Today, the Associated Press joined a growing list of news organizations that have debunked false claims made by Democrat candidates and their allies against signers of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform. The “No New Taxes Pledge” has existed for over twenty years and was specifically designed to promote revenue-neutral tax reform.
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.” The Pledge does not protect any particular tax deduction or credit. Removing a deduction or credit from the tax code while accompanying it with a tax reduction of equal value does not violate the Pledge. This requirement can be met by increasing another deduction/credit or by lowering marginal income tax rates.
Democrats have repeatedly tried to misrepresent the meaning of the Pledge this election cycle. During the special election in HI-01, the DCCC ran misleading attack ads against the Pledge. FactCheck.org, a non-partisan "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics, responded by condemning the DCCC and agreeing that the ads were “blatantly false.”
Similar claims against the Pledge were made in a number of states including Michigan, Nevada, and Washington. In Michigan, the Jackson Citizen-Patriot, a Jackson, Michigan newspaper, deemed Rep. Mark Schauer’s claims about the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to be “not true.” In Nevada, Jon Ralston of Face to Face “reality checked” the Titus campaign ad and found the claims against the “no new taxes” Pledge to be “totally misleading.” King 5 TV in Washington called the accusations against the Pledge a “stretch.”
The Associated Press had the following to say about the Democrats’ attacks on the Pledge:
The pledge, from Americans for Tax Reform, makes no promise to protect these companies. It says nothing about jobs. It's a pledge to oppose tax increases.
Democrats have tried to end tax breaks used by companies that ship jobs overseas, and Republicans have opposed that. The pledge, however, simply says the candidate will oppose increases in income tax rates and oppose cutting deductions or credits unless matched dollar-for-dollar by lower rates.
John Kartch, spokesman for the group, said it would be possible to end tax breaks for overseas companies while honoring the pledge, by substituting a tax reduction of equal value elsewhere in the tax code.
Click here for a pdf of the press release.