Upper Brackets: The Right's Tax Cut Boosters

Appendix One: Major Tax Cut Advocacy Groups

Americans for Tax Reform
1920 L St. NW, Suite 200
Washington DC 20036
http://www.atr.org/

Established: ATR was founded in the mid-80s inside the Reagan White House. Norquist was tapped to head the group as an in-house operation to build support for the 1986 tax reform bill.
President/Executive Director: Grover Norquist
Finances: ATRF had total expenditures of $1,244,171 in 2001. ATR expenditures were not available.
Employees: 14
High-profile staffers include: Peter Ferrara, ATR’s former general counsel and chief economist, is currently founder and President of the Virginia Chapter for the Club for Growth.
ATR Alumni in the Bush administration: Nina Shokraii Rees, Special Assistant to the Vice President for Domestic Policy [see also Heritage Foundation]
Affiliations: Americans for Tax Reform Foundation is the education and research arm of ATR.
ATR is a member of the State Policy Network, a network of national and local right-wing think tanks, and of townhall.com, a right-wing Internet portal founded by the Heritage Foundation.

Grover Norquist is also on the boards of the National Rifle Association of America and the American Conservative Union. He was a campaign staffer on the 1988, 1992, 1996 Republican Platform Committees and executive director of both the National Taxpayers’ Union and the College Republicans. Norquist writes the monthly politics column for the American Enterprise Institute magazine and used to write a monthly column for the American Spectator.

History and Background:
Though ATR was founded inside the Reagan White House, it soon became officially independent and has served as the operational base for Norquist’s vast political operation ever since. One key to Norquist’s success is his ability to pick the rising GOP political star of the moment and forge close ties with him. Norquist was a key grassroots proponent of the Contract With America and was Gingrich’s top unofficial advisor. In 1994, he flew to Atlanta to spend election night with the man who would soon be Speaker. Said Norquist: “That night, Gingrich passed out ice-cream bars and champagne to 20 or 30 of us sitting there. Then he said, ‘Okay, that’s done. Now, back to work.’ The next morning I was on a plane back [to Washington] for the Wednesday ‘Leave Us Alone’ meeting organized toward what do we do now.”

Norquist wasted no time forging an alliance with President Bush, traveling to Austin, TX to meet with then-Gov. Bush and his political advisor Karl Rove right after Bush’s 1998 reelection. Convinced that the Texas governor was the Right’s best hope, Norquist threw the full force of his influence behind the Bush campaign, playing a key role in defeating Sen. John McCain in the South Carolina primaries. So far, Norquist appears to be delighted with the new administration. On Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, Norquist said, “We is them, and they is us. When I walk through the White House, I recognize as many people as when I would walk through the Heritage Foundation.”

ATR has poured a lot of money into pushing right-wing policies and candidates. In 1999, it spent $4.2 million on a television ad campaign touting the GOP tax plan. ATR has also taken a lead in other causes dear to the GOP’s right wing, such as opposing campaign finance reform and attacking the presidential bid of Sen. John McCain.

Financial Backing: ATR is heavily funded by a number of corporate backers, with the tobacco, gambling and alcohol industries figuring most prominently in 1999. Other recent ATR funders have included Microsoft, Pfitzer, AOL Time Warner and UPS.

In the weeks before the 1996 elections, ATR flooded 150 congressional districts with mail and phone calls. This impressive display was made possible by a last minute $4.6 million donation from the Republican National Committee.

ATR Foundation has received a number of grants from right wing foundations, including Olin, Scaife, Bradley, etc.

Quotes about ATR:
Grover Norquist is “the person who I regard as the most innovative, creative, courageous and entrepreneurial leader of the anti-tax efforts and of conservative grassroots activism in America . . . He has truly made a difference and truly changed American history.”
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA)

“Americans for Tax Reform is a wonderful-sounding name. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a front organization for Grover Norquist’s lobbying activities.”
Former Sen. Warren Rudman (R-NH)

Norquist is “the V.I. Lenin of the anti-tax movement.”
Paul Gigot, Wall Street Journal columnist

“Americans for Tax Reform is a front for the Republican Party. Republicans are hiding money in this group, and that is fundamentally dishonest.”
Charles Lewis, executive director of the Center for Public Integrity

“You can wear too many hats and [Norquist] does. He’s a whole hat store. And that’s the conflict of interest: He’s head of a non-profit. He’s a corporate lobbyist. He’s a foreign lobbyist. This gives nonprofits, which are supposed to be doing research, a bad name.”
Charles Lewis, executive director of the Center for Public Integrity

Quotes from Grover Norquist:
“My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

“I want to reduce the size of government in half as a percentage of GNP [gross national product] over the next 25 years. We want to reduce the number of people depending on government so there is more autonomy and more free citizens.”

