Conservative activist Grover Norquist, who invented the “anti-tax increase” tax pledge embraced by Republicans, tells Newsmax he wasn’t surprised to hear his name come up in Thursday’s vice presidential debate and he said it’s indicative of a general misconception among Democrats that the pledge is “some sort of personal promise to me.”
Vice President Joe Biden was simply echoing a sentiment expressed frequently by other Democrats like Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to the Harvard-educated president of ATR, who started soliciting signers to the no-tax-increase pledge from state capitols to Capitol Hill in 1986 with the passage of the landmark Tax Reform Act.
“A lot of these people — Harry Reid to start with — don’t understand that this commitment is not to me, it’s to the American people,” countered Norquist. “If you read the pledge. It says, ‘I promise the people of my state, and the American people I won’t raise taxes.’ This is so foreign to how some of these people think that all they can imagine is that this is some sort of personal promise to me.”
Biden invoked Norquist’s name in attempting to make the point that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are out of touch with average Americans.
“Instead of signing pledges to Grover Norquist not to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute to bring back the middle class, they should be signing a pledge saying to the middle class ‘we’re going to level the playing field,’” snapped Biden. “’We’re going to give you a fair shot again. ‘We are going to not repeat the mistakes we’ve made in the past by having a different set of rules for Wall Street and Main Street, making sure that we continue to hemorrhage these tax cuts for the super wealthy.”
Norquist said that President Barack Obama and Biden broke their promise to the American people.
“Mr. Biden said that he and his running mate would not raise taxes on the middle income people — and they did,” countered Norquist, who noted that Ryan has advocated meeting America’s economic woes head on with spending cuts and government reform.
“When Obama and Biden ran for office, what they did was in point of fact make a promise that they wouldn’t raise taxes and they broke it,” Norquist added. “I think it’s good economics not to raise taxes and it’s good civics to keep your promises.”
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