Grover Norquist, America's “Most Powerful Man”?

A Boston Globe profile of the Harvard alumnus and antitax crusader

The Sunday Boston Globe Magazine's cover story features “The Most Powerful Man in America*”—a profile of Grover Norquist '78, M.B.A. '81, the prominent antitax crusader. The profile, by Neil Swidey, reviews Norquist’s role as president of Americans for Tax Reform, and his political leverage over budget-making in Congress, almost all of whose Republican members have signed the “no-tax pledge” intended to turn back any increase in marginal tax rates. The feature explains how Norquist exercises power by gathering influential Washingtonians in his office weekly to set a legislative and policymaking agenda, and how he reconciles his support for politicians, like George W. Bush, who effect tax cuts even though they do not follow through (in President Bush’s case, quite the contrary) to reduce federal spending.

In its details of Norquist’s family and youth in Weston, Massachusetts, the article makes a powerful case for the influence parents hold over their children. According to Swidey, Norquist's “parents would take him and his younger siblings for ice cream after church on Sundays and his dad would confiscate large bites out of each of their cones, explaining, ‘This is income tax’ or ‘This is property tax.’”

 

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