Well, I've never started a political thread on the boards before, nor do I usually get involved in politics because of its persistently unscientific nature, but I feel this topic is of the most profound significance and thus a VERY worthy and eminent discussion. Many in the know would say that this has been THE dominant issue in American politics since the congressional house swap of 2010. Without further adieu, I will now frame the topic. This topic is about Grover Norquist's (and his group Americans for Tax Reform's) controversial "Taxpayer Protection Pledge". The pledge creates a promise by republican politicians to "1. oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and 2. oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates." For those not familiar with Grover Norquist and his controversial tax cut advocacy, here is a short 60 minutes interview (though the video is only a 13 mintues 30 seconds long cut) that outlines the gist of what Grover Norquist supports and administers: Critics point out the obvious stagnation such a "no compromise" stance can (and has) caused in government. To those that do not abide by the pledge (or do not sign it), they are refused campaign aid by Norquist's powerfully financed and supported conservative partners. His organization decorates their walls with a list (not sure if it's complete or not) of candidates who have broken the pledge, and the resultant candidates that have overtaken them in the following election cycle. Norquist claims the pledge is not to him, rather it is a pledge to the American people, but is this political talk a proper and honest defense? Other related topics that I feel are relevant/should be discussed are the obvious influences of money on government that this issue so obviously highlights, as well as the ability of "non-profit" political groups to be opaque in regards to their key financial contributors. Though certainly if you are reminded of a closely related topic of discussion, please add it so as to prevent cliche political cherry picking. What are everyone's thoughts? For an issue that's so profoundly important and supposed to be all about transparency and public opinion, why have so few heard about Grover Norquist and the pledge he's helped establish? Further, what can be done to eliminate any perceived causes and effects of said public policy? Although I have included a couple of specific questions for discussion, I do not want people to limit their responses in this way, please raise your own questions and answer those of others and yourselves in order to further the topic. (I am against the kind of public policy implemented by Grover Norquist and his accomplices, but I'm trying not to overly weigh in on the situation as topic creator. Though I may post later on in the topic with an increased bias.) Edit* Also if you see an unsubstantiated claim in the original post (though I've tried to keep it simple), do post about it so I can edit it out.