Paul Blair

Bob Turner Needs a History Lesson in "Grand Compromises"


Posted by Paul Blair on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012, 5:16 PM PERMALINK


When Americans for Tax Reform pointed out Bob Turner’s support of higher taxes, he responded by letting everyone know he thinks it is possible for “grand compromises” between Democrats and Republicans to include both spending cuts and tax hikes.

Recent statements by the Turner campaign leave everyone asking if he paid attention to the 1982 and 1990 budget “compromises.” The campaign released the following statement: “All he is saying is that it will take Democrats and Republicans working together to dig ourselves out of this hole, and at the end of the day, that will either happen or we will find ourselves bankrupt.”

Perhaps Bob Turner is not aware, but with a $15 trillion deficit, we are bankrupt. Even worse, he thinks that budget compromises between Republicans and Democrats work. He should examine the 1982 and 1990 budget “compromises.”

In 1982, President Reagan was promised three dollars in spending cuts for every one dollar in tax increases. Whether Bob Turner remembers this or not, Congressional Democrats never delivered on their promise to cut spending.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush was promised two dollars in spending cuts for ever one dollar in tax increases. He fell for the bait and violated his Pledge to not raise taxes. After a $137 billion tax hike, spending actually rose by $22 billion.

If the 2011 debt-ceiling deal taught us anything it is that when Republicans hold the line on taxes, spending cuts occur. John Boehner understood this and it is a shame that Bob Turner does not.

The campaign went on to state, “Anyone who wouldn’t close some tax loophole in exchange for removing trillions of dollars of debt from the backs of our children doesn’t belong in public office.”

If Bob Turner actually read the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, he would know that signers are free to eliminate deductions or credits if they are met dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates. The overall goal should be a reduction in the size of the federal government, a goal that Turner seems to oppose.

“Either Bob Turner didn’t read the Pledge or continues to be vague in an effort to hide from the fact that he supports higher taxes,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “I’d happily volunteer to give Turner a brief lesson in the history of failed compromises that involve higher taxes. Only when tax hikes are off the table are spending cuts possible.”

[PDF of Press Release]

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U.S. Senate Candidate Bob Turner Calls for Tax Hikes


Posted by Paul Blair on Tuesday, May 29th, 2012, 5:54 PM PERMALINK


In an unfortunate twist to the New York U.S. Senate Republican primary, Bob Turner admits that he supports higher taxes. To date, fellow Republican primary candidate Wendy Long is the only candidate to make a written commitment to New York taxpayers that she will not raise taxes if elected in November.

In an interview with New York’s “Capital Tonight,” Bob Turner said that Republicans “can’t continue to uniformly oppose tax increases in order to solve the debt issue.” He went on to state that “there will certainly be compromises.” When pressed as to whether that meant tax increases, Turner responded by saying, “Whatever has to be done.”

It seems as if Representative Turner’s short tenure in Congress has changed him for the worse. Not only does he think that taxpayers can afford higher taxes, but that reaching across the aisle for this purpose is a noble cause.

Adding insult to injury, Turner went further in a one-on-one interview. He stated, “Let’s not dig in, put ourselves in a position where we can’t move forward.” Although President Obama’s campaign reelection team has yet to comment on the fact that Turner is borrowing their campaign slogan, it is clear that Turner has taken a page out of national Democrats’ campaign book. Recently, compromise has become a code word for tax increases. It seems that both the President and Bob Turner are interested in the same thing: higher taxes.

 “By refusing to take tax hikes off the table, Bob Turner demonstrates that he is out of touch with New York taxpayers,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “No matter how much money he spends, Turner cannot hide from the fact that he supports higher taxes that are detrimental to New York small businesses and families.”

“Before next month’s primary, voters deserve to know specifically which tax hikes Bob Turner supports. All we can assume at this point is that he is being vague so that he can wait for cues from national Democrats about the minority party’s 2012 tax hike agenda.”

 “I applaud Wendy Long for her dedication to the taxpayers of New York,” continued Norquist. “By taking the Pledge, Ms. Long understands that politicians must focus on Washington’s out of control spending and not higher taxes. I only hope that Bob Turner will reconsider his own misguided higher tax agenda.”

[PDF of Press Release]

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Jay Old Supports Higher Spending and Leaves the Door Open to Higher Taxes


Posted by Paul Blair on Monday, May 28th, 2012, 9:00 AM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform calls on Congressional candidate Jay Old to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in his bid for the GOP nomination in Texas’ 14th Congressional District.  After recent statements about federal spending, taxpayers in Texas deserve to know exactly where Jay Old stands on tax hikes.  

