Further proof that Republican-voting seniors (and near-seniors) were duped

Raw Story: “Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is encouraging Democrats to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits because the programs are “things we don’t absolutely need.”

“Speaking to ABC’s George Stephanopolous on Sunday about the so-called fiscal cliff, Coburn said that he would be willing to accept tax hikes for the top 2 percent of earners if Democrats and President Barack Obama agreed to reform Social Security and Medicare.

“The ABC host pointed out that Obama’s health care reform law had already achieved about $716 billion in Medicare savings and many Republicans — including former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney — ran against those cuts.

“The $700 billion in savings doesn’t save the government a penny because what it does is takes that $700 billion and spends it on other people,” Coburn insisted. “We’ve seen the president demand that we’re going to solve 7 percent of this problem [with tax hikes on the rich] but he’s totally inflexible on the other 93 percent.””

Think Progress: “On Sunday, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) conceded that Democrats have won the debate on raising taxes on the richest Americans and said that he would likely vote to increase rates on the top 2 percent of Americans in order to shift the debate to cutting entitlement programs and improve the GOP’s leverage in the debate over how to avert the so-called fiscal cliff…

“CORKER: The Republicans know they have the debt ceiling, that is coming up around the corner, and, the leverage is going to shift, as soon as we get beyond this issue. The leverage is going to shift, to our side where hopefully we’ll do the same thing we did last time and that is if the president wants to raise the debt limit by $2 trillion we get $2 trillion in spending reduction and, hopefully, this time, it is mostly oriented towards entitlement and with no process. [...]“

If you voted Republican to ‘save’ Social Security and Medicare from big, bad Barack Obama, consider yourself had. Consider yourself a base rube.

Grover Norquist is now considered “an impediment to good governing”

Instead of reducing government to a size where we can “drown it in a bathtub,” it appears that Grover’s tax pledge might be circling the drain.

The People spoke — will Republican Party politicians really listen?

Raw Story: Former Bush campaign advisor Matthew Dowd on Sunday slammed anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, blaming his organization for GOP obstruction in Congress. Dowd said on ABC’s This Week that every member of Congress knew — but refused to admit — that the federal deficit could only be lowered by raising tax rates on the wealthy, cutting defense spending and reforming entitlement programs like Medicare. “And they also all know that Grover Norquist is an impediment to good governing,” he added. “The only good thing about Grover Norquist is he’s named after a character from Sesame Street.”

Huffington Post: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) appeared to take a step back from anti-tax champion Grover Norquist on Monday, suggesting that a “no new taxes” pledge coordinated by Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform group wouldn’t determine his legislative duties regarding ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations. “When I go to the constituents that have reelected me, it is not about that pledge,” Cantor said on MSNBC. “It really is about trying to solve problems.”

TPM: Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) said that fixing the nation’s debt problem may require breaking Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge, telling a Georgia television station Wednesday that “I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge.”

Huffington Post: Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN): “I’m not obligated on the pledge,” Corker told Charlie Rose of CBS News, responding to a question about growing disenchantment among Republicans who had previously stood in agreement with Norquist’s strict “no new taxes” pledge. “I was just elected. The only thing I’m honoring is the oath I take when I serve when I’m sworn in this January.”

Raw Story: Leading House representative Peter King observed on Sunday: One cannot be held to “a pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago,” the New York lawmaker said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program. “For instance, if I were in Congress in 1941, I would have signed a declaration of war against Japan. I’m not going to attack Japan today,” he said. “The world has changed,” said King, “and the economic situation is different.”

TPM: Former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson: “For heaven’s sake, you have Grover Norquist wandering the earth in his white robes saying that if you raise taxes one penny, he’ll defeat you,” he told CNN back in May. “He can’t murder you. He can’t burn your house. The only thing he can do to you, as an elected official, is defeat you for reelection. And if that means more to you than your country when we need patriots to come out in a situation when we’re in extremity, you shouldn’t even be in Congress.”

Finally, Warren Buffett has a message for Grover Norquist: Higher taxes won’t keep the super-rich from trying to make money. In an op-ed for The New York Times published Monday, Buffett asks readers to imagine they’ve been offered a great investment opportunity. “Would your reply possibly be this? “Well, it all depends on what my tax rate will be on the gain you’re saying we’re going to make. If the taxes are too high, I would rather leave the money in my savings account, earning a quarter of 1 percent.” Only in Grover Norquist’s imagination does such a response exist,” Buffett writes.

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“Anti-Tax fetishist Grover Norquist owns a bust of Ronald Reagan, who raised taxes 11 times.” — John Fugelsang