Republican Woe: To Tax or Not to Tax

In the aftermath of President Obama’s reelection and facing the looming fiscal cliff, several key Republicans recently suggested they won’t be bound by an Americans for Tax Reform pledge to oppose any and all tax increases. For years, that pledge, popularized by anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, has been used to hold GOP lawmakers’ feet to the fire when it comes to accepting revenue hikes.

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) said he is “not obligated on the pledge,” while Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) agreed he would “violate the pledge for the good of the country” if the Democrats were willing to accept entitlement reforms. Graham said he would only agree to cap deductions, not raise rates.

Representative Peter King (R-NY) declared the “world has changed” and that he would not pre-judge any potential compromise between Republicans and Democrats to avoid the fiscal cliff. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) told a Georgia television station he “care[s] more about my country that I do about a 20-year-old pledge.”

See the New York Times analysis on tax rates over the past 30 years here.