If you had any lingering doubts about anti-tax-fundamentalist Grover Norquist’s mental faculties, his Sunday morning “Meet the Press” roundtable should be proof enough that the one-time GOP leader has really gone off the deep end.
Here are the 4 reasons we know Grover is Over for good:
#1: Grover Foresees A Resurgence of the Tea Party
Norquist, who is founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, says Obama’s plan to raise revenue to balance the budget is equivalent to Obama pushing us “off the cliff.” In denial about Tea Party electoral losses, Grover thinks the Tea Party will come roaring back if tax rates on the top 2 percent reset to Clinton-era levels. He says:
Tea Party two is going to dwarf Tea Party one if Obama pushes us off the cliff [by raising taxes on the wealthy]. Let’s not pretend who’s pushing us off the cliff. (15m44s in full video below)
How the anti-revenue extremist arrives at his twisted perspective no one knows. As of last year, only 20 percent of Americans agreed with the Tea Party movement. President Obama clearly won the tax policy debate with a margin of 3 million popular votes. Moreover, three Tea Party incumbents lost their seats in Congress, and Michele Bachmann only held onto hers by 3,000 votes.
To top it off, painstaking attention to redistricting is why more Tea Party candidates didn’t lose their seats. Think Progress has reported that when tallying all nationwide ballots from the recent election, Democratic candidates together earned more votes than Republican candidates in the House.
#2: Grover Is Turning Economics Into A “Pornographic” Debate
Still clutching the tattered shreds of his “no-new-taxes-ever” pledge that so many Republicans have jettisoned, Norquist insinuates that the emerging flexibility within the GOP ranks is immoral, while simultaneously laying the false claim that Democrats refuse to compromise on entitlements cuts.
Every Republican who had impure thoughts about ‘Maybe I can raise taxes a little because the other guys will be reasonable’ has got to go back to the drawing board.
Later, Jim Cramer of CNBC’s “Mad Money,” calls Norquist out, exposing the recalcitrance on raising taxes for what it is: preserving profits for the top 2 percent of income earners. Cramer said:
He’s talking about…the Republicans have been ‘seduced;’ He’s taking about ‘impure thoughts.’ This is not a pornographic debate, Grover, this is about avoiding a recession…you are going to sacrifice this on the cross of the 2 percent? (14m30s in full video below)
#3: Grover’s Trying To Paint Obama As The Raving Lunatic
Norquist is caricaturing Obama’s proposal as “massive tax increases and zero reforms,” but he’s forgetting to mention that the increases aren’t massive (4.6% marginal income tax difference) and the increase would only apply to incomes over $250,000.
Grover’s take on the modest tax reform proposal:
It’s the President who’s in the bank screaming he’s going to shoot the hostages and it’s your fault if you don’t give him everything he wants. That’s not a reasonable position, and it won’t hold. (13m30s in full video below)
What Clinton (sic) signed two years ago, what a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate did two years ago, is exactly what we should do now, to start with. It’s the President who’s threatening to raise taxes on the middle class if he doesn’t stamp his feet and get his way. (1m46s)
Further discrediting Norquist’s argument, Obama has indicated that he’s willing to meet Republicans at a realistic, not dramatically skewed, half-way point and give up some ground on entitlements to get a bipartisan deal passed.
And, yes, Grover referred to Obama as Clinton – proving either his dementia or his impression that all Democrats look the same.
#4: Grover Ignores Popular Support For Raising Taxes On Top 2 Percent
Norquist is so married to the idea that defending the treasure chests of the top 2 percent is the virtuous position that he actually seems to think Americans would reject higher taxes for the wealthy if they watch the negotiations on C-SPAN.
[Obama] should get in a room with C-SPAN cameras there and negotiate…if the Republicans are being reasonable we’ll see that, if they’re not, we’ll see that. You gotta have cameras in that room. (2m0s)
However, the clear majority of Americans – 60 percent – have already followed the debate and they’ve decided to support Obama’s plan to raise taxes on high-income earners. Only 37 percent think the wealthy shouldn’t have to pay higher taxes, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll.
It will be interesting to witness how Grover will unravel next as tax increases will almost certainly be part of a final deal.
Here’s what you can do:
- Write or call your representatives to tell them you support tax increases on the wealthy.
- Tweet using the hashtag #my2k to tell Congress to vote to keep the averge $2,000 tax break for the middle class.
Here’s the full “Meet the Press” segment from Dec. 2, 2012: