Taxpayer Protection Pledge I, _____, pledge to the taxpayers of the (____ district of the) state of ______ and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.(Links to the lists of all Republicans, even those that signed the pledge after being elected in November 2012, are below the post)
Quite a lot of talk throughout the web of certain RINOS (Republican In Name Only) claiming that if circumstances were right, if they received the budgetary concessions from the Obama administration and Senate Democrats that would cut a large chunk of spending, that they would consider tax hikes instead of the revenue generating proposals already offered up, despite a pledge they made to their constituents when they were elected that they would never vote for tax hikes.
One of the more amazing post-election spectacles is the media celebration of Republicans who say they're willing to repudiate their pledge against raising taxes. So the same folks who like to denounce politicians because they can't be trusted are now praising politicians who openly admit they can't be trusted.
The spectacle is part of what is becoming a tripartisan—Democrats, media, some Republicans—attempt to stigmatize Grover Norquist as the source of all Beltway fiscal woes and gridlock. Mr. Norquist, who runs an outfit called Americans for Tax Reform, is the fellow who came up with the no-new-taxes pledge some 20 years ago. He tries to get politicians to sign it, and hundreds of Republicans have done so. He does not hold a gun to their heads.
Grover's—everyone calls him Grover—apparent crime against Washington is that he now actually wants to hold politicians to what they willingly signed. If enough Republicans will disavow their tax pledge, then the capital crowd can go about agreeing to a grand fiscal bargain that raises taxes, pretends to cut spending and avoids the January 1 fiscal crack-up that the politicians have set us up for. Voters are supposed to believe that only Grover stands in the way of this happy ever-after.
Norquist might have written the pledge, gotten newly elected members to sign it, but as the pledge above shows, the promise, the pledge, is not made to Norquist, in fact his name isn't on it, the pledge is to the voters in their respective states.
The claim by RINOS that they will considering voting for direct tax hikes has been made before, yet those Republicans never actually violated their pledge, they make the claims, then when Democrats refuse to offer up any meaningful spending cuts, it becomes a non-issue yet again, but those RINOS get to pretend they were willing to cave.
The legitimate compromise has already been offered by Speaker Boehner by way of revenue offered up that is not a direct tax hike, but is instead an indirect one that would limit deductions, close loopholes, etc....
The danger to the RINOS this time however is their pretense comes at a time when conservatives across the country need an outlet for their disappointment and anger over the 2012 election.
Reasonable pundits understand that Mitt Romney did a good job, not only fighting a battle against an incumbent, but also having the majority of the mainstream media covering for Obama, refusing to report the facts of the Libya terrorist attack on 9/11 which killed four Americans, hiding information until after the election, carrying Obama's water on almost every single issue, so many were left without a true outlet.
Now, people like Senator Saxby Chambliss, Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Peter King, risk their political careers by even suggesting that promises made to their constituents in order to be elected, are not relevant anymore.
Chambliss, Graham and King are up for reelection in 2014.
Conservatives will be no less disappointed or angry about the results of the 2012 election, by 2014.
If anything, conservative supporters watching the Obamacare tax hikes due to kick in on January 1, 2013, watching the exchanges being set up, which would have been avoided had Romney won the election, watching the new Obama regulations come down the pipeline that continue to kill jobs, will be even more determined to rid the party of anyone who cannot be trusted to keep a promise made to their constituents.
The Senate is still under the control of Democrats, so Chambliss and Graham are actually irrelevant to the Senate vote to raise taxes, so their public statements are nothing short of complete political suicide.
The House of Representatives are controlled by Republicans and that is where the line must be held because every single member of the House, Republican and Democrat alike, are up for reelection in 2014. Conservative supporter's only reason to vote in the 2014 midterms is if they believe it matters, if Republicans actually hold that line, stay true to their constituent's principles and represent their electorate and do not put themselves into the position where supporters say to themselves "look at what they did, they might as well be 'tax and spend' Democrats."
As the 2010 midterms showed, when Republicans swept through and took control of the House with the largest gains seen in 70 years, voters remember, voters hold their elected representatives accountable, and voters do not have a problem losing an election to make a point about integrity and to rid their party of those that do not keep their promises.
Should the Republicans that control the House of Representatives cave on tax hikes in the fiscal cliff battle, offering more than revenue by the means they have already offered up, they can kiss their 2014 election chances goodbye and possibly lose control of the House of Representatives, which voters entrusted to them again in 2012.
List of Pledge Signers in the 112th Congress
List of Pledge Signers in the 113th Congress
List of State Signers of the Pledge
U.S House Pledge
State Legislator Pledge