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.
By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, candidates and incumbents make a written commitment to oppose any and all tax increases. While ATR has the role of promoting and monitoring the Pledge, the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is made to a candidate’s constituents, who deserve to know where candidates stand on the tax issue. 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 practically required 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 and federal office and to all incumbents. Nearly 1,400 elected officials, from state representative to governor to US Senator, have signed the Pledge.
It is obvious, now in its 29th year, the vow crafted by ATR President Grover Norquist is not only an important part of Republican campaigns but a fixture within the modern GOP.
It has transformed American politics.
Signing it has become de rigueur for GOP candidates running for federal or statewide offices across the country.
Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge has solidified opposition to tax increases in Congress and state legislatures over the years.
The Pledge has become something of a rallying cry in conservative circles.