Republican Tax Increases: A Centrist Fantasy That Refuses to Die

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Dave Weigel points me to Ron Fournier’s latest column:

As late as a year ago, just a few months after Obama shoved a reelection tax hike down their throats, the GOP leadership was still open to compromise. A budget deal would be hard, but not impossible, to strike. The situation required an able, nimble partner in the White House, a president who could help the GOP leadership reach and sell a deal to their conservative base. In March 2013, I wrote of the GOP: “Don’t mistake a negotiating position for reality. House Republicans tell me they are open to exchanging entitlement reform for new taxes—$250 billion to $300 billion, or approximately the amount that Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania proposed raising over 10 years under the guise of tax reform.”

The numbers were specific because the possibility of a deal was real. But the White House, quite literally, laughed at it. The president had already bowed to his base, given up on compromise, and damaged his legacy.

I just don’t get this. Are there a few House Republicans who are open to a tax increase? Sure. Probably. Is there even the slightest chance of getting a majority of the GOP caucus to support a tax increase? Of course not. The evidence on this score is overwhelming. John Boehner was never able to get agreement even for the smoke-and-mirrors version of a tax increase, the kind that relies on dynamic scoring and rosy growth estimates. Nor were Republicans willing to accept Toomey’s proposal, even though it was effectively a tax cut, not a tax increase. There’s just plainly never been any chance at all of getting agreement for a proposal that would genuinely, concretely raise revenue.

I’m just flummoxed by this stuff. Whatever else you think of Fournier, he’s an experienced reporter who understands the political landscape. How can he possibly believe this stuff?

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.

payment methods

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.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate