Norquist: Republicans Foil Obama's Payroll Tax Cut Ploy

Thursday, 15 Dec 2011 12:27 PM

By David A. Patten

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President Barack Obama thought he’d changed the dynamics of the debate in Washington by calling for a payroll tax cut, but Republicans thwarted him, Grover Norquist tells Newsmax.

“He doesn't want a Social Security tax cut,” the head of Americans for Tax Reform told Newsmax in an exclusive interview in Washington Wednesday. “He wanted to be able to run around saying he was for cutting taxes for middle-income people, and Republicans weren't.”

But it didn’t work.

“What happened was Republicans turned around and checked him. They said, we'll do the [tax cut] for one year, and we'll cut spending. Obama doesn't want to cut spending, and he doesn't really want to cut the taxes — he just wants to get credit for it,” Norquist said.

"So he thought he had actually changed the dynamics, and the Republicans refused to let him. So I thought it was wise of the Republicans to checkmate him this way, and it really exposed that Obama claims he puts a high priority on Social Security taxes, but he says he'll veto it if the Republicans don't raise taxes.”

Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform in 1985 at the request of President Ronald Reagan. The group is best known for its Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which commits candidates and officeholders to vote no on all tax increases. The power of the pledge has marked Norquist as one of the most influential conservative leaders in Washington.

"President Obama doesn't actually want a bill,” Norquist said of the proposal to cut payroll taxes by 1 percent. “He's the guy who wants to actually raise taxes permanently while pretending to care about taxes, and the Republicans want to cut taxes and not raise taxes permanently, and want to” restrain spending.

If the Republicans get their way in cutting spending while creating jobs with the pipeline to be built from Canada, Obama will be shown to be “the guy in charge of killing jobs,” Norquist said.

“It's not where he meant to be," he said.

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