# Grover Norquist

A contender for most ridiculous conservative spin this year

I know, that sounds like hyperbole, but it would be hard to top the argument Grover Norquist made yesterday on CNBC. David Sirota, who was also on the program, fills us in:

Grover Norquist is regularly billed as one of the leading intellectual lights of the conservative movement – and I think you will agree that the arguments he made in a debate with me over taxes this morning on CNBC highlight not merely the shocking intellectual bankruptcy of the movement he leads, but just how out of touch Republicans in Washington really are.

The debate revolved around President-elect Obama’s potential plans to put off raising taxes on the very wealthy. Norquist begins the debate with the claim – I kid you not – that “the economy is in the present state because when the Democrats took the House and Senate in 2006 you knew those tax increases were going to come in 2010.” He insisted that, “The stock market began to collapse as soon as you recognize that those old tax rates were coming back.” Yes, because under “those old tax rates” – ie. Clinton-era tax rates – the economy was so much worse than it is today.

As you’ll see, the CNBC reporters start laughing at Norquist, having trouble taking him seriously. And I must say, I really wasn’t sure he was being serious – but, of course, he was. I went on to make the point that I’ve often made in the past – the point that conservatives simply want everyone to forget: Namely, that President Clinton faced down a recession in 1993 by raising taxes on the wealthy in order to finance an economic stimulus package, and the economy subsequently boomed.

Click here to watch the You Tube. Yes, Norquist would have us believe that the U.S. economy is tanking in late 2008 because when the Democrats took over Congress two years ago, people began to expect that taxes on the wealthy would go up in 2010.

If you’ve heard a more illogical assertion from a Republican talking head lately, I want to hear about it in the comments.

While we’re talking about taxes, who thinks Obama should keep his promise to ask Congress to roll back George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent?

Who thinks Obama should just let those tax cuts expire on schedule in 2010, rather than spend political capital to get Congress to rescind them one year early?

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