Norquist Slams Simpson in Escalating War of Words Over Taxes

Former Republican senator doesn’t think much of ‘tax pledge' that Norquist has been pushing with much success onto Republican lawmakers and candidates

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It’s “white robes” versus “rambling."

A bit of controversy has arisen from last week's Schwab Impact 2012 conference Chicago, with each side not-so-subtly referring to the other’s mental state.

Following a speech to attendees on Thursday, former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson joined commission co-chair Erskine Bowles for a live interview in the exhibit hall with CNBC. When asked about low-tax evangelist Grover Norquist and his “no tax” pledge taken by many Republicans in Congress, Simpson called the position untenable.

“[What] I've always said about Grover Norquist is he's wandering the earth in his white robes,” Simspon said.

According to CNBC, Simpson “chided his fellow Republican for sticking to his guns on keeping taxes low and questioned Norquist's ability to force Republicans to toe his line.”

"What can he do to you? He can't murder you; he can't burn your house. The only thing he can do to you is defeat you for re-election. And if that means more to you than your country ... you shouldn't even be in Congress."

Norquist didn’t take the insult lightly, responding a day later, "Alan Simpson ranting is not news."

He told the network that the latest tax plan would take taxes as a percentage of gross domestic product from 18.5% in full employment—the average over the past 30 years—to 21%, which equates to a $5 trillion tax increase over the next decade.

Norquist told "Closing Bell" growth, not tax hikes, is the best way to raise revenue for the federal government.

"If you grow at 4% a year instead of 2% a year for one decade, the government raises $5 trillion," Norquist asserted, according to the network.

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