Pope Grover Blesses Boehner's Stand On New Revenues

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Pope Grover appeared on C-SPAN yesterday to support Boehner's stance on tax reform -- as long as there are no tax increases. Funny, this sort of thing is exactly what he's objected to in the past -- he called them "hidden" tax increases. And it's kind of cute how he insists Obama has no mandate:

Grover Norquist is fine with House Speaker John Boehner’s post-election stance on taxes - so far.

The influential anti-tax activist said in a television interview set to air Sunday that Boehner’s offer of new revenues through tax reform and economic growth could pass muster under the pledge against tax increases that most Republicans in Congress, including the Speaker, have signed.

“I’m for additional revenue. I’m not for tax increases,” Norquist said on C-Span’s “Newsmakers.” “Neither has Boehner suggested he is either.”

The details, of course, will matter most, and a few conservatives have already questioned Boehner’s position.

Boehner (R-Ohio) has reiterated that Republicans will not accept tax-rate increases, but he said they could agree to additional revenue in a broader deal that lowers tax rates, curbs spending and reforms entitlement programs. Under the Taxpayer Protection Pledge organized by Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, any revenue gained through the closure of tax loopholes in deductions must be offset by equal tax cuts elsewhere. Norquist and other Republicans say a simpler tax code with lower marginal rates will create additional revenue through the economic growth the reform will generate, but that is not generally counted by the Congressional Budget Office.

While Norquist said Boehner was on solid ground so far, he warned that a deal that closed loopholes immediately but did not simultaneously lower rates would violate the tax pledge.

“It would be a tax increase and the Republicans, one, wouldn’t support it, and two, yes it would violate the pledge that most Republicans have made to their constituents,” Norquist said.

Like other Republicans, Norquist rejected the notion that the election results gave President Obama a mandate to raise taxes on the wealthy.

“We kind of had a split decision,” he said. He pointed out that Obama won by a slimmer margin than he did four years ago, and he said Republicans had solidified their majority in the House through decennial redistricting, despite the fact that Democrats gained seats.

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