In a somewhat unsurprising move this morning, the DCCC launched a blatantly false TV ad against Charles Djou, Republican candidate for Hawaii’s First Congressional District, for signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. They intentionally misrepresented the language of the Pledge and the meaning behind it.
If you were to believe the message from the TV ad, Charles Djou signed a pledge to some “special interest group” to “protect tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.”
In reality, Djou signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform. ATR’s goal is to prevent higher taxes for American taxpayers and the goal behind the Pledge is simple: make candidates and elected officials put their no-new-taxes rhetoric in writing. Candidates tend to talk a big game about never wanting to raise taxes. Why not simply ask them to put it in writing? A promise has more validity when put down for all to see. Djou has done just that and should be applauded for his decision.
Anyone that reads the language of the Pledge will recognize that a candidate or elected official makes the Pledge to his (or her) constituents promising 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 language of the Pledge hardly sounds like some evil plot by a candidate to protect big business over jobseekers. If that were the case, the DCCC should explain to voters why several current U.S. House and U.S. Senate Democrats, and numerous Democrats on the state level have already made the same commitment as Djou. The following Democrat members of Congress have signed the Pledge: Reps. Brad Ellsworth (IN-08), Rob Andrews (NJ-01), Gene Taylor (MS-04), Ben Chandler (KY-06) and Sens. Ben Nelson (NE) and Arlen Specter (PA). Interestingly, every single Democrat named has violated the Pledge on at least one occasion. Even more interesting is the fact that every House Democrat named has violated the Taxpayer Protection Pledge on multiple occasions.
With the billions of dollars in new taxes that ordinary Americans face with the government takeover of health care and at a time when the unemployment rate stands at 9.7%, attacking the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is probably the last thing the DCCC should focus on.