When speaking to a Campus Progress group Wednesday, former Green Jobs Czar Van Jones went on a rant against the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. “You got folks up here in Washington D.C. that have signed a pledge to a man named Grover Norquist that they will never increase America’s tax revenues no matter what happens in our country,” Jones shouted. “I’m not making this up.”
After the meeting, Jones spoke with Kerry Pickett from the Washington Times. “There’s nothing wrong with having an orientation that you are reluctant to raise taxes,” Jones said. “The problem is, when you surrender your judgment as an elected official… to a single individual and sign a separate loyalty pledge away from the U.S. Constitution… I think that’s wrong.”
The Taxpayer Protection Pledge is a promise made to the constituents of elected officials. After signing the pledge, officials are committed to both oppose any tax rate increase, and oppose any reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by reducing tax rates.
“The pledge is a pledge to [lawmakers'] constituents that they won't raise taxes. I am not part of that equation,” Norquist has explained.
ATR asks every candidate for elected office on the state and federal level to make this written commitment to their constituents.
“Raising taxes is what politicians do when they don’t have the strength to actually govern,” Norquist said. “The Pledge has grown in importance as one of the few black-and-white, yes or no, answers that politicians are forced to give to voters before they ask for their vote.”