“If we had a little teeny government and a big deficit, I wouldn’t care. It’s the size of the government we’re focused on. It’s also the size of the government the left is focused on.”

“Every time you cut programs, you take away a person who has a vested interest in high taxes and you put him on the tax rolls and make him a taxpayer. A farmer on subsidies is part welfare bum, whereas a free-market farmer is a small businessman with a gun.”

“Monopolies cannot be reformed, made efficient, or taught to behave. They can only be broken up. This is true of OPEC, Ma Bell, and public education.”

“In the old days, George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse doorway and told children they could not come in. Today, the foes of school choice stand in the doorway and say to the grandchildren of George Wallace’s victims, “You cannot get out.”

“[I]t’s never a bad time to have a tax cut. It is wrong to double-tax dividend income. Bad on a moral level. Bad on an economic level. When Bush’s tax cut gets passed, it’s going to jump the value of shares 15 to 20 percent. It’s going to create wealth. The key to getting the deficit down is to create growth and rein in spending.”

The Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Ave., NE
Washington, DC 20002
www.heritage.org

Established: 1973 by Joseph Coors and Paul Weyrich
President/Executive Director: Dr. Edwin Feulner
Finances: $38 million (2000 budget) funded by membership donations, publications sales and conservative foundations. $107 million in overall assets
Employees: 205
Affiliations: Heritage is a member of the State Policy Network, a network of national and local right-wing think tanks. Heritage created www.townhall.com a conservative Internet portal with 106 member organizations.
High-profile board members: Longtime right-wing donors Richard Scaife, Joseph Coors and Holland “Holly” Coors; Steve Forbes, candidate for GOP presidential nomination and Forbes Magazine heir; Jay Van Andel, co-founder and senior chairman for Amway Corp.;
Barb Van Andel-Gaby, vice-president for corporate affairs, Amway Corp.
High-profile staff members: Edwin Meese, former Attorney General, Reagan administration;
William Bennett, former Secretary of Education, Reagan administration

History and Background:
The Heritage Foundation rose to prominence in 1980 as the right-wing think tank favored by the incoming Reagan administration. Heritage started off with fewer than 20 employees and a budget of less than $1 million, but it vaulted into the Washington spotlight with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Its thousand-page tome Mandate for Leadership reportedly provided the blueprint for White House policy in that term. During the ‘80s, Heritage also changed the way think tanks in Washington operated by aggressively marketing its ideology. In the words of President Edwin Feulner Jr., Heritage was “providing the intellectual ammunition” in policy battles.

A 2002 Heritage fundraising letter detailed its successes over the years:
“–Provided President Reagan the 1,100 page Mandate for Leadership that guided his successful policies
–Created, with Bill Bennett, the Index of Leading Cultural Indicators that gave a national wake-up call to America’s shocking moral decline
–Developed the welfare reform model that became law…
–Presented the case for national missile defense that was approved…”

Current Activities:
Heritage has long synthesized ideas from a variety of right-wing groups and packaged them as a “conservative” agenda for policymakers to implement. Heritage’s influence in the Bush administration has been both broad and deep. The group helped the Bush administration fill jobs throughout the government, passing on 1,200 to 1,300 names and resumes to the Bush administration. For his part, Bush had reportedly asked the Heritage Foundation to review all the executive orders put in place by President Clinton during his two terms in office and recommend which should be repealed.

Though other right-wing think tanks have adopted the Heritage model and joined its fight, Heritage has not lost influence as it has gained company. In 2001, Heritage held over 2,000 events in-house and with its current renovation will create a state-of-the-art, media-ready, 200-seat auditorium in hopes of doubling its capacity and impact. Heritage continues to expand. For example, it is building 33 two-person apartment units for interns, “the young people who make up our ‘farm team’ – the future conservative leaders of America.” Philip Truluck, Executive VP and COO at Heritage, says “It’s amazing how much of an impact you can have on a young person’s thinking in two or three months.”

