Americans for Tax Reform today called on President Obama to apologize to members of Congress and all Americans for his false statements about the Taxpayer Protection Pledge during his tax-hike speech in the Rose Garden this morning. Obama said:
“It is wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million. Anybody who says we can’t change the tax code to correct that, anyone who has signed some pledge to protect every single tax loophole so long as they live, they should be called out.”
Obama’s political attack is straight out of the DCCC playbook: Many recent unsuccessful Democrat congressional candidates have trotted out similar claims deemed “blatantly false” by the nonpartisan FactCheck.org.
As FactCheck.org has noted:
[The Pledge] leaves ample room for elimination of any number of special tax breaks so long as the overall level of taxation is not increased. To claim that this "protects" any particular provision of the tax code is simply untrue.
In response to President Obama’s comments, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said: “Had President Obama actually read the Pledge, he would know that the Pledge is a commitment by Congressmen to the American people that they will oppose any and all net tax increases. Many Pledge-signers join Americans for Tax Reform in working for revenue-neutral tax reform: a simpler tax code with lower rates. Americans support tax reform, not a tax increase. Today President Obama vowed to veto real tax reform and said he would only sign legislation that raised taxes significantly.”
ATR has offered the Pledge to all candidates for federal office since 1987. To date, 41 U.S. Senators and 238 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. Additionally, thirteen governors and over 1,200 state legislators have signed the Pledge.