Coming: ‘$3 trillion tax increase on middle class’


Jerome R. Corsi

Getting Republicans to agree to a tax increase on “the rich” is not the ultimate aim of the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress, says noted tax activist Grover Norquist.


“This is just the first act of a two- or three-act play,” Norquist said in an exclusive interview with WND.


Norquist, president and founder of Americans for Tax Reform, said the first act “is to get congressional Republicans to put their fingerprints on what amounts to a minor tax increase.”

“After raising taxes on the rich a little bit, the Democrats will come back for serious tax revenue,” he said.

“In acts two and three, the Democrats will come back for the real money – an energy tax and a value-added tax that will impact everybody, especially the middle class.”

Norquist insisted Democrats in Congress and the establishment press are playing an elaborate game designed to blame Republicans for budget deficits and keep serious discussion of spending cuts and entitlement reform off the table.

“Congressional Democrats know raising taxes on the rich will not produce enough tax revenue to reduce significantly the trillion-dollar annual budget deficits being run by the Obama White House,” he said.

“The reason the Democrats scream ‘tax the rich, tax the rich,’ is because they are going to pivot very soon to place a 3 trillion-dollar tax increase on the middle class, and they want ringing in the public’s ears that there wouldn’t have had to do this if the Republicans in Congress had acted right away to place a decent size tax on the rich.”

Norquist believes the Democrat strategy risks a tax revolt.

“The size of Tea Party Two is going to dwarf Tea Party One,” he predicted.

Norquist contends Obama is “overstating his mandate.”

“Four years ago, he was convinced he was king,” Norquist said. “He took a 70-percent approval down to 50 percent and lost a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives in the process. Now, Obama starts at 52 percent and he is going not only to spend too much but also too tax too much.”

Nevertheless, in the current “fiscal cliff” negotiations regarding the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, Norquist has been criticized in the establishment press as a hindrance to reaching an agreement.

At the center of criticism is the anti-tax pledge that Norquist has persuaded 95 percent of Republican lawmakers to sign.

“Attacking me and the anti-tax pledge is the same old tactic the Democrats used two years ago in the debate over the debt ceiling,” he said.

The difference this time, however, is that Democrats “have no intention, whatsoever, in seriously talking about spending restraint.”

“So this time,” he said, “it becomes even more important to misdirect the attention of the American people, to say the only reason Republicans preventing a grand bargain by opposing tax increases is because Grover Norquist is telling Republicans what to do.”

In a front page article last Tuesday, Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake claimed Norquist and his anti-tax pledge are “in danger of becoming Washington relics as more and more defectors inch toward accepting tax increases” to avoid going over the fiscal cliff.

“Week after week, Democratic leaders have bashed Republicans for pledging fealty to Norquist rather than working independently,” Blake wrote.

Norquist dismissed such statements as an attempt to misdirect the attention of the American public from the real issue at hand: runaway federal spending, not a failure to raise taxes.

He doesn’t see any evidence his anti-tax pledge is losing its potency. The Washington Post article, he noted, produced as evidence a claim House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had suggested that the anti-tax pledge would not dictate GOP strategy on the fiscal cliff.

“So we get this headline, ‘Cantor Denounces Pledge,’ but that’s not what Cantor said,” Norquist countered. “What Cantor really said was that even without the pledge, the Republicans in Congress would be against raising taxes. Why? Because raising taxes would be bad for the economy.”

Norquist argued Republicans in Congress learned it is risky to increase taxes when President George H. W. Bush went down to defeat in 1992 after violating his “read my lips” pledge.

He insists the anti-tax pledge he promotes through Americans for Tax Reform is not the real issue in the fiscal cliff debate.

“If I became a Buddhist monk, it wouldn’t change anything,” he said, arguing it’s a pledge congressional Republicans make to voters, not to him.

“Republicans in Congress would still be against raising taxes because raising taxes never works,” he said.

Democrats are playing a game of three-card monte, Norquist asserted.

“Because the Democrats in Congress have no intention of talking about entitlement reform,” he said, “the liberal press rolls out the usual list of Republican compromisers who will say raising taxes would be acceptable if the Democrats engage in spending cuts the Democrats have no intention of ever making.”

Norquist predicts Congress will not raise taxes to avoid going over the fiscal cliff, because the Republican majority in the House is the last line of defense.

“The Republicans in House of Representatives are survivors,” he said. “The Democrats have already thrown at them everything you can imagine, and the Republicans in the House are still a majority, serving in districts that will not be redrawn for another 10 years. The Republicans in the House can defend themselves against everything the Democrats throw against them.”

Norquist suggested in the final analysis, the House Republicans could simply pass the plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., proving to the American public that federal budget deficits can be reduced without raising taxes on the rich.

The Ryan plan was passed by the House April 15 by a vote of 235 to 193, with no votes from Democrats. The Democrat-controlled Senate voted it down a month later, 57–40. The bill sought to reduce the 10-year federal deficit by capping discretionary spending and dismantling Obamacare.


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3 Responses

  1. Dave Blevins says:

    Too bad he just won’t die. He is a Treasoner.