The Old campaign confirmed last week that he will not make the written commitment to oppose higher taxes to the people of Texas’ 14th District. Despite the campaign’s schedule, voters deserve answers about his spending agenda and tax hike plans.

Jay Old recently told the Associated Press that “Washington needs to do more to help the district’s ports stay competitive.” Finding ways to incentivize investment is certainly a worthy cause. It is concerning, however, to hear Old use this kind of rhetoric about Washington’s ability to pay the bills when he refuses to take a firm stand against higher taxes.

 “The voters in Texas should pay close attention to Jay Old’s promises,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “He promises to join Democrats in spending more of your hard-earned money if he gets to Washington. He refuses to promise that he will stand with taxpayers against the special interests and tax hikes in Washington. At this point, it’s only logical to assume that if he won’t sign the Pledge then he’s leaving the door open to pay for his higher spending agenda with higher taxes.”

To date, fellow Republican primary candidates Randy Weber, Michael Truncale, Felicia Harris, Mark Mansius, and Robert Gonzalez have all taken the Pledge. 

“I applaud candidates Weber, Truncale, Harris, Mansius, and Gonzalez for their dedication to the taxpayers of Texas,” stated Norquist. “Taxpayers deserve to know that the politicians they elect to office will stand on their side against the special interests and tax hikes in Washington. I urge Jay Old to join with these candidates in promising never to raise taxes on the voters of Texas.”

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Jay Old Leaves the Door Open to Tax Hikes


Posted by Paul Blair on Friday, May 25th, 2012, 4:35 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform calls on Congressional candidate Jay Old to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in his bid for the GOP nomination in Texas’ 14th Congressional District.  To date, fellow Republican primary candidates Randy Weber, Michael Truncale, Felicia Harris, Mark Mansius, and Robert Gonzalez have all taken the Pledge.  The Old campaign confirmed Tuesday that Mr. Old will not make the promise to not raise taxes to the people of Texas’ 14th District.

Regarding the Pledge, Old’s campaign manager said that the campaign will not get around to signing it. Despite the campaign’s rigorous schedule, voters of the 14th District deserve answers. Voters are entitled to know whether Jay Old will join the rest of the Republican candidates in the district in opposing higher taxes.

Currently, 98% of Republicans in Congress have signed the Pledge. This includes the entire Texas GOP Congressional delegation. By refusing to sign the Pledge, if Jay Old were elected, the taxpayers of Texas’ 14th Congressional District would no longer have an ally in Washington, D.C.

 “The voters in Texas have a right to know where a candidate stands on the issues before electing them to Congress,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “It’s only logical to assume that if he won’t sign the Pledge then he has plans to raise taxes.”

 “I applaud candidates Weber, Truncale, Harris, Mansius, and Gonzalez for their dedication to the taxpayers of Texas,” continued Norquist. “Taxpayers deserve to know that the politicians they elect to office will stand on their side against the special interests and tax hikes in Washington. I urge Jay Old to join with these candidates in promising never to raise taxes on the voters of Texas.”

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Jim Pendergraph Supports $2 Trillion Tax Hike


Posted by Paul Blair on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012, 8:59 AM PERMALINK


North Carolina Congressional candidate Jim Pendergraph supports a federal budget that raises taxes by two trillion dollars. In March, Pendergraph made a written commitment to voters to oppose higher taxes by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. It now appears as if he has no intention of keeping that promise.  After Americans for Tax Reform called on Pendergraph to clarify his stance, his true tax hike intentions became crystal clear. 

In an endorsement meeting with the Charlotte Observer, Pendergraph said, “balancing the budget would require something like the Bowles-Simpson plan, and specifically said taxes may have to rise as part of a comprehensive plan to erase the deficit.”

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who rightly voted against Simpson-Bowles, writes: “Relative to current policy baseline, the proposal would increase revenues by $2 trillion over 10 years.” Simply put, the plan is an enormous tax hike and would be a blatant Pledge violation.

Pendergraph didn’t stop there. He went on to say, “Let’s be honest – it’s not going to be without pain for all of us.”  In other words, Pendergraph thinks that the solution to the federal government’s spending problem is to raise taxes. This is the same mindset that resulted in voters rejecting the failed economic policies of the Democrats in November of 2010.

