In the lead up to budget negotiations that seek to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” at the end of the year, some prominent Republican lawmakers have publicly eased back on an anti-tax pledge they signed, championed by Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Among these lawmakers include House majority leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, and Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia.
Norquist, who is arguably the most influential lobbyist in Washington, called these statements “impure” and said that most Republicans would stick to the pledge they signed to never raise taxes.
If you’re still wondering “who the hell is Grover Norquist?” just like former President George H.W. Bush asked earlier this year, watch the following interview from the CBS News program 60 Minutes. Norquist argues that the anti-tax pledge isn’t a commitment to him, but to the American people.
At this year’s Washington Ideas Festival, Norquist offers another reason why raising taxes on the rich is a bad idea: voters believe that eventually it would lead to similar increases among middle class Americans.