Grover Norquist

California Legislature Suspends Oil Severance Tax: Wimp-out or Long Game?

Perhaps the most obvious fiscal reform for California lies in an oil severance tax, which charges producers per barrel coming out of the ground.  California is the only major oil-producing state without such a tax (the miniscule fee to fund the Department of Oil, Geothermal, and Geophysical Resources doesn’t count), and because of the international …


Did the Founding Fathers Believe in a Strong Federal Government? You Betcha.

The whole point of the Constitution was to give the federal government more power.


Should We Allow Development in National Parks?

If I were pressed to state my favorite place in the world, coming right at the top of the list would be the Wawona Hotel, in Yosemite National Park.  Not only is it inside Yosemite, but it is a historic hotel, originally built in 1879, and possessing all kinds of retro features as well as …


The Subsidy Saga Continues

Two days ago, I criticized Democrats for failing to  support Tom Coburn’s proposal to eliminate the infamous ethanol “blender” subsidy, hiding behind procedural objections.  Well, it turns out either that they had a change of heart, or the procedural objections were real: The Senate voted 73-27 Thursday to kill a major tax break that benefits …


Nostradamus, I Ain’t

On Friday, I predicted that Senate Republicans would side with Grover Norquist against Tom Coburn and block repeal of one of the egregious ethanol subsidies now polluting both our tax code and our country. Well, so much for that: most Senate Republicans did the right thing and voted to remove the subsidy.  In this case, …


A GOP Ethanol Trap? Not Likely.

I hope I’m wrong.  Jon Chait reports that Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) will force a cloture vote on his proposal to eliminate the ethanol “blending” subsidy, which costs the government about $6 billion annually, is horrible for the environment, and is economically inefficient.  His take is that this represents an ideological skirmish between Coburn and …