On Sunday, the President of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist, penned a smug tweet that made Twitter go "uh, no." The tax reform advocate posted about "how Republicans are born," critiquing the fact that his daughter was charged sales tax as she tried to purchase a guitar. Norquist's tweet inspired many replies on Twitter, many of which criticized him for not recognizing the important services provided by taxes — and many of which criticized the logistics of the U.S. sales tax system.
Norquist's tweet depicted a recent experience he had while guitar shopping with his daughter. The tweet read as follows:
The tweet invoked ire from many Twitter users, as many who responded to Norquist's tweet appeared outraged that he seemed to completely discount all of the benefits and services provided by sales taxes — and apparently neglected to explain the function and use of sales taxes to his daughter.
Indeed, multiple Twitter users took Norquist to task for failing to acknowledge that he likely "drove her [his daughter] to the guitar store on roads that were partly funded by sales taxes." Other users followed up by delineating the many additional services with which sales taxes likely provide Norquist, his daughter, and many other Americans. Examples of services listed by these users included traffic lights, police and emergency services, road repair, and sidewalks, among others.
How Republicans are born...— Grover Norquist (@GroverNorquist) June 25, 2017
Daughter, 8, has been savings up to buy her first Guitar.
Found it for $35. She had 35 exact.
In addition to critiquing Norquist's lack of acknowledgement of tax-provided services, many users also specifically condemned Norquist for failing to explain the purpose of sales tax to his daughter, and for seemingly bringing her to a store without first preparing her for the fact that she would have to pay sales tax.
Indeed, one Twitter user, a bassist named Eric Garland, was seemingly so frustrated by Norquist's argument that he offered to give Norquist's daughter one of his guitars if he "stopped telling her sales tax ruined this [his daughter's attempt to purchase a guitar."
In the home where I grew up, this would have been a teaching moment, about civic responsibility, and how state/local taxes meet our needs.— The Muser (@TheMuserGR) June 26, 2017
Others on Twitter appeared less displeased with Norquist and more frustrated with the nature of the U.S. sales tax system, in which sales tax is added to an item at the time of purchase — not included in the item's listed sale price. Multiple users suggested that the U.S. should implement the system used by a variety of other countries and simply include sales tax in the listed sale price of an item.
Or, you could lobby for the full price including tax to be displayed. Like it is in Australia. Would solve a lot of problems.— Ebony McKenna (@EbonyMcKenna) June 26, 2017
Some Twitter users also found a more lighthearted side to the conversation, with several questioning how Norquist and his daughter were able to find a guitar for the low price of $35. Other users noted that they found the exchange comical and interesting, indicating that it epitomized why they "loved" Twitter.
Very few users commented to concur with Norquist's tweet, though over 300 people did retweet his words, something that can potentially be interpreted as support for or agreement with the contents of the tweet.
Overall, it is clear that Norquists's tweet on sales tax certainly made waves on social media and sparked quite a strong reaction from users all over the world.