  2. Dan says:

    Bend over America the big black Obama dildo is coming and it is huge.
    Taxation by the Federal Government is illegal. This is a Constitutional Fact. Originally government taxation as written in the laws of American governance was to be paid for by the Corporations. Because the US Government is a Corporate Entity.
    Only in times of war (legal war not trumped up False Flags) Americans were to be taxed to help pay for those wars and the taxation ended when the war was over.

    Now do you see why we are always in some state of war? To be forced into a way without reason is illegal and those responsible are guilty of Treason. Guilty of WAR CRIMES!

    In a time of War those who commit treason are publicly shot. Perhaps we need to enforce those rules of war today and process legally convicted treasonous persons for war crimes?

    A war crime tribunal was convened and people were convicted. Do you now who they were?


    There have been many attempts over the last few years to prosecute former president Bush, vice president Cheney, and other senior members of his administration for war crimes of various sorts. None of those until recently were successful. Well, one of those prosecutions has now ended up in a conviction—in absentia, of course. And that took place in Malaysia.

    Now joining us is one of the members of the prosecutorial team [snip] Francis Boyle. He’s a professor of law at the University of Illinois school of law, where he currently teaches courses on public international law and international human rights. He was a part of the prosecution team, as I mentioned, that tried President Bush—former president Bush, former vice president Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, their legal advisers, in Malaysia, and were successful, as I said. Thanks for joining us.

    FRANCIS BOYLE, PROF. INTERNATIONAL LAW, UNIV. OF ILLINOIS COLLEGE OF LAW: Well, Paul, thank you very much for having me on, and my best to your audience.

    JAY: Thank you. So what were the charges? And tell us a bit about the process.

    BOYLE: Well, the charges were twofold: first, torture, and then, second, since torture in wartime constitutes war crimes, the second charge were war crimes. There was four days of hearings by the prosecution and the defense. And then, on the end of the fifth day, the tribunal issued a unanimous judgment to the effect that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and five of their top lawyers advising them on this, including Yoo, Bybee, Haynes, and Gonzalez, Addington, were personally responsible for and guilty of torture and war crimes as defined by the Convention against Torture, to which the United States government is a party, and the four Geneva conventions of 1949, to which the United States government is a party as well.

    JAY: Right. Now, under whose auspices was this process held? What kind of official status did it have?

    BOYLE: The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Foundation is a private organization set up and chartered under Malaysian law. So it is a creature of Malaysian law.

    JAY: But most nonprofits and such can be registered with the government. But let me—what I’m saying is it didn’t have direct government endorsement of any sort, did it?

    BOYLE: No, it was like a U.S. corporation being set up under U.S. corporation law. But it was not run by the government. Indeed, my guess is the current government in Malaysia probably found it to be somewhat embarrassing, since the current government in Malaysia is trying to get into good cahoots with the United States government. But I can’t speak for them.

    JAY: And was there a defense offered? And who offered it?

    BOYLE: Yes, a defense team was appointed for them. It consisted of four or five Malaysian lawyers. And they did the best they could with a very difficult case, because effectively Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld repeatedly incriminated themselves publicly, both in their public statements and in their memoirs and otherwise, in acts of torture. So it is hard to defend people who have already incriminated themselves, but, you know, the defense did try.

    JAY: So what will be the effect of this? I understand you have a separate process going at the International Criminal Court. So how do these two relate to each other? And then, also, how do you have something going at the International Criminal Court when the United States is not a signatory to it?

    BOYLE: Well, that’s correct. Over the years now, I’ve tried to get Bush indicted three times in Canada, working with Canadian lawyers, and then in Switzerland, where we scared Bush out of giving a speech in Switzerland because he feared prosecution. It got back to Bush that we were going to try to get him indicted in Switzerland for torture.

    So this is the first conviction anywhere of Bush and the rest of them for torture and war crimes. Efforts have been made in Spain and in Germany. So far as WikiLeaks points out, the United States government has applied enormous pressure to both the Spanish governments and the German governments not to prosecute. So, so far that hasn’t been done. But this is the first conviction. I think it’s a good sign. We will be attempting to get this conviction enforced in all other states that are parties to the Convention against Torture and all other states that are parties to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, which in fact is almost every state in the world.

    JAY: But the fact that this is a nongovernmental tribunal, it’s going to make it rather difficult to get governments to recognize it, isn’t it?

    BOYLE: Well, it’ll be prima facie evidence of their guilt, pretty much like any other conviction around the world. If you have individuals convicted in one state, there’s not necessarily any obligation by another state to prosecute those individuals. There could be an obligation to extradite if there is an extradition treaty in effect. So this is a question of enforcement of foreign judgments. It depends on treaties and statutes of the country involved. It also—international comity, principles of international legal comity.

    JAY: So how were you able to get something going at the ICC, and where is it at?

