On Wednesday night I heard a lecture by Grover Norquist, the Head of the Americans for Tax Reform, who is in London.
I used to talk to Grover when he was working for Speaker Gingrich on visits to Washington. He has been the leading light behind the campaigns for lower taxes and smaller government in the USA.
He told us that the 25 Republican states are cutting public spending at the state level in the USA, and setting lower state taxes. As a result there is migration from some of the 12 Democrat states like California into the lower tax Republican areas, as the enterprising and successful seek more favourable tax terms for their businesses and savings. I have remarked before on how the US deficit has fallen further than the UK’s thanks to states level spending reductions, now allied to Federal level cuts as well. Apparently the lower taxes that some Republican states have introduced are also acting as a good stimulus to growth and greater prosperity.
He also told us of the success of schemes to offer parents proper school choice by empowering them to spend the money for their child’s education themselves, allowing parents from low income backgrounds to have the kind of power and choice only enjoyed by the richest in the UK when they opt out of the state system.
Grover calls his coalition the “Leave us alone coalition”. He works with all sorts of groups who want the government to do less in their areas, or who seek greater freedom. He calls the Democrat coalition the “Taking Coalition”, groups of people who seek money from the state or especially those who earn a good living out of distributing or spending state money. His language would be thought a bit sharp this side of the Atlantic, but his passion for lower taxes and his ability to demonstrate their benign effects on all went down well with his large audience in Church House.