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The New York Times Compares Americans for Tax Reform to Terrorists

protesters at a rally with No sign

When you think of “extremist groups,” you probably think of grainy videos shot in a cave with Arabic text scrolling across the bottom. But here at home, we have a different kind of extremist group. The conservative kind.

I just got this note from Americans for Tax Reform:

Dear Taxpayer,

The New York Times editorial board is outraged at Americans for Tax Reform for opposing tax hikes. On Tuesday, the editorial board called us an “extremist group” because of our continued opposition to any proposal to increase the Gas Tax.

Just last month, several senators proposed raising the gas tax by 12 cents and indexing it to inflation to continue support for their pet spending projects rather than reforming the Highway Trust Fund.

According to the New York Times, “The gas tax has been stuck at 18.4 cents a gallon since 1993, and during those 21 years it has lost 39 percent of its value to inflation. But Republicans, afraid of violating a no-tax-increase pledge they made to an extremist group, won’t touch it.”

That “extremist group” they mention is Americans for Tax Reform and the “no-tax-increase pledge” they highlight is the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Since 1986, ATR has urged elected officials and politicians to sign a written commitment to their constituents never to raise taxes.

ATR president Grover Norquist came up with the Taxpayer Protection Pledge when he was just 12 years old. We all know those extremist groups recruit ’em young.

Our roads are in crap shape, there’s no denying that. Our major interstates were built by a president who died 45 years ago. Despite sinking a good chunk of stimulus money into improving our roads, we’re actually in worse shape now than we were in 2008. How’s that work and how would an increase in the gas tax fix that?