Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney “did extremely well” in his first debate with President Barack Obama, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, tells Newsmax.TV.
“I hope a lot of people watched,” Norquist tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview following the debate on Tuesday. “The people who watched will recognize that Romney’s ready to be president, has a serious proposal of how to move forward – radically different than the one that hasn’t worked for the last four years. It was a very good night for Romney.”
Watch the exclusive interview here.
The former Massachusetts governor also did a solid job in explaining his plans regarding taxes, Norquist said.
“Obama kept talking about revenues when he meant taxes, and that’s the sign of somebody who knows he’s proposing something that isn’t very popular. And, of course, Obama did not deal with the fact that he ran for office promising never to raise taxes on middle-income Americans and that his healthcare, Obamacare, plan raises eight different direct taxes on middle-income Americans.
“Obama hasn’t kept his word to the American people on the tax issue,” he said.
The references to the successes of the Bill Clinton White House – including the creation of 23 million jobs – were not wise on Obama’s part, Norquist said.
“There were two parts to Bill Clinton’s presidency. The first two years, when Bill Clinton had a Democratic House and Senate and he tried to have the government take over healthcare and he raised taxes and he spent too much money. Those two years were very bad years for jobs and for the stock market.
“The next six years, when the Republicans took the House and Senate, cut the capital-gains tax, killed the government takeover of healthcare, stopped the spending plans of Bill Clinton, then the economy took off,” Norquist said. “When everything that Bill Clinton wanted to do was stopped by Congress, things went quite well. So what Obama was really praising was the six years of a Republican Congress.”
He added, however: “I wish that Romney had focused and said: ‘Look, the real model is the Reagan years, when Reagan cut marginal tax rates, Reagan reigned in spending, Reagan brought inflation down. That’s when we had real economic growth.’
“If Obama had had growth like Reagan’s from when the recession began turning around, both under Reagan and Obama over a three-year period, there would be 10 million Americans today who are out of work who would have jobs if we had a Reagan recovery instead of the very pathetically sadly weak and halting Obama period of so-called recovering, technically a recovery.”
Norquist, who also is a Newsmax contributor, said he supported Romney’s plan for cutting marginal tax rates.
“What he’s talking about is reducing marginal tax rates across the board, both for individuals and for businesses, to create jobs and economic growth. That’s what Reagan did, that’s a very good idea.
“In 1986, Reagan cut marginal tax rates and broadened the base for a revenue neutral tax reform. What Romney said is that he’s willing to make the tax-reform revenue neutral but also keeping in mind that economic growth will bring in more revenue.
“If we had 10 million more Americans at work, you’d have a lot more revenue to the government. So, economic growth is the best way to get revenue into the government. And, sure, you can eliminate some deductions or credits, but that’s not the way to get real tax revenue.”
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