, Salem, MA

The Nation

March 8, 2011

Anti-tax pledge directs budget debates nationwide



The Assembly and Senate are scheduled to begin debate on Brown's budget plan as early as Wednesday.

In Georgia, Norquist has intervened in two recent tax debates, forcing a tax policy group to convene a special meeting declaring that its plan to revamp the tax code would be revenue-neutral. Norquist then withdrew his opposition. Now, he is excoriating Republican lawmakers for voting in private to block a bill that would allow sales of alcohol on Sundays, a move that would bring more revenue to the state.

Not all Republicans agree with Norquist's approach. Even Christie, whose tax-cutting, union-fighting ways win kudos from Norquist, has not signed the pledge.

"He's taken strong positions to rein in spending and huge cost-drivers in government, specifically unsustainable public employee pension and health benefits," said Christie spokesman, Kevin Roberts. "Actually leading on these issues, as Gov. Christie has been doing, is the most important thing for public officials today."

Another Republican, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said he is against tax increases but declined to sign the pledge in 2009, saying he did not want to limit his options.

"I would rather show what I'm going to do through my actions," he said then.

Former California state Assemblyman Roger Niello said the pledge has become "a policy straitjacket" that prevents rational debate about tax policy, even among conservatives who generally share the same philosophy.

"There are those from outside elected positions that will very aggressively use it in a campaign and say that the lack of somebody's signature on that pledge means that they want to raise taxes, which is a bit of a perversion," said Niello, who did not sign the pledge and lost a Republican primary race last year for a state Senate seat. "They (lawmakers) are motivated by fear."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
The Nation

AP Video
US Evacuates Embassy in Libya Amid Clashes Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Obama Asks Central American Leaders for Help Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Obama Advisor Skips House Hearing Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives'
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot