Do tax pledges fix the problem?

Senator John Thune

Senator Thune was interviewed by Chuck Todd on MSNBC, and he made a lot of sense when he talked about tax pledges and reforming our current tax system. One of the reasons I like Thune so much is because I feel he leaves the talking points behind and is able to have an actual conversation. He might not be known as a politician intent on making waves and stirring up controversy for political theatre, but in a time when both parties are so emotionally driven, he comes across as very knowledgeable and focused on solving the economic problems this country faces rather than on playing pure partisan games.

?We shouldn?t be bound by something that could be interpreted different ways if what we?re trying to accomplish is broad-based tax reform,? Thune said. ?I think broad-based tax reform ought to be part of our agenda up here. I hope that outside groups that have pledges in the past will recognize that. It?s important that we do something on tax reform.?

And just to make sure that everyone is clear on what Senator Thune is talking about when he is discussing the tax issue:

Thune?s office did not respond to a question about pledges, but did say that the  senator only supports tax reform that does not include a net tax  increase. “Senator Thune supports broad-based tax reform that lowers rates and  broadens the base, so long as it does not result in a net tax increase,? AshLee  Strong, Thune?s Press Secretary, said in a statement.

As a conservative, I want more discussion on a broad base of ideas, and I dislike it when doors are shut on the opportunity to look deeper into an issue. Ideas should be discussed openly and thoroughly by all. Currently, we seem to vilify each other and hope for a great election issue rather than attempt to solve any of our problems.

The status quo is not working. We should all bring our ideas to the table.

Here is Senator Thune’s interview with Chuck Todd:

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21 Replies to “Do tax pledges fix the problem?”

  1. Lee Brown

    It?s about time elected leaders start pushing back on all these pledges that special interests of all stripes always push, and there are thousands of them. In most cases the pledges have nothing to do with reality ? nor do many of them have anything much to do with what their name or mission claims. These are simple money and membership raising tools for the group promoting them, and too often just a cash supply for individuals that formed the organization(s). They very rarely have anything to do with advancing sound policy for our nation. In fact many would freak out if their stated rhetoric were accomplished as they would all have to go find jobs in the real world.

    1. Bill Clay Post author

      I have always considered Lee Brown a good friend. He makes a very valid point above.

      It was great to see your comment on the SDWC. Best regards!

    2. Anonymous

      Thune actually signed this pledge. Now he’s breaking it. He was grandstanding when he signed it, knowing it was good politics but bad policy. Now he is finally acknowledging what he knew all along – it’s bad policy. Thune shouldn’t have grandstanded in the first place.

      Credit goes to Sen. Johnson for never signing this pledge which guarantees that the budget will never be balanced. Johnson is the adult in the room.

    3. Riding for the (R) brand

      Of note, Pledges 5-1 through 5.3 call for the reduction of taxes
      http://southdakotagop.com/pdf/2010_SDGOP_PLATFORM_FINAL.PDF

      It is not the letter (R) that makes a Republican, it is the principles behind what that (R) represents which defines what a Republican is.

      When someone runs as an (R) in South Dakota, it comes with the explicit obligation to uphold the principles & pledges within that document above.

      1. J Rae

        Intriguing. So the elected Republican candidate doesn’t represent all of the people of the state, just the small group that put together the Republican Party platform?

        Wow…. That really seems like you are placing the Republican party ahead of country. Is that right?

        So, no matter what the circumstances, that party platform document remains sacrosanct?

        Just out of curiosity, how many individuals are involved in putting that document together? Is it our best and brightest or just those that have the time and passion to do the job?

  2. anon

    He did a great job at the front of Aberdeen’s Gypsy Day parade this morning. LOVE to see politicians walking the route – nothing like a handshake to say you remember who you represent!!!

  3. Anonymous

    He is the man in the empty Suit.Dont raise taxes just put the wars on a credit card Same guy who said Bosnia would be a Vietnam and this guy is my senator.Buyers remorse anyone.

  4. Troy Jones

    Senator Thune acknowledges two things.

    Pledges are important to lay out distinctions and priorities.

    Pledges must be taken in context. If the objective is to reform tax law, it is inherent to shift tax burden (or it wouldnt be reform) to and away from some.

    It is intellectually consistent to take a pledge not to raise taxes for the purpose of feeding the government beast and support tax reform that includes both new taxes and tax increases on some.

    It is also intellectually consistent to take the pledge and support tax increases as part of a larger compromise on cutting spending or getting the economy moving.

  5. J Rae

    Wait a minute, has Thune sat down with Grover to go over this logic? Has Grover seen this line of thinking? Does he approve? Because if he doesn’t then this stance will be a liability for John on a national level.

  6. J Rae

    Of course Norquist has been silent on Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. Given his judgement on other tax restructuring plans, I’m guessing that he has got to be against this based on the increases felt on the lower end of the economy and that it could mean a tax increase on some business and wealthy.

    Has he weighed in yet?

  7. BF

    Is this what it looks like when the Republicans finally come to their senses?
    If so, bravo! Welcome back. We’ve missed ya.