“2 Republicans Open Door to Increases in Revenue” reads a headline in Monday‘s New York Times. The suggestion is that a few Republicans are walking away from the the party’s no-tax-hike orthodoxy. That much is clear from John Broder’s lead:
Two senior Republicans said Sunday that they might be open to raising new government revenue as part of a deal to resolve the dispute over the federal debt ceiling, but they warned that there was little time to enact a comprehensive deal.
This would be a pretty remarkable development. So who are we talking about? Broder reports:
One of the senators, John Cornyn of Texas, said he would consider eliminating some tax breaks and corporate subsidies in the context of changes in the tax code, provided there was not an overall increase in taxes.
That sounds like no shift at all– Cornyn went on to rule out any tax increases.
But he insisted that any changes in taxes be ‘revenue neutral,’ meaning that the government would not take in any more money from individuals or businesses than it does now.
OK– he supports raising revenues, so long as there is no increase in, well, revenues. Is there a clearer example Broder is thinking about?
The other senator, John McCain of Arizona, said he would be willing to consider some ‘revenue raisers’ as part of a broad deal, but he refused to name specific measures.
He was specific about one thing:
‘The principle of not raising taxes is something that we campaigned on last November, and the result of the election was that the American people didn’t want their taxes raised and they wanted us to cut spending,’ he said on the CNN program State of the Union.
This article provides the evidence to refute its premise, which I guess is helpful.