Grover Norquist is a conservative political advocate and strategist known for his work on tax policy in the United States. He is the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), an organization that opposes all tax increases and advocates for a system in which taxes are simpler, flatter, more visible, and lower than they currently are.
Born on October 19, 1956, in Sharon, Pennsylvania, Norquist became involved in politics at a young age. He volunteered for the 1968 [[Richard Nixon]] campaign and later became a leader in the College Republicans. He graduated from Harvard University in 1978 with a degree in economics and an MBA in 1981.
## The Taxpayer Pledge
Norquist rose to prominence during the [[Ronald Reagan]] administration. In 1985, at President Reagan's request, he founded Americans for Tax Reform. The organization is most known for its Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written promise by lawmakers and candidates for office that commits them to oppose any efforts to increase taxes. Many Republican politicians have signed this pledge.
Norquist’s influence has been substantial in shaping the tax policy in the United States, particularly within the [Republican Party](https://doctorparadox.net/the-gop-is-3-cults-in-a-trenchcoat/). His philosophy can be summed up by his famous quote:
*"I'm not in favor of abolishing the government. I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."
Critics, primarily from the Democratic Party, contend that Norquist's uncompromising stance on taxes has contributed to political gridlock and [bitter partisanship](https://doctorparadox.net/hyper-partisanship-definition-government/), particularly during debates on deficit reduction and government spending. Despite these criticisms, Norquist remains an influential figure in [[conservative]] circles.
In addition to his work with ATR, Norquist has been involved with several other conservative organizations, including the [[National Rifle Association (NRA)]] and the American Conservative Union. He has also written several books on topics such as taxes and the conservative movement.