Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Republicans Have Done Their Job?

My op-ed on the fiscal grand canyon in Sunday's New York Daily News topped the list of Must Reads on yesterday's broadcast of Morning Joe.

Listen carefully to what Scarborough says around 6:40 of the clip.  I think you are going to hear it a lot in the coming months.  He says, "Taxes were increased in the House of Representatives … The Republicans have done their job."  Earlier, he says, "Taxes have been raised ... That card has been taken off the table." You can bet the Republicans will use a similar talking point to fight any future tax increases.

The tendency for public discussion -- and future partisan talking points -- to not distinguish between a small, targeted tax increase that raises inadequate revenue and the broader tax increase back to Clinton-era tax rates that would have raised a lot of revenue is the reason why Obama should have held out for as much new revenue as going over the fiscal cliff would have produced.  He could then have negotiated with the Republicans on how much additional spending or tax relief to offer to mitigate the threat to short-term economic activity.

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