Apparently there’s still some confusion – or intentional misrepresentation – out there about the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. So let’s clear some things up once again…
First, I have never, ever put a gun to any candidate’s head and forced them to sign the Pledge. They do so voluntarily.
Secondly, those who sign the Pledge make their tax hike promise – just like all their other campaign promises – to the voters of their districts; not to me and not toGrover Norquist.
The wording of the Pledge in this regard is simple and clear…
“I (insert name), pledge to the taxpayers of the state of (insert state name), that I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.”
“…to the taxpayers of the state…”
Thirdly, I do not criticize candidates who HONOR their promise to the taxpayers and voters who elected them.
I criticize Pledge signers who BREAK their promise.
If you don’t want me riding your back on this issue, then simply keep your promise.
If you break your promise, YOU’RE the bad guy, not the guy who points out that you’re the bad guy.
And don’t try weaseling out of your commitment Clinton-style by calling a tax a “fee.”
Fourth, if you want to raise taxes and fees in office, then don’t sign the Pledge!
Promising the voters one thing in the campaign and then delivering something entirely different after elected is called “bait and switch” in the business world.
And it’s illegal.
Candidates who sign the Tax Pledge solely for the purpose of getting elected in a GOP primary – not out of the principled conviction that it’s a bad idea to give the government more money to grow – and then, once in office, break their word without remorse, probably ought not be re-elected.
Because at that point, it’s no longer about tax hikes.
It’s about trust.
Make a promise; keep a promise.
If you’re not going to keep your word, then don’t give it.
If you give it; honor it.
Is that really too much to ask?