That's 80%, 20% want something different. So how do you get a third party when 40% are locked in voting? Or is it 40% are locked in devoting Ds, the 20% that you compete for? If you got an, and first of all, they don't all disagree with the other two parties for the same reason. If they were to create a party, they would be many parties in the the middle I area. Um, and there'd be interesting collections of what they were for and against. So that's why it can't happen with a two party system. Um, that where we don't do coalitions like the Europeans where you get five parties together and or Israel where they got all these different parties together and then you add 'em together and then you get a majority. Our coalitions are inside the Republican party and inside the Democratic party and the independents choose each time which way to go and they make the ultimate decision. But you'd think 60% don't want the D but 40% of what to the Republican there isn't room for the third party because the 20% isn't 20%, it's a series of five percents or 3% add up to 20. So you can't catch that if you ran an independent party, the independents wouldn't vote for you. They'd be other places.
Speaker 0 00:29:00 And I think it was surprising also as well that um, a lot of people thought independents were gonna break for the Republicans in many cases that, uh, did not turn out to be the case
Speaker 1 00:29:10 In when people are mad at the present. Didn't happen this time.
Speaker 0 00:29:14 So, uh, you know, given how high inflation ranked, um, in the polls and in the exit polls, uh, do you think that at the end of the day voters just didn't blame Biden for inflation?
Speaker 1 00:29:30 They didn't necessarily blame Biden, blame the Senate candidate and the house candidate for Biden since mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they were about inflation, but the Republicans did not make the case that there wouldn't have been any inflation if Biden hadn't
Speaker 0 00:29:47 Said, spent so much money,
Speaker 1 00:29:48 2 trillion thing. But that wouldn't have, if Biden had said it wouldn't have happened. Every single Democrat in the house, every single Democrat that Senate, it voted for that $2 trillion in make believe spending out of nothing. That gave us the beginning of strong inflation, the Republicans in. We focused too much on Biden and not enough on each Democrat who is also person responsible for the spending.
Speaker 0 00:30:16 All right. David safe on Zoom has a follow up for you on this question of, uh, flawed candidates. He says, what about Federman in Pennsylvania?
Speaker 1 00:30:27 Wow, there was a guy who you thought would go down, um, because he had trouble speaking and articulating and, and listening
Speaker 0 00:30:34 And his positions
Speaker 1 00:30:36 And, and his very left of center positions. Uh, we ran somebody, Oz, who was from New Jersey and in Pennsylvania, that becomes a big issue. Now. If you don't live in Pennsylvania, you go vote for the guy who'll cut your taxes, vote for the guy who will, you know, leave you alone. Um, and they're going, he's from Jersey, he's not from here. Uh, and that was part of his problem. There was also a very bloody nasty Republican primary, and Oz was dinged in sufficiently conservative by the other fellow who ran against him. Um, so one, we ran a can. Again, Oz would've been a fine senators, a fine Reagan Republican, so is his wife, but he'd never run for office before. People didn't know him in that capacity and he was from New Jersey. Uh, and those were, those were, I think were the challenges for a candidate. I would've been very happy if he'd been elected senator.
Speaker 0 00:31:37 Got it. Um, alright, well, you know, uh, do you think that there's any real chance of, um, any significant Republican reforms, uh, like the IRS Accountability Act, which you've proposed, uh, just given, how, how would that possibly pass the Senate and Sure. Needing a veto proof majority,
Speaker 1 00:32:02 The way we can get some reforms, don't give 80 billion to the IRS to hire 87,000 agents to bother people. You do that by having hearings and asking the irs, they destroyed the irs, um, some 30 million tax return paperwork. Um, it'd be 2 million. I'm sorry that those would be two miles high if you just stock them on top of each other. The IRS won't tell Congress, um, how they were destroyed. Were they burned? Were they shredded? I it's a lot of people standing in front of shredders, uh, two miles high of the material, uh, or why they did it or who decided to do it, asked that last one. They said, well, it would be embarra, it would make us look bad to how and why. We decided I would've loved to have had that excuse. You know, when my father asked what happened, the broken window, well, there's not in my interest to tell you that because it would be embarrassing.
Speaker 1 00:33:00 So I won't tell you what happened. Uh, I believe that with good hearings and subpoenaing power to go after the irs, and in some cases the FBI and some of these other departments, then the American people will be sufficiently outraged so that you will see Democrats vote to restrict the IRS money to restrict IRS power, to make the FBI a little more transparent in how they do some of the things that they've done, uh, over time. Uh, but that's why you have to have the hearings. You can't stand up and go, I know this happened, but I have hearings to, to tell me what I already think. I know. You need to go in and say, let's look at what's going on, explain it to the American people, let everybody see it and discover it for themselves. And then you will see Democrats as happened under Clinton. Democrats voted with Republican, the reform a problematic IRS back then.
