In his bid to unseat Rep. Chuck Fleischmann in Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District, Weston Wamp has refused to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Unlike Fleischmann, a Pledge signer, Wamp is leaving the door open to higher taxes on Tennessee taxpayers and small businesses.

This puts him at odds with mainstream Republicans. By signing the Pledge, 98 percent of all House Republicans have made the written commitment to oppose higher taxes. Every member of the Republican leadership and GOP Presidential presumptive nominee Mitt Romney has also signed the Pledge. Even Weston’s father, former Congressman Zach Wamp signed the Pledge.

Weston Wamp calls himself a member of the “debt paying generation” and wants the tax code to be rewritten so that “everyone pays a fair share.” No word yet on President Obama’s response to the fact that a Republican candidate in Tennessee is using the central theme of his tax policy.

What Barack Obama and Weston Wamp have incorrectly identified as the problem with Washington is the need to have hardworking taxpayers and small businesses fork over more of their hard earned money. By leaving tax hikes on the table, Weston Wamp feeds into the Democratic narrative that budget deals and “compromises” should in fact include higher taxes.

The worst part about the fact that Wamp has left tax hikes on the table by refusing to sign the Pledge to Tennessee taxpayers is that on January 1, 2013, America faces the largest tax increases in US history.

The cost of Taxmageddon on Tennessee taxpayers is estimated at over $8 billion in higher taxes. The average taxpayer in Tennessee’s 3rd district will have to fork over an additional $2,513 every April to Uncle Sam. Although Wamp would not take office until after January 1, the risk of giving him a seat at the negotiating table should leave Tennessee taxpayers scared.

[PDF of Press Release]