Kansas Rep. Mike O\’Neal slurs taxpayer advocacy movement and 1,500+ elected officials nationwide who pledged "No New Taxes" to constituents.

WASHINGTON – When is big government and higher taxes good policy? To most Americans, the answer is never. But to Kansas State Representative Mike O\’Neal, who condemned the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) Taxpayer Protection Pledge in a memo to Kansas legislators two weeks ago, the answer is "here and now, baby."

O\’Neal, a legislator representing the 104th District of the Kansas House, wrote to other Kansas legislators in a June 27th memo that the Pledge "has no place in public service," and that Pledge signers who keep their promises – specifically, not to raise taxes – exercise poor judgment.

The Pledge, which has been signed by President George W. Bush, 239 members of the U.S. House and Senate, 8 governors, and over 1,200 state and local officials nationwide, commits a candidate for public office to "oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes."

To O\’Neal, the quote above is bad policy. And the 1,500+ elected officials nationwide who have taken the pledge are poor public officials. Meanwhile, 41 members of the Kansas Legislature who took the Pledge are poor public officials, as well.

"Taking the Pledge is the single greatest commitment to taxpayers that a candidate for public office can make," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in Washington, and who began issuing the Pledge in 1985. "Every major Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan – including the great Bob Dole – were Pledge signers. But according to Mr. O\’Neal, they exercised poor judgment and supported all kinds of bad public policy. I think Mr. O\’Neal and his constituents should consider whether he is smarter or a better leader than George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan."

Grover Norquist established ATR in 1985 to generate popular support for the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which radically simplified the nation\’s tax code. The group evolved to become one of the most influential advocacy groups in Washington, opposing all tax increases at the federal, state and local levels as a matter of principle. ATR supports a tax structure where taxes are simpler, fairer, flatter, more visible and lower than they are today.