The Associated Press
Wed, 16 Nov 2011 00:00 CST
© The Associated Press/Carolyn Kaster
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Md., right, answers questions after a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. Huddling behind him, from left are, Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., Sen. Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D, and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.
Lobbyists for a day, a band of millionaires stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday to urge Congress to tax them more.
They had a little trouble getting in. It turns out there are procedures, even for the really rich.
But once inside, their message was embraced by liberals and tolerated by some conservatives - including the ideological leader of anti-tax lawmakers, who had some advice for them, too.
"If you think the federal government can spend your money better than you can, then by all means" pay more in taxes than you owe, said Grover Norquist, the head of a group that has gotten almost all congressional Republicans to pledge to vote against tax hikes. The IRS should have a little line on the form where people can donate money to the government, he suggested, "just like the tip line on a restaurant receipt."
One of the millionaires suggested that if Norquist wanted low taxes and less government, "Renounce your American citizenship and move to Somalia where they don't collect any tax."
In the silence left by the private efforts of the "supercommittee" to find $1.2 trillion or more in deficit cuts by Thanksgiving, free advice flowed in public.