Mayfield, Wamp Balk at Signing ‘Never Raise Taxes’ Pledge

Two Republican candidates for the 3rd Congressional District, Scottie Mayfield and Weston Wamp, have declined to sign a pledge to never raise taxes, reports the Chattanooga Times-Free Press.
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann has signed the pledge, along with all other Republican members of the Tennessee congressional delegation — indeed, almost all Republicans in Congress nationwide.
“I’ve been asked if I would sign the pledge to not increase taxes — my plan is to not sign any pledges,” Mayfield recently told a local Republican group, according to video obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “I want to be in a position to vote the way you want me to vote, and I think pledges get in [the] way.”
Created by conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist, the anti-tax pledge bears no binding legal authority, but its popularity soared as the tea party movement picked up steam in the 2010 election cycle.
Signers are implored to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and businesses.” It also asks signers to oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched “dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”
…Like Mayfield, Wamp has said he won’t sign the pledge. His first policy offensive against Fleischmann came in February when the congressman voted to extend a popular payroll tax cut for 10 months. Wamp said the vote would result in a $90 billion increase in the deficit.
“Common sense says that’s it’s not fiscally responsible to increase the national debt, and the people of the 3rd District know that,” said Wamp, 25, whose platform focuses on advocating for what he calls “the debt-paying generation.”
At the debate, Fleischmann said he voted for the tax cut to save “the people’s money,” but he omitted his usual demands for a slimmer deficit — a priority that, by its very nature, butts heads with calls for ever-lower taxes.

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