On the policy front, Heritage produced “Agenda 2003,” which it calls “the playbook in Washington for helping lawmakers rack up victories on behalf of all Americans.” Agenda 2003 address more than two dozen issues from the budget, healthcare, education and energy to homeland security, missile defense, terrorism, the Middle East and Asia. The book also provides lists of experts in each policy area. “Each policy area begins with an ACTION section, in which Heritage boils down its proposal to one sentence. Then, the issue is explained in brief. Action taken on the issue in 2002 is described, followed by a prediction of what to expect this year.”

Heritage Alumni in the Bush administration:
Heritage claims that nearly 200 people it recommended are working for the administration. Here are some well-known examples:
Elaine Chao, Secretary of Labor
Kay Cole James, Director of the Office of Personnel Management
Angela Antonelli, Chief Financial Officer, Department of Housing and Urban Development
Mark Wilson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor
Stephen Yates, Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs
Nina Shokraii Rees, Special Assistant to the Vice President for Domestic Policy [see also Americans for Tax Reform]
Kris Ardizzone, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Policy Development
Sarah Youssef, Associate Director of Domestic Policy, White House

Financial Backing:
Heritage regularly receives six-figure annual gifts from right-wing funders like the Sarah Scaife Foundation. Corporate sponsors of the organization have included: General Motors, Ford Motors, Proctor and Gambel, Chase Manhattan Bank, Dow Chemical, the Reader’s Digest Association, Mobil Oil, and SmithKline Corporation. Heritage has 500 contributors in each congressional district, with the most concentrated in California, Texas, and Florida.

Quotes about Heritage:
“No policy shop has more clout than the conservative Heritage Foundation.”
Wall St. Journal

“[I]t is hard to overstate the impact The Heritage Foundation has had on the direction of U.S. policy since the late 1970’s.”
Democratic Policy Committee Annual Report

Quotes from Heritage:
Burton Pines on Heritage’s mission: “We’re not here to be some kind of Ph.D. committee giving equal time. Our role is to provide conservative public policy makers with arguments to bolster our side.”

Heritage touted its own influence after the GOP took over Congress in 1996. Heritage VP, Stuart Butler: “Heritage now works very closely with the congressional leadership…. Heritage has been involved in crafting almost every piece of major legislation to move through Congress.” Another Heritage VP, Kim Holmes said, “without exaggeration, I think we’ve in effect become Congress’s unofficial research arm…. We truly have become an extension of the congressional staff, but on our own terms and according to our own agenda.”

“Heritage research is carefully targeted to those who make, interpret, and finance national policy: Congress, the media, and the academic, business and philanthropic communities.”

Miscellaneous:
A Heritage letter explained the Foundation’s role in the Cleveland voucher case before the Supreme Court last year. Ed Meese held a moot court to help prepare the three attorneys who would defend the voucher program. All three, including Solicitor General Ted Olson, came to Heritage to attend a closed session, spending several hours being grilled by a panel of advocates gathered by the Foundation. Those included former independent counsel Ken Starr, Clint Bolick of the Institute for Justice, Doug Kmiec, dean of the Catholic University School of Law and others.

Heritage websites (www.heritage.org and www.townhall.com) log almost 2 million user sessions each month, most of which originate on Capitol Hill. In 2001, Heritage reported 4.8 million visitors to its homepage and 14.4 million visitors to Townhall, its Internet portal with 84 member organizations. Townhall describes itself as “a one-stop mall of ideas in which people congregate to exchange, discuss and disseminate the latest news and information from the conservative movement.” By the end of 2001, the websites were attracting 2 million visitors per month who were accessing more than 6 million online documents each month.

A Feb. 2003 Heritage tax publication – Three Ways to Make President Bush’s Tax Plan Even Better – concludes that: “Congress should further the President’s plan by ending income limits and age restrictions on retirement accounts, repealing the tax increase on Social Security benefits, and making immediately effective the entire 2001 tax cut.”

