Over the weekend, Congressional Republicans echo Hal Rogers' take on no tax pledge

11/26/2012 08:50 AM

The Sunday political talk shows were littered with Republican lawmakers saying they didn’t believe the no-tax pledge circulated by Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform group should be a lifetime commitment.

At the end of last week, Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss told WMAZ-13 in Macon that he signed the pledge 20 years ago and believed the pledge was for that particular Congress. But he said “times change.”

His fellow Republicans, South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham and New York Congressman Peter King, made similar comments on Sunday on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” and NBC’s “Meet the Press,” respectively.

If this sounds familiar, Kentucky U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers of Somerset — the House appropriations committee chairman — made similar comments a year ago on Pure Politics.

“I think those pledges are only good for the Congress you’re elected to,” he said in that interview a year ago. “I think after you’re re-elected or elected the first time, you’re free of any of those types of obligations.”

Here’s the full interview from Nov. 22, 2011, but that discussion about the tax pledge starts at the 7:50 mark:

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or ryan.alessi@twcnews.com.


  • Bill Huff wrote on November 26, 2012 11:48 AM :

    When it comes to per capita debt, ONLY New York and it’s 19 million population & Masseuechetts with it’s 8 million population LEADS Kentucky’ 4 million population debt load.

    From 1994-2012 majority of KY’s elected officials cut state tax resources (income) without cutting state tax expenses! Norquist’s “pledge” empowered them to abandon working for best interests of their constitutency!

    In 1994 KY lawmakers continued spending more than state’s income.

    1994 Ky lawmakers were warned by Long Term Policy Research (their own state agency) that average state expense was 6% while average state tax resource (tax income) was 5.7%. KY lawmakers dismissed warning!

    In 1999 Ky lawmakers dismissed responsible monetary advice by eliminating $380 million more of Ky tax income absent ant cuts to state expenses. Some state expenses they could have cut as recommended in 1994 task for (Commisison On Quality & Efficiency) were:

    $350 million out of possible $750 million of state tax expenditures;

    $400 million of state corporate tax shelters;

    $150 million of non-merit paid state employees from executive, legislative & judicieal branches of state government including education and property tax administrations in addition

    KY lawmakers could have collected $300 million from approximately 200,000 Ky motor vehicle owners circumventing paying KY property & usage taxes;

    Eliminated truck weight-distance taxes after combining revenues from motor fuels, weight-distance tax with state truck registration fee revenues; (revenue neutral tax strategy)

    In 1999 Ky lawmakers disregarded 1995 Commisison On Quality & Efficiency task force recommendations to cut state expenses $1 billion dollars and 1995 Commission On Tax Policy to enhance state revenues!

    During 2000-2008 Bush administration passed Deficit Reduction Act in 1995—-by one vote at 1 a.m.—-that cut federal programs by dumping them on state’s like Ky, whose budgets were already suffering billion dollar deficits! Again. Norquist’s “1986 no tax pledge and Norquist’s influence on Bush failed economic policies that lost $12 trillion dollars of wealth in stock & real estate markets in 13 months. Norquist’s federal influence was to reduce size of federal government by dumping federal programs onto States’.

    Beginning 2013 KY lawmakers have not come up with a balanced plan of cutting state tax expenses and enhancing state tax resources to eliminate state budget deficits.

  • Cat Balz wrote on November 26, 2012 02:04 PM :

    Hal’s pork ain’t free don’t you know. Is it true that Somerset is going to be re-named Rogerstown?

  • ADW wrote on November 26, 2012 03:59 PM :

    Cut the spending. …taxes are not the answer. But it is too late I am afraid. Enjoy your freebies while they last. We kept the Republic a great while, but it is no more.

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