Grover Norquist: The man behind the GOP's budget dogma - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Grover Norquist: The man behind the GOP's budget dogma

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TAMPA (WKOW) -- Grover Norquist may not be a household name to most, but he is probably the most influential person at the Republican National Convention. 

He is known as the guy who pressures Republican members of Congress into signing pledges, saying they will never raise taxes.  And as you might imagine, he loves Paul Ryan's budget plan.

As the founder and President of Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist is a very popular and highly sought after personality in GOP circles.

His mantra is simple.

"Reduce marginal tax rates over time, necessary, but not sufficient.  And look at entitlements to, over time, reduce spending as a percentage of the economy," said Norquist.

In other words, slash government revenue and spending.

Its why Norquist heartily endorses Ryan's controversial plan to reduce spending for Medicare and Social Security, by privatizing parts of both programs.

"I like Ryan's proposals because they're reasonable, and gradual and, taken with effect, they allow competition between different states to try things in different ways and find out what works," said Norquist.

Norquist once jokingly said that he wants government to be small enough to drowned in a bathtub.
    
When asked what public sector workers such as teachers and local government employees should take from that, Norquist danced a bit.

But he talked a lot about giving government workers more private options for things like retirement and healthcare.

He even thinks Wisconsin should, over time, phase out its retirement system, which is the highest rated public pension plan in the nation.

"I think that Ryan's plan and the Republican reforms treat government workers with respect, and may guarantee them that the retirement promised them will actually be there," said Norquist.

Grover Norquist has been so influential with his Taxpayer Protection Pledge, that he's gotten signatures from 41 of 47 Republican senators and 238 of 242 GOP House members.

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