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Haley Barbour on Tax Reform

Former Republican MS Governor (until 2012)


Cut budget by $700M, instead of raising taxes

As Governor I have cut the budget by a total of about $700 million in just the last two years. Just as our constituents have cut back, they expect state government to cut back. They know the alternative is raising taxes, because government has no money except what it takes from taxpayers. The people of Mississippi deserve to keep more of what they earn, and we owe it to the people of Mississippi not to raise taxes and to control spending.

Not only do I urge you not to consider tax increases this year I implore you to keep spending at a level this year that protects more of our reserves for next year. That is the way to stop any tax increases in 2012. Remember, what we have accomplished in controlling spending over seven years can be lost in only one year. Our first year you passed and I signed the most comprehensive tort reform law in the country, and it worked.

Source: 2011 Mississippi State of the State Address , Jan 11, 2011

Commission to study state tax code & then cut taxes

I have appointed a blue ribbon commission to study Mississippi’s tax code on a comprehensive basis, including how the federal and local tax structures affect our citizens and businesses. The commission’s work will give a much more accurate and clearer picture of the tax system under which our taxpayers labor than we’ve had in the past. We’ll get this report by the end of August. Nothing is off the table; though I hasten to add, my goal is to put a net tax cut in place during my term.
Source: 2008 State of the State address to state legislature , Jan 21, 2008

I am against raising anybody’s taxes

I am against raising anybody’s taxes. Mississippi already has the highest state and local taxes in the South. My old boss Ronald Reagan was right: to raise taxes while government is on a spending binge is only feeding the beast
Source: 2006 Gubernatorial campaign website, haleybarbour.com , Jan 28, 2006

Capital gains tax is a double tax

We believe that tax reform should follow a series of principles aimed at keeping taxes low, fair, and nondisruptive to economic decision-making. Any tax reform should include these qualifications:
Source: Agenda For America, by Haley Barbour, p. 12-13 , Apr 25, 1996

Supports the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Barbour signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge against raising taxes

[The ATR, Americans for Tax Reform, run by conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist, ask legislators to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in each election cycle. Their self-description:]

In the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, candidates and incumbents solemnly bind themselves to oppose any and all tax increases. Since its rollout in 1986, the pledge has become de rigeur for Republicans seeking office, and is a necessity for Democrats running in Republican districts. Today the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is offered to every candidate for state office and to all incumbents. More than 1,100 state officeholders, from state representative to governor, have signed the Pledge.

The Taxpayer Protection Pledge: "I pledge to the taxpayers of my district and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."

Opponents' Opinion (from wikipedia.com):In Nov. 2011, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) claimed that Congressional Republicans "are being led like puppets by Grover Norquist. They're giving speeches that we should compromise on our deficit, but never do they compromise on Grover Norquist. He is their leader." Since Norquist's pledge binds signatories to opposing deficit reduction agreements that include any element of increased tax revenue, some Republican deficit hawks now retired from office have stated that Norquist has become an obstacle to deficit reduction. Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, has been particularly critical, describing Norquist's position as "no taxes, under any situation, even if your country goes to hell."

Source: Taxpayer Protection Pledge 12-ATR on Jan 1, 2012

Other governors on Tax Reform: Haley Barbour on other issues:
MS Gubernatorial:
Phil Bryant
MS Senatorial:
Roger Wicker
Thad Cochran

Newly elected Nov. 2012:
IN: Mike Pence (R)
NC: Pat McCrory (R)
NH: Maggie Hassan (D)
MT: Steve Bullock (D)
WA: Jay Inslee (D)

Re-elected 2012:
DE: Jack Markell (D)
MO: Jay Nixon (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
UT: Gary Herbert (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WV: Earl Ray Tomblin (D)

Up for re-election 2013:
NJ: Chris Christie
VA: Bob McDonnell
Up for re-election 2014:
AK: Sean Parnell
AL: Robert Bentley
AR: Mike Beebe
AZ: Jan Brewer
CA: Jerry Brown
CO: John Hickenlooper
CT: Dan Malloy
FL: Rick Scott
GA: Nathan Deal
HI: Neil Abercrombie
IA: Terry Branstad
ID: Butch Otter
IL: Pat Quinn
KS: Sam Brownback
MA: Deval Patrick
MD: Martin O'Malley
ME: Paul LePage
MI: Rick Snyder
MN: Mark Dayton
NH: Maggie Hassan
NM: Susana Martinez
NV: Brian Sandoval
NY: Andrew Cuomo
OH: John Kasich
OK: Mary Fallin
OR: John Kitzhaber
PA: Tom Corbett
RI: Linc Chafee
SC: Nikki Haley
SD: Dennis Daugaard
TN: Bill Haslam
TX: Rick Perry
VT: Peter Shumlin
WI: Scott Walker
WY: Matt Mead
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Page last updated: Apr 25, 2013