This is the season in which the bearded, Harvard-trained ayatollah of the anti-tax movement, Grover Norquist, demands (almost always successfully) that candidates sign a document pledging to oppose any tax increase of any kind. The founder and leader of the Washington-based Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist is clever, meticulous and persistent — and the leading enforcer and symbol of Republican tax-cutting orthodoxy.
Our Holy Congressional Oath of Office
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
Note: They pledge allegiance to the Constitution and not Grover Norquist nor Americans for Tax Reform. Have you heard of them?
“What is the Taxpayer Protection Pledge?
“It has transformed American politics.” — Jonathan Alter, Newsweek
“Signing it has become de riguer for GOP candidates running for federal or statewide offices across the country.” — The Hill
“The Pledge has become something of a rallying cry in conservative circles.” — National Journal
Politicians often run for office saying they won’t raise taxes, but then quickly turn their backs on the taxpayer. The idea of the Pledge is simple enough: Make them put their no-new-taxes rhetoric in writing.
In the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, candidates and incumbents solemnly bind themselves to oppose any and all tax increases. While ATR has the role of promoting and monitoring the Pledge, the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is actually made to a candidate’s constituents, who are entitled to know where candidates stand before sending them to the capitol. Since the Pledge is a prerequisite for many voters, it is considered binding as long as an individual holds the office for which he or she signed the Pledge.”
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