November 8, 2012  |  

Boehner Pledge to “Accept New Revenue” Is No “Compromise”


CONTACT:  TJ Helmstetter
Communications Director


Boehner Pledge to “Accept New Revenue” Is No “Compromise” 

Mirrors Romney Plan Americans Just Rejected   

(Washington, D.C. – November 8, 2012) A careful reading of the transcript from House Speaker John Boehner’s news conference yesterday shows he’s not offering compromise and failed to get the message from voters that they want to raise taxes on the wealthy few, not lower tax rates for them.

“The voters just rejected Mitt Romney’s and Paul Ryan’s plans to give more tax cuts for the wealthy few, but Speaker Boehner refuses to acknowledge that fact,” said Frank Clemente, campaign manager for Americans for Tax Fairness, a diverse campaign of over 225 national, state, and local organizations united in support of a tax system that works for all Americans, starting with ending the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent.

“Boehner said ‘we’re willing to accept new revenue under the right conditions…a simpler, cleaner, fairer tax  code, with fewer loopholes, and lower rates for all,’” added Clemente. “That’s not an offer of compromise; it’s exactly what Romney proposed and the Ryan-authored House-passed budget plan would do. Their plans would blow a huge hole in the deficit and starve programs that are the foundation of our families and communities.”

In fact, an analysis by Center for American Progress’ Think Progress bloggers Josh Israel and Jeff Spross shows that voters punished many candidates and incumbents who signed the pledge to super corporate lobbyist Grover Norquist never to raise taxes on the wealthy few or corporations by even a penny, even to close loopholes:

While not all races have been called, at least 55 Republican House incumbents or candidates who signed the pledge — and 24 Republican Senators or hopefuls —lost on Tuesday. Linda McMahon (R-CT), Senator Scott Brown (R-MA), Treasurer Josh Mandel (R-OH), Secretary of State Charles Summers (R-ME), former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R-CA) all signed the pledge and were attacked by their Democrats opponents in face-to-face debates over the issue. All five were defeated in their Senate bids.

State Sen. Tony Strickland (R-CA), Rep. Bob Dold (R-IL), State Sen. Richard Tisei (R-MA), and Rep. Frank Guita (R-NH) were also attacked by their House race opponents in debates for signing the pledge in this campaign or in the past. All four were also defeated.

In fact, of the fifteen-plus House Republican incumbents who apparently lost re-election, every single one had signed Norquist’s pledge.

Norquist’s group spent more than $15 million on independent expenditures. This included hundreds of thousands on ads explicitly defending candidates like Ricky Gill (R-CA) and State Rep. Lee Anderson (R-GA) against criticisms over their having signed the pledge. Both lost.

Election Day exit poll data showed that 60 percent of voters supported either ending the Bush tax cuts for those Americans who make more than $250,000 a year or ending them for everyone,” concluded Clemente. “Another election poll showed that voters’ top worry about Romney was ‘he won’t do enough to restore security for working- and middle-class families,’ closely followed by ‘he won’t do enough to ensure that Wall Street and big corporations have to play by the same rules as everyone else.’ Speaker Boehner and his dwindling Republican House caucus should heed this warning from voters, not ignore it by trumpeting Romney’s and Ryan’s unfair tax policies that benefit the richest 2 percent at the expense of working- and middle-class families.” 


Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) is a diverse campaign of over 225 national, state, and local organizations united in support of a tax system that works for all Americans. It has come together based on the belief that the country needs comprehensive, progressive tax reform that results in greater revenue to meet our growing needs. This starts by ending the Bush-era tax breaks for the richest 2 percent and by making critical investments that create and sustain jobs while taking a balanced approach to addressing America’s fiscal challenges.