Monday, November 12, 2012

Now the GOP is ready to talk taxes

Ned Resnikoff, @resnikoff
11:49 am on 11/11/2012

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) talks with supporters at the Republican Victory Celebration on December 2, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)

Influential Republicans took to this week’s Sunday shows to defend the possibility of a fiscal cliff solution which includes new revenue—even in the form of tax hikes.

“Don’t scream and yell when one person says, ‘you know what, it won’t kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires,’” said Weekly Standard columnist William Kristol on this week’s Fox News Sunday. ”It really won’t, I don’t think.”

On Wednesday, the day after President Obama’s re-election, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) gave a press conference in which he said his party was willing to work with the president to avert a tumble off the fiscal cliff. The fiscal cliff is the economic contraction that could occur after a number of tax cuts and other pieces of economic legislation expire over the course of several months. Both Obama and Boehner have publicly spoken of their desire for a bargain that would halt the growth of the federal deficit while also preventing that contraction.

“Mr. President, the Republican majority here in the House stands ready to work with you to do what’s best for our country,” Boehner said during his Wednesday press conference. “Because the American people expect us to find common ground, we’re willing to accept some additional revenues via tax reform.”

On ABC’s This Week, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) said Boehner “showed great leadership by saying revenues need to be on the table.”

Republicans have often presented a united front against the very possibility of revenue increases, in part because many members of the party are signatories to the Norquist pledge. Politicians who take that pledge, circulated by Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist, vow never to support raising taxes. However, in this case, the GOP caucus might be forced to choose between breaking the pledge and going off the fiscal cliff.

President Obama has publicly said he will veto any deal which does not allow the Bush tax cuts on those making over $250,000 a year to expire.

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