North Carolinans know better. With state unemployment at 9.4%,  taxpayers and hardworking citizens in the 9th District deserve more than a candidate who can’t make up his mind about which economic policies to implement in addressing our nation’s problems. Not only has Pendergraph said that he “would consider taxes,” but we now know that those taxes amount to about $2 trillion.

 “By supporting the Simpson-Bowles tax hike recommendations, Jim Pendergraph demonstrates that he is out of touch with the taxpayers of North Carolina,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Voters should know that by voting for Pendergraph in the July run-off, they are voting for a candidate who has raised taxes locally and promises to do tax hikes on a much larger scale if he gets to Washington.”

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What Tax Hikes Does Beth Anne Rankin Support?


Posted by Paul Blair on Friday, May 18th, 2012, 2:55 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform calls on Congressional candidate Beth Anne Rankin to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in her bid for the GOP nomination in Arkansas’s 4th Congressional District. Only Tom Cotton has taken the Pledge in Arkansas’s 4th district. Rankin, a Pledge signer in her 2010 bid for Congress, has confirmed that this time around she will not make the same promise to taxpayers.

Regarding the Pledge, Rankin’s campaign manager said that for the 2012 election, Rankin “will not be signing it again.” Voters deserve to know why she was willing to make the commitment to oppose higher taxes in 2010 but not in 2012. With Democrats in Congress constantly calling for higher taxes, the Pledge to oppose tax hikes is no less important today than it was in 2010.  

Currently, 98% of Republicans in Congress have signed the Pledge. This includes the entire Arkansas GOP Congressional delegation. By refusing to sign the Pledge, if Rankin is elected, the taxpayers of Arkansas’s 4th Congressional District will not have an ally in Washington, D.C.

 “The voters in Arkansas have a right to know where a candidate stands on the issues before electing them to Congress,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “It’s only logical to assume that if she won’t sign the Pledge then she has plans to raise taxes.”

 “I applaud Tom Cotton for his dedication to the taxpayers of Arkansas,” continued Norquist. “Taxpayers deserve to know that the men and women they elect to office will stand on their side against the special interests and tax hikes in Washington. I urge Rankin to join with Cotton in promising never to raise taxes on the voters of Arkansas.”

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What Tax Hikes Does Jim Pendergraph Support?


Posted by Paul Blair on Friday, May 11th, 2012, 3:15 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform calls on Congressional candidate Jim Pendergraph to tell voters what taxes he intends on raising. In his bid for the Republican nomination in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, Pendergraph signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Immediately after signing the Pledge, Pendergraph seemed to walk-back on the promise he made to voters in North Carolina.

On April 28, in an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Pendergraph “said he would consider taxes” if efforts to reduce the deficit failed. What Pendegraph seems to be ignoring is the fact that when tax hikes are on the table, efforts to reduce spending – and in turn the deficit – are doomed to fail. 

This isn’t the first time that Jim Pendergraph has left the door open for higher taxes. In fact, as the Mecklenburg County Commissioner vice-chair, he supported a measure to increase local property taxes, stating, “I think it’s worth” the increase. The higher tax goes into effect on July 1, five days after the Congressional run-off.

Voters in North Carolina deserve to know whether Jim Pendergraph plans on keeping his promise to oppose higher taxes and get serious about spending restraint in Washington. Only by taking tax hikes off the table is this possible.

“By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Jim Pendergraph made a clear promise to oppose efforts to increase taxes,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Voters deserve to know whether he intends on breaking that promise if he gets to Washington.”

“Taxpayers understand that the biggest problem with Washington politicians is their unwillingness to make the tough decisions about reining in out of control spending. I urge Jim Pendergraph to clarify whether or not he plans on keeping his promise to the voters of North Carolina before they vote in next month’s runoff.”

[PDF of Press Release]
 

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ATR Releases 2012 List of Federal Pledge Signers in North Carolina


Posted by Paul Blair on Friday, May 4th, 2012, 5:51 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform released an updated list of incumbents and challengers in North Carolina who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. These candidates have made a written commitment to their constituents to never raise their taxes. ATR strongly encourages taxpayers to consider those who have made this commitment when they vote on Tuesday, May 8th. The list of incumbents and challengers who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is as follows:

Incumbents

  • Richard Burr (SEN)
  • Renee Ellmers (NC-02)
  • Walter Jones Jr. (NC-03)
  • Virginia Foxx (NC-05)
  • Howard Coble (NC-06)
  • Sue Myrick (NC-09)
  • Patrick McHenry (NC-10)

