Grover Norquist, that King of Government Drownings, seems to have absolutely no problem with excessive and unnecessary defense spending. On the other hand, those terrible tanning taxes and other miscellaneous taxes included in Obamacare (to pay for it) are just the Worst New Thing in the world.
In his appearance on Sunday's This Week with George Stephanopoulis, Norquist overlooked the amazing overspending on defense and "homeland security" in favor of an Obamacare-bash moment:
VANDEN HEUVEL: I want to make a deal with Grover. I want to make a deal with Grover. There are fair share ways to reduce the deficit. Short-term deficit isn't the main problem we have, but the Republicans last week voted to keep the defense budget out of the cuts, out of the sequester.
I would like to say to Mr. Norquist that the left and right, citizens of conscious and sanity, should agree that the most bloated, wasteful, fraudulent piece of our budget is the defense budget, and we should make cuts in that. We should do a financial transaction tax. We should tackle the subsidies to big oil, big pharma. Those are the drivers of the problems of our economy. Social Security shouldn't -- by law cannot contribute to the federal deficit, so it shouldn't even be in the same sentence with debt.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let him respond.
NORQUIST: While we talk about imaginary things that might happen in the future, on January 1st and 2nd, we have the very real thing that nobody here has talked about, and people at home know -- they haven't been hearing about it from the press, and that is, there is a series of tax increases to pay for Obamacare that start January 2nd in this country. And the president has taken those off the table. This is not part of the sequester or the fiscal cliff.
This is a trillion dollar tax increase over the next decade that just hits. So there's a $20 billion to $30 billion over the next 10 years, tax on medical devices, that is going to make stents or prosthetic devices --
STEPHANOPOULOS: All passed by Congress and signed into law by the president.
NORQUIST: And it's the law of the land, and it's a tax increase. 90 percent of the tax increases to pay for Obamacare conveniently, interestingly, took effect -- begin to take effect after the president got himself safely re-elected. If you're a poor person and you get sick and you have a 7.5 percent of your adjustable gross income, of your income, used up in medical costs, the president's decided, the Democrats in Congress voted to take that --
Grover seems to be a little off on his timing. There are some taxes that kick in next year, including a small increase on Medicare taxes for the wealthy and a small tax on dividends in 2013. But the majority of the taxes don't take effect until 2014, when the individual mandate comes into being.
The mandate is Grover's biggest bugaboo, but as the Washington Post points out, more people get a tax break from Obamacare than pay more taxes.
To review, we’re talking about 1.2 percent of the population paying penalties, compared to 5 percent receiving tax credits or subsidies.
And those who pay penalties could choose not to pay those penalties, simply by being insured. So there's that.
On the other hand, there is egregious, unnecessary pork that could be cut from the defense budget, but for the fact that it is the Republicans' sacred cow, mixed metaphors notwithstanding. We're spending $45 billion on Homeland Security? Really? Seems like that could be cut way back. Ending the wars is another moneysaver. Closing bases overseas that we're not really using or in need of is another.
But all Grover cares about is complaining that some folks will have access to affordable health insurance in another year. That's terrible, but God forbid we cut back at all on the mayhem we've wrought on the world.