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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More on Broadening the Base versus Raising Tax Rates

The Democracy in America blog at The Economist responds to recent posturing on taxes by Glenn Hubbard and John Boehner:

Elections have consequences, redux, by M.S.: We are told that in the aftermath of Barack Obama's re-election, both he and the Republican leadership in Congress are signaling a willingness to compromise in order to avoid going over the dread fiscal cliff. " ... In terms of Republican conciliation, they are referring to statements like this one by John Boehner, the speaker of the House, and articles like this one by Glenn Hubbard, formerly Mitt Romney's chief economic adviser...
Do these, in fact, represent proposals for compromise? ... It seems to me that Mr Hubbard has a fundamental and difficult realization ... to make, to wit, that the candidate he supported lost the presidential election. The proposals he embraces here, like those outlined by Mr Boehner, were advanced by Mr Romney during the presidential campaign. Mr Romney argued that any increases in revenues ought to come from the elimination of tax exemptions, rather than from hikes in the top marginal tax rate. And like Mr Boehner, he wanted plans for reducing the deficit to somehow lead to tax rates that are lower, rather than higher. Neither Mr Boehner nor Mr Hubbard has signaled any willingness to accept higher revenues from any source...
Barack Obama won the presidential election running on an explicit platform of hiking the top marginal income-tax rate... Americans want the wealthy to pay a higher tax rate. ... Republicans appear to think that by merely stating that they are not in principle opposed to the federal government getting more revenue, they are entitled to be congratulated for their conciliatory approach, despite the fact that they continue to make the same basic tax proposals they made before the election, which they lost...
What we're seeing here, in sum, isn't compromise; it's posturing. Republicans are trying to define the press and public's view of what counts as a compromise, by reiterating their existing positions as if they constituted concessions. ... But the idea that Democrats will accept the implementation by Barack Obama of Mitt Romney's economic philosophy is ridiculous. ...
I hope it's "ridiculous" to think Obama will acquiesce to these demands as part of a compromise, but I wouldn't be posting so much on this topic if I was sure.

    Posted by on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 09:58 AM in Budget Deficit, Economics, Politics, Taxes | Permalink  Comments (27)

          


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