What happens when you put GOP lawmakers in the room with a bunch of determined Democrats?
Growing GOP support for raising taxes to help reduce the deficit has sparked a clash within the party over whether to abandon its bedrock anti-tax doctrine.
The GOP plan that includes raising more "revenue" was put forward by two men formerly associated with cutting taxes: Rep. Jeb Hensarling from Texas and Senator Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania, who propose raising $300 billion over the next decade by eliminating deductions and loopholes. To their credit, Toomey and Hensarling propose lower tax rates.
Larry Kudlow, whose bona fides as a free-market foe of higher taxes are impeccable, isn’t as negative on the Hensarling-Toomey plan as one might have expected: Kudlow notes that net revenues would go up because of the reduction in personal tax breaks and that the plan is pro-growth. No doubt, Democrats are ecstatic that Republicans have opened the door to tax hikes, the Holy Grail of the modern Democrat party. The Hensarling-Toomey plan must have them licking their chops.
Kudlow (joining Veronique de Rugy, Dan Mitchell, and Peter Suderman) seems to be the latest luminary to decide it's time to learn to love sequestration, the process by which the automatic, across the board budget cuts triggered by a failure to reach a deal would happen:
For investors and people in business, a super tax hike would be the worst possible outcome. So take the spending-cut sequestration now, and then fight the real battle in November 2012. That’s better than a super committee deal at any cost.
Democrats are probably prepared to reap a PR bonanza from a failure to reach a deal, but it may be time for tax-hike foes to start making the case for the trigger.