Norquist Statements on Current Tax Discussions

Norquist’s contribution to the recent discussion by Obama and Republican leaders is a little hard to follow.

1) “The president was committed; elected on the basis that he was not Romney and Romney was a poopy head and you should vote against Romney and he won by two points,” Norquist said on CBS’ “This Morning” Monday. “But he didn’t make the case that we should have higher taxes and higher spending, he kind of sounded like the opposite.”

Was Norquist paying attention? It was an issue that the President brought up repeatedly in the election. Obama won by 2 percentage points or 3.3 million votes or 126 electoral college votes. Selective stats may make Norquist feel better, but it doesn’t change the situation. And I might remind Norquist that it was the focus on selective stats that made losing this election such a surprise to him and his Republican friends.

2) ” ‘What about the exit polls that show a broad support for raising taxes on the wealthiest americans. Are you wrong?’ she asked.”

“Norquist pointed to negative advertising against former GOP nominee Mitt Romney.”

A complete non sequitur, but after decades of negative campaigning (Willie Horton, Flip-flopping, Obama as a socialist-America-hater, etc.) maybe Republicans are finally learning that negative campaigning can hurt them, too.  

3) “When asked if any members of Congress who have signed Americans for Tax Reform’s pledge not to raise taxes would accept new revenue, Norquist said, ‘The pledge is to the American People not to me.

‘So they don’t need my permission to vote,’ he said. ‘They made a commitment to the people in their states.’ “

I love this one, because this is always Norquist’s defense when someone asks if elected leaders should be pledging to Norquist. What Norquist doesn’t say is that he will actively seek and financially support primary challengers for anyone who breaks their pledge. In this case, if an elected leader’s constituency wants them to vote to raise taxes, and he/she does so, the leader will still face a primary challenger supported by Norquist and his wealthy allies in the next election. So, it begs the question, although the wording of the pledge may give Norquist a defense, the real life consequences of breaking the pledge gives Norquist enormous weight in an election system that relies so heavily on private funding. 




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