Cato Institute
1000 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20001-5403
www.cato.org

Established: 1977 by Edward Crane and Charles G. Koch
President: Edward Crane
Finances: $17.6 million (2001 budget)
Employees: 90 staff members, 60 adjunct scholars, 16 fellows
Publications: Inquiry magazine, Cato Journal, quarterly magazine Regulation, bimonthly Cato Policy Report, as well as books, monographs, briefing papers and shorter studies.
High-profile board members: David H. Koch, Executive Vice President, Koch Industries, Inc.
Theodore J. Forstmann, Principal, Forstmann Little & Company
Frederick W. Smith, Chairman & CEO, FedEx Corporation
High-profile staffers: David Boaz, published in Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Review, and Slate; Doug Bandow, writer for Fortune, worked as special assistant to President Reagan

History and Background:
The Cato Institute was founded in 1977 by Ed Crane with a $500,000 grant from Charles Koch, a chemical and petroleum heir who was active with Crane in the Libertarian Party. Cato quickly distanced itself from the Party, however, in search of a larger constituency. In a recent profile, the Washington Post aptly called Crane “the man who housebroke libertarianism.” It has long called for the wholesale elimination of eight cabinet agencies – Commerce, Education, Energy, Labor, Agriculture, Interior, Transportation and Veterans Affairs – and the privatization of many government services. In 2001, the Washington Post, noting Cato’s influence, said it “has spent about $3 million in the past six years to run a virtual war room to promote Social Security privatization.”

Cato Alumni in the Bush administration:
Former Rep. Tim Penny (D-MN), Commission to Strengthen Social Security
Sam Beard, Commission to Strengthen Social Security
Carolyn Weaver, Commission to Strengthen Social Security
Randy Clerihue, spokesman, Commission to Strengthen Social Security
Andrew Biggs, staff member, Commission to Strengthen Social Security
Mark Groombridge, Special Assistant, Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, State Dept.

Financial Backing:
Right-wing foundations that fund Cato include: Castle Rock, Sarah Scaife, Koch Charitable, Olin, Earhart, and Bradley Foundations

Corporate sponsors include: Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Bell Atlantic Network Services, BellSouth Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation, GTE Corporation, Microsoft Corp- oration, Netscape Communications Corporation, NYNEX Corporation, Sun Microsystems, Viacom International, American Express, Chase Manhattan Bank, Chemical Bank, Citicorp/Citibank, Commonwealth Fund, Prudential Securities and Salomon Brothers. Energy conglomerates include: Chevron Companies, Exxon Company, Shell Oil Company and Tenneco Gas, as well as the American Petroleum Institute, Amoco Foundation and Atlantic Richfield Foundation. Cato’s pharmaceutical donors include Eli Lilly & Company, Merck & Company and Pfizer, Inc.

Quotes about Cato:
“A soup-to-nuts agenda to reduce spending, kill programs, terminate whole agencies and dramatically restrict the power of the federal government.”
Washington Post on the Cato Handbook for Congress

“My contact with [Cato] was strange. They’re ideologues, like Trotskyites. All questions must be seen and solved within the true faith of libertarianism, the idea of minimal government. And like Trotskyites, the guys from Cato can talk you to death.”
Nat Hentoff

Quotes from Cato:
“I think Franklin Roosevelt was a lousy president. What he did – which is to impose this great nanny state on America – was a great mistake.”
Ed Crane

Citizens for a Sound Economy
1900 M Street NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
www.cse.org

Established: 1984 by David Koch
President: Paul Beckner
Finances: Assets for Fiscal Year 2000 - $8,121,901
Employees: approximately 30
Membership: 280,000
Affiliates: Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation is the research and education affiliate of CSE. CSE has chapters in: Alabama, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Washington
High-profile board members: David H. Koch, Executive Vice President, Koch Industries, Inc.;
Walter Williams, syndicated columnist, frequent substitute host for The Rush Limbaugh Show

History and Background:
Founded by multi-millionaire and former Libertarian Party Vice Presidential Candidate David Koch, CSE is dedicated to free markets and limited government. CSE’s chairman, C. Boyden Gray, is a former White House Counsel to President George H.W. Bush. Its Co-Chairman, Dick Armey, was for 18 years an ultra-conservative congressman from Texas.

Current Activities:
CSE plays a central role in another issue dear to the White House, the confirmation of President Bush’s judicial nominees. CSE’s influence in the latter area is by no means insignificant, as the organization’s chairman, C. Boyden Gray, was White House Counsel to President George H.W. Bush. Gray sits on the Federalist Society’s Board of Visitors and is Chairman of the Committee for Justice, an organization created and dedicated solely to getting President Bush’s judicial nominees confirmed.

