Boehner and Taxes

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Yesterday, Speaker of the House John Boehner gave a speech reiterating his position that new revenues from tax reform are on the table, but higher tax rates are not. Over at Bloomberg View, Margaret Carlson and I try to figure out whether this means there will be a budget deal and what form it would take if so. As I point out, there’s some ambiguity, doubtless deliberate, in what Boehner is saying. Does “new revenues from tax reform” mean an increase in average tax rates by, for example, scaling back tax breaks and not cutting tax rates so much that you erase the extra revenue? Or does it mean cutting rates and breaks by the same amount, and getting new revenue from the extra growth you expect?

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