Sunday, July 03, 2011

Revenue, Debt Ceiling and Coming to the Table

I’m starting to see some give on the GOP side over raising taxes by closing loopholes (which is not, by definition, raising taxes). Texas’ Junior Senator John Cornyn was on Fox News Sunday today and is reported to have said something like this, as reported in the Wall Street Journal:
Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said lawmakers should close some tax loopholes and eliminate breaks as part of a broader effort to cut rates, though he cautioned that there may not be enough time to include such changes in a budget deal now under negotiation.

Arizona Senator John Kyl has also proposed what John McCain terms “revenue raisers” (tax loophole closures and fee increases), getting specific that they don’t want to change the tax code and raise taxes.
And Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn is infamous for his willingness to raise taxes in his effort to end the ethanol tax credit, a proposal that failed by one vote short of the 60 needed to bring the bill to the floor.

So I am wondering why this is. Why are Republicans now apparently walking back on their once hard-line position of deficit reduction by slashing spending, something that went over like a lead balloon with voters at the end of the recently completed special session of the Texas legislature?

I suspect the chorus of voices that erupted this past week claiming that Republicans are sheltering their rich friends and donors by refusing to end tax credits on corporate jets and ending the oil and gas subsidies to the richest and most lucrative corporations the world has ever known may have something to do with it.

It is after all, an obvious truth that they want to cut Medicare, the most popular government program in history, but want to leave the oil companies alone.

I think that this time, the truth hurt a little.

Now it’s time to come to the table in a serious way.

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