In the House Republican’s Pledge that I told you was a “Pledge to Nowhere,” you find this language:”tax increases must be prevented” and “We will help the economy by permanently stopping all tax increases”.Got it? The House GOP pledged, also known as a promise, to stop “all tax increases.” It was their promise.According to The Hill, the Republicans are about to give a capital “F” and a capital “U” to the tea party and throw in the towel on their Pledge.
Lawmakers emerged from the closed-door meeting saying Hensarling had made the case that offering some new revenue — $300 billion in at least one publicized offer — would be a good trade to secure a permanent extension of the George W. Bush-era tax rates.
So we’re going to keep permanent the Bush tax cuts that no one really thought would actually expire next year even though they technically are supposed to and replace those with a $300 billion tax increase?To rub salt into the tea party’s wounds, “Hensarling received a standing ovation following his presentation.” Yes, a Republican got a standing ovation by Republicans for proposing a tax increase.To be fair, if there are serious structural reforms to the tax code and serious concessions by the Democrats on entitlement reform, I would want to look seriously at the plan. But, based on what we know so far, the Democrats have offered nothing publicly substantive and the GOP is offering up a bunch of smoke and mirrors on the House side to cover up the fact that House leaders are actually proposing a tax increase on the American public.Yet again the GOP is negotiating with itself. Given the way the GOP is operating on itself in public, I’m surprised it isn’t blind.Parting thought: if the GOP is doing this out of fear that the Bush tax cuts won’t get extended again, are they not then operating out of fear? Of course they are. And fear should never be the starting point for negotiations.