Norquist: GOP lawmaker's criticism 'beneath him'

Norquist has singled out Wolf before for being open to so-called “grand bargains” that would include both spending cuts and fresh revenues, and he repeated that criticism on Tuesday.

“The guy that stopped tax increases is named Boehner, not Norquist,” the activist said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “But if he wants to chew on my ankles, I can take it.”

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In his Tuesday speech, Wolf said he did not support raising taxes, but added that policymakers needed to look at all options when trying to rein in deficits. He also sharply criticized what he called “tax earmarks” — essentially niche credits or deductions that are dispersed throughout the tax code.

“Unlike an earmark included in an annual appropriations bill, ‘tax earmarks’ are far worse because once enacted they typically exist in perpetuity,” Wolf said.

ATR’s tax pledge calls for credits and deductions to be eliminated only if paired with at least a matching reduction in tax rates.

Wolf also bashed Norquist for his links to Jack Abramoff, the former Republican lobbyist who was sent to prison on money-laundering charges, and financiers with ties to terrorist groups.

But Norquist signaled that the ties referenced by Wolf were either out of date, trumped up or untrue.

The back-and-forth between Norquist and Wolf comes after the anti-tax activist had a sparring match with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), in large part over Coburn’s push to end a tax subsidy for ethanol.