Why Supporting Reid-Obama Health Bill Violates Taxpayer Protection Pledge
Some have questioned whether supporting the Reid-Obama health bill is a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. It is. Let's use Senator Nelson's pledge as an example:
"I, Ben Nelson, pledge to the taxpayers of the State of Nebraska and to the American people that I will: ONE oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses, and TWO oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."
Here is a link to the Tax Pledge language.
There are two promises in that Pledge. The first says "I won't raise income tax rates." The second says "I won't expand the income tax base on net unless it's to reduce tax rates." Each is vital.
UPDATE: Senator Nelson violated the first part of the Pledge by supporting a hike in the Medicare payroll tax rate. This is an income tax rate hike on wages and self-employment income.
He needs to read the second commitment in that promise. The Senate bill contains a net income tax increase in the income tax base.
The full list of tax hikes with score is here.
You can see from the CBO score that this is a net tax increase of $498 billion over a decade. This factors in the tax credits for individuals and small businesses. The net income tax increase is smaller than this (since not all the tax hikes are income tax hikes), but it is still a net income tax increase over the budget window. This is a violation of the second part of Senator Nelson's Pledge.
Pledge signers should read the whole Pledge, not just the parts they want to read.