Americans for Tax Reform head Grover Norquist fired back against criticism that his anti-tax pledge is getting in the way of a tax compromise by Congress, arguing in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV that his pledge makes possible real tax reform and that contained in any compromise is a hidden tax increase.
Norquist’s group organizes the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which asks all candidates for federal and state office to commit themselves in writing to oppose all tax increases. The pledge, which Norquist says he dreamed up when he was 12 years old, was endorsed by Ronald Reagan upon its inception in 1986, and has been signed by more than 1,100 state office holders as well as 238 current House members and 41 current Senators.
Norquist has come under fire from the first President George Bush and others about the rigidity of the pledge and Senate Democrats believe they have come up with a plan to get around the anti-tax pledge by letting all tax cuts lapse Jan. 1 and then reinstating most of them days later, an idea which Norquist has said “doesn’t pass the laugh test.”
The plan shows efforts by lawmakers to include new federal revenues in an attempt to avoid the “fiscal cliff” in January. All Bush-era tax cuts expire at that time and automatic spending cuts to the military kick in.
Norquist told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview that the pledge “stops a tax increase, so if somebody tells you the pledge is getting in the way of getting something done what they mean is it’s getting in the way of a tax increase.”