Grover Norquist, the bugaboo of liberal groups, had some interesting insight on the Republicans and the fiscal cliff negotiations.
Norquist heads Americans for Tax Reform and is a powerful lobbyist for the taxpayer in Washington. He told Stuart Varney on his Fox Business show this morning that he has two pieces of advice for the GOP.
“One is to insist that the negotiations as we move forward be on C-Span. And the reason for that is that we know from Woodward’s book and from talking to the participants, the Democrats would sit in rooms and say tax increase, tax increase, tax increase. Then they’d walk out and tell the press they’d been discussing entitlement reform and why weren’t the Republicans reasonable. If they have to say publicly what they say in the meeting, the Democrats’ position is not sustainable. Let’s get the cameras in there. Obama ran for president in 2008 promising this.
“Second. Once you’re done and you come up with some plan, it needs to be written down in legislative language – in essay form like Simpson-Bowles – so that it means something, and to be online for seven days. Obama also promised he would govern that way when he ran the first time. None of his major initiatives would have been passed if Obamacare had been open for seven days for public inspection or the stimulus package. They both began to fall apart as soon as people realized what was in them, but then it was too late. TARP would not have been passed as it was with seven days.
“So those two things give us the protection and they’re within the bounds. Republicans can insist on those.”
Varney then asked about a compromise tax hike on those earning a million dollars.
“Even if Obama won everything he says he wants on taxes, he has an eight trillion dollar debt. That’s where he’s coming against the middle class with an energy tax and eventually a value added tax. He wants to have a conversation about meaningless, yet small but damaging tax on high income people and savings and investments. What his real goal is is a VAT and energy tax on the middle class. We need to force the focus on the $8 trillion.”