Jean Fuller, the latest unlucky soul to win a seat in the never-ending game of musical chairs known as the Republican legislative leadership, declared upon taking over that: “Republicans do not raise taxes.”

That certainly is the stereotype. But, in California at least, it’s not the truth. Here, Republicans always raise taxes.

The main reason why that’s true is that Republicans insist on being part of any vote to raise taxes. That’s the nature of our supermajority-mad system. You want to raise taxes? It takes a two-thirds vote. And that means you need Republicans. You want to raise taxes locally? You’ll also need supermajorities, which means some Republicans voting to increase taxes.

But the Republican habit of raising taxes goes beyond supermajorities. Go back to the years of Republican dominance in California, 1896 to 1958, and you’ll see that taxes went up as our progressive state was constructed. Or just look at our recent governors, and you see a clear dividing line: Republican tax-raisers on one side of the line, Democratic tax-cutters on the other.

Really. Arnold Schwarzenegger cut the car tax yes, but he later raised it – and then enacted a temporary tax increase in 2009 (he wanted to extend it further, but voters said no). His deficit bonds were also a form of tax increase by any other name – and they were strongly backed by Republicans. Gov. Pete Wilson raised taxes. George Deukmejian made a great political show of standing against incomes and sales tax increase – while hiking other kinds of taxes and fees. And then there’s Ronald Reagan, whose tax hike early in his governorship was then the largest in state history.

And the Democrats? Gray Davis cut taxes — and helped produce big budget deficits and a car tax hike that led to his recall. So did Jerry Brown the first time (with considerable assistance from Prop 13). During this second go-around, Brownis more mixed. He first let temporary tax increases expire, then asked voters to increase taxes, but only temporarily; And Brown has opposed extensions of the Prop 30 and other tax increases as unnecessary, meaning that he’ll be a tax cutter again by the time he leaves office.

So does Fuller’s statement represent some kind of dramatic break from the GOP’s tax-hiking past? Probably not. She hasn’t decided to roll back two-thirds supermajorities on taxes that require taxes to be raised with Republican votes. She also noted that “anything is possible” when political compromises are made.

There’s another dynamic in American politics. Our politicians are often pressured to bend on whatever thing they hold out as their strongest principle. As a result, our leaders routinely end up doing the opposite of what they say. George W. Bush promised a humble foreign policy. President Obama pledged he would unite the country and end political polarization. And Republicans keep on promising not to raise your taxes.