GOP Legislators Sign ATR No New Taxes Pledge - No Tax Increase Can Pass In The Legislature!
4-9-2007 7:15 am
The Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge is very straight forward. It reads:
I, ____________, pledge to the taxpayers of the _____ district of the State of _________ and to all the people of this state, that I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.
Such a simple pledge make the contrast between the Republican and Democrat Parties as clear as it can be. A look at our California Congressional delegation shows that every single Republican has signed this pledge, and that not one Democrat has done so.
Today at 11 a.m., Grover Norquist, the President of Americans for Tax Reform, along with State Senator Tom McClintock and other legislative Republicans will be holding a press conference where they will announce that enough State Legislators have signed the ATR Taxpayer Protection Pledge to guarantee that there are not the required 2/3 votes in either the State Senate or the State Assembly to pass a tax increase.
At the press event, it will be announced that the following State Senators have signed the pledge: Sam Aanestad, Dick Ackerman, Roy Ashburn, Jim Battin, Dave Cogdill, Dave Cox, Jeff Denham, Bob Dutton, Tom Harman, Dennis Hollingsworth, Abel Maldonado, Bob Margett, Tom McClintock, George Runner
and Mark Wyland.
It will also be announced that the following members of the State Assembly have also signed it: Anthony Adams, Joel Anderson, Greg Aghazarian, John Benoit, Tom Berryhill, Sam Blakeslee, Paul Cook, Chuck DeVore, Mike Duvall, Bill Emmerson, Jean Fuller, Ted Gaines, Bonnie Garcia, Martin W. Garrick, Shirley Horton, Guy S. Houston, Bob Huff, Kevin Jeffries, Rick Keene, Doug LaMalfa, Bill Maze, Alan Nakanishi, George Plescia, Sharon Runner, Jim Silva, Audra Strickland, Cameron Smyth, Todd Spitzer, Van Tran, Mike Villines,
and Mimi Walters.
This list of State Legislators is remarkable for two reasons. The first is that, like with the Congressional Delegation, NOT ONE Democrat is willing to sign a pledge against raising taxes. The second is that these signatories represent EVERY Republican legislator in Sacramento, save one.
I caught up with Grover Norquist, the President of Americans for Tax Reform, who had this to say about the pledge:
There are two reasons the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is important. First, stopping tax increases allows Californians to keep more of the money they earn. Second, only when tax increases are off the table will the politicians in Sacramento be forced to actually govern. Tax increases are what politicians do when governing is too much work. Governing means making decisions. Deciding that some government programs are no longer worth it. That some programs are better than others. That some government programs that once made sense are now destructive of their original aims.Tax increases allow politicians to avoid the tough questions and the tough actions. The Taxpayer Protection Pledge is good for taxpayers. And it is necessary for the politicians to force them to focus on governing.
I mentioned that one GOP legislator did not sign the pledge, and that is Sacramento County Assemblyman Roger Niello. I spoke with Assemblyman Niello over the weekend, and the good news his decision not to sign the pledge is NOT because he is open to raising taxes, rather he does not believe, as an elected representative, in signing 'pledges' such at this one. Niello had this to say:
I share the view that Californian's are taxed too much already. We do not have a revenue problem in California, we have a spending problem and it is time to put hard working Californian's first by stopping new taxes.
As Vice Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee I am personally committed to providing leadership in our caucus as we negotiate the upcoming budget. Our number one priority has been to get our fiscal house in order without raising taxes.In relation to the American's for Tax Reform pledge, simply stated, I don't like to sign pledges. Make no mistake, though, I also don't like taxes and, as Vice-Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, increases in them will have no role in this year's budget solution.California is headed into a very tough budget season, with economic forecasts showing that times are not as rosy for state revenues as they have been the last few years. It is especially important that Republican legislators are unanimously opposed to tax increases.
I should also add that I have spoken to dozens of GOP legislators who unanimously agree that the billions of dollars tax increases proposed by the Governor in his healthcare proposal, which the Governor has decided to rhetorically call 'fees' -- are in fact taxes, and as such, they oppose them.
In closing, there are two important messages that Californians should take from today's unveiling of the California legislative signers of the pledge:
If you have a Democrat representing you in either the State Senate or the State Assembly, you should ask them why they have refused to sign the pledge!
- There will be no tax increases this legislative session end of story.
- This is entirely due to the unanimous opposition to tax increases by Republicans.
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