Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Pledge

Professor Robert Thurman of Columbia University draws attention to the treasonous behavior of congress persons who have made pledges to Grover Norquist that contradict their pledges made to the United States as congress persons.

Steve Kroft takes a look at Grover Norquist, the man many blame for holding up the deficit-reduction process because of the anti-tax pledges he has obtained from nearly all the Republican politicians in Washington.

Several top Republicans abruptly abandoned Norquist this week, declaring themselves unbeholden to his pledge, which forbids signers from raising any type of revenue.

To understand the disagreement between Norquist and his fellow Republicans, it's important to understand what is in his infamous anti-tax pledge, known in Republican circles as simply "The Pledge."
It reads:
I, ______, pledge to the taxpayers of the state of ________, and to the American people that I will:
ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and
TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.

"Republicans and Democrats argue from opposite sides of the balance sheet — whether we should increase revenues or cut spending," explained the Senate aide, who asked not to be named in order to speak candidly. "But Grover is totally isolated in considering the elimination of tax credits to be a tax increase."
A really simple example is the $78 million tax break for NASCAR racetrack owners, one of myriad special interest loopholes and exceptions that riddle the tax code. Cutting this loophole would be tantamount to the government spending $78 million less to this industry.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/conservatives-cheer-on-norquists-waning-power-2012-11#ixzz2DsC2HdSr

Every day, more Republicans in Congress are backing away from Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquit’s anti-tax pledge. For more than 20 years, the pledge, which stipulates that those who sign will never — under any circumstance — vote to raise taxes while in Congress, has virtually been a requirement for Congressional Republicans.According to ATR, just 16 of the 234 House Republicans and 6 of the 45 Senate Republicans that comprise the 113th Congress did not sign the pledge.
However, the pledge may not have the staying power it once did. As of this writing, more than a dozen House Republicans — including Majority Leader Eric Cantor — and 10 GOP senators have distanced themselves from the pledge to one degree or another. Here are just a few examples or what members had to say:
— Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH): “The only pledge that keeps me up at night is the pledge I owe to the people of New Hampshire and our country to work as hard as I can to make sure America doesn’t go bankrupt.”
– Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA): “I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge . . . I don’t worry about that because I care too much about my country. I care a lot more about it than I do Grover Norquist.”
– Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN): “Well, I’m not obligated on the pledge. I made Tennesseans aware, I was just elected, that the only thing I’m honoring is the oath I take when I’m sworn in this January.”
– Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA): “When I go to the constituents, it’s not about that pledge. It’s about trying to solve problems.”
– Rep. Peter King (R-NY): “A pledge is good at the time you sign it . . . In 1941, I would have voted to declare war on Japan. But each Congress is a new Congress. And I don’t think you can have a rule that you’re never going to raise taxes or that you’re never going to lower taxes. I don’t want to rule anything out.”
– Rep. Timothy Johnson (R-IL): “I would never in a million years have considered this as some kind of a locked-in-granite pledge. Frankly, I didn’t even remember it. That shows you how obscure it was to me.”
Other Senators that have signed the pledge and distanced themselves from Norquist includeSen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE), and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY). House Republicans also jumping ship include: Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY), Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI), Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA), Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR), Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA), Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ), Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE),Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH), Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Rep. John Kline (R-MN), Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN),Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE), Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA), Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), Rep. Allen West (R-FL), Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL), and Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA).
– Greg Noth

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