Sending a tax hike to the ballot is the same as voting for one

by Grover Norquist

The Arizona Taxpayer Protection Pledge is a commitment to the voters of Arizona that the signer will “oppose and vote against” any tax increase.

Sending a tax hike to the ballot is supporting the tax hike. Voting against sending a tax hike to the ballot is opposing the tax hike.

Voting to move the tax hike forward and put it on the ballot is the equivalent to a Senator voting for a tax hike and referring the tax hike to the House of Representatives. A senator could argue that he didn’t vote for the tax hike, he just sent it to the House. They pulled the trigger. Or visa versa for a House member.

The idea that moving a tax hike forward by putting it on the ballot is not part of passing a tax increase has never passed the laugh test.

Grover Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform. This originally appeared in the Goldwater Institute’s Daily Email.


  1. Iris Lynch says

    Baloney! By the same logic, bringing a case before a jury is a death sentence. It is up to the jury to decide. There is reasonable cause for a tax hike as one of several solutions. Also, what better way to be taxed by representative than by being your own representative?

    I could give more examples, but why waste the time of reasonable people while it is hopeless to get anywhere with the others who have an entirely different agenda and will not be satisfied with ANY logic, as that is not the REAL issue? The REAL issue is to set up bitter sound bites for the governor’s race next election.

  2. Iris,

    You are an apologist for the higher tax crowd. By your logic, would you then support putting the legalization of cocaine to the voters, cause after all, it’s not supporting cocaine its just letting people decide. Or how about letting the voters decide to outlaw religion? Would you hold legislators who voted to let the voters decide these issues to the same standard as you want us to hold the tax hikers?

  3. I thank Mr. Norquist for his letter of clarification and urge legislators to hold fast to thier pledge not to raise taxes.

  4. I would have to disagree with Grover Norquist. I’ve written my reply on my Freedom Arizona blog.

  5. Precinct Committeeman says

    I oppose a tax increase.

    However, it is pure nonsense to claim that sending a measure to the ballot is the same as approving a tax increase.

    To compare sending a measure to the voters as the same thing a senator does when he votes for a bill to go to the House is utter nonsense. It’s a straw dog that burns on even casual reading.

    Now, that doesn’t mean I support the idea of a special election tax increase. I just think people should be intellectually honest about what is and is not a vote FOR a tax increase.

    I admire the legislators who signed the no tax pledge. I even think that Americans for Tax Reform have some very valid points. I believe there is a strong anti-tax sentiment in this state and country that would probably defeat a proposed tax increase if it were to hit the ballot.

    But, I don’t use my conservative opinion to claim a vote for a ballot measure is the same thing as a vote for something else.

  6. Iris Lynch says

    Mark, We already adhere to the voters wishes on many of these issues…and YES, I wish we could vote on all of them directly, instead of voting for them indirectly.

    I happen to believe in God’s proclamation that we are on our own. Check Genesis. Each of us should suffer the consequences of our OWN actions and not foist that responsibility on others. I would find it sad and I DO find it sad that so many people have so little use for themselves, their bodies, their minds, their lives. However, I have all I can do to be responsible for MYSELF and I ask no other take up that chore. Just as I put my name on my words, my name in the phone book etc.,

    In my humble opinion, the only way to do away with the ever growing victimization process that have made the lives of so many meaningless, is to do away with that once and for all. It will hurt, but future generations will have a chance to be free.

  7. Iris Lynch says

    PS. Having re read your post. You are implying that ‘we’ can stop people from deciding about cocaine or anything else. Mark, they DO decide. They are not wiped out until AFTER they have decided to use it. Your words imply that people are too stupid to do their own deciding. I have great faith that most are not and the rest can learn from the error of their ways.

  8. Veritas Vincit says

    Iris, I love you dearly but on this count have to adamently disagree. I don’t consider the voters smart enough to make a good decision; and leadership is all about making decisions that may not be popular.

    Putting a tax increase to a vote is a cowards way out. And a tax increase at this point in the economic cycle would be a disaster.

  9. Veritas Vincit says

    Think about the Rev. Witherspoon when considering the question of independence. He recognized his obligation to represent those who sent him to Congress; but too, he recognized his responsibility to use his own wisdom and judgement in making the final decision. That’s leadership.


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