President Barack Obama’s budget speech Wednesday shows that he still is not facing the “overspending problem that he created” and is more focused on campaigning than governing, Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist charged Wednesday.
The tax reform watchdog said in an exclusive Newsmax interview that it remains a mystery how much of the $4 trillion that the president promised to trim from the deficit stems from reductions in spending.
“We have no idea how much real spending restraint he claims to be for,” Norquist says. “It could all be tax increases, given his definition of tax increases as spending cuts.”
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Norquist estimates that Obama’s proposals, which he described as “vague promises,” would increase taxes by at least $1.5 trillion. Doing that would hurt the economy and slow job creation, he said.
Overall, Norquist characterized Obama’s speech as “not a very good effort,” adding ““This is a campaign document, not a governing document. He’s never yet become president; he’s still being a candidate.”
Norquist notes that President Obama bases his long-term budget proposals on new taxes. That conveniently overlooks the fact that Congress would have to approve any tax hikes, he said.
The vast majority of the Republicans have signed on to ATR’s taxpayer protection pledge, so increases in taxes would appear unlikely.
Norquist indicated he doesn’t trust the president to fulfill pledges to stem the tide of federal red ink.
“He’s done nothing but spend since he got in, now that the American people voted against him in 2010, he’s pretending that he’s not for more spending,” Norquist told Newsmax. “I don’t believe him.”
He also blasted Obama for trying to blame the nation’s chronic deficit on his predecessor, former President George W. Bush.
“We’re spending $110 billion dollars a year sitting on top of Afghanistan because he decided to do that and there’s no end in sight,” Norquist said. “That’s a trillion dollars over the next decade that he decided to spend.
“Blaming Bush for getting into Afghanistan is a little bit silly, since he’s been president for two years and all he’s done is increase it. And by the way, he’s just brought us a new war that’s not for free in Libya.”
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