Is Boehner Open to New Tax Revenue?
Posted at 8 a.m. on Nov. 8, 2012
“House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) on Wednesday said he is ready to negotiate a budget deal with President Barack Obama to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that includes new tax revenue, as long as Democrats agree to cuts and changes to federal entitlement programs,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
Said Speaker Boehner, “For purposes of forging a bipartisan agreement that begins to solve the problem, we’re willing to accept new revenue, under the right conditions.”
Suzy Khimm warns that it isn’t so simple: “That sounds like he’s accepting some version of the Simpson-Bowles approach to tax increases, in which you close tax breaks and deductions and use some of the money to lower rates and some to reduce the deficit. That’s not easy to do, but it is possible to do, and it came up often in the closed-door negotiations between the Obama administration and Boehner last summer… So the question here isn’t whether Boehner is open to some new revenues through tax reform. That’s been on the table before. It’s whether his members are open to enough new revenues through tax reform such that they can actually strike a deal with the Obama administration.”
Matthew Yglesias explains what is really going on: “The Bush tax cuts are scheduled to fully expire at the end of the year. Barack Obama does not favor this large tax increase and is proposing substitute legislation that wouldreduce taxes relative to current law. House Republicans are refusing to pass this tax cut, claiming to believe that they’d rather have a larger tax hike and retain the ability to whinethan to strike a deal.”