A commentator on NPR asked Grover Norquist which was most important in regards to the fiscal cliff: taxes, spending, or federal debt. Norquist answers, “Spending is the most important because the other two derived from the total cost of government is government spending.” The commentator then contended saying the “National debt is seen as a national security threat…that is unsustainable,” which is a reasonable explanation.
Grover Norquist, the founder of Americans for Tax Reform, created a Federal Tax Pledge that would ensure accountability of legislators that they would not raise taxes. Many members of Congress have signed this pledge, in which there are no exceptions, even in case of emergencies, because more spending should be cut. Now that the fiscal cliff is approaching, Republicans are beginning to realize that a bipartisan deal needs to ensue in order to avoid the cliff. This includes raising taxes.
At least five big-time Republican legislators have stated that they will support an increase in taxes this week in order to compromise. Norquist explains that his goal is to keep politicians honest, but he should not be able to have this much control over politicians. This control is not limited to his organization’s tax pledge either. He has been known to be Karl Rove’s right-hand man as the domestic economic policy expert for the Republican party.
Norquist’s plan is especially popular with the Tea Party, and outrage is bubbling as more Republican legislators support the raise of taxes. However, the majority of Americans would like to see a compromise that includes increased taxes and spending cuts. This seems to be what many Americans have wanted: compromise among legislators. Now that the fiscal cliff is looming over head, we may see a compromise in the near future.