Americans For Tax Reform Should Go Home Already With Its False Claims

October 18, 2010 11:10 am ET

In a series of new ads titled "Going Home," Grover Norquist's group Americans for Tax Reform attacks members of Congress — in this case Rep. Raúl Grijalva — for not extending the Bush tax cuts.  Additionally, ATR makes blatantly misleading claims about Rep. Grijalva and the Arizona boycott.

"Going Home"

"Raúl Grijalva: with our state facing 10 percent unemployment, he called for a boycott on Arizona that could have led to the destruction of our economy. The Arizona Republic called Grijalva's actions 'irresponsible' and 'beneath contempt.' And instead of fighting for tax relief for our families, Grijalva cast the deciding vote to go home. Reckless boycotts. No tax relief. Vote 'no' on Raúl Grijalva."

Grijalva Backed Off AZ Boycott & Was Endorsed By The Arizona Republic

Rep. Grijalva Did Call For A Boycott But "Backed Off" After SB 1070 Ruling.  According to the Arizona Daily Star: "Arizona's unemployment rate was 9.6 percent in May, June and July. It went to 9.7 percent in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Grijalva did call for a widely publicized boycott of the state in response to Arizona's new immigration enforcement law. He backed off of the call in late July after a federal judge tossed out certain provisions of the [SB 1070]." [Arizona Daily Star, 10/16/10, emphasis added]

The Arizona Republic On Rep. Grijalva: He Will "Do A Good Job Of Representing District 7."  After a review of the paper's documented criticism of Rep. Grijalva, the Arizona Republic wrote:

Grijalva has a long political history in southern Arizona. He served on the board of the Tucson Unified School District and as a member of the Pima County Board of Supervisors. He has strong environment credentials and was considered for the post of Interior secretary by the Obama administration.

After careful reflection, The Republic has decided to support Grijalva. He made a mistake. We think he knows that.

The passions surrounding immigration have to be kept in check if Congress is to successfully reform badly broken immigration laws. Yet Grijalva understands this issue better than most. He is the son of an immigrant father, and he can speak for those whose voices are not always clearly heard. Kept under better control, his deep feelings about this issue can animate him to work for a just solution.

We are not happy with Raúl Grijalva's call to boycott Arizona, but we think he can move forward and do a good job of representing District 7. [Arizona Republic, 10/1/10, emphasis added]

President Obama And Democrats Favor Extending Tax Cuts For 97% Of Americans

Democrats And President Obama Will Extend Tax Cuts For Most Families

President Obama's FY2011 Budget Calls For Extending Bush Tax Cuts For Families Making Less Than $250,000 Per Year. As Market Watch reported in February: "Facing a gaping deficit but aiming to spur job creation at the same time, President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2011 budget would hit top earners, oil companies and others while giving tax breaks to small businesses to help them hire new workers... Obama wants tax breaks proposed by President George W. Bush to expire this year. His budget would eliminate tax breaks on those making more than $250,000 a year, a move almost certain to be opposed by Republicans and perhaps some Democrats as the economy crawls out of the recession. 'We extend middle-class tax cuts in this budget,' Obama said Monday at the White House, but 'we will not continue costly tax cuts for oil companies, investment fund managers, and those making over $250,000 a year. We just can't afford it.'" [Market Watch2/1/10]

The Only Expiring Tax Cuts Are For The Wealthiest Americans

PolitiFact: Dems Consistently Say Only Tax Cuts For Wealthiest Will Be Allowed To Expire. According to the non-partisan, in their analysis of an allegation from Rep. Mike Pence that Democrats want all tax brackets to rise:

Do Democrats want every tax bracket to rise, as Pence suggests? In a word, no.

For many months, Democratic officials have consistently said that they intend to let only the tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals lapse. The cutoff they usually suggest is $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly. President Obama campaigned on just such a plan, and we've logged those promises into our Obameter campaign promises database.


Pence is right that every tax bracket will go up if the law is not extended. Still, we think the claim that Democrats don't want to extend the law is inaccurate. While the legislative drafting is still in process, the Democratic majority in Congress has made clear that it plans to extend tax cuts for all but the top couple percentage points of the income distribution. So it's highly misleading for him to say that Democrats actually want to see all the bill's cuts expire. Indeed, Pence's comment verges on a scare tactic.

[, 7/22/10, emphasis original]

Democrats Are Committed To Voting On Tax Cuts Following The Election

Congress Resumes Session On November 15. According to records of House proceedings, at 1:04 AM on September 29, 2010, "[t]he House adjourned pursuant to H. Con. Res. 321. The next meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on November 15, 2010." [, accessed 10/7/10]

Axelrod: Democrats Determined To Act On Tax Cuts Before January Expiration. From the Washington Post:

The White House and congressional Democrats conceded Sunday that they will probably wait until after the Nov. 2 elections to vote on a plan to prevent tax rates from rising next year for the vast majority of Americans.

"I doubt that we will" stage a vote before adjourning next week, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said. Speaking on the Sunday talk shows, he and White House senior adviser David Axelrod added that Democrats are nonetheless determined to act before the tax cuts expire in January. [Washington Post9/26/10]