- Al Gore’s climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Army’s 3-D printed bombs will create ‘a whole new universe’ of deadly capabilities
- Hamas calls on Hezbollah to join in fight against Israel
- Senators to FIFA, others: Don’t reward Putin with the World Cup in 2018
- U.S. condemns Israeli shelling of shelter in Gaza
- Obamacare shoots premiums up by 88 percent in California
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Obama to Republicans: ‘Stop just hatin’ all the time’
- U.S. chemical sites vulnerable despite millions spent on security: Congress
- Driverless cars to hit the British streets by 2015
Norquist gives Republicans a break on taxes
Question of the Day
Urging Republicans to gear up for a season of pitched fiscal battles, anti-tax guru Grover Norquist is diminishing the potential fallout of waging another drawn-out fight over raising the debt-ceiling.
While Congress‘ action this week ended months of gridlock and prevented the nation from going over the “fiscal cliff,” the terms of the bipartisan compromise have erected a series of new budget precipices in the first part of this year.
Mr. Norquist, who runs Americans for Tax Reform and its influential no-new-taxes pledge, says Republicans had little choice but to support the fiscal cliff compromise and allow taxes to increase.
In fact, after several Republicans said last month for the first time that they would ignore his no-new-taxes pledge, he gave Republicans a green light to vote on an even bigger compromise. He said he doesn’t consider letting tax rates rise to be a violation of their pledge because the tax cuts were set to expire if Congress didn’t act.
Meeting with The Washington Times in November, he said voters would view the hands-off approach — letting some rates expire while extending others — as an overall tax increase.
On Thursday, he said he never strayed from his principles, arguing that in his statements to The Times he was opposing the early broadcasting of the Republican leadership’s willingness to accept an undesirable outcome.
“I was pleasantly surprised they could salvage 85 percent of the tax cut and it was made permanent,” he said in an interview. “They only cut off three fingers, and at the end of the day it was only three fingers, not two hands.”
But now Mr. Norquist argues that the tables have turned and Republicans have more leverage to extract long-term spending cuts.
He likened the situation to the dynamics of an old-time duel. If someone fires and misses, the other dueler immediately has the upper hand.
“Obama fired and maybe he nicked us, but now it’s our turn,” he said.
Republicans, he said, should have no qualms about using the debt-ceiling issue to press Democrats to agree to entitlement spending cuts.
The fiscal deal was created to solve a drawn-out, colossal battle over raising the debt-limit in summer 2011. After weeks of brinkmanship, the government came close to defaulting for the first time and credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s yanked the nation’s blue-chip AAA bond rating.
In his usual “damn-the-torpedoes” style, Mr. Norquist referred to the downgrade as “some jerk credit rating” and argued that it had no impact.
“Nothing happened. It didn’t raise the cost of borrowing. It was a political cheap shot rewarded by the Obama administration, which was completely unwarranted,” he said. “Which would they rather have — spending restraint or more unmanageable spending? This is a political silly thing.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP senators want IG probe of Sebelius' 'Obamacare' fundraising
- Teaming up with Christie, Obama says Jersey shore 'back in business'
- No Moore: Obama flubs name of Oklahoma city devastated by tornado, calls it 'Monroe'
- Obama to Okla. tornado victims: 'We have got your back'
- Aide involved in Benghazi talking points scrubbing promoted by Obama
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- HURT: Impeaching Obama is a losing strategy for the GOP
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Senate overcomes first filibuster of Obama's border-spending bill
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world