Grover Norquist: Obama's goal is to raise energy taxes on middle class
(CBS News) President Obama met with congressional leaders on Friday to tackle the upcoming fiscal cliff and over the weekend, several Republicans in Congress said there is momentum to make a deal before 2013.
As it stands, Mr. Obama has stated that he will allow the Bush tax cuts for wealthier Americans to expire and Speaker John Boehner has said Congress can generate revenue from tax reform and closing special interest loopholes.
Grover Norquist, an anti-tax lobbyist and founder of "Americans For Tax Reform," has led the conservative effort against the tax increase. He has gotten nearly all the Republican members of Congress to sign his anti-tax pledge and on Monday, Norquist shared his own ideas for resolving the fiscal cliff on "CBS This Morning."
Norquist insisted that both before and after the election, Boehner was in favor of "not raising marginal tax rates," and advocates "revenues coming from growth." According to Norquist, "the Democrats would like to see tax increase on the American people."
Norquist refuted the idea that the election was a mandate in support of the president and his plan to raise taxes on the wealthy.
"The House of Representatives was elected, committed to keeping taxes low," he said. "The president was committed, elected on the basis that he was not Romney...he didn't make the case we should have higher taxes and higher spending."
Norquist told Charlie Rose that "what Obama wants to do is exactly what would most damage job creation in America, which is why two years ago, he didn't do it."
Speaking to the pledge he solicited members of Congress to sign, Norquist explained, "the pledge is to the American people, not to me, so they don't need my permission to vote any way," but he claimed that remaining committed to not raising taxes is the best route for economic prosperity.
"I'd rather do growth than raise taxes, which slows the economy and damages things," Norquist said. "Obama is not interested in taxing the rich; he admits there's no money there...his goal, as you saw after the election, is to raise energy taxes on the middle class, not something he mentioned during the campaign."
Norquist also addressed the alarmist attitude surrounding the approaching cliff and added that the Republicans have already demonstrated an ability to compromise in the 2011 debt ceiling debate.
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