Norquist: Democrats Want Supercommittee to Fail

Friday, 11 Nov 2011 10:26 AM

By Dan Weil

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Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, isn’t getting bent out of shape by the sudden willingness of some Republican congressmen to consider what amount to tax hikes.

norquist supercommittee fail demsThe supercommittee on budget deficit reduction won’t fail because some of its GOP members have proposed an increase in tax revenue, but rather because Democrats want the panel to fail, the influential conservative told C-SPAN’s Newsmakers, The Hill reports .

Democrats simply seek to score political points, Norquist says. “There’s not going to be a tax increase. Part of the reason is the Democrats have decided they’re going to blow this process up in order to blame the Republicans for nothing happening. That’s their political decision. The modern Democratic Party has made it clear that they want a trillion-dollar tax increase.”

Norquist scoffed at Democrats’ notion that he’s responsible for Republican intransigence on tax hikes. “I’m not in the way of a tax increase,” he said. “The commitment from congressmen and senators stands in the way of a tax increase.”

Norquist declined to say whether he would back Republican budget proposals that include tax revenue increases. “Because it’s not written down, because it has all sorts of moving parts, it’d be inappropriate to talk about a hypothetical,” he said. “Since it’s not going to happen, it doesn’t keep me up at night.”

Norquist isn’t too worried about failure by the supercommittee, because that would trigger “automatic” spending cuts. “We are going to get $1.2 trillion in spending restraint, either out of the committee or through the sequester, so taxpayers will win,” Norquist said. To be sure, Congress would be responsible for implementing the “automatic” spending cuts, so it’s unclear how “automatic” they would actually be.

On another issue, Norquist expressed more willingness to accept defense spending cuts than his more hawkish GOP brethren. The Pentagon can find many areas for savings, including retiree benefits, he said.

“You can spend money and call it defense, and it doesn’t have anything to do with defending the country,” Norquist said. “We need to make sure we’re not wasting money on anything.”




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