Republicans Reportedly Ready to Accept Mitt Romney’s Tax Plan

Top tax rates graph

The news media are excitedly telling us that (some) Republicans are announcing their readiness to keep all the Bush tax cuts in place in exchange for cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. This has been portrayed as “a big concession,” “willingness to compromise,” and “softening their stance.”

Steve Benen points out what it really is: “[O]n the one hand, Republicans would get the tax rates they want. On the other hand, Republicans would also get the entitlement changes they want.”

House Speaker John Boehner said Republicans are interested in a deal that would include higher tax revenue “as a byproduct of a growing economy, energized by a simpler, cleaner, fairer tax code, with fewer loopholes, and lower tax rates for all.”

But this is the same as Willard (“Mitt”) Romney’s plan — cut tax rates, limit deductions and then assume that a surge in economic growth will magically produce higher revenue. A plan firmly rooted in Arthur Laffer’s fantasy land, where tax cuts pay for themselves. And Republicans think they deserve cuts to social safety net programs in exchange for agreeing to the Romney tax plan, which was just rejected by a majority of voters three weeks ago!

UPDATE: Josh Marshall:

The big ‘breakthrough’ of the day is the apparent willingness to put ‘revenue’ on the table in on-going tax, budget, fiscal cliff, whatever-the-new-name-is-today discussion. But only one caveat: they’re now willing to raise revenue, just not raise rates. This is silly.

…We’ve been doing this for a century. When you want to efficiently raise revenues, you raise rates. A major simplification of the structure, rooting out all the miscellaneous loopholes and special interest deductions, is probably also a good idea. But that’s for fairness and efficiency. Not what you do if the federal coffers simply need more money.

…President Obama holds all the cards on the Bush rates. Just let them expire. Once they do, if Republicans really want to take it that far, come back on January 3rd with the new Obama Middle Class Tax Cut bill. The House can pass it or not.

  1. #1 by cav on November 26, 2012 - 1:40 pm

    Talk about behind the curve!

    It’s dead, Jim.

  2. #2 by Richard Warnick on November 26, 2012 - 1:42 pm

    Yet somehow, the Bush tax cuts resulted in record deficits and doubling the National Debt.

  3. #3 by Richard Warnick on November 26, 2012 - 2:28 pm

    Look what happened to federal revenues.

  4. #4 by Richard's Fact Checker on November 26, 2012 - 8:34 pm

    Yes, that happens in a recession and even more so in a deep recession, regardless of rates. Corporate income tax revenues go down since profits go down. Capital gains revenues go down since realizations of capital gains goes down. Your chart also includes the years of the ARRA stimulus, so you are blaming Bush for Obama’s laws.

  5. #5 by cav on November 26, 2012 - 9:34 pm


  6. #6 by Richard Warnick on November 27, 2012 - 9:08 am

    No, actually I call them the Bush-Obama Tax Cuts For The Rich, because President Obama signed a two-year extension in 2010.

  7. #7 by Richard's Fact Checker on November 27, 2012 - 9:40 am

    ARRA included lots of other tax provisions in addition to the rate extension. So the 2009 forward numbers include lots of Obama-only tax provisions which were not part of any Bush tax code.

  8. #8 by Richard Warnick on November 27, 2012 - 9:58 am

    Do I have to post the graph again? The one that shows how much of the deficits are caused by the Tax Cuts For The Rich?

  9. #9 by Richard's Fact Checker on November 27, 2012 - 10:36 am

    More graphs don’t make your statement any less untrue.

  10. #10 by Richard Warnick on November 27, 2012 - 12:55 pm

    Here we go again. Source: Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

  11. #11 by Richard's Fact Checker on November 27, 2012 - 2:24 pm

    More graphs don’t make your statement any less untrue.

  12. #12 by Richard's Fact Checker on November 27, 2012 - 2:36 pm

    Your chart actually proves my point. If you look at the relevant years (years that we actually have data for and not lefty PR hacks’ “projections”), 2009-2011, the dark blue part is huge. That is the part attributed to the economic downturn. In those years that slice is much bigger than the alleged tax cuts. Also in those three years the light blue section of recovery measures is also huge. So in 2009-2011 the 2 things I mentioned ARE by far the majority of the causes. Those things only get smaller and the other sections only get bigger in the forecast future. That forecast assumes there is going to be some kind of recovery. So far, all forecasts of any recovery have been totally false. The official OMB, CBO, and Fed forecasts for the recovery have been wildly optimistic. So we can conclude that the dark blue will actually be much bigger and as will the light blue. Also, we are supposed to be out of both Iraq and Afhganistan by 2014 so why is this section still so big past 2014. Certainly shines light on the cockroaches who prepared this dubious analysis. They must be just unemployed democrat strategists from Chicago waiting for the other rats to jump ship in 2 months so they can suck up for all the open patronage jobs. Ward politics in action.

  13. #13 by Richard Warnick on November 27, 2012 - 4:56 pm

    My point is that tax cuts are the main reason we have a deficit. I don’t care if they are Bush tax cuts, “Obama-only” tax cuts, or Bush-Obama Tax Cuts For The Rich. I want them to expire.

    The economy is recovering, and if the Republicans would kindly refrain from sabotage, it will recover much more quickly.

    The CBPP graph is correct to project ongoing costs for the wars. You have to factor in Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI) payments, for example. Many of the wounded will not fully recover, we have to pay for their care. The current plan for Afghanistan is to keep 10,000 troops (plus who knows how many contractors) there indefinitely at an annual deployment cost of $1 million per person. Our embassy in Iraq is guarded by 5,100 contractors at a cost of $3 billion a year.

  14. #14 by Richard's Fact Checker on November 27, 2012 - 5:50 pm

    Your point is wrong. Based on that chart for the years which have actually happened and not some forecast about unicorns, the top two reasons, based in your chart, are the economic downturn and the stimulus. Your chart. Read it. The forecasts from the OMB, CBO and Fed have all been wrong and they have all been revised down. Obamacare is causing employers to cut people.

  15. #15 by Richard Warnick on November 27, 2012 - 6:51 pm

    The CBPP graph clearly shows that tax cuts (including the $282 billion in tax cuts from the ARRA) are the biggest thing driving the deficit. It’s as clear as can be.

    You are wrong about the economy, too. I still predict employers will stop providing health insurance when the ACA takes effect, however that’s more than a year away, and nobody is getting fired because of it.

  16. #16 by cav on November 27, 2012 - 7:01 pm

    Republican intransigence is causing employers to cut people.

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