In another fantastic speech about fundamental tax reform, Sen. Hatch reiterated that he would not vote to eliminate tax expenditures without cutting rates or flattening the tax code at the same time. He explained that “reducing spending through the tax code” is nothing more than a code phrase for “tax increases” – something that would be disastrous for the already-struggling American economy. Hatch emphasized that he would continue upholding his pledge to the people of Utah to not support a net tax increase:

“And make no mistake. Whatever the President wants to call it — reducing spending through the tax code, closing loopholes, or making people pay their fair share — these are tax increases plain and simple. And they are tax increases on the middle class. There has been some criticism in recent days about Republicans for their commitment to a pledge many of them took against any net tax increase. I have to admit I am at a loss here.

Conservative Republicans, convinced that taxes are already high enough, promise their taxpaying citizens that they will never support a net tax increase. They gave their constituents their word, and are sticking to it.

Meanwhile, President Obama, who promised not to raise taxes on the middle class when running for office, vows to break this promise at every opportunity. And yet it is the conservative Republicans who are somehow lacking integrity? Mr. President, I don’t care how many blows I take from sophisticated Washingtonians and professional leftists for sticking by my pledge to the people of Utah. I will resist any effort by the President to include tax increases as part of the deal to increase the debt ceiling. I will do so for a number of reasons. First, our tax code needs a fundamental overhaul. It is a complicated mess that is lacking in fundamental fairness. Yet the President’s proposal to reduce tax expenditures for deficit reduction, is a proposal to maintain a tax code that grows more burdensome by the day. The President’s proposal essentially robs the government of the revenues that it might use later to flatten the tax code and lower rates.”