Bob Barr

It may be rather interesting to observe how a single electoral loss can move grown men and women to doubt their own common sense to such a degree, that they feel forced (or emboldened) to make a 180-degree pivot on such a fundamental policy decision as raising taxes. While watching this kabuki might be interesting, it is at the same time terribly discouraging. This is because recent, post-election ATR Pledge disavowals such as those by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Georgia’s Saxby Chambliss, and GOP Rep. Peter King of New York, among others, illustrate just how little fundamental integrity undergirds many of our elected officials.

Such actions also provide aid and comfort to those in Washington, especially most Democrats, who unashamedly believe American taxpayers – especially those making enviably higher incomes – are not paying sufficient taxes to satisfy these politicians’ lust for spending loot. To them, even if they feel themselves forced to agree to small spending “cuts” (often nothing more than decreases in projected increases), there must be increased revenues (i.e., taxes) in order to offset the spending cuts. Only in Washington would this tortured, Bizarro World logic be spoken with a straight face, or be considered by the “chattering class” to constitute “sound economics.”

Thankfully, there still is Grover Norquist; who still understands that a promise is a promise, that our fiscal problems are caused by too much spending not by insufficient taxes, and that words have objective meaning. And thank goodness most signers of the ATR Taxpayer Protection Pledge have not yet joined the Humpty Dumpty Party.

Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.