Well whaddya know! No sooner had I said below that the fiscal cliff deal would be a tax hike whether Grover Norquist gives the Republicans cover or not, that I noticed this on our Newsmax feed:
If an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff does materialize, Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform president, doesn’t expect it to include higher taxes.
“I’m working with all the folks who are trying to defend taxpayers here in Congress,” he told CNN’s “Starting Point” Monday, Politico reports. “I don’t think you’re going to see something that actually raises taxes. We may get some tax cuts now and have to fight for others later.
Ummm … Yes it will. As the Newsmax story later clearly states.
Knowledgeable sources told the news service that the duo is near an agreement to raise tax rates on individuals with annual income of more than $400,000 and families with more than $450,000.
Norquist is outright lying at worst or engaging in the sort of deliberately deceptive Washington doublespeak that he normally criticizes at best. The Bush tax increases are set to expire. If they expire then taxes would go up more. So I assume Norquist’s “reasoning,” if such obvious weaseling can be dignified with that term, is that the tax increases in the compromise aren’t really increases because the automatic hikes would be larger. This is no different than the weasels who claim that cutting projected growth in a program is really a spending cut. But Congress didn’t have to sunset the Bush tax cuts in the first place. As well, the whole fiscal cliff is an artificial crisis of Congress’s own making. They didn’t have to build in the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts (which I favor) in the first place.