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    Posted November 28, 2012 by
    MelissaF
    Location
    Yorba Linda, California
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    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    No stupid questions: The fiscal cliff

    More from MelissaF

    It's Over, Grover!

     
    President Barack Obama campaigned on the issue of raising the taxes on the top 2%. He wants to go back to President Clinton’s 1994 tax rate of 39.6% with those making more than $250,000. We have heard this over and over again on the campaign trail. He won and in by doing so Americans support the President’s tax plan, so what do we need him to do? Go on the trail next week with the same stump speech? The man has already made his case very clear, now it’s time for the House of Representatives to respond. The Bush tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year, so it doesn’t give the House much time to squabble over keeping them or letting them expire in exchange for cuts to entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or Obamacare. By the way I don’t consider Social Security an entitlement, Americans have paid into it.

    Most Republicans are citing their pledge to the Americans for Tax Reform also known as the Grover Norquist Tax Pledge as to why they do not support any tax increases. It’s a simple and very weak pledge that states:

    I, _____, pledge to the taxpayers of the (____ district of the) state of ______ and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates. Then they sign and date it with 2 witnesses.

    David Kartch the Director of Communications for ATR highlighted to me in an email that the website says under Q&A “Do I have to take the Pledge again if I run for re-election? No. Elected officials who have taken the Pledge make a commitment to taxpayers for the duration of their tenure in the office to which they are elected."

    So, those Republicans that signed the pledge the year they were first elected and did not resign it for every term they were reelected. Where am I going with this?

    First of all President Obama does not need to go on the trail next week. If you are like me, I get the point. He needs to be in meetings and on the telephone with Senior Republican Members of the House. Now let’s get to the nitty gritty. The Democrats need about 25-30 votes to pass any legislation dealing with the fiscal cliff. It depends on how many stick around to vote that did not get reelected, so Speaker Pelosi needs to get those ducks in a row.

    I submit this: For those Senior Republican Members of the House of Representatives that were first elected between 1993-2002 you would not break your pledge to the Americans for Tax Reform. Well, Republicans love loopholes, right? Where here’s the biggest one of them all. You all signed the pledge promising not to RAISE taxes from the rate the year you signed it. So, as long as you don’t go over the tax amount for that year you are not breaking your pledge. You are simply going back to similar or even same rate the year that you signed. The pledge was not intended for temporary cuts, like those made under the Bush administration. George W. made it very clear that it was only temporary. Now David Kartch simply says no, but I say yes.

    Grover Norquist put this pledge together under the Reagan administration in 1986. Any lawyer or anyone with any common sense would realize that this one sentence pledge is vague and would not hold up in a court of law or the court of public opinion.

    Republican Congressman Peter King (NY-3) “A pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago, is for that Congress,” King said. “For instance, if I were in Congress in 1941, I would have signed a … declaration of war against Japan. I’m not going to attack Japan today.”

    Norquist told Piers Morgan that King was trying to “weasel” out of the pledge that last longer than two years and that King knows it was for his entire time in Congress and he hopes his wife understands that the commitment was longer than two years. Ouch! Is that the only thing Norquist is going to say or do if other Republicans break their pledge or go back to the same or similar tax rate the year in which the person signed it?

    I stand with Rep. King and I say to all those who signed the pledge it was for the tax rate the year you signed it. Under my argument, there are at least 31 Republican members that can vote for the same tax rate of 39.6% at $250,000 made in 1994 under President Clinton without breaking their archaic pledge to Grover Norquist and the Americans for Tax Reform.

    Who are those members you might ask? Well, here they are. Let’s roll them!

    Twitter: @HitsandMisses
    Website: MelissaFazli.com


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