If any politician who has signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge votes for a tax plan that doesn’t raise rates, but does change the current deduction structure in such a way that the government gets more revenue, he has violated the pledge, says Grover Norquist.
“If you raise taxes, it’s a problem with the pledge,” Norquist tells National Review Online. “Romney’s plan was always revenue-neutral — I’m in favor of getting rid of deductions and credits and reducing rates, as long as it’s revenue-neutral. That’s always been the Republican position.”
He also rejects the notion that a politician could not violate the pledge by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire as they are scheduled to do at the end of the year. “Not an option,” Norquist responds. “There will be a vote to continue all tax cuts.”
“Some of the Republicans are going ‘well, we could be open to something if he did entitlement reform and you didn’t raise rates,’” Norquist remarks. “Well, since the president hasn’t moved on either of those, it doesn’t keep me up at night what color unicorn they would like if unicorns existed.”
Instead, what he would like to see is transparency about the upcoming negotiations related to the fiscal cliff.
“I think the most important thing is that this be done in front of C-SPAN cameras, the negotiations, and that the agreement has to be for one week, one full week, online for every American to read it,” Norquist says. “If we do that , no one will get TARP’d, no one will get told ‘oh yeah, sign this, it’s an emergency.’ We got plenty of time.”