Vanguard Group founder John C. Bogle said Wednesday that Republication presidential candidates’ pledge to not raise taxes as any part of a solution to the nation’s $1.2 trillion annual fiscal deficit “makes no sense.”
The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction disbanded Monday, after failing to come up with a solution to the deficit by its self-imposed deadline of today (Wednesday November 23).
The upending of the Supercommittee left GOP super lobbyist Grover Norquist happy, going into the Thanksgiving break. And Bogle, who led the expansion of the Vanguard group into the nation’s largest complex of mutual funds, baffled about Republican sensibility.
"I don't think any of the Republican candidates are able to bend that pledge made to somebody named Grover Norquist not to raise taxes,’’ he said, the morning after Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry and other GOP presidential candidates squared off in a debate in Natchitoches, Louisiana. “It is such a sweeping pledge that makes no sense in this environment.
“But as far as I know, all Republican candidates are not going to turn away from that pledge,’’ he said, in an interview on MSNBC
Bogle was referring to the pledge to raise no taxes to square the deficit, that Norquist has been asking – and getting – Republicans to sign. All six Republicans on the Supercommittee had signed the pledge.
Here’s a CBS report on Norquist and his pledge, that aired Sunday on ’60 Minutes.’
Norquist’s lobbying organization "opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle."
Bogle said he doesn’t expect the U.S. economy to rebound any time soon. Domestic output will be fortunate to grow 2 or 3 percent, he said. “It’s very difficult to get optimistic about the economy."
Vanguard funds are based on the principle of following the rise of securities markets, passively. That requires long-term economic growth and improvement of earnings both by corporations and the employees who work for them.
Bogle has retired as chief executive of Vanguard and is now president of Vanguard's Bogle Financial Markets Research Center.