Barack Obama thinks he’s been made king rather than president after winning re-election and believes he can demand a solution to the fiscal cliff rather than compromise on a solution, Grover Norquist said Tuesday.
The Americans for Tax Reform founder said Obama is overplaying his hand with the proposal he sent to Republicans in Congress and called Speaker of the House John Boehner’s counter offer “amorphous” because of how few details are known at this point.
Norquist said Obama’s overreach during the first two years of his presidency — with the stimulus in 2008 and debt ceiling negotiations in 2010 — resulted not only in Republicans getting everything they wanted, but in the president's standing with the American public dropping like a rock.
The same thing, he said, is happening now with the White House proposal for a fiscal cliff fix that includes $1.6 trillion in new government revenue and much more modest spending cuts than the GOP has asked for.
“He gets re-elected with less strength, not against a war hero but against a guy from Massachusetts,” Norquist said on MSNBC. “The Republicans have the House, and he thinks somebody made him king and he's going to have more taxes, more spending and more regulation.
"It's a real problem for him," said Norquist. "He doesn’t have the mandate he thinks he does. I think he takes us over the cliff because he’s got blinders on. He doesn’t see where he stands in the universe.”
Republicans, he said, have the potential to make themselves look better by proposing a more balanced concept of closing tax loopholes and saving money with entitlement cuts.
He declined, however, to make a specific statement on how the Republican ideas can work, calling it an “amorphous” idea made up, at this point, of hypotheticals.
“The Obama administration is so far out there that what the Republicans are doing is pointing out how reasonable they are,” Norquist said.
“There is a danger that when you put revenues on the table, even through growth, if you grew at 4 percent a year — Reagan levels — instead of 2 percent a year — French levels or Obama levels — you’d net $5 trillion in revenue to the federal government... There’s a lot of money that could be gotten from growth.”
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