Pressure builds on Saxby Chambliss


Facing a backlash from grassroots activists just a few days after saying denouncing the pledge he once made to protect Georgians from tax hikes, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and staffers tried to play damage control yesterday.

Just before Thanksgiving, Chambliss filled in a Georgia-based television station on some of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. When asked if he was worried that violating Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge may be used against him in a potential primary, Chambliss responded, “I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge.” Chambliss also took aim at Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, saying, “If we do it his way, then we’ll continue in debt, and I just have a disagreement with him about that.”

“If we do it his way, then we’ll continue in debt, and I just have a disagreement with him about that


Read more:



Chambliss signed this pledge and, according to Erick Erickson, he “kept his oversized, signed copy of the ATR tax pledge at the front door of his campaign office.” Last year, Chambliss joined five other Senators in trying to work out a budget deal to avoid the debt ceiling fight that pledge Congress. As noted yesterday, the proposed deal would have included $1 trillion in tax hikes.

But after the backlash on the blogosphere and calls to office, Chambliss (or staffers) took to Twitter claiming that he, contrary to what he implied last week, doesn’t want tax hikes:

So why not just say that to begin with? Most of us understand that pro-growth tax reform, accomplished without raising tax rates, means higher revenues to the federal government. However, fiscal conservatives believe that higher revenues should be used to finance lower tax rates. That is what pro-growth tax reform is all about.

The problem is Chambliss didn’t say that, nor do his actions indicate that where he’s headed. In fact, Lauren Claffey, his spokeswoman, sent out a series of tweets yesterday, hours after her Chambliss sent his, that don’t seem to back down from the original sentiment at all:

Claffey’s Twitter does come with the usual caveat that the opinions expressed are her own, but you can read between the lines here. What Chambliss and others don’t seem to understand is that, leaving tax rates unchanged while stripping deductions is a still tax hike.

Regardless of what Chambliss may say, this is not pro-growth tax reform. It puts more money in Washington, which is the exact opposite of what Republicans in Congress should be pursuing.

The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.