No New Taxes?

Mark Schmitt at TAPPED has a rather intriguing gem from Grover Norquist after a book promotion:

Norquist’s answer had two parts — first, that all the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts should be extended without paying for them. But second, that anything that was not a change to the existing law would not count as a violation of the “No Tax” pledge. So even though Republicans are already attacking the expirations (which they wrote into law) as “the largest tax increase in history,” for purposes of Norquist’s pledge, it is not. The estate tax could go back to its previous level, taxes on capital gains and dividends could go back to the Clinton-era levels, etc., and Norquist’s pledge would not be broken.

This is astonishing. There’s a lot of room to regain some of the revenues necessary for health care and public investment just within the Bush tax cuts. The absolutist politics of no taxes has been by far the most powerful weapon in the conservative arsenal. It’s era is officially over.

It certainly sounds like Norquist is ready to adjust to life in the minority.