The Agenda

Are House Republicans Open to Further Tax Increases?

Ron Fournier of National Journal reports that House Republicans are open to tax increases — in the $250 billion to $300 billion range, which, when coupled with the post-cliff tax increases gets us roughly back to the proposals advanced by Sen. Toomey and others in 2011 —  in exchange for entitlement reform:

What is the GOP incentive to deal? First, getting the signature of a Democratic president on a bill reducing entitlements would be a victory for a generation’s worth of Republican candidates. Casting GOP politicians as Granny-bashers would be harder to do after a Democratic White House tweaks Medicare and Social Security. Second, even token reforms by Obama in 2013, opens the door to deeper entitlement changes in the future.

Finally, while most GOP House members are virtually immune to electoral pressure because they face easy re-election campaigns, Republican Party leaders want them to broker a fair deal with Obama that helps the party’s horrible image problem.

The best time for a deal to occur is this summer when the debt ceiling is approaching. 

One wonders how congressional Democrats would react to such a deal.


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