Senate Democrats

McConnell, After Venturing Onto Limb With Grover Norquist, Becomes Further Isolated In Debt Talks

Over Weekend, Two More Senate Republicans Distanced Selves From GOP Leader, Showing Willingness To Get Rid Of Tax Loopholes

Plus, Conservative Columnist Brooks Warns ‘No Revenues’ Absolutism Makes GOP Look Like ‘No Longer A Normal Party’—Says McConnell Stance Would Cause Independents To Blame ‘GOP Fanaticism for Causing Default’

WHILE MCCONNELL CONTINUES TO DIG IN AGAINST GETTING RID OF ANY TAX LOOPHOLES …

McConnell Said No to All Forms of Revenue. “President Barack Obama stepped back into deficit-reduction talks Monday, only to be greeted by a double-barrel blast from Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who peremptorily rejected any deal that would include the added revenues Obama wants together with spending cuts. McConnell’s meeting with the president stretched more than an hour, but even before the two men sat down together, the Kentucky Republican had delivered a toughly worded speech on the Senate floor and posted an opinion piece on CNN.com demanding that ‘tax hikes’ come off the table.”  [Politico, 6/27/11]

McConnell: “Talking About Tax Revenue Not Helpful.” [AP, 6/26/11]

…TWO MEMBERS OF HIS CAUCUS TOOK NEW STEPS DISTANCING THEMSELVES FROM HIS STANCE …

NYT: “2 Republicans Open Door to Increases in Revenue.” On July 3, the New York Times reported that two senior Republicans had said they were open to raising revenues as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling.  Senator John Cornyn said, “we could bring down rates, eliminate the tax, a lot of tax expenditures or loopholes and actually make our nation more competitive internationally.” While Senator John McCain of Arizona said that he would be willing to consider “revenue raisers.” [New York Times, 7/3/11; Fox News Sunday, 7/3/11; CNN, 7/3/1]

…AND A CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST WARNED GOP TO ABANDON MCCONNELL’S STANCE OR RISK BEING BLAMED FOR A DEFAULT BY INDEPENDENTS  …

Brooks: If Debt Ceiling Talks Fail, Independents Will Blame GOP. “If the debt ceiling talks fail, independents voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern.  And they will be right.”  [New York Times, Brooks Column, 7/5/11]

Brooks: GOP Is No Longer A Normal Party, But A Movement. “That’s because the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party. Over the past few years, it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.” [New York Times, Brooks Column, 7/5/11]

  • The members of this movement do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter how sweet the terms. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch in order to cut government by a foot, they will say no. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch to cut government by a yard, they will still say no.” [New York Times, Brooks Column, 7/5/11]
  • The members of this movement do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities. A thousand impartial experts may tell them that a default on the debt would have calamitous effects, far worse than raising tax revenues a bit. But the members of this movement refuse to believe it.” [New York Times, Brooks Column, 7/5/11]
  • The members of this movement have no sense of moral decency. A nation makes a sacred pledge to pay the money back when it borrows money. But the members of this movement talk blandly of default and are willing to stain their nation’s honor.” [New York Times, Brooks Column, 7/5/11]
  • The members of this movement have no economic theory worthy of the name. Economists have identified many factors that contribute to economic growth, ranging from the productivity of the work force to the share of private savings that is available for private investment. Tax levels matter, but they are far from the only or even the most important factor.” [New York Times, Brooks Column, 7/5/11]
  • But to members of this movement, tax levels are everything. Members of this tendency have taken a small piece of economic policy and turned it into a sacred fixation. They are willing to cut education and research to preserve tax expenditures. Manufacturing employment is cratering even as output rises, but members of this movement somehow believe such problems can be addressed so long as they continue to worship their idol.” [New York Times, Brooks Column, 7/5/11]

Brooks: GOP Should Take “Deal of the Century,” Close Loopholes That They Have Called “Distortionary.” “If the Republican Party were a normal party, it would take advantage of this amazing moment. It is being offered the deal of the century: trillions of dollars in spending cuts in exchange for a few hundred million dollars of revenue increases. …The party is not being asked to raise marginal tax rates in a way that might pervert incentives. On the contrary, Republicans are merely being asked to close loopholes and eliminate tax expenditures that are themselves distortionary. This, as I say, is the mother of all no-brainers. But we can have no confidence that the Republicans will seize this opportunity.” [New York Times, Brooks Column, 7/5/11]

 

 

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