Conservative tax reform activist Grover Norquist castigated President Barack Obama’s new $3 trillion budget proposal as being full of “imaginary” savings and represents “trickle-down taxation.”
“What the Democrats are practicing here is once again trickle-down taxation,” Norquist declared in an exclusive interview with Newsmax shortly after the president’s speech on Monday. “They promise to tax only rich people and then it trickles down to everyone.”
The president’s budget proposal attempts to count as savings the money that would have been spent on the combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Norquist, who invented the anti-tax increase tax pledge that Republicans have embraced.
“The savings are imaginary. He wants to get credit for not being in Iraq and Afghanistan for the next 500 years. Nobody thought we were going to,” Norquist said. “He wants to take the savings from that and spend it.”
Norquist, the Harvard-educated president of Americans for Tax Reform, said Obama didn’t propose anything he couldn’t have proposed when he enjoyed a Democratic majority in the House and Senate.
“Now if he actually wanted to do any of those things — if that was the goal — he could have done any of them and all of them in 2009 or 2010 when he had complete control of Congress — the House, the Senate, and the presidency,” Norquist said. “This is a list of things that he doesn’t actually want to do. This is a list of things that he wants to campaign on. He wants you to think that he is for ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z.’ And then he’ll run out and say, ‘Oh, the Republicans wouldn’t go for it.”
Norquist said the president’s budget proposal represents a “massive” tax increase for Americans. “It’s exactly the tax increase that he refused to impose after the 2010 election but says he will impose if he gets re-elected in 2012 so that’s kind of an interesting way to run a campaign — ‘vote for me and I’ll drop a $1.5 trillion tax increase on the economy.’”
Despite the president’s insistence that he is not engaging in class warfare, Norquist said Obama’s tax increases will affect middle-income taxpayers by declaring war on small business owners, many of whom file individual tax returns, as opposed to corporate tax returns.
“His tax increases of course will over time hit everybody, and most of them are on small businesses. Because most businesses in this country — 20 million businesses — pay the individual income tax rather than the corporate income tax,” said Norquist, adding that three million people pay the corporate income tax, while 20 million pay the individual income tax. “His tax treats small businesses as if they were a single rich person.”
Also criticizing the president’s budget plan is the group Americans for Prosperity, which said the proposal “spends too much, taxes too much, relies on budget and accounting gimmicks, and fails to address the nation’s biggest challenges.”
Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips said, “President Obama didn't bother to address the skyrocketing national debt and out of control spending during his State of the Union speech, and now we know why. Like his last budget proposal that was unanimously rejected even by Harry Reid's Senate, this budget is not serious, does not address the fiscal crisis we face, and does nothing to put the country on the path to growth and prosperity."
Phillips concluded, "President Obama thinks you can tax your way to prosperity and spend your way out of debt, but the real world doesn't work like that."
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