What is the Taxpayer Protection Pledge?

Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2009, 3:04 PM PERMALINK

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"It has transformed American politics." -- Jonathan Alter, Newsweek

"Signing it has become de riguer for GOP candidates running for federal or statewide offices across the country." -- The Hill

"Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge has solidified opposition to tax increases in Congress and state legislatures over the years." -- Michael Barone

“The Pledge has become something of a rallying cry in conservative circles." -- National Journal

Politicians often run for office saying they won't raise taxes, but then quickly turn their backs on the taxpayer. The idea of the Pledge is simple enough: Make them put their no-new-taxes rhetoric in writing.

In the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, candidates and incumbents solemnly bind themselves to oppose any and all tax increases. While ATR has the role of promoting and monitoring the Pledge, the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is actually made to a candidate's constituents, who are entitled to know where candidates stand before sending them to the capitol. Since the Pledge is a prerequisite for many voters, it is considered binding as long as an individual holds the office for which he or she signed the Pledge.

Since its rollout with the endorsement of President Reagan in 1986, the pledge has become de rigeur for Republicans seeking office, and is a necessity for Democrats running in Republican districts.

Today the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is offered to every candidate for state office and to all incumbents. More than 1,100 state officeholders, from state representative to governor, have signed the Pledge. Statehouse tax-and-spend interests have to contend with Pledge signers in every state.

List of Pledge Signers in the 113th Congress List of State Signers of the Pledge
Federal Pledge Governor Pledge
Federal Taxpayer Protection Pledge Q & A State Legislator Pledge
  State Taxpayer Protection Pledge Q & A


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