7th Congressional District candidate Rob Woodall has decided not to sign the American’s For Tax Reform “no tax increase” pledge. Woodall explains (via the Political Insider):
ATR sponsors the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to encourage lawmakers to oppose tax rates increases, but a second element of the Pledge requires lawmakers to oppose the elimination of special interest tax deductions and credits unless a new deduction, credit, or tax reduction is created as a replacement.
“By maintaining a tit-for-tat approach to tax policy, not only is fundamental tax reform and a much-needed overhaul of the tax code hindered but the ability to eliminate destructive and wasteful tax policy is also hindered.”
Woodall provided a lengthy example that focused on a $6,500 golf cart tax credit passed in 2009:
“Anyone who purchased a ‘road ready’ golf cart in 2009 could receive a $6,500 check from the federal government, and thousands took advantage of the offer. This was a dumb tax credit, and America borrowed the dollars from China and Japan to pay for it.
“The ATR pledge, however, would prevent Democrats and Republicans from coming together to agree to kill this bad tax credit unless they also came together to agree on a new way to hand out that $6,500 through tax code manipulation to taxpayers.
“The priority of 7th District voters is to kill that bad tax credit and stop the borrowing from China and Japan. Voters here are tired of everything being thrown into the same giant piece of legislation.
“If we want to eliminate wasteful credits and deductions, we should do that in one bill. If we want to create new credits and deductions, we should do that in a separate bill.”
BTW, I did not sign the ATR pledge either for the same reason. If we in Georgia discover that is costs more money to process driver’s licenses and decide to raise the fee to cover the cost, signers of the ATR pledge would be in violation of their pledge should they vote for such a bill. Not signing the ATR pledge doesn’t make me and Woodall pro-tax increases (though I’m sure some of you will spin it that way), it means we don’t want our hands tied by an absolute and unworkable pledge.
Meanwhile, Jody Hice has received the support of the Atlanta Tea Party and according to Debbie Dooley in comments on the Gwinnett Daily Post website, all other Tea Party groups in the 7th Congressional District.
“Dr. Hice was the candidate who signed the pledge without hesitation and has vowed to oppose earmarks, fight for tax reform and fight for our core values of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets,” she said. “We feel very confident he will represent the district as a citizen legislator. We feel it is time for a strong new voice in Washington, D.C.”
Prior to the July 20 primary, the Atlanta Tea Party supported Clay Cox, a state representative who was involved in the movement for more than a year. The endorsement brought controversy, though, when other tea party groups decided against endorsing a candidate, and individuals in those groups said Hice was their man.