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President of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist writing in today's New York Times about some remarks He made to the Washington Post.
He was discussing the taxpayer protection pledge in since 1986.
Grover Norquist group has been asking politicians Republicans and Democrats alike.
To sign the pledge to oppose and vote against any tax increases.
Here's Norquist talking about this with the Washington Post editorial writer Ruth Marcus.
A tax cut is not -- So it does not violate plans.
We wouldn't hold it that way a lot of guys on the children.
Norquist was asked if letting the bush era tax cuts expire would constitute a tax hike.
And that's what He was answering their markets later jumping all over the statement saying the extent that He is -- scores of Republican lawmakers against being willing.
To allow the bush tax cuts any part of them to -- Norquist comments offer them a huge amount of wiggle room some four trillion dollars worth.
Norquist can revise and extend all He wants but He said what He said.
Grover Norquist is joining us now from Washington so.
What did you mean to say -- when it comes -- at the expiration or allowing.
The bush era tax cuts to expire would that be breaking your pledge.
Right now the present policy are the bush 103 tax cuts the AMT patch that's present policy.
Changing that in a way to raise revenue.
Would be raising taxes.
And that's that that's the challenge for people who want to make -- to make that decision.
I got wrapped around a bunch of hypotheticals and a conversation.
There but I want to be very clear.
Raising taxes to raise additional revenue.
Would violate the pledge what we've been clear and and the one way check on this.
Ending the bush tax rate reductions which the president policy.
Would increase the tax burden by four trillion dollars over.
The next decade that -- a massive tax increase it doesn't pass the laugh test which is something I've said repeatedly it doesn't pass the laugh test as not a tax increase.
Can you get into hypotheticals where congress goes home and a tax cut lapses all by -- -- so there's no one to blame yeah I suppose you could the martians could come down do that -- But what we're talking about in reality here in Washington.
It's congressman and senators.
Taking some of the bush tax cuts and spending it.
That's a tax increase.
-- -- you said that you would not.
You would not look it -- -- a lawmaker of voting to allow the expiration of the bush tax cuts as being in violation of you were pledge.
You would not giving them any wiggle room where you trying to send some kind of a message.
Two Republicans and it's okay -- -- do this.
Now most clearly and again.
Mister Boehner and mr.
Mitchell and and leader McConnell have always been very clear.
That they're not gonna support any tax increase and insist that we continue present policy.
On not just the books bush tax cuts but also the AMT patch and some of these.
Other tax increases that might laps from time to time because of senate rules -- Let me be very clear.
Think when congress gets together and votes to raise taxes it's a tax increase if congress gets to.
Gather and passes some big deal and when you ditch -- it.
Taxes are higher.
It's a tax increase.
I'm I'm sorry I was not clear our New York Times piece trying to be clear actually -- -- four different attacks on the pledge that if showed up in the last year and I respond to all of them we only have 800 words.
But trying to be clear here what people can go great what you have in this time passing morning and our I read -- as well but I just want.
I wanna I wanna ask you about because we hearing about reforming the tax code.
We're hearing about closing loopholes is closing loopholes.
We're taking tax breaks away from big corporations like He will companies for example.
Is that breaking you were pledge.
You have to look.
-- -- get an -- -- you have to look at the entire package I would support.
The Republican Party would support and the pledge would support.
Tax reform where deductions and credits that have outlasted their usefulness.
Are eliminated and rates tax rates are reduced.
If that the end of that process the tax burden is the same it's just fewer deductions and credits and lower rates.
That's tax reform.
If at the end of that process with a hundred different moving parts taxes are higher.
That's not tax reform.
That's a tax increase that would violate the pledge so.
There's nothing about the pledge that defend any particular tax deduction democratic and I'm not wedded to any of them no member of congress -- If you get -- of -- out.
Cut taxes elsewhere so you're not hiding a tax increase inside what you whole tax reform.
Real quickly because that we -- politicians love to pass these sort of temporary deals.
You know the bush era tax cuts were only supposed to last for certain amount of time in -- expire.
But now we get at -- point -- letting them expire is a tax hike.
What do you say to lawmakers in Washington who might right now be talking about some kind of a temporary deal.
As we as we live with this sort of debt debate that's going on.
-- -- Temporary as it can be a problem it can be better than nothing.
We need to make sure that the president lower taxes of the -- 01 and 03 bush tax cuts you know can you that the AMT patch is made permanent.
If you can do that two years -- for years out.
Permanent those are all steps in the right direction -- -- governor Republican congresses we've got and appearance --
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