American for Tax Reform’s (ATR) Grover Norquist finds he is continually explaining what exactly violates hi organization’s taxpayer protection pledge that many politicians on the hill have signed.
The Washington Post has posted audio of the ATR’s president talking with their editorial board about whether or not the extension of the Bush tax hikes would be considered a violation of his organization’s tax payer protection pledge. His comments were published in their paper’s editorial section today:
Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist is elaborating on a comment he made during a session with the Washington Post editorial board on Tuesday about what constitutes a tax hike. As we noted in our editorial, we asked Norquist if allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire as scheduled in 2012 would violate the anti-tax pledge that he has gotten 236 House members and 41 senators to sign. “Not continuing a tax cut is not technically a tax increase,” Mr. Norquist told us. So lawmakers who allow the Bush tax cuts to expire wouldn’t be violating the pledge? “We wouldn’t hold it that way,” he said.
ATR later released this statement in response to the WaPo editorial:
To clarify concerns that may be raised by the Washington Post editorial today, Americans for Tax Reform issued the following statement:
ATR opposes all tax increases on the American people. Any failure to extend or make permanent the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, in whole or in part, would clearly increase taxes on the American people. In addition, the failure to extend the AMT patch would increase taxes. The outlines of the plans are deliberately hazy, but it appears that both Obama’s Simpson-Bowles commission proposal and the Gang-of-Six proposal dramatically increase taxes on the American people.
It is a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to trade temporary tax reductions for permanent tax hikes.
The present conversations in Washington should focus totally and exclusively on reducing government overspending. President Barack Obama has increased the annual federal budget by almost $1 trillion dollars.
ATR has not altered either its policy positions or opposition to all tax increases whatsoever in any debt negotiations.
Tax reform that reduces tax rates and broadens the tax base on a revenue neutral basis should be done separately and not in a rush under duress from parties hostile to the interests of taxpayers.
Speaker of House John Boehner, Ohio Republican, was asked at a press conference on Thursday morning if he believed allowing the Bush era tax cuts to expired amounted to tax hikes to which the Speaker answered, “I believe that would be raising taxes.” He continued, “I’ve never voted to raise taxes and I don’t intend to.”