I may have been the only Republican in South Carolina to have voted against George H. W. Bush in the 1988 presidential election.
I voted against Bush because of his "no new taxes" pledge, plus the Willie Horton episode. I don't think any politician should bind himself to anything when circumstances might dictate a different course of action. (Bush later did raise taxes and said that was the reason he lost to Clinton in 1992. That wasn't the reason; it was making the "no new taxes" pledge to begin with.)
Many Republican members of Congress signed a similar pledge, at the behest of Grover Norquist, most likely to facilitate their own elections. The only pledges they should have made are those contained in their oath of office.
It's unbelievable to me that the Republicans stubbornly refuse to accept raising the tax rate on those making more than $250,000 a year from 35 percent to 39 percent. (Remember, the only portion of their income to be taxed at the higher rate would be that over $250,000). Doing so would almost compel the Democrats to make serious concessions on entitlements. Republicans would apparently accept curtailing certain allowable tax deductions, thus similarly affecting the wealthy, a much more complicated process. Cutting allowable charitable deductions could hurt certain charities; reducing allowable real estate tax or interest deductions can impact the real estate market, etc.
Douglas R. Johnson
Hilton Head Island