“The president was elected on the basis that he was not Romney and that Romney was a poopy-head and you should vote against Romney,” Norquist, the leader of Americans for Tax Reform, said Monday on CBS’ This Morning. “[Obama] won by two points, but he didn’t make the case for higher taxes and higher spending. He kind of sounded like the opposite.”
Contrary to Norquist’s statement, President Obama actually won the popular vote by 3 percentage points, 50.6 percent to 47.8 percent.
According to Politico, Obama has promised to end Bush-era tax cuts for incomes over $250,000 because he believes tax hikes are necessary in order to successfully reduce the deficit. He’s also promised to veto any plan which lowers taxes for the rich.
But Norquist, who’s been making his rounds on morning television, is against attempts to increase tax rates, believing that higher rates won’t fix the bigger issue of spending.
“The challenge is, the problem we have is the last four years of overspending,” he said on Fox News’ Fox & Friends. “Raising taxes doesn’t solve the overspending problem; it is a distraction. We ought to be looking at undoing the damage of the last four years and reining in spending, not raising taxes.”
Norquist has also suggested that instead of focusing on taxes, revenue should be generated by employing people.
“Boehner was very clear he wants to increase revenues,” Norquist said of House Speaker John Boehner on CNN’s Starting Point. “So do all of us who want economic growth. It is not a tax increase to put more Americans at work … We need to go back toward Reagan lower marginal tax rates and grow the economy.”
A majority of Republicans in Congress have signed Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reforms pledge as a promise that they won’t vote for tax increases. He defended the pledge as a promise to the American people, not to the organization, and he said it wouldn’t hinder lawmakers when it comes to fiscal cliff negotiations.
Some Republicans have shown they’re willing to seriously discuss tax rates and make compromises. Boehner has said he would accept higher revenues from a version of tax reform that cut rates. And on Sunday, conservative pundit Bill Kristol has said the GOP needs to be open to a “serious debate.”
“The leadership of the Republican Party and the leadership of the conservative movement has to pull back, let people float new ideas. Let’s have a serious debate,” Kristol, the editor of Weekly Standard, said on Fox News. “Don’t scream and yell if one person says, ‘You know what? It won’t kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires.’ It really won’t, I don’t think.”
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