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POLITICS

Are lower rates really worth $400 billion in higher taxes?

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

Commenting on the aftermath of the Boehner offer, NBC’s First Thoughts writes: ” While the two proposals seem far apart — and they are — look at them when you split the difference between the two. You get $1.2 trillion in revenue and about $450 to $500 billion in savings to Medicare and Medicaid.”

The Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein sees a similar final deal: “Boehner is now at $800 billion in revenues, and the White House is at $1.6 trillion. If the two sides end at $1.2 trillion, that would be about what most in Washington are expecting. Similarly, Boehner is at $900 billion in mandatory spending cuts, and Obama is at $600 billion. if the two sides end at $750 billion, that wouldn’t be such a surprise.”

Are House Republican leaders really contemplating a final deal that forces their members to vote for a $1.2 trillion tax hike? Keep in mind, that if Republicans give President Obama what he wants on rates (a return to the 39.6 percent Clinton era rates for those making more than $250,000), that would only raise $824 billion.

I understand that House Republican leaders believe they are standing on principle here. But is the distinction between closing loopholes/higher rates really worth an extra $400 billion in tax hikes?

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