Meta-Commentary

Super

Posted in politics by Adrian Arroyo on August 4, 2011

Chait:

But the reason Republicans couldn’t accept [Obama’s] deal is that it would require them to concede that taxes would go up. Imagine you’re John Boehner. Which is a better scenario for you — the tax cuts for the rich expire in 2013 over your objections, or they expire as a result of a deal you cut with Obama? The former is obviously way better. It’s the difference between conservative hating Obama for being a tax hiker and conservatives hating Boehner for being a tax hiker.

If Chait is correct that anti-tax orthodoxy is the defining characteristic of the current Republican Party, then the “Super Committee” created under the debt ceiling deal will fail to raise new revenues. Consider the incentives affecting a Republican appointee to the committee: if they agree to a deal that raises taxes, they’re selling out the party and will almost certainly draw a primary challenge. If they hold out and force the trigger provisions to kick in, there will be massive cuts to things that impact them in a less direct way. There’s no amount of legislative cover that Democrats can provide to change that calculation, because the trigger attacks Republican priorities that are less important than their position on taxes.

Washington Post:

“What remains to be seen is whether any discussion of taxes is appropriate,” Kyl said. “I think it’s pretty unlikely.”

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