While President Barack Obama may have referred to “investments” in his State of the Union address, conservative activist Grover Norquist
, who invented the “anti-tax increase” tax pledge embraced by Republicans, tells Newsmax that he was actually calling for higher taxes and more spending.
“There’s a collection of demands for higher taxes and higher spending. He used different words for ‘invest’ when he meant ‘spend,’” Norquist said in an exclusive interview following the State of the Union address.
Obama referred to “tax, taxes and taxpayer 34 times in his speech. He called on Congress to remove incentives for business that move jobs and profits overseas, expand tax relief for small businesses that “are raising wages and creating good jobs” while repeating his call to end tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, including billionaire Warren Buffet, who pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.
The president also sought to put pressure on Congress to pass the payroll tax cut without any side issues, “drama” or delay. “Let’s get it done,” urged Obama.
But Norquist, the Harvard-educated president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), says Obama didn’t propose anything he couldn’t have proposed in his first day on the job.
“He had the power to change any spending law or tax law in the country for two full years,” insisted Norquist, 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.
“Nothing in his speech today he couldn’t have done in the first two years of his presidency. He had a Democrat Senate, a Democrat House,” added Norquist. “There isn’t anything he said he wants to do that he couldn’t have done in the first two years — if he tried — which makes you wonder what the point of the speech was.”
ATR has signatures from some 238 House members, 41 Senators, 13 governors, and all of the GOP presidential candidates.
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