Fiscal Responsibility

Washington Post: GOP Shifting on Taxes; Norquist Pledge Losing Support

In case you missed it while at your Memorial Day weekend barbeque, wanted to pass along this Washington Post piece about Republicans refusing to take Grover Norquist’s pledge. (Yes, there’s a theme building: here’s Politico’s piece that we sent around earlier this month that noted the same trend.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Some highlights from Republicans who seem to finally be catching on to the fact that revenues have to be part of a big deficit reduction package to get us where we need to be:

“Republican candidates declining to sign generally indicate that they nevertheless oppose tax hikes. But some chafe against the constraint on eliminating tax loopholes, believing those restrictions limit Republicans’ ability to negotiate seriously with Democrats on a deal to tackle the nation’s mounting debt.”

“In Pennsylvania, Republican state Rep. Scott Perry said he was disappointed to see his party’s presidential candidates — all but one of whom signed the pledge — uniformly indicate in a debate last year that they would reject a deficit reduction deal that paired $1 in revenue increases for every $10 in spending cuts. ‘I just think it’s imprudent to hem yourself in where you can’t make a good agreement that overall supports the things you want to do,’ said Perry.”

Freshman Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), who signed the pledge in 2010, recently posted an open letter to constituents indicating that he would not renew the promise as he runs for reelection. He said he fears it could stand in the way of an everything-on-the-table approach to tackling the mounting debt. ‘Averting bankruptcy requires us to grasp the severity of our fiscal condition and summon the courage to speak boldly about the difficult steps needed to increase revenues and sharply decrease spending,’ he wrote.

“But after months of Democratic attacks on ATR and Norquist as obstacles to a debt deal, some Republican candidates report that they are hearing from more voters who want them to reject the pledge than the opposite.”

Gary DeLong, a member of the Long Beach City Council who is labeled a ‘contender’ for a House seat by the NRCC, said he is routinely encouraged on doorsteps and at town halls and candidate coffees to avoid the pledge. Voters ‘want me to represent them and not special interests,’ said DeLong.”

As we approach the fiscal cliff at the end of the year, here’s hoping more Republicans join them.