Norquist at a Loss Over Democratic Win but Will Keep Up Fight on Taxes

The small-government maven may face revanchism from some House Republicans.

In a spirited exchange with NBC's Chuck Todd at the Washington Ideas Forum, anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist revealed he still hasn't come up with much of an answer to the fact that American voters just went to the polls to back people who have pledged to raise taxes.

 Washington Ideas Forum Conversations with leading newsmakers. A special report

Norquist denied that his famous anti-tax pledge would complicate Republican efforts to cut a deal on the impending fiscal cliff during the lame-duck session of Congress. He also said he would continue to back House Speaker John Boehner, despite Boehner's recent openness to raising revenues.

"I support Boehner's position," Norquist said.

"Which is to bring in more revenues," Todd interjected.

"Certainly," said Norquist, adding that revenues would be higher if tax rates were lower: According to his theory of economic growth, lower taxes would increase economic growth.

"I'm all for economic growth," he said, complaining that politicians are reluctant to count growth as a revenue increase.

According to a recent report in Salon, "Norquist faces an unprecedented rear-guard attack as the congressional GOP fractures on the tax issue. Last year, there were 238 members of the House and 41 members of the Senate who had signed Norquist's pledge. This year, there are just 217 in the House -- one shy from the 218 needed for a majority -- and 39 in the Senate, an all-time low."



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Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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