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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Support Wavers for Anti-Tax \'Pledge\'

WASHINGTON - It is known simply as “the pledge.” And if you are a Republican member of Congress, it has been considered heresy to do anything short of fully devoting yourself to its low-tax principles.

But as Congress gathers for its lame-duck session and confronts a serious set of economic and tax questions that could bring the country to the brink of the so-called “fiscal cliff,” one of the lingering questions is whether the pledge - drafted and enforced by Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform - will hold up.

Already there are indications it may not. According to a report in The Hill, the Capitol Hill newspaper, incoming members of Congress and even a few returning ones are refusing to honor it. The pledge calls for elected officials to oppose “any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates.”

And, perhaps more critically, signing the pledge also includes vowing to oppose reducing tax deductions and credits. Members of both parties have signaled that they would be willing to accept a tax compromise that included eliminating certain deductions, especially those for high-income people, as opposed to a broad tax increase.

Mr. Norquist told The Hill he is not concerned that some members might walk away from the pledge. ““That doesn't keep me up at night.”