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Cut Spending to Fix 'Fiscal Cliff': Norquist

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR).
Joshua Roberts | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR).

Grover Norquist, president of the Americans for Tax Reform, told CNBC that spending cuts—not higher taxes—are what's needed to fix the country's fiscal problems.

Last week, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles told CNBC that the two sides need to understand the magnitude of the problem and work to reach a compromise to avoid the massive automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to hit at the beginning of the year.

Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming, blamed political culture in Washington for preventing a deal and said Norquist's "pledge" that a politician will not raise taxes is a key stumbling block. (Read More: US Nears Fiscal Disaster: 'Washington Doing Nothing' .)

Norquist pushed back on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" Monday.

"The pledge, which has been around for 20 years, is to the American people that when an elected official goes to Washington or their state capital, they won't raise taxes, " Norquist said. "They'll reform government, they'll limit spending."

The vocal advocate of lower taxes said the Democrats would rather spend increasing amounts of money paid for by higher taxes.

(Read More: American Tax Havens .)

"We're not raising taxes to pay for your overspending, " Norquist said. "We're reducing spending."

Norquist told CNBC he isn't against "compromise on the road to liberty, " noting that he and Paul Ryan had called for $6 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade during last year's debt ceiling debate.

"We got $2.5 trillion, " he said, "Not as much as I wanted, not as much as Paul Ryan wanted but lower spending than Obama wanted. Obama wants to raise taxes instead of cutting spending."

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