Speaker 3 00:33:59 It looks like we lost a jag again, but hopefully we'll get her back soon. I'll just continue with a question kind of along a similar note to this.
Speaker 1 00:34:06 I'm just glad this isn't my fault.
Speaker 3 00:34:08 <laugh>, uh, this comes from Catarina Burgess who says, do you think Republican House majority helps to put the nail into the coffin regarding Biden's student loan debt forgiveness?
Speaker 1 00:34:20 Well, the, the courts seem to be the ones that say, um, this can't be done. Certainly a Republican house would not, you might, you'd be able to do it if you had a house in a Senate vote. We're gonna spend all this money and bail out people who took loans and make everybody else pay for them. Okay? The whole idea was to try and make it look like nobody was gonna pay for them. But obviously if you cancel a debt, um, you don't cancel it, you move it onto the backs of the American people, and then the 14% of the population that would benefit get bailed out and money given to from the others. Uh, so the courts have said, president can't hand government property alone a debt to somebody for free without congressional authority. They can't spend money, they can't hand out, uh, property value. Um, so it does look as though the president did that in order to get votes and now it doesn't needed anymore. So, uh, at some point the courts will say, okay, we really, really mean it. Stop this now.
Speaker 0 00:35:32 All right. Well, uh, GRT Norquist is the most cheerful person that I know. He is the eternal optimist. So, um, maybe you can give us, uh, a bit of your take on some of the, the bright spots reasons for, for optimism. Um, I think that we won some, uh, really strong tax reform in Arizona, which approved a 60% threshold on tax increases. So, um, give us some good news.
Speaker 1 00:36:03 Sure. In the 50 states, there were states with Republican control of legislatures, which is about 30. Uh, and with Republican governors, which is about 23, uh, what you see there is a movement towards single rate not graduated or progressive taxes. Four five states. Now, five states in the last two years have voted to go to a single rate tax. 10 states are moving to go to zero. Um, Kentucky has voted 10 next 10 years, they're gonna phase out their income tax. North Carolina's facing their tax have New Hampshire will have it completely phased out in four years. Uh, um, uh, Mississippi is PHAs theirs out, as is Louisiana. Um, and then there's a series of other states where the governor and the legislature says, as soon as we get to a single rate tax, Iowa, Arizona, um, and, uh, South Carolina, now it's announced they're going to a single rate tax and then to zero.
Speaker 1 00:37:00 And the Democrat running for governor, he lost. He said, me too, me too. I'm for a, a, uh, going to zero as well. Now. I think he was probably lying, but it, it's good news when your opponent agrees with you on what he is gonna, maybe he, he's tipping, but he thinks that the voters really do want this. So we have about 10 states that in the next 15 will be at zero income tax. So we'll go from eight states with no income tax to 23. And frankly, I think another four will begin this process this coming year on 23.
Speaker 0 00:37:37 And for 23. Um, when you look forward to the priorities for Americans for tax reform, what is on your agenda for next year?
Speaker 1 00:37:47 Um, taking away the 80 billion that the IRS intends to spend, um, making as much of the Republican Trump tax cuts permanent as we can. We got most of it made permanent under Obama. We now have the same fight with Biden and, and move forward on that. Uh, also at the state level, education savings account, school choice is really going gangbusters, Arizona past it for everyone. Some have done it for lower income people, some have done it for handicapped or challenged kids. Uh, Arizona, uh, Arizona did it for every single person. That's the new gold standard for, uh, school choice. And that will help break up the government monopoly, uh, in state after state number of states that have made similar moves, uh, and others intend to follow Arizona's model.
Speaker 0 00:38:38 Well, that is a good note of optimism to end on Grover. Uh, we're so very grateful for all of your emphatic work. Uh, Grover and I have known each other for over 30 years, and I'm looking forward to the decades to come. Uh, so Grover, thank you so much and thanks for joining us today,
Speaker 1 00:39:02 Jennifer. Thanks for the opportunity.
Speaker 0 00:39:03 Absolutely. And thanks to all of you who join us. Thanks for your patient with some of our technical issues today. And thanks of course for all of your great questions. Uh, stay tuned on The Owl Society. If you wanna continue this conversation in 15 minutes, we are gonna be back on Clubhouse with our senior scholar Professor Richard Salzman. We're gonna be talking about the most common smears against self-interest. And, um, of course, as always, if you enjoy the work of the Atlas Society, please consider making a tax deductible donation to support our work. Don't be somebody who just, uh, consumes with, without, uh, supporting and, and, and helping us do what we do. Uh, we're gonna take a break, uh, on next week, which is Thanksgiving, and then we will be back on November 30th when author Eric Kaufman will talk to us about his book White Shift. So hope to see you on Clubhouse and, uh, see you in a couple of weeks. Thanks everyone.