OUR VIEW: Do not pledge allegiance to Grover NorquistDuring the presidential tenure of his son, George W. Bush, we remember publishing a humorous editorial cartoon in which the senior Bush was depicted telling his son, “Read my lips, son. Never say 'read my lips.'"
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
John Thune and Kristi Noem have signed a pledge to never vote in favor of a tax increase during their time in Congress.
Never is a long time.
Who can forget when former President George H.W. Bush famously told Americans “Read my lips: No new taxes”?
It didn’t take long before Bush was forced to reverse that pointed vow.
During the presidential tenure of his son, George W. Bush, we remember publishing a humorous editorial cartoon in which the senior Bush was depicted telling his son, “Read my lips, son. Never say ‘read my lips.’ ”
As discussions about the nation’s “fiscal cliff” intensify, Noem and Thune are saying they aren’t yet willing to back away from the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which has been signed by 41 of 47 Republican senators and 238 of 242 House Republicans. The pledge is promoted by Grover Norquist, president of an organization called Americans for Tax Reform. The pledge was introduced in 1986.
We do appreciate that Thune and Noem wish to avoid placing undue burdens on American taxpayers. But as troubles loom, we want them to consider all options. To sign a document and vow to never — never, ever — raise taxes is simply being short-sighted for the sake of election, or to satisfy a political party.
Do we feel taxes should be raised?
But Thune and Noem shouldn’t feel bound to a document created by this Norquist fellow, who does not live in South Dakota and is therefore not a constituent of either official.
In fact, they should never have signed the pledge.
They’re supposed to serve South Dakota and the United States, not Grover Norquist, and the only vow they should make is their oath of office.
If our lawmakers feel it’s best for America to keep taxes where they are, so be it.
If they feel it’s best to raise taxes, then they should vote that way. If they can’t make up their mind, they should find out what their constituents want them to do.
Their allegiance should be to their own conscience or to the wishes of South Dakotans — not to a radical, out-of-state ideologue named Grover.