Having run and lost on their central anti-tax stance, and with an austerity bomb nearing detonation, Republicans are softening their tone on the issue. But what may appear to be a meaningful shift on taxes among GOP leaders is belied by the unchanged policy specifics within the rhetoric.
“For the purposes of forging a bipartisan agreement that begins to solve the problem, we’re willing to accept new revenue under the right conditions,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) in a post-election press conference.
That leaves the impression that Republicans are willing to raise revenue by limiting deductions and loopholes. Correct, but they’ve always been open to that — if and only if the new revenue is used to lower tax rates rather than reduce the deficit. Look closer and it’s apparent that that stance is still the same.
“What matters is where the increase revenue comes from and what type of reform comes with it. Does the increased revenue come from government taking a larger share of what the American people earn through higher tax rates?” Boehner said. “Or does it come as a byproduct of growing our economy, energized by a simpler, cleaner, fairer tax code, with fewer loopholes and lower rates for all?”
The backstory is that Republicans were pilloried last year for scorched-earth opposition to new taxes that nearly led to a U.S. debt default. Their approval rating took a beating and credit rating agencies blamed a downgrade on the GOP-incited ugly debt ceiling standoff.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment