Good thing I had absolutely nothing to do today.
Charles Krauthammer cares enough about keeping the political record squeaky clean he just gave me an education. How did I get this hysterical, fed-killer view of Republicans? Guess I’d taken leave of my senses for all time. Good thing for us the wingnuts care so much for this country they’re willing to stockpile revenues and elicit compromise at every turn. How surprisingly lucky we are.
Krauthammer’s memo: The slaves to Grover Norquist are a silly bunch, breaking their no-more-taxes vow any time the president bats eyelashes at them. They raise taxes so frequently they simply forget to tell Democrats anything about it. Come to think of it, I never remind anybody when I’m done masturbating, so this makes sense. And friends, it doesn’t do a Republican’s reputation any good that liberals can’t do math:
November 24, 2011 8:00 P.M.
The Norquist Myth
Charles Krauthammer | National review
. . Apparently, Republicans are in the thrall of one Grover Norquist, the anti-tax campaigner, whom Sen. John Kerry called “the 13th member of this committee without being there.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid helpfully suggested “maybe they should impeach Grover Norquist.”
With that, Norquist officially replaces the Koch brothers as the great malevolent manipulator that controls the republic by pulling unseen strings on behalf of the plutocracy.
I have here one of those invisible garrotes, spray-painted for your viewing:
Still, do right-wingers pay much attention to oaths and pledges and such?
No, naw. Back to Krauthammer:
Nice theory. Except for the following facts:
• Sen. Tom Coburn last year signed on to the Simpson-Bowles tax reform that would have increased tax revenues by $1 trillion over a decade.
• During the debt-ceiling talks, Speaker John Boehner agreed to an $800 billion revenue increase as part of a Grand Bargain.
• Supercommittee member Pat Toomey, a Club for Growth Republican, proposed increasing tax revenues by $300 billion as part of $1.2 trillion in debt reduction.
Just look at those facts. They don’t really substitute for taxes, do they? Those would be FACTS. But they’re at least facts. Or ‘Facthammers,’ which are versions of facts resembling ‘not-facts.’
Tom Coburn did sign off on the Cat Food Commission’s recommendations, but those never had a chance of serious consideration. A whole ‘nother set of votes on the recommendations would have had to occur in the House and Senate, and the Norquist Boy Scouts killed them long before that. ‘Dr. No’ figured as much. And ‘Who Cares?’ Coburn is retiring at the end of his term, so this is, at best, a Facthammer.
Boehner did say he wanted $800 billion in revenue during the debt ceiling negotiations, but he says things he doesn’t mean.
In negotiations last summer, according to numerous officials, President Barack Obama and Boehner were considering sizeable cuts to benefit programs as well as an overhaul of the tax code that would have raised as much as $800 billion in additional revenue — money that Republicans said at the time would have come from economic growth.
No one ever took Boehner seriously. If Krauthammer says he took the speaker seriously, he needs to give up his lecture gig and proceed with treatment immediately.
In his quixotic quest for a grand bargain, Obama displayed a willingness to take on entitlement spending, sending his liberal base into a predictable tizzy.
The bargain went bust, but largely because House Speaker John Boehner could not deliver on the $800 billion in tax revenue he dangled.
Boehner had a problem: Barack could count. When John said he had the okay to raise hundreds of dollars in levy wampum and to project $799,999,999,659 in atomic tax-growth, Obama knew Boehner was around one trillion short of his compromise. Facthammer #2.
And Toomey? So facile with raising tax revenues, he can do it in reverse.
In his comments Tuesday, Boehner cited the importance of tax overhaul in the proposal that Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., made to supercommittee Democrats last week.
“It’s important for us to, in my opinion, reform the tax code. And we’ve got the highest business tax rate in the world. We’ve got a personal tax system that’s so complicated it costs Americans about $500 billion a year to comply with the current tax code,” he said.
Funny-sounding tax increase, eh?
Republican officials have said the offer made by Toomey envisions an overhaul that would drop the top tax rate on personal income to 28 percent from the current 35 and shave or eliminate some itemized deductions that are commonly used. The top corporate rate would also fall.
The result would be an estimated $250 billion in additional revenue over a decade, they estimate.
Tax cuts are increases? You’re right, Charles: I cannot do Republican math, and I am an idiot. But my empty vanity reminds you the Bush tax cuts resulted in a puzzling two trillion dollar drop in tax revenues between 2001 and 2010.
You, reader, may have noticed you hadn’t even heard of these Republican plans for generating tax revenues, and there’s a reason for that. Once Republicans committed to any of these, the Congressional Budget Office would get a shot at the numbers. Unlike politicians, the CBO does math real good, and the ‘revenue increases’ would have been robustly Facthammered, for sure. Instead of generating money, the Toomey plan would have added to the debt, probably in a significant number like hundreds of billions of dollars.
But Chuck knows this. He’s just testing to see if you know it.