Senior US Senator Saxby Chambliss must be feeling some of the heat from critics on his statements about his no-tax pledge he signed 20 years ago. Senator Chambliss responded and reaffirmed his position of being “not in favor of raising taxes.” His full letter is posted below the fold for your reading pleasure.
Thank you for your continued interest in our government’s fiscal challenges, and specifically about my views on taxation. Your taking the time to contact me is always valued, and your allowing me to continue this conversation is appreciated.
In recent days there has been significant discussion in the press about my position on taxes and tax reform. In spite of speculation to the contrary, my position has not changed and my comments have been consistent and unwavering. I hope to take this opportunity to set the record straight.
I am not in favor of raising taxes. Raising taxes to pay for reckless overspending is bad policy, and I have never, nor will I ever, advance the idea that raising tax rates is an acceptable option for dealing with our deficit spending.
That being said, with the rapidly approaching “fiscal cliff,” there is much discussion in Washington and around the country about our debt, deficit, federal spending, and tax rates. We also cannot forget that beyond the impact of the fiscal cliff, our nation is still burdened with a $16 trillion debt that must not be left to simply grow and fester without immediate and significant action.
There are no simple solutions and everything must be on the table. While parts of the tax code provide equitable economic incentives, many of them do not. The current tax code has become burdensome and complex and filled with provisions which only benefit a limited portion of Americans, at the expense of higher rates for all Americans.
As such, in addition to reducing discretionary spending, reforming entitlements, simplifying the individual and corporate tax code, and lowering tax rates, we should remove unproductive tax expenditures. This is a proven path to prosperity that President Reagan enabled in the mid-1980s and if done correctly, can provide us with a platform for growth that will help federal revenues rise naturally through economic prosperity. A robust economy simply creates more economic activity and more revenue without raising taxes.
Ultimately, my pledge is to protect taxpayers, not special interests. We must analyze every aspect of the federal budget, including the tax code. As my voting record demonstrates, I don’t believe taking more money out of the pockets of hard-working Americans is the right approach for our country.
In summation, I have consistently stated that, due to my conservative principles, I am not in favor of tax increases. I have also consistently said I am in favor of significant tax reform to lower tax rates and generate additional revenues. Those reforms should be on the table in this debt and deficit debate. However, this would only be acceptable in return for entitlement reforms from the other side that truly fix our long-term spending problem.