Grover Norquist Sells Outby Doug Mataconis
Grover Norquist has a reputation has one of the most hard-line fiscal conservatives out there, which makes two recent statements about the Republican race all the more distressing:
Rudy Giuliani’s campaign twice circulated to reporters today a very chummy exchange of letters between the candidate and Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist.
In Norquist’s response, also written today, he expresses his “delight” with Giuliani’s answer to his question during last week’s CNN/You Tube debate. Would the candidates oppose or veto any tax increases? “You simply said, ‘yes’,” Norquist writes.
“In looking at the records of all the Republican candidates, yours clearly stands out,” he continues. “You cut the income tax, business taxes, sales taxes, property-related taxes, and nuisance taxes. You are the most successful tax cutter in modern New York history and, on balance, the most successful tax cutter in the Republican field today. If you are elected president, I will look forward to working with you to reduce and reform taxes, restore fiscal discipline, increase government transparency, and pursue pro-growth policies that will improve America’s competitiveness in the global economy.”
What Norquist ignores about Giuliani’s tenure as Mayor is that, while he may have cut some taxes in the City, he spent tremendous amounts of time lobbying in Albany and Washington for subsidies from the State of New York and the Federal Government. He’s not a fiscal conservative, he just likes spending other people’s money.
But that’s not all, here’s what Norquist had to say about Mike Huckabee:
“He has signed the pledge and he has promised to veto and oppose any efforts to raise income taxes if he was President. And at the debate he said that he would support the veto of any tax increase, so that was good too… So he’s made that commitment.”
“Now, Club for Growth has been rough on him because of his period when he was governor. We had arguments with him when he was governor because he supported too much spending and too much taxes as governor… It’s one of these things that as governor he’s had a bad track record on taxes and spending, but as a candidate for President he is running as someone who will not raise taxes in the future and who is talking about fundemental tax reform such as going to a retail sales tax or the so-called fair tax. So some people say ‘If you’ve changed your mind, we don’t like you,’ but that’s not my position. I believe that when people say I used to be pro-choice but now I’m going to be pro-life and here’s why, if they can make a credible argument as to why they have switched in their position, I think we should accept converts. That’s what winning looks like.”
In other words, he doesn’t matter that he governed as a tax-and-spend liberal while he was Governor of Arksansas, he says he’s going to be a fiscal conservative as President.
Grover, I just don’t get it.
H/T: The Crossed Pond