    BOYLE: Right. Well, numerous complaints have been filed against Bush and the rest of them at the International Criminal Court, but they got nowhere, because the United States government is not a party to the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court. And I was the first one to figure out a way around this conundrum by filing a complaint against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Gonzalez, Bybee, Yoo, Tenet, and Rice for their policy of so-called extraordinary rendition, which, as I pointed out to the ICC, is really a euphemism for the enforced disappearance of human beings and torture, both of which are Rome Statutory crimes. And as I pointed out to the ICC, these defendants have committed Rome Statutory crimes in Rome party states. Indeed most of Europe, where these extraordinary renditions in part took place, are parties to the Rome statute, as well as Afghanistan. And therefore I argued to the ICC that the court did have jurisdiction to prosecute them and should exercise that jurisdiction.

    JAY: Well, how has the ICC responded to your arguments?

    BOYLE: They responded to me saying they gave me a docket number, they were inquiring into the matter, and they would get back to me in writing. [crosstalk]

    JAY: How long ago was that?

    BOYLE: Pardon me?

    JAY: How long ago was that?

    BOYLE: That was two years. It’s going to take time, obviously, because there’s massive documentation of the extraordinary rendition policy and also the torture. So I believe they are engaging in a good-faith investigation of this complaint and I will get an answer.

    JAY: Why do you believe that?

    BOYLE: Well, because everyone before me has been rejected, and I have not been rejected in writing. They’ve all gotten letters from the ICC prosecutor’s office saying, we don’t have jurisdiction to prosecute. That did not happen to me, and they did promise a response in writing. In any event, we’ll be filing the Kuala Lumpur judgment with the ICC, and I believe that will further support the complaint I already have against Bush and the rest of them.

    JAY: Right. Now, what is the obligation, if any, on the Obama administration in regards to all of this? I mean, when President Obama was elected, he said it’s time to look forward, not back, which, you know, a lot of people have suggested that would mean no crimes of any kind would ever be punished, ’cause it’s always happened already. But is there any legal obligation on the Obama administration to investigate/prosecute? And if so, the fact that they haven’t, what does that mean?

    BOYLE: Yes, the Obama administration has all along had an obligation to prosecute Bush and the rest of them under the Convention against Torture, including U.S. implementing legislation for that convention, making torture a crime, a felony, and in some circumstances punishable by death if death has occurred, which it has, although I don’t support the death penalty. But it does give you an idea of the severity of the crimes. And also the Obama administration has an obligation to prosecute these individuals under the four Geneva conventions of 1949, including the U.S. implementing legislation, the U.S. War Crimes Act. So there is an obligation by Obama to prosecute. Perhaps in a second term they might. We’ll just have to see what happens.

    You are correct to indicate that so far they said they were looking to the forward and not to the past. I pointed out then to the ICC prosecutor that this is definitive proof that the Obama administration is not going to prosecute at this time and therefore satisfies the element known as subsidiarity, which requires the ICC to defer to the national state for prosecution before the ICC steps in. And if you already have Obama and Holder saying they’re not going to prosecute, that satisfies that requirement and puts it firmly in the hands of the ICC.

    JAY: And is the Obama administration then itself in violation of the law by not pursuing this?

    BOYLE: That’s correct. It’s clearly in violation of the Convention against Torture and the four Geneva conventions of 1949, and, I regret to report, technically this would make them accessories after the fact to these offenses.

    JAY: Right. Now, you focused on torture at the Malaysia tribunals, but why not the issue of the Iraq War itself? Kofi Annan—it was little late coming, but eventually said the war was illegal. What is a bigger war crime than invading a country and killing several hundreds of thousands of people?

    BOYLE: Yes. Actually, we did that last November. The charge on torture and war crimes was charge two. Charge one last November—I was out there for that prosecution as well. We prosecuted—well, indicted and then prosecuted Bush and Blair for committing a crime against peace by invading Iraq. And there were, again, close to four days of hearings, there were a defense counsel, and a judgment did come back that Bush and Blair were guilty of crimes against peace for their invasion against Iraq. And we are making efforts to get that judgment enforced, too.

    Obviously, these things take time. Pinochet stepped down as president of Chile, and it took eight years before he was finally hauled to court there in Britain. So, you know, if you’re pursuing major war criminals such as Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and the rest of them, you’re not going to have justice tomorrow. You know, you can take a look at the Balkans with Milosevic. I first went after him in the World Court in 1993, and finally got him indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for what he did in Bosnia in 2000. So that took seven years, and he was finally on trial for these crimes. Unfortunately, he died before we were able to get a final verdict. So, you know, you have to view these things as a long-term effort.

    JAY: Thanks very much for joining us.

    BOYLE: Well, again, thanks for having me on. And my best to Real News. Keep the good work up.

    JAY: Thank you. And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.


  3. aj weishar says:

    If Grover Norquist really knew anything about balancing the Federal budget, he would quit misdirecting Republican leaders and address the real problem. There is no Consolidated Federal Financial Statement because some departments are unauditable, including our largest expenses, Defense and Homeland Security. Norquist, Congress, and the President don’t know what our current balance is, haven’t for over a decade. All the budget and taxation hot air is like a bunch of blind people arguing over the color of a flower.

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