There's a lot of talk on cable news (real and fake) about who "won" the 2011 budget showdown.
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, says the answer is crystal clear: Republicans won and President Obama and the Democrats lost.
"It's compromise when you move in the direction you want to go to but not as far as you like," Norquist says. "It's losing when you move in the direction away from [where] you wish to be."
Agreeing to $38 billion in spending cuts vs. the original goal of $60 billion "was a compromise for the Republicans and the Tea Party movement, but it was progress," Norquist tells Dan and me in the accompanying clip. "The goal was not to have a shutdown. The goal was to keep on track to reduce spending from what Obama wanted."
The GOP will have another bite at the proverbial apple - and Norquist predicts more victories -- when it comes time to vote on the 2012 budget and a separate but related vote on the debt ceiling.
Norquist predicts the debt ceiling will be raised, but only after Republicans garner concessions such as securing a Senate vote on a balanced budget amendment, something Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has blocked to date.
Given President Obama gave in on extending the Bush tax cuts for all Americans and on the 2011 spending cuts, Norquist, a major force in Republican politics, seems to have good reason to be confident.
"This is all about 2012 in terms of the politics," he says. "Obama can't look as far left as he governed for previous two years — he's got to look reasonable which is why he caved on the Bush tax cuts and on the spending bills and will at the end of the day on the debt ceiling and 2012 budget."
Check the accompanying video for more on Norquist's view on the ongoing budget battles.
- President Obama
- Grover Norquist
- extending the Bush tax cuts
- the Republicans
- balanced budget amendment