I write to take exception to The Herald’s Sept. 12 editorial, “Resist signing away political give and take,” which criticizes the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform and implies that those who sign close the door to “political give and take.”
The Herald states that “public policy issues aren’t simple questions that can be reduced to black and white.” While this is true for many areas, there are a few areas in public policy where this does not apply: Just like you cannot be “a little pro-life” or a little “pro-gun,” you cannot be “a little pro-taxpayer.” Signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is a statement of principle, taking off the table the notion of taxpayers’ money being a bargaining chip in the political gamble.
While The Herald implies that the pledge amounts to oversimplifying public policy, it does exactly the opposite, by forcing tough choices. Too often, “reform” is confused with just throwing more money at a problem. However, real reform does not lead through taxpayers’ wallets, but forces government to do what it was intended to do: to govern responsibly by identifying budgetary savings and eliminating wasteful spending. By drawing the line in the sand and holding firm against new taxes, signers of the pledge are the catalysts of true and meaningful reform.
State Government Affairs Manager
Americans for Tax Reform