This morning, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist made a big splash by saying that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2012 would not violate his organization’s pledge against tax increases.
“Not continuing a tax cut is not technically a tax increase,” Mr. Norquist told us. So it doesn’t violate the pledge? “We wouldn’t hold it that way,” he said. – Washington Post Editorial, 07/21/11
After Norquist and ATR tried to walk his comments back, the Post posted audio of the exchange in which he clearly says the words in question.
This morning, Mr. Hoyer said he welcomed the comments and that he hoped Congressional Republicans would take this into account as they continue to refuse to add revenues to a deficit reduction package.
But Norquist continued to backpedal, saying Whip Hoyer “is wrong” on his position today on MSNBC. We here in the Democratic Whip press shop, can’t help but wonder how “Hoyer is wrong” when Whip Hoyer directly quoted Norquist himself. And now there is an audio recording to back this up.
Whip Hoyer continues to advocate for a balanced approach to reduce the deficit and hopes Republicans will work with Democrats on a big, balanced agreement that includes both revenues and spending cuts. Moving forward, we hope Republicans will heed Norquist’s words and abandon their ideologically rigid position and work with us on a compromise.