The Cain plan is proof of this. Indeed if conservative Republican ideology was really opposed to tax increases how could they support The Fair Tax? How is it that they never propose cutting payroll taxes or sales taxes-to the contrary they propose new sales taxes all the time-e.g. Cain.
Taxes are not a zero sum game. This is proven by the fact that the Fair Tax is supposed to be revenue neutral. If a tax "cut" is revenue neutral it isn't really a tax cut but a tax restructuring. You are cutting someone's taxes in exchange for raising someone else's.
Mr. Norquist's pledge only applies to certain types of tax increases. The taxes conservatives like to see cut are income taxes for high earners-in the Bush tax cuts there were some sweetners for the middle and working poor to garner support-and capital gain tax cuts. The best way to describe the Reagan Revolution is "give em an inch they take a mile" they have the capital gains rate down to 15 percent now so what do they do? They demand it be reduced to zero.If you remember, the capital gains tax was initially raised by Reagan in exchange for lowering top income rates; since Miltion Friedman they had been arguing that we should raise the capital gain rate in exchange for lowering top rates. It took them only 15 years after getting their top bracket cuts to cut the capital gains rate back down again. They never argue for payroll taxes and they like consumption taxes, they are always advocating them, Mr. Cain's national sales tax is just the latest incarnation.
Besides the obvious fact that their tax policy is skewed in favor of the rich, it's important to note their preference for saving over consumption. This is what for example a sales tax is: a disincentive to consume. Of course as the middle class and poor spend such a larger percentage of their income on consumption a hike touches them much more than for the rich.
This is the blue print and Mr. Cain's recent 9-9-9 plan-with its endgame of one federal sales tax to replace all other federal taxes(remember his plan leaves the state tax system unchanged)- is a giant disincentive to consume in favor of saving. This is also the premise behind the Roth and IRA savings accounts. All are structured to favor savings over consumption.
At the minimum one should be grateful for Cain's awful plan in giving us a teachable moment: that conservatives are not opposed to all tax hikes-Mr. Cain's plan is a huge tax hike on the majority of Americans- per se. They favor lowering them only on high income and savings while rasing taxes on lower income and consumers
As liberals we should demand progressive rates that raise enough revenues for the government to properly serve all its functions: right now the U.S. government is in dire straits after 10 years of the fiscal contraction from the Bush tax cuts. It has left us with a skeletal "anorexic" government. We should also be skeptical of consumption taxes whether sales or value-added. In any case the pincipal of tax progressivity already should give us a bias against consumption taxes by definition.
For the ongoing cost of the Bush tax cuts see http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/10/14/344329/tax-cuts-five-percent-11-6-hour/