Mr. Sensitive

December 28, 2012

No Force-Chokes in 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 10:20

Several months ago I said (to my baby son, presumably) that the Republicans are distorting the tax issue by telling the public President Obama wanted to increase taxes on the wealthy when in fact he is proposing no such thing.  The reality, I said, is that tax rates will revert to Clinton-era levels in 2013 if no action is taken, and Obama is simply refusing to act to prevent that reversion.  The semantics seemed important: Democrats aren’t proposing a tax increase for rich people—Republicans are proposing a tax cut.  It turns out that I actually underestimated the importance of semantics, because semantics are what’s going to push the nation over the fiscal cliff ledge.   Most, if not all Republicans understand that tax revenues must rise if the budget deficit is to be reduced.  Most, if not all Republicans have pledged to Darth Norquist that they will never raise taxes.  How can they resolve this conflict?  Semantics.  If a Republican votes to revert to Clinton-era tax rates before 2013, he will technically violate his Sith pledge.  But if tax rates revert to higher levels automatically, that same Republican can safely vote to cut taxes for the 98% of Americans Democrats agree should have lower tax rates, while loudly cursing those same Democrats for stiffing the rich, er, I mean job creators.  The only vote our anonymous Republican will cast is for a tax cut, and he can freely and fairly insist that he never voted to raise taxes.  So taxes rise, but Norquist can’t force-choke anyone in particular on account of it.  Can it be that simple?  We’re about to find out.


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