- Donald Rumsfeld has ‘no idea’ if he paid taxes correctly
- Bradley Manning named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco Pride parade
- Look out PayPal: Facebook working toward mobile payments system
- U.S. rebukes Iran’s U.N. envoy pick over 1979 embassy attack
- Stoned mom avoids jail after driving 12 miles with baby on roof
- More than 100 ‘inappropriate’ encounters between NYC school staffers, students since 2009: report
- Joe Biden to Boston bombing survivors: ‘America will never, ever stand down’
- FBI failed to throughly vet Boston bombing suspect after Russian lead, report finds
- Atlanta Braves flooded with Hank Aaron hate mail: He’s a ‘scumbag’
- University: Help, our campus is too white
MILLER: Stuck on the fiscal cliff
Grover Norquist holds Republicans to their anti-tax pledge
As fiscal cliff negotiations between Congress and the White House start in earnest this week, conservatives are under pressure to stay true to their principles. Postelection, House Speaker John A. Boehner said Republicans may give in to more revenue demands — but not rate hikes — as long as the package includes real spending cuts and entitlement reform. The question remains whether Democrats are willing to budge.
Since the deals are being cut behind closed doors on Capitol Hill, a leading taxpayers’ advocate is calling for more transparency as a means of ensuring the GOP won’t be tricked. Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform wants the negotiations aired on C-SPAN to give the public a chance to keep tabs on what’s happening.
He also said the final legislation should be made available online a full week before a vote so that Americans have a chance to read it. A spokesman for Mr. Boehner said the current three-day advance posting rule should suffice.
Mr. Norquist’s goal is to avoid a repeat of 1982 and 1990 budget deals in which Republicans were snookered into tax hikes in exchange for phony spending cuts. “As long as the legislation is clear, we’ll be fine,” Mr. Norquist told The Washington Times in an interview Tuesday.
At stake is whether President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress will raise the tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent for small businesses and investors who make more than $200,000 individually. Some moderate Democrats have suggested modifying the tax hike so it only applies to those with incomes over $1 million, but Mr. Boehner has drawn a line in the sand, saying he won’t allow rates to go up because it would damage an already-weak economy. The Ohio Republican’s counter-offer is tax reform that closes loopholes and deductions for those in the upper-income brackets while lowering marginal rates to spur economic growth.
Mr. Norquist is the mastermind behind the taxpayer protection pledge signed by 219 House members and 39 senators. In it, each politician promised his constituents that he would oppose all income tax rate increases and the elimination of deductions or credits, unless they are matched dollar-for-dollar by tax rate reductions. If they hold to their word, it would be mathematically impossible to pass a tax hike through the House.
“We’re not playing a game where you can cut the baby in half like Solomon,” said Mr. Norquist, who believes those who say there’s a compromise on the horizon are simply wrong. “Here’s the challenge: Democrats want higher tax rates, Republicans want lower ones. Democrats don’t want to change entitlements, Republicans want reform,” he explained. “Why does anyone believe you have a deal here? What you obviously have is a conflict.”
The longtime political strategist predicts Mr. Obama end up keeping all the rates the same for two more years to avoid going over the fiscal cliff.
The “deficit reduction” talk coming from Mr. Obama and his buddies on Capitol Hill isn’t serious. Democrats only want to raise taxes in order to spend the money they need to sustain an oversized government. The only way to start to pay down the debt and shrink government back to size is to take tax hikes off the table.
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times. She is the author of “Emily Gets Her Gun … But Obama Wants to Take Yours” (Regnery 2013). Miller won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.
- MILLER: Mark Witaschek tax investigation follows D.C. conviction for muzzleloader bullet ammunition
- MILLER: Harry Reid's hypocrisy on 'Equal Pay Day': No women on top leadership staff
- MILLER: Maryland bathroom bill for transgenders is part of LGBT lobby for sex-change rights
- MILLER: Mark Witaschek surrenders to D.C. police 'Gun Offenders Registry'
- MILLER: Michelle Obama has media blackout in China while touting freedom of press
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By returning to goodness, the nation can achieve greatness once again
Get Breaking Alerts
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Al Qaeda mocks U.S. in 'extraordinary' Yemen gathering; experts fear C.I.A. caught flat-footed
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Wal-Mart forced to apologize for 'mistake' favoring English-speaking shoppers
Recent Letters to the Editor
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Solution to Cyprus dispute is no 'mistake'
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Obama's real wealth redistribution scheme
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Obamacare numbers nothing to celebrate
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Unanswered bus-crash questions
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Lerner won't face meaningful punishment