Norquist is the architect of the pledge many Republican politicians have taken never to hike taxes during their time in office. In the present Congress, 219 House members and 39 Senators have taken the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, according to Americans for Tax Reform.
Maryland Del. Anthony J. O’Donnell (R-Calvert, St. Mary’s), who lost a GOP leadership position in the House of Delegates last week, warned the audience to beware of a presidential run by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).
Norquist said, “The Ryan plan was the fix for the problems we have.” It was unanimously supported by Republicans and it would fix the federal government, he said. “We have the solution, now we need to have the votes,” he said. Called the Path to Prosperity, Ryan’s budget plan would cut trillions in federal spending during the next decade.
Until the Republicans take control of the federal government, there is the short-term spending limit called the sequester, Norquist said, to cut $1.2 trillion in spending during the next 10 years. And the Republicans won’t budge on the issue, he said, because the result would be tax increases. “There is no compromise,” he said.
The House will remain Republican for the next 10 years, Norquist said. It is the Senate and the White House that have to be won to make fundamental changes in government, he said. In the last presidential election, “[Mitt] Romney forgot to win the election and [Barack] Obama won,” he said.
“Our team, the good guys, are united,” he said of Republicans. “What they want from central government is to be left alone,” he said. Some people want to be left along with their guns, their kids or their businesses. “We have a low-maintenance coalition,” he said.
The party of Hillary Clinton — the Democrats, Norquist said, is made up of trial lawyers, big city political machines, “coercive utopians” and “two wings of the dependency movement.” The left, he said, is not a coalition of friends and allies. “The left is made up of parasites. Don’t give them money. Let them fight themselves,” he said.
By opposing new taxes, “we stop throwing tax dollars in the center of that table. It begins to dwindle,” he said.
The brand of the Republicans is “the party that won’t raise your taxes,” Norquist said. “That starves the left. And if you’re not raising taxes, you reform government. We need to reform government.”
Under president George W. Bush, “every crisis led to more spending,” Norquist said. The tea party movement emerged in 2009 as a response to too much federal spending. “I had no idea it was going to be as successful as it was. It went to Congress is what it did,” he said.
O’Donnell received a standing ovation when he arrived. He spoke before Norquist and said it was “a rough week for me in Annapolis,” as he was replaced as the minority leader. “I fought for the right reasons and the vote was closely divided. I’m very much at peace and I’m proud of the work we’ve done,” he said.
He warned that St. Mary’s County may be next on the list to be subjected to new stormwater management fees, nicknamed the “rain tax.” It applies to 10 Maryland jurisdictions right now. “This guy has taxed us to death,” O’Donnell said of O’Malley. “This guy is taxing the rain that falls on our property,” he said.
O’Donnell called it a “sad day” that O’Malley is considered a candidate for president in 2016. “O’Malley could win that nomination,” he said. “Don’t count him out.”
Among the current elected officials in attendance at the Lincoln/Reagan dinner were St. Mary’s County commissioners Cindy Jones, Todd Morgan and Dan Morris, all Republicans, and Leonardtown Mayor Dan Burris.