Woven into the story of the fiscal cliff fight is Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge that many congressional Republicans have signed, promising not to agree to tax hikes. But do constituents want their representatives to compromise or stick to their vows? Here's one voter's take.
COMMENTARY | Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., previously agreed to sign Grover Norquist's tax pledge. That public promise was an agreement to not raise taxes. I would not be able to support the senator in future election cycles if he violates that pledge during any current "fiscal cliff" negotiations or deals.
Toomey has been representing my state since 2011. He campaigned for that office with the specific intention of restoring fiscal responsibility within the federal government.
On Tuesday he said, "I don't intend to violate any pledge. My pledge is not to support higher taxes."
This issue isn't truly about taxes, or about party politics. Instead, it's one of trust.
I believe that anyone who runs for the Senate should directly state what their tax views are during the campaign season. Toomey clearly did that when he was a candidate.
Honest presentations allow all voters to endorse, or reject whatever financial philosophy is offered to them. When someone is then subsequently elected to office, it becomes that person's duty to consistently adhere to their core convictions. But, I also fully understand that the current debate isn't an all-or-nothing game.
Toomey and the other elected officials who previously signed Norquist's pledge wouldn't violate its spirit if marginal tax rates were lowered, while other types of revenue-generating tax changes were instituted. Of course, cost-cutting measures must also be part of any comprehensive plan that seeks to avoid pending financial disaster.
Sean O'Brien has written for Yahoo Contributor Network since February 2011.
- Politics & Government
- Grover Norquist
- Pat Toomey