ALEC’s Tax Commandments

While most of the attention about ALEC has centered on guns, prisons, and voter ID, the goal of ALEC is much larger than that and much more pernicious.

Below is an introduction to another area where ALEC legislative members are implementing malicious ALEC “model legislation” – that is dangerous to the US and state governments – as we now know them.


In a 2002 ALEC report titled “Crisis in State Spending: A Guide for State Legislators” and distributed to all ALEC members, the foreword ends with this:

Being a legislator is tough work, but the legislative toils can make a difference if guided by the 10 commandments just outlined. The beneficiaries are not just the legislators themselves and their fellow citizens, but innocent children, born and unborn, who will inherit our world. Let us leave them something of which we can be proud.

What are some of those blasphemous “Ten Commandments”?

Accordingly, I have formulated three commandments that will help to maximize the prosperity of the citizens of your state:

First, thou shalt keep taxes low.

Second, thou shalt reduce taxes on income and wealth.

Third, thou shalt keep marginal tax rates low and relatively uniform.

ALEC evidently thinks it is Moses – leading Americans into the “red sea” of deficits to drown government in a bathtub as promoted by longtime ALEC-er (and current member of three ALEC task forces –  tax, commerce and communications/technology) Americans for Tax Reform.  A sample of ALEC’s promotion of Norquist’s philosophy include items found in ALEC reports and articles distributed to ALL ALEC legislative members with the purpose  “to discuss, develop, and disseminate public policies” in an effort to fulfill ALECS 501c3 tax-exempt mission include:

ALEC also released a new paper, co-authored by Brunelli and ALEC Policy Director Wendell Cox…

The paper was presented February 9th at a news conference where a broad assembly of organizations  …  gathered to express support for the issue.

Also speaking at the news conference  …  was Grover G. Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform1997

ALEC Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
Thursday, August 14, 1997 2:30   3 :30 p .m .
Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform will discuss progress in obtaining state legislators’ signatures on the ATR

ALEC Policy Forum
People routinely refer to America as a free country. Yet the Washington based Americans for Tax Reform pegs July 1st as “Cost of Government Day— when we finally stop paying to fund and comply with government.

Contributing Authors:
Josh Culling
State Government Affairs Manager, Americans for Tax Reform

(for more information on ALEC/Norquist – I published a long diary on the ALEC/Norquist connection last April and give you the link here – not to brag – but to be brief and not repeat all that information in this diary.) ALEC promotes these prescriptions for behavior in the states – to destroy government, using their disciples – ALEC state and federal legislators and other state and federal employees.

Let’s take a quick look at what is happening ten years later – ten additional years of subterfuge by the American Legislative Exchange Council to destroy our government, as we know it – because US voters keep electing ALEC legislators at the state and federal level.

For five years ALEC has released an annual report (distributed free to ALEC legislative members) to educate ALEC members on what they should do and how they should govern.  The report “Rich States, Poor States’ has been referred to by others as  “A 110 page guide to crashing your state’s economy”.  ALEC is indifferent to those types of criticisms and continues to release the report which  reinforces the use the three “commandments” for taxation in the states that were introduced in 2002.

Here is a quote from another rebuttal report to the annual ALEC report issued a few months ago, about the effect of implementing those ALEC “commandments” in your state. (my emphasis)

These policies entail cutting or eliminating progressive taxes, suppressing wages, and cutting public services. The evidence and arguments cited to support the beneficial effects of these policies range from deeply flawed to nonexistent. In actuality, the book provides a recipe for economic inequality and declining incomes for most citizens and for depriving state and local governments of the revenue needed to maintain public infrastructure and education systems that are the underpinnings of long-term economic growth. ALEC’s policy prescriptions don’t work.

Today – I found this article which I am finding way too often lately in the press.  While this particular article does caution readers (many don’t) of the potential negative effects of implementation of ALECesque tax cuts – I would like to focus on the “tax reduction” aspect.

GOP states plan push for millions in tax cuts JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Emboldened by big majorities and eager to lure businesses, Republican legislators and governors across the Midwest and South are planning to pursue hundreds of millions of dollars of tax cuts in the new year.

The case study for the new mood   …  is Kansas.

In neighboring Missouri, Republican supermajorities in the Legislature are under intense pressure to pass their own tax cuts

The American Legislative Exchange Council,   …  also expects more than a dozen states to take up tax code changes in 2013.

“Many states are looking at Kansas to replicate parts of what Gov. (Sam) Brownback did,” said Jonathan Williams, ALEC’s director of tax and fiscal policy.

Please remember – ALEC tax policies

provides a recipe for economic inequality and declining incomes for most citizens and for depriving state and local governments of the revenue needed to maintain public infrastructure and education systems.


If the state government can’t afford to provide necessary services, because their tax base does not provide enough revenue for the state to function appropriately  …
–    But the services are still needed by citizens  …ALEC state legislators will PRIVATIZE THESE SERVICES, giving the contracts to ALEC corporate profit sector members

Privatize schools
Privatize prisons
Privatize college dorms
Privatize parking meters
Privatize roads
Privatize water
Privatize airports
Privatize government service centers


Because ALEC corporate profit sector members want it that way.
ALEC corporate profit sector members pay a lot of money to ALEC to get their way.

ALEC corporate profit sector members spend a lot of money on scholarships for ALEC legislators to attend ALEC meetings and a lot of money on private corporate sponsored functions at the ALEC meetings – to make sure they get their way.

As noted in the 2002 ALEC report:

For many activities, government cannot provide goods or services as cheaply as the private sector can. Governments are monopolies and are not used to competition. Low prices and good service in the private sector means higher profits, higher stock prices, bigger bonuses, and so forth.


Because it says so in the 2002 ALEC report.  Commandment #8

Eighth, thou shalt privatize much of current expenditure of funds.

For a partial list of ALEC state legislators – you can go the ALEC Exposed.  (I say partial because we don’t know all the members of ALEC because ALEC and most ALEC members hide or deny their membership in ALEC.  Why?  IMHO, it is because they are ashamed to admit they belong to this extremist right-wing organization.)For a full list of Congressional members you can go to ALEC Exposed.  Why a full list? Because, IMHO, ALEC is proud of the control they have in Congress and they brag about it.

For a list of state and federal state employees, judges and city/county/ townships members of ALEC – you are out of luck.

Why?  IMHO, it is because they are ashamed to admit they belong to this extremist right-wing organization.

Originally posted by MNDem999 on Sat Jan 19, 2013 on the Daily Kos

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project and Shut Down the NRA.