The Arizona news cycle this week has been abuzz with discussion over the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and how it has factored into this year’s protracted budget debate. The Pledge commits signers to oppose any and all efforts to raise taxes. However, groups on the left, liberal bloggers, and other spending interests in the Grand Canyon State continually try to portray the Pledge as a vow to Grover Norquist or a distant Washington organization (see here, here, and here). This is patently false.

Yes, Americans for Tax Reform sponsors and asks lawmakers and candidates from all parties – Republican, Democrat, Whig, Bull-Moose, you name it – to sign the Pledge. However, the underlying tenet of the Pledge is that it is a promise to the constituents of the signer , not any single organization or person. Need proof? Just read the wording of the Pledge itself .

Legislators who have signed the Pledge do not oppose tax increases simply because they signed the pledge. They signed the Pledge because they rightly believe that net tax increases adversely affect the economy and even more so during a recession. The steadfast insistence among Pledge signers that the final budget be a net tax cut or at least revenue neutral has brought Arizona closer to a budget agreement that is a much better deal for taxpayers than the initial plan brought forth by Gov. Brewer months ago.