ATR president Grover Norquist recently joined Brad Polumbo on the Breaking Boundaries Podcast to discuss Joe Biden’s tax plan and 2020 state ballot measures.
Referencing Illinois voters’ rejection of a graduated income tax, Polumbo asks what exactly the argument is against a progressive income tax. Grover responds:
“People understand that if you divide the electorate into different groups like we do with the federal income tax, you can mug people one at a time. As both Clinton and Obama were elected promising, “I’m only going to mug the top one or two percent.”… This is the Richard Speck theory of tax increases: if you can’t take on everyone in the room at once, you take them out of the room one at a time to work them over… There was a conversation again in Illinois that said, “Yeah, they’ll divide us and then over time we’ll all see our taxes increase.”“
Polumbo asks, “Biden has publically stated that he’s only going to raise taxes on the rich. First, is that true? Second, what’s your general assessment of that from a policy point of view?” Grover responded:
“Biden already lied his way into the Vice Presidency, along with Obama, promising to never tax anyone who earned less than $250,000 back in 2008. You may remember that they wanted energy taxes, that tax on Obamacare to force you to buy Obamacare and force you if you didn’t—5 million Americans were hit by that tax, 75% of them earned less than $50,000 a year. That was directly aimed at punishing lower-income people. As Bloomberg says, the great thing about regressive taxation, taxing poor people, is that you can force them to do what you want them to do… One of the first things that Obama did was that he raised taxes on cigarette smokers. The average income of a cigarette smoker is $40,000 a year. So about a month into his presidency… [the pledge] was out the door… What we do know is that Biden has a history… of promising to only hit the rich, and then hitting everyone.”