Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"No Tax Pledges" Amount to Nothing Beyond Fear Mongering

I wish I could say that Mayoral Candidate Bob Clement's bold pose of taking a "No Tax Pledge" impressed me to any degree. But such pledges are full of sound and fury, signifying nothing but the message, "I will pander to voters' deepest fears about their pocketbooks in order to stampede their votes." And when a reporter conveys that no at-Large Metro Council candidate has committed to a No Tax Pledge, I am not phased in the least.

It wasn't too long ago that the Tennessee Tax Revolt secured a commitment from a single Metro Council Member to sign their No Tax Pledge. Afterwards, TTR turned a one-eighty to let the guy off the hook when he chose to support a budget option that raised taxes less than the Mayor proposed to raise taxes. It is hard to take the no-tax side seriously beyond the knee-jerk emotions they try to evoke.

But how can a No Tax Pledge fly in a town where the Community Centers shut down now on Saturdays for lack of funds, where crumbling roads are forever in need of repair, where aging sewer systems are attracting federal attention for the environmental hazards posed, and where crime has to be fought with more than just good intentions?

UPDATE: Via VV, Karl Dean pledges in his own way:


  1. I hate the idea of increased taxation (or any taxation for that matter) as much as the next guy... but the problem isn't taxation it’s the governments total inability to spend less than it makes, budget, save and overall manage the money I bust my ass to supply them with.

    If a candidate would use wisdom and prudence with our tax dollars they'd probably win based solely on their proven credibility rather than empty promises.

    Thanks for pointing this out Mike.

  2. Frankly, I don't want a mayor who can't imagine a scenario in which property tax would have to increase.