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Interest Group Profile - Assignment Example

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Your Name Prof’s Name Date Americans for Tax Reform: Goals, Organization, Structure Americans for Tax Reform is a special interest group founded by Grover Norquist, who serves as the group’s president. The stated aim of the group is to create a low, flat tax rate that applies to all Americans and is taxed only once, rather than, for instance, being subject to an income tax then an estate tax if someone dies…
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Download file to see previous pages It has no board of directors, but rather Norquist makes all broad decisions on objectives, goals, finances etc. himself. The group indicates it has a state chapter in every state, but information on the structures and size of those chapters is not available publically on the group’s website. It has a number of affiliated groups, all of whom have similar low-tax goals. The most prominent of those groups include the cost of government centre, the Stop Etax group, and the Alliance for Worker Freedom, which pushes for so called “right to work” legislation that weakens union memberships. Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform have one main accomplishment, which is not legislative in nature but has shaped the state of congress for more than a decade. This is called the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” – which essentially amounts to a declaration that a Congressperson is asked to sign, indicating that they will never, regardless of circumstances, raise taxes in any way (meaning, broadly speaking, that they will not allow the government to raise more revenue, so if loopholes are closed then tax rates must be lowered an appropriate amount). To date, every single Republican member of congress has signed this pledge, and it has shaped public policy debate for years, especially in the last four years since Barack Obama was elected as president. It has also pushed the Republican party rightwards historically, as any Republican who refused to sign the pledge would face a primary challenge from someone who would. Though this is not legally binding (obviously), the pledge has provided serious trouble to some politicians in the current environment, when a majority of Americans agree that taxes should be raised on the wealthy. They either have to demonstrate that they do not hold to their election promises, making their chances for re-nomination or re-election much more difficult, or must continue to hold to a pledge that is growing increasingly unpopular and could even mean not doing what they think is right given the circumstances in the economy at the moment. Americans for Tax Reform is structured as a non-for-profit and thus does not have a Super PAC but rather has a 501(c)(4), a separate kind of entity that focuses on “issue ads” and does not have to disclose its donor roles. It has spent somewhere in the range of the tens of millions of dollars, all of which went to supporting Republican candidates or opposing Democratic ones. It is interesting to note that this group also spends a great deal of money in pushing for particular candidates during Republican primaries, seemingly trying to select the most anti-tax, conservative leaning politician. This non-for-profit technically does not even list itself as a lobbyist, because it does not actively lobby members of congress, rather, it focuses on pushing them to sign pledges before being elected into office. It has, in general, been one of the greatest forces pushing the country rightwards since 1985, a date from which, it is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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