Georgia Voices: The ‘No Tax Hike’ pledge: Don't corner candidates
by The Gainesville Times
March 18, 2014 12:00 AM | 2054 views | 2 2 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
During the 1988 presidential race, candidates went back and forth over who was more sincere about reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag, which even then seemed a silly issue in the midst of the more serious matters of the time.

Now a new pledge is dominating elections, this one a bit more substantive but just as distracting in its own way.

Republican candidates seeking office in Hall County this year are being asked to sign a “no tax” pledge leading up to the May 20 primary. Hall GOP leaders began doing so in 2010, following a national trend led by conservative activist Grover Norquist to oppose all tax increases. The idea is to have candidates put in writing their promise to remain fiscally conservative.

Most are quick to sign such a pledge, but a few running for Hall school board seats this year have balked, believing such a rigid promise ties their hands once in office. And we can see their point.

We agree raising taxes at any time should only be a last resort. Governments should balance their budgets and spend no more than they take in.

Yet herein lies the problem: While no one wants to raise or pay more taxes (except maybe Hollywood millionaires), sometimes unforeseen problems make it unavoidable. Office-seekers who throw that option off the table are tying their own hands and setting their constituents up for a letdown. Issues that are the focus of campaigns often change after an election, and officials often must adjust to a changing reality.

Asking candidates to sign such a “no tax” pledge is painting them into a corner they can’t escape. Those who refuse likely will be targeted by other candidates as “big taxers,” even if all they really intend is to avoid making promises they may not keep. They will be labeled as “less than a real Republican” for this wise choice, apparently under the view that all party members must think and act in lockstep on every issue or risk being branded a wannabe.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
tiffany bell
March 18, 2014
Why do people continue to open meetings with that anachronistic childish Nazi artifact known as the USA's Pledge of Allegiance? The Pledge of Allegiance was the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior (see the work of the historian Dr. Rex Curry). The early pledge began with a military salute that was then extended outward to point at the flag (thus the stiff-arm gesture came from the pledge and from the military salute). It was written for kindergartners to be forced to recite it in government schools (socialist schools) on command and in unison. The pledge was written by an American socialist who influenced other socialists worldwide, including German socialists. The pledge continues to be the origin of Nazi behavior even though the gesture was changed to hide the pledge's putrid past. It is bizarre that it continues to exist (though the stiff-armed salute was altered) and that intelligent(?) adults have been duped into the mechanical propaganda chanting.
on balance
March 18, 2014
Dear Tiffany. What you are addressing is the "Bellamy Salute". The pledge was written in 1892. The salute was dropped in 1942 due to what you describe as the Nazi salute.

Some Americans felt the arm extension would be viewed as showing solidarity with the Axis. Congress, in 1942 amended the salute to the right hand over the heart.

I do think in your praiseworthy concern, you have gone a bit overboard in your estimation. We have a great country. It is a wise thing to remind our youth of it in a salute to its greatness.

Do you have another suggestion? .. or are you copposed to any tribute to our flag and country??
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides