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What Conservatives Are Saying About the Tax Agreement

December 15, 2010

Below are statements from conservatives in support of the tax agreement that is expected to be voted on in the Senate today and later this week by the House.  The agreement will prevent a massive, job-killing tax hike from kicking in on January 1.

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR): “The whole point of this tax deal is to prevent taxes from going up on anybody.  It would be wrong to leave American employers with a tax increase at a time of nearly 10 percent unemployment.  Congress should avert this tax hike on employers.”

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform: A tentative tax deal between President Obama and the GOP is “a much bigger victory than people see” for the Republicans.

Matt Kibbe, President and CEO of Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks: “This is dodging the tax bullet. That’s the grand deal — extend all the Bush tax cuts, a new tax cut on payroll taxes, which I think that Republicans and tea partiers should support in exchange for extending unemployment benefits, which Harry Reid has already demonstrated an ability to pass with the Republican votes he needs. So to me, it’s a no-brainer to not allow taxes to go up dramatically in January so we can then deal with fundamental tax reform.”

Newt Gingrich, Former Republican Speaker of the House: “The agreement to extend the tax code without an increase for two years is a great victory for [the A]merican people and [the GOP] leadership.”

Bill Kristol, Editor of the Weekly Standard: “[T]his is a very good deal from a conservative point of view.”

Larry Kudlow, CNBC Host: “I think conservatives have to keep their eye on economic growth. There’s stuff in the deal that I don’t like, but the overall impact is going to be positive.”

Philip Klein, The American Spectator:  “[W]e should still recognize that an overwhelming majority of the deal is stuff that conservatives have either been actively campaigning for or would be perfectly comfortable with.”

Dan Mitchell, CATO Institute Senior Fellow:  “On the plus side, we dodge a big tax increase for the next two years. We also replace a goofy and ineffective ‘make work pay’ tax credit with a supply-side oriented reduction in the payroll tax rate…one bit of good news that has not received much attention. The tax deal ends the ‘Build America Bonds’ tax preference, which was one of the most destructive provisions of Obama’s so-called stimulus.”