40 Members of the House of Representatives have signed onto the Grayson-Takano letter promising to vote against any cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits.
But one congressman who has not is Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA). Local Los Angeles resident Kim Kaufman attended a recent town hall event with him and asked him to sign the letter. This was his response, where he compared the Grayson-Takano letter to Washington lobbyist Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge:
I would not sign onto any letter that says under no circumstances would I vote for a bill that had that in it. It’s like the Republicans pledge they’ll never vote for tax increases. I don’t want to sign onto a pledge that under no circumstances will I ever do something. I’ll express my feelings not to do certain things but I don’t want to make that kind of a pledge. I can see possibilities that some things that we don’t like may be in a final budget and that will get us a lot of things we do want. So I’m not going to sign an unequivocal pledge — for a bill maybe, but not against it.
Kaufman uploaded this video where she read off Waxman’s statement and offered her own response. “Taking a pledge not to cut Social Security is not like taking a pledge not to raise taxes on already rich people. One is a moral response in how to govern and one is not,” she says. Watch it:
“I had a reporter ask me recently ‘Is this just like the Grover Norquist No Tax Increase Pledge’ and I said, ‘Yeah, sure, just like a fish is like a bicycle.’ If you promise that you won’t raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires and multinational corporations that shows who you think you really represent. And if you say you won’t cut benefits for old people, sick people, poor people, that shows who you care about too.”
Additionally, we conducted our own polling of swing states like New Hampshire and Virginia and found that two-thirds of the public support increasing taxes on the wealthy (a violation of the Norquist Pledge) while roughly the same proportion of the public in those states opposes cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits.
Click here to call Congressman Waxman and ask him to sign the Grayson-Takano letter against benefit cuts, because protecting seniors, sick people, and poor people is not the same as protecting millionaires and billionaires.