A Dem Disaster -- Or One for the GOP?!

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jul 16, 2012 12:08 AM
According to the Washington Post, Democrats -- led by Sen. Patty Murray -- are going to threaten to allow the entire country to spiral into recession if Republicans don't agree to raise taxes on those making more than $250,000.  Senator Murray is proposing that, if Republicans don't agree to tax increases on "the rich," all the Bush tax cuts be allowed to expire . . . and then, presto!  Everything would be a "tax cut!"

If this is true, it is a political gift of unimaginable magnitude to Republicans.  After all, everyone from President Obama down has conceded that times of economic stress (like recessions) are a terrible time to raise taxes.  That's because you're requiring job-creators to pay to the government the money they might otherwise plow back into their companies and use to hire people.  And as a recent poll noted, a majority of Americans wants tax cuts for everyone -- yes, even the dreaded "wealthy."

And now, Senator Murray is calling for a massive "automatic" tax increase on everyone (with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts) so that restoring the current rates on those making less than $250,000 would be a "tax cut"!  Get it?!

The only worrisome part of this story is the aside that Democrats are "[e]mboldened by signs that GOP resistance to new taxes may  be weakening."  One reason that I suspect it's just big talk: There's no source (even an anonymous one) for it.

Another reason it had better be nothing but Democrat wishful thinking: Any accession to new taxes would be the GOP signing its own political death warrant.   It would be another "read my lips" disaster of epic proportion -- and a total repudiation of the low tax, high growth economic approach that has been a staple of mainstream GOP thought since a least the time of Reagan.

I'm guest hosting The Hugh Hewitt Show tomorrow, and we're going to try to find some Republican officials who can dispositively repudiate this hair-raising rumor that the GOP would cave in any way on tax increases.