Nothing says Grover Norquist is losing stature among Republicans like an interview on Your World in which host Neil Cavuto just “asks” if he’s behaving a bit like Tony Soprano.
On Monday (11/26/12), Cavuto hosted Norquist to talk about how some Republicans are considering breaking his “no new taxes” pledge. Cavuto asked, “They don’t appear to like your pledge. What’s going on?”
Norquist argued, “Some of the people who are being dragged up are retreads… The President’s budget is nothing except tax increases. The President’s negotiating position is nothing except tax increases. And Harry Reid, who some of those Senators might want to focus some of their attention on, has announced there won’t be any entitlement reform. So, to argue that taxpayers should take the brunt of this battle… strikes me as odd.”
Cavuto asked, “Do you fear that it’s spreading though?” He said that in a previous conversation, Norquist has been “open” to “not equating” tax reform and the elimination of loopholes and deductions to tax increases.
Well, maybe, maybe not. Norquist said, “There are two ways that you can damage the economy. One is to increase marginal tax rates. Everybody knows that that would… kill 700,000 jobs off the bat, probably worse than that. The other thing is to eliminate… a trillion dollars worth of deductions and credits... If you do that, you’ve just killed tax reform for a generation. Why? How do you ever get the rates down if you don’t have the deductions and credits? What Obama’s hoping to do is raise taxes, spend the money, kill tax reform for individuals, dead.”
Norquist said that some Republican legislators “have engaged in impure thoughts… If we were growing at Reagan rates instead of Obama rates, we’d have 10 million (more) people working, and a lot more revenue in the coffer.” Norquist never said where he got his numbers. Nor did Cavuto ask.
Instead, Cavuto asked about Warren Buffett ripping Norquist in a column. Norquist ripped back. “Warren Buffet has made a lot of money, some of it off of gaming the political system. He invests in insurance companies and then lobbies to raise the death tax which drives people to buy insurance.” Norquist called that “corrupt” and “crony politics.” He continued, “Shame on him for gaming the system.”
When they finished on Buffett, Cavuto asked Norquist if he thought he was “seen as this unique, powerful sort of ‘Wizard of Oz’ figure” whose image could come “tumbling down” if a few powerful Republicans break the pledge.
Norquist answered, “We could ask President Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush how his second term went after he broke his pledge… The Democrats promised to cut spending, they didn’t cut spending, they did raise taxes. They increased spending.”
Cavuto asked if Norquist was saying he has “a long memory.” He added, “I don’t want to liken you to Tony Soprano, but you’re going to remember these guys who turn on you?”
”Nobody’s turning on me,” Norquist insisted. “Corker was elected to the Senate because he took the pledge. And people had thought maybe he was too moderate... He would not be a Senator today if he hadn’t made that commitment. If he breaks it, he’s going to have to have a conversation with the people of Tennessee.”
Cavuto said, “That sounds like a threat.”
Norquist said no.
Threat or not, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a nice analysis of the affect – or lack thereof – that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for the wealthy would have on them.
The claims that allowing the Bush tax cuts for high-income people to expire would seriously harm small businesses rest on an exceedingly broad, and misleading, definition of “small business.” The definition is so broad, in fact, that under it, both President Obama and Governor Romney would count as small business owners — as would 237 of the nation’s 400 wealthiest people.
As for spending, President Obama proposed $4 trillion in spending cuts in 2011.
Actually, that might be a perfect comparison. I watched the early seasons of that show, and Tony Soprano is seriously the most incompetent mob boss in all of non-satire fiction, bar none. He was such an out of shape, incompetent fuck up that his son’s bully snickered at the name until he was reminded that daddy brings friends to his talks.
Norquist is the real life version of that- did anyone greet him with anything but an eye roll and a snicker before Ailes stepped in? And how incompetent was he when the big boys had people quaking?
From The Political Carnival:
Grover Norquist the has-been: âAn increasing number of prominent Republicans are dismissing Norquist as a pest.â
Even more striking, an increasing number of prominent Republicans are dismissing Norquist as a pest. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has referred to him as âsome random person.â Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says Norquistâs power has been âbroken.â And in the unkindest cut for any Washington idea-monger, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) dismissed Norquist as inconsequential. âIt doesnât matter what he says,â Coburn told MSNBC in July.
Hey, Grover — to paraphrase the late JT Walsh in Backdraft:
“You see that flashing red light at the corner of your eye? That’s your influence-dissipation light, and it’s blinking in overdrive.”
Wow, Kneel — it wasn’t too long ago that you thought being likened to Tony Soprano was a bad thing:
During Saturdayâs Cavuto on Business (9/18/10), the Obama administration was repeatedly compared to the Mafia over health care reform. First, host Neil Cavuto compared Kathleen Sebelius to Tony Soprano for telling health insurers to stop unjustified rate increases. Then, a few minutes later, regular Charles Payne said, âYou’ve got the Gambinos, the, who do we have, the Luccheseâs.. .Youâre gonna like this health care plan whether you like it or not."(two other panelists, Gerri Willis and John Layfield, laughed). Later, in the segment, after Cavuto jokingly asked Willis if she was offended by âCharlieâs little anti-Italian rant,â she answered, âNot really. I kind of agreed with it.â