Read my lips: No Tax Pledge - KMSP-TV

Read my lips: No Tax Pledge

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) - The GOP operative was anxiously standing at the entrance to the pipefitter's training facility, trying to flag down exiting capitol scribes who had just covered the Mark Schauer roll out of his new economic blue print.

Tony Daunt, minus any hidden spy glasses, held something more mundane. A news release that linked Democrat Mark Schauer to former Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

O.K. it's not a new twist but the GOP hopes the linkage costs Mr. Scahuer some votes and the party was also hoping somebody would ask Mr. Schauer about taking the no tax pledge.

Certainly you've heard of the anti-tax crusader Grover Nordquist document that he shoves in the face of anybody running for office.

Here. Sign this or else, as he warns non-signers that he or she is in deep do-do if they don't get line.

Well as fate would have it Mr. Daunt got his wish. Somebody did ask Mr. Schauer.

Question: Have you ever signed the no tax pledge?

Answer: "I have not."

Question:  And you never will.

Answer: "I will not."

Reminded that the R's will see the refusal as proof the Democrat would eventually hike some tax if he's elected. So far he has not uttered that and in fact when asked the other day if he could fix the roads without new revenue he paused for a second and then this, "It's going to take a commitment to fix our roads" as he ignored the thrust of the question.

On refusing to sign the promise Mr. Schauer suggests, "I think even thinking Republicans realize that signing a pledge like that, catering to one of their special interest groups, doesn't make sense."

To which Mr. Daunt counters "based on previous behavior" he believes there is a "strong possibility" Mr. Schauer will follow in Ms. Granholm's footsteps to take more money from folks.

Well actually if Mr. Scahuer did, he would also be following in the footsteps of one Rick Snyder. Candidate Mr. Snyder also refused to sign the pledge calling it a "gimmick."  And it's a good thing he didn't sign, because as governor he did raise taxes on some folks during his first year in office.

That was left out of the anti-Schauer flyer. Perhaps a momentary oversight by the GOP?

Other politicians have struggled over the years as their conscience told them the no tax pledge was a looney-tune pledge. Former candidate for governor Pete Hoekstra called it irresponsible.

The West Michigan Republican refused to sign explaining that no one can predict the future and who knows? A tax hike might be needed in the face of some calamity.

Moderate R's smiled in approval; conservative's wondered what the Hoek-ster had been smoking.

But just like President George H. Bush who said "read my lips. No new taxes" and then flip-flopped by signing a tax hike, Mr. Hoekstra showed up about a year later, still running for governor but now with pen in hand to sign the pledge.

Democrats are not immune from the siren song of the no-tax pledge either.

The first time he ran for governor and won, Jim Blanchard shoved the pledge aside, but the third time he ran, he shocked other D's by saying he supported the pledge. Turns out somebody else on the stage, who declined to sign, beat Mr. Blanchard and Jennifer Granholm went on to become governor as Mr. B. watched from the side-lines standing in his flip-flops.

As for Messrs Snyder and Schauer they could do the politically expedient thing and just sign the darn thing. But they won't and on that they can agree and they'll take the heat for doing it.

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