Paul Ryan Does Not Accept the Tax Increases in the Fiscal Cliff Deal. Not At All.

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Why does everyone keep asking Paul Ryan why his 2014 budget accepts the fiscal cliff tax increases instead of trying to repeal them? I mean, sure, technically he’s working off a baseline that includes the increases, but here’s his tax plan:

Substantially lower tax rates for individuals, with a goal of achieving a top individual rate of 25 percent.

There is, literally, no further detail about this in his 91-page document, but that’s still clear enough. The fiscal cliff deal increased top marginal rates from 36 percent to 39.6 percent. Ryan’s plan is based on reducing top rates to 25 percent. In other words, not only does he want to get rid of the 39.6 percent rate, he wants to make it even lower than it was before the fiscal cliff deal. He doesn’t accept the fiscal cliff increases at all.

Right? What am I missing here?

UPDATE: OK, I guess I get it. In last year’s plan, Ryan’s revenue target was 18.7 percent of GDP by 2022. In this year’s plan, his target is 19.1 percent of GDP by 2023. So he’s accepting higher revenues, which, it turns out, is actually the main way that he achieves a balanced budget within ten years.

Nonetheless, he rather decidedly doesn’t accept the higher rates in the fiscal cliff plan, and doesn’t provide any details about how he intends to meet his revenue target with a top rate of 25 percent.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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