On Sunday’s broadcast of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer said Americans for Tax Reform president and founder Grover Norquist is wrong to demonize Republicans who are considering agreeing to tax hikes to avert the fiscal cliff.
“[Norquist] is talking about seducing, that the Republicans have been seduced — you’re talking about impure thoughts,” Cramer said. “This is not a pornographic debate, Grover. What this is about is avoiding a recession, which is going to happen. I know you don’t want a recession. You don’t want people laid off. You’re going to sacrifice that for the cross of two percent? Is that what you want?”
Norquist countered that conservative principles call for improving economic conditions to fuel growth.
“No, you have to listen to both what the Republicans are talking about — and again, I’m supportive of the Republican position, which is we need to have economic growth, not higher taxes,” Norquist replied. “If we grew at four percent a year instead of two percent a year — Reagan levels instead of Obama levels — for one decade, we would need net $5 trillion in additional revenue. That would pay down the debt that Obama has run up, the Solyndra stimulus dollars.”
Cramer said tax levels should fall to where they were during former President Bill Clinton’s tenure, but Norquist argued that the regulatory and economic climate has changed substantially since the 1990s.
“No Obamacare, no threat of regulations — understand how ugly the next four years will get,” Norquist said. “Everything in Obamacare that Obama didn’t want you to focus on or think about, the 90 percent of his trillion-dollar tax increase, was pushed over until after he got himself safely re-elected. All those regulations you’re now hearing about, that are being talked about, those all hit after the election. We got four bad years of regulation taxes. He wants to add higher taxes to that. Tea party II will dwarf tea party I if Obama pushes us off the cliff. Let’s not pretend who is pushing us off the cliff.”