Norquist Blasts Simpson Tax Criticism as 'Ranting'
Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist blasted Alan Simpson on Friday, saying the former Republican senator's call for tax increases to help solve the fiscal crisis amounted to "ranting."
Norquist, an influential GOP lobbyist and president of the Americans for Tax Reform, dismissed the idea that a pledge to hold the line on taxes was an impediment to reaching a deal on the looming "fiscal cliff."
Responding to strong criticism made earlier this week by Simpson, an architect of the Simpson-Bowles plan to trim the nation's huge debt, Norquist told CNBC: "Alan Simpson ranting is not news."
As politicians got to work on trying to reach a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff," Simpson told CNBC n an interview Thursday that "I've always said about Grover Norquist: Is he's wandering the Earth in his white robes?" (Read More: "Obamacare, Host of Others Need Slashing: Simpson-Bowles".)
"What can he do to you? He can't murder you, he can't burn your house. The only thing he can do to you is defeat you for re-election. And if that means more to you than your country … you shouldn't even be in Congress."
Norquist rejects the Simpson-Bowles proposal. The anti-tax advocate said the plan would take taxes as a percentage of gross domestic product from 18.5 percent in full employment — the average over the past 30 years — to 21 percent, which equates to a $5 trillion tax increase over the next decade.
"If you grow at 4 percent a year instead of 2 percent a year for one decade, the government raises $5 trillion," Norquist asserted.