Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, offered strong praise of the budget deal that emerged from Congress on Tuesday, saying while "the increased fees in the deal are annoying," the package was one that fellow conservatives should support.
"I wish they had replaced the fees with real spending cuts," Norquist told Newsmax, "but it's a good deal."
Norquist — famed for ATR's pledge in which candidates sign promises not to support new tax increases — explained that "Democrats wanted three things and got none of them."
"Democrats wanted $1.4 trillion in tax increases, including an increase in the income tax. They got none of it. They wanted the complete end of the sequester. That didn't happen and the sequester won't go away. And they wanted to ratchet up spending limits. That didn't happen," Norquist said.
"And the spending cuts [in the deal] are real cuts because the change is in the law."
He added that "once you're outside the 10-year limit, the savings will grow and eventually, the savings will explode."
Norquist singled out House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's presence in the negotiations with Senate Democratic counterpart Patty Murray as pivotal to the finalization of a "good deal."
"Paul Ryan is a hero," Norquist said of the Wisconsin congressman and 2012 Republican nominee for vice president. "He made all the difference. He went up against the Democrats and came out with something good."
To skeptics of the deal on the right, Norquist said that "they should just consider that, by agreement, the federal government will spend less than it did before. That's pretty good."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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