Challengers

  • Sonya Holmes (NC-02)
  • David Rouzer (NC-07)
  • Ilario Gregory Pantano (NC-07)
  • Richard Hudson (NC-08)
  • Scott Keadle (NC-08)
  • John Whitley (NC-08)
  • Vernon Robinson (NC-08)
  • Dan Barry (NC-09)
  • Andy Dulin (NC-09)
  • Ken Leonczyk (NC-09)
  • Richard Lynch (NC-09)
  • Jim Pendergraph (NC-09)
  • Robert Pittenger (NC-09)
  • Mike Steinberg (NC-09)
  • Mark Meadows (NC-11)
  • Jeff Hunt (NC-11)
  • Vance Patterson (NC-11)
  • Ethan Wingfield (NC-11)
  • Paul Coble (NC-13)
  • George Holding (NC-13)
  • Bill Randall (NC-13)
 

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What Tax Hikes Do John McGoff and Susan Brooks Support?


Posted by Paul Blair on Friday, May 4th, 2012, 5:41 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform calls on John McGoff and Susan Brooks to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in their bids for the GOP nomination in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. If they continue to refuse to sign the Pledge, they should tell voters exactly which taxes they intend to hike if elected to Congress. Former Congressman David McIntosh, Marion Mayor Wayne Seybold, and Attorney Jack Lugar are currently the only candidates to sign the “no-new taxes” Pledge in this crowded primary field.

The Pledge commits signers to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses … and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”

Currently, 98% of Republicans in Congress have signed the Pledge. This includes the entire Indiana GOP House delegation and Representative Dan Burton, who is retiring this year. By refusing to sign the Pledge, if McGoff or Brooks are elected, the taxpayers of Indiana’s 5th Congressional District will no longer have an ally in Washington, D.C.

“The voters in Indiana have a right to know where candidates stand on the issues before electing them to Congress,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “It’s only logical to assume that if they won’t sign the Pledge then they have plans to raise taxes.”

 “I applaud David McIntosh, Wayne Seybold, and Jack Lugar for their dedication to the taxpayers of Indiana,” continued Norquist. “Taxpayers deserve to know that the men and women they elect to office will stand on their side against the special interests and tax hikes in Washington. I urge McGoff and Brooks to join with the others in promising never to raise taxes on the voters of Indiana.”

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Ric Killian and Edwin Peacock Support $2 Trillion Tax Hike


Posted by Paul Blair on Friday, May 4th, 2012, 4:47 PM PERMALINK


In their bid to secure the Republican nomination in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional district, both Ric Killian and Edwin Peacock refuse to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. By examining their websites, it is now clear why. Both Killian and Peacock admit that they think the best solution to our fiscal crisis is a $2 trillion tax hike.

According to Ric Killian’s website, he believes that we should “adopt fundamental Simpson-Bowles fiscal recommendations.” According to Edwin Peacock’s website, the Simpson-Bowles fiscal recommendations are “the roadmap to correct this problem.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who voted against Simpson-Bowles, writes:
“Relative to a current policy baseline, the proposal would increase revenues by $2 trillion over 10 years.” [“Expanded Views on the Fiscal Commission,” by Paul Ryan, Dec. 4, 2010]

The Heritage Foundation scored Simpson-Bowles as a $3.3 trillion tax increase over ten years:
“Overall, the fiscal commission would raise taxes by $3.3 trillion over the decade.” Heritage also wrote that Bowles-Simpson would be “the highest sustained tax burden in American history.” [“Fiscal Commission Report: Too Much Taxes, Not Enough Spending Cuts,” by Brian Riedl, Dec. 3, 2010]

 Americans for Tax Reform calls on Ric Killian and Edwin Peacock to side with the taxpayers of North Carolina by renouncing the Simpson-Bowles plan and signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. 

 “By supporting the Simpson-Bowles recommendations, Ric Killian and Edwin Peacock demonstrate that they are out of touch with the taxpayers of North Carolina,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Voters should know that by voting for either Killian or Peacock, they are voting for a candidate who promises to raise their taxes when they get to Washington.”

In the crowded primary, Dan Barry, Andy Dulin, Ken Leonczyk, Richard Lynch, Jim Pendergraph, Robert Pittenger, and Mike Steinberg have all signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses … and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”

“I urge Killian and Peacock to join with the others in promising never to raise taxes on the voters of North Carolina,” continued Norquist. “All candidates should recognize that higher taxes are not the solution to Washington’s problems.”

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