As our Jon Levine pointed out earlier Monday, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon‘s newly-reported stance on a tax hike for the rich would “likely spark a major internecine conflict within the GOP.” And quite naturally, the leader of the side opposite Bannon’s figured to be Grover Norquist — a longtime anti-tax advocate who has held considerable sway in the Republican party for some time.
Sure enough, as part of a CNN panel discussion Monday afternoon, Norquist came out strongly against Bannon’s reported position on jacking up taxes on the rich.
“It’s a particularly cruel thing for Bannon to do,” Norquist said, speaking of the possible hike.
Norquist’s argument, as ever, is that raising taxes on the rich makes them more likely to cut the salaries and jobs of the middle class people they employ.
“The whole point of high tax rates is so that politicians can tell the middle class, “Oh, are we screwing you? Not as much as that guy over there,'” Norquist said. “High tax rates on the highest income people are the excuse they use to damage the middle class. And if somebody is in the White House and hasn’t read history, that’s unfortunate.”
Ultimately, Norquist believes Bannon’s boss, President Donald Trump, is unlikely to take the advice of his Chief Strategist in this case.
“This is not going anywhere,” Norquist said. “It’s a distraction. And it’s an unfortunate distraction. Because it’s a cruel joke on middle income people to think that killing their jobs helps them.”
Watch above, via CNN.
[featured image via screengrab]
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