November 19, 2007

If These Candidates Are Sincere About Their Intentions…

…not to raise taxes, why won’t they sign the pledge?

Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative taxpayer group, regularly asks Republican politicians to sign a pledge not to raise taxes. Three Republican presidential candidates have not signed the pledge, which one strategist said might hurt them during the primaries.

“I worked on Bob Dole’s campaign in 1988 and he didn’t sign and it killed his campaign in the final week,” David Johnson, a Republican strategist and president of Strategic Vision. “That’s how the first President Bush was able to turn around and win the New Hampshire primary.”

New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) have not signed the pledge.

Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and RINO McCain all have excuses for not signing, but to me, the bottom line is that if their hearts are pure on the matter of not raising taxes, they will sign the pledge.

The fact that they won’t sign on indicates that they have doubts, that they are leaving their options open rather than committing themselves to hard-copy promises that might come back to haunt them if they do agree to tax increases on their watch.

A track record is one thing, a stated intention still another, but signing an agreement with The American People, legally binding or not, is a much stronger declaration of intent than a few words spoken in a campaign speech or a debate, wherein a politician will more often than not promise whatever is necessary to get elected, the operative theory being that once they’re in office they can worry about any verbal obligations acquired on the campaign trail: Especially when the office in question is the most powerful political position on earth.

“They are kind of caught in a Catch-22,” Johnson said. “They know that this is a way to win the New Hampshire primary, but they don’t want to go on record saying they will never raise taxes and then, if they’re nominated and elected, have to go back on that pledge and have it used against them like the first President Bush did with his famous ‘no new taxes.’”

“I think it’s going to hurt these candidates in New Hampshire,” said Johnson. “New Hampshire is a very anti-tax state.”

“Voters, traditionally when the economy is bad, go for candidates who promise not to raise taxes and who promise to lower taxes,” he said, noting that by refusing to sign the pledge, the three candidates are creating a situation that could play well for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

I suppose that we shall see what we shall see….

by @ 11:44 am. Filed under Election 2008, Our Taxes, Politicians
Trackback URL for this post:

5 Responses to “If These Candidates Are Sincere About Their Intentions…”

  1. BB-Idaho Says:

    …guess we’ll have to read their lips.

  2. Shoprat Says:

    Two kinds of promises you should never make.

    One you have no intention of keeping.

    One you’re not 100% sure you can keep.

    I’d rather have one who is not 100% sure and won’t promise but probably won’t than one that will sign it and forget it.

  3. Goat Says:

    Mitt was the first to sign.

  4. Seth Says:

    BB –

    Bush, Sr. should have stuck to his guns on that score. With any luck, it might have helped, like a good roach spray, to keep out the Clintons. :-)

    Shoprat –

    When it comes to a politician (any politician), I’d as soon have the promise in writing. It would not only encourage him to advocate (leadership skills, veto power) fiscal responsibility in Congress in order to stave off any pressure to raise taxes, but it would also make him a lot more circumspect in the event that he is tempted to embrace a tax increase (well, at least during his first term, when there is getting reelected to consider :-( ).

    Where N.H. is concerned, I tend to agree with David Johnson’s assessment.

    Goat –

    From what I’ve read in various places, there seems to be no love lost between the state govts of N.H. and Mass., but Romney being who he is, I don’t know what the voters in N.H. think of him; He’s certainly not the socialist, tax and spend liberal one automatically connects with Massachusettes.

    If he’s liked in N.H. to begin with, having signed the pledge will undoubtedly give him a significant boost.

  5. Buy xa ax online. Says:

    Buy xa ax online.

    Buy xa ax online.