Thursday, December 12, 2013

Republican Tax Virgins

Paul Ryan and Patty Murray discuss revenue options.
Yesterday's best political image came with a good explanation by Jonathan Chait. 
Why Republicans Keep Their Technical Tax Virginity
The secret sauce in the budget deal is that Republicans evaded their theological opposition to taxes by agreeing to jack up some “fees.” Matt Yglesias ["Taxation Without Penetration The GOP has lost its purity on taxes, but the budget deal tries to keep up the façade."] The key to the GOP’s anti-tax stance is that they don’t hate all taxes remotely equally — and many of them don’t hate certain taxes at all. They hate taxes on the rich. The trouble is “don’t tax the rich” makes a pretty unpopular way to define your core beliefs. So, Republicans instead couch their stance as no taxes, period. They could try to discretely negotiate for more regressive tax hikes, but that would leave them vulnerable to Democrats pushing to raise taxes higher up the income ladder, and would give the Republicans no solid basis to oppose them. Any negotiation over income taxes has the potential to get out of the GOP’s control.
Ryan’s solution was to accept tax increases “outside of the tax code.” That’s a perfectly safe way for Republicans to accept higher revenue in the form of fees and whatnot, without any danger of opening the door to higher progressive taxes. Likewise, technical virgins may be looking to get it on in a way that protects them from pregnancy. Yes, there is birth control, but birth control isn’t 100 percent effective. If you want to be certain your activities won’t get out of hand and result in pregnancy, being a technical virgin is a smart way to draw the line.

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