Nov 27 2012

Does Republican Renunciation of Anti-Tax Norquist Mean Greater Flexibility on Taxes on the Wealthy?

A growing number of Republican lawmakers are renouncing pledges they have made to the anti-tax political activist Grover Norquist in a move that may be indicative of a party potentially ready for compromise. Senators Lindsey Graham, Saxby Chambliss and Bob Corker, and Representatives Peter King, Steve LaTourette and Scott Rigell have all said in recent days that they do not feel obliged to stick to the strict no-tax-increases pledge they have taken.

Grover Norquist is the President of Americans for Tax Reform and has been collecting signatures from Republican elected officials for decades on pledges to never budge an inch on tax increases. Norquist has boasted about having 95% of elected Republicans sign his pledge.

Speaking on ABC this weekend, Lindsey Graham said, “I will violate the pledge, long story short, for the good of the country, only if Democrats will do entitlement reform.”

Norquist himself responded on CNN last night, saying “The pledge is not for life, but everybody who signed the pledge including [representative] Peter King, and tried to weasel out of it, shame on him…I hope his wife understands that commitments last a little longer than two years or something.”

Democrats have accused Norquist’s pledge as responsible for the recalcitrance of many Republicans to budge on fiscal issues.

Meanwhile, President Obama today announced a new stage in his campaign to address the December 31st deadline of automatic tax increases and spending cuts. The President plans to make his case for cutting taxes on middle class Americans while raising them on the wealthy, directly to the public.

GUEST: Steve Wamhoff, Legislative Director at Citizens for Tax Justice

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