While CSE’s primary focus is on economic issues, it also covers issues such as the environment, corporate regulation and education. CSE was also part of a movement to drastically limit the regulatory powers of the Food and Drug Administration, or even dismantle it all together. CSE plays a key role in screening, and some would say censoring, textbooks in Texas and has pushed for school vouchers nationwide.

CSE Alumni in the Bush administration:
Paul Beckner (CSE President), Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations;
Jeffrey Holmstead, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, Environmental Protection Agency;
Michele Davis, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Treasury Department;
William H. Lash III, Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance, Commerce Department

Financial Backing:
CSE receives substantial financial support from corporations and foundations with clear economic agendas. For instance, in 1998, CSE received over $700,000 in contributions from companies involved in the Florida sugar industry at the time that CSE was fighting a federal plan to restore the Everglades that would have reclaimed thousands of acres of prime sugar-cane growing land. In the past, CSE received more than $1 million from Phillip Morris at a time when the organization was fighting cigarette taxes and another million from the telephone company US West just as CSE was pushing for deregulation of the industry. Public Citizen documented the close connection between corporate donations to CSE and the groups lobbying efforts in a 2000 report, “Corporate Shill Enterprise: A Public Citizen Report on Citizens for a Sound Economy, a Corporate Lobbying Front Group.” The report is available at: http://www.citizen.org/congress/civjus/tort/industry/articles.cfm?ID=798

CSE also receives donations from ideologically driven organizations such as the Scaife, Olin and Bradley Foundations.

Quotes About CSE:
“Folks, you’ve got to get to know this organization ... They have been doing a great job all over the country educating people.”
President George W. Bush

“CSE is one of the most effective grassroots lobbying organizations around – anywhere.”
Former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris

“Even some business lobbyists acknowledged that CSE has at times served as a fig leaf for corporate lobbying efforts.”
National Journal

Quotes From CSE:
“CSE works for lower taxes, less government and more freedom – the core values of our Founding Fathers, and the values that make America strong and free.”
CSE web page

“We are not a ‘think-tank,’ content to study the issues and publish papers and reports. There are many groups doing important work in this area. CSE’s mission is to turn those ideas and policies into action.”
Paul Beckner

“The freedom movement in America has made great strides…We have important academic centers across the country, including programs at the Hoover Institution, the University of Chicago and George Mason University. We also have think tanks like Cato and Heritage developing innovative policy proposals in the Nation’s capital. But intellectual leadership is not enough to win policy battles.
While we have focused our energies on developing intellectual ammunition, left-wing interest groups have attacked our agenda by building powerful grassroots organizations that systematically intimidate elected officials into opposing needed reforms.”
Dick Armey

Club for Growth
1776 K Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006
http://www.clubforgrowth.org/

Established: Club for Growth (CFG) was founded in 1999.
President: Stephen Moore
Executive Director: David Keating
Finances: CFG is comprised of two connected entities. One is a “527” organization that is allowed to collected unlimited contributions, without disclosing donors’ names, to run “issue ad” campaigns during elections. These ads do not directly call for the election or defeat of a candidate and “527” groups do not have to disclose their identity or reveal their activities to the IRS or the FEC. The other is a traditional political action committee (PAC), which can give limited donations directly to campaigns and is regulated by the FEC.

Total PAC receipts (2001-2002 election cycle): $452,953
Total PAC disbursements (2001-2002 election cycle): $390,286

Given the fact that contributions are unlimited, the spending by the “527” is far larger than that of the PAC, though specific finances are hard to trace. However, in total, CFG raised $9.2 million for its activities during the 2002 election cycle.
High-profile board members: Richard Gilder, formerly Chairman of the Manhattan Institute;
Thomas Rhodes, President of National Review magazine, associated with a variety of right-wing organizations, including the Heritage Foundation
Affiliations: CFG has spun off at least one local chapter, the Virginia Club for Growth. Virginia CFG’s president and founder is Peter Ferrara, the former general counsel and chief economist for Americans for Tax Reform. The chapter’s website is: http://www.virginiaclubforgrowth.org/

Stephen Moore is currently an editor and contributor to the National Review, and economics correspondent for Human Events. Before founding CFG, Moore was the director of fiscal policy studies at the Cato Institute, and has stayed on as a senior fellow. Moore has also served at the Heritage Foundation and as committee staff to former Rep. Dick Armey, now co-chair of CSE.

History and Background:
Formed in 1999, CFG patterns itself after an unlikely model – EMILY’s List, a progressive group that raises campaign funds for pro-choice women. Like EMILY’s List, CFG encourages donors to mail in checks for favored candidates. By “bundling” these checks and sending them off to candidates, CFG can have a large impact on individual races while avoiding the rules that govern more traditional political action committees. CFG has more than 9,000 members, dominated by Wall Street financiers and executives.

Though tax cuts are its main agenda, CFG is also pushing to drastically reduce the size of the federal government. Appearing before the 2003 Conservative Political Action Conference, Moore called for closing several government departments, including Education, Commerce, Labor and Agriculture. As always, CFG isn’t afraid to take on Republicans who disagree with its policy goals. CFG’s latest target is GOP iconoclast Sen. John McCain, an opponent of some of President Bush’s latest tax cut proposals. According to Moore, CFG members “loathe” McCain and hope to find “a true, Reagan conservative” to face him in the 2004 primary.

Quotes about CFG:
“It’s unfortunate that they keep going after moderate Republicans. We thought it was time to stop them.”
Sarah Chamberlain Resnick, Republican Main Street Partnership

Rep. Jim Greenwood (R-PA) calls Club for Growth “cannibals” for its attacks on moderate Republicans.

“[Moore] is the E.F. Hutton of economic growth. When he talks, conservatives listen.”
Rep. Rick Keller (R-FL), who CFG supported in his first campaign in 2000

“When you have 100 percent of Republicans voting for the Bush tax cut, you know that they’re looking over their shoulder and not wanting to have Steve Moore recruiting candidates in their district.”
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who CFG supported in 2000

Quotes from CFG:
“We want to be seen as the tax-cut enforcer in the [Republican] party.”
Stephen Moore

“We’re trying to let candidates know that if they ever voted for a tax increase, we’ll never support them and in fact we’ll work to defeat them. We’re trying to get the word out to even the lowest grass-roots level that if you’re a Republican you aren’t allowed to vote for taxes.”
Stephen Moore

“We got calls from senior establishment Republicans asking what we were doing. My goodness, bringing competition into the political system. My Lord. I wish I had a few of them on tape. It was wonderful.”
George Gilder

“Reagan’s third term has arrived.”
Stephen Moore on Bush

“President Bush has laid down a marker in the sand and has defined what pro-growth Republicans believe strategic and growth-oriented tax changes can do to help rally the stock market, generate jobs, improve business conditions, and reduce federal, state, and local
budget deficits. Let the class warfare Democrats embrace small and impotent policy changes-changes that increasingly sophisticated investor class voters will immediately identify as fraudulent. The obstructionist Democrats have announced that they intend to fight against President Bush’s genuine GOP growth package and to wage all out class envy warfare. President Bush has 90 million investor class Americans on his side who realize that tax rate cuts mean higher stock values and greater retirement security.”
Stephen Moore on Bush’s 2003 stimulus package

“Number one would be a capital-gains cut, to try to re-energize the economy. A zero rate is ideal, but I’d take 10 percent. Number two would be to get the ball moving on Social Security private accounts. And number three would be a concerted effort to find cabinet agencies and government programs that are unnecessary and that should be de-funded. There are thousands of useless federal programs, but in the first two years of the Bush administration, the White House hasn’t talked about terminating even one.”
Stephen Moore on his “wish list” after the 2002 election

“I can say this because I’m not an elected official: the most selfish group in America today is senior citizens. Their demands on Washington are: ‘Give us more and more and more.’ They have become the new welfare state, and given the size and political clout of this constituency, it’s very dangerous. One of the biggest myths in politics today is this idea that grandparents care about their grandkids. What they really care about is that that Social Security check and those Medicare payments are made on a timely basis.”
Stephen Moore on senior citizens

“We will support only solidly Reaganite candidates on the economic issues….Frankly, we do want to ruffle some feathers. We want incumbent Republicans to be nervous about not cutting government. Most of the candidates we’ll be supporting will not be incumbents, but primary challengers or contenders for open or Democratic seats. We see ourselves as political venture capitalists.”
Stephen Moore

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