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Monday, October 24, 2016

Republicans in Congress made plain during the debt ceiling fight that they will never accept tax increases or new revenue of any kind, even if it is outweighed hugely by reduced spending. This apparently puts them to the right of even Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Tea Party champion and Republican presidential flavor of the month:

To hear him tell it on the presidential campaign trail, Gov. Rick Perry has never met a tax increase he liked.

But at home, over a political career that reaches back to the oil price shocks of the 1980s, Mr. Perry has embraced billions of dollars worth of them — including a $528 million tax increase approved in 1990, after he defected to the Republican Party.

The biggest tax increases came early in his career, before anyone used the phrase “Tea Party” to describe a potent political movement. But a few weeks ago, Mr. Perry also signed into law an online sales tax measure that the state says will raise $60 million over the next five years.

Grover Norquist’s influential organization, Americans for Tax Reform, calls the measure a dreaded “new tax.” Mr. Perry opposed it as a stand-alone measure, but this summer it was tucked into a must-pass bill during a legislative session that otherwise saw deep budget cuts.

The past votes and more recent tax legislation are sure to get a new look from opponents as Mr. Perry, now a Republican front-runner, promotes his tax-cuttin’, budget-slashin’ ways as an antidote to the ailing economy and a president he attacks as recklessly profligate.

“To the extent that he tries to oversell this in a campaign, people are going to pick at it,” said Jim Henson, a political scientist at the University of Texas. “The question is, will his opponents be able to outmaneuver him to create a high level of dissonance between his record and what he says.”

So even Perry has vulnerabilities in his record. But the real takeaway here is the incredible stubbornness of the House GOP and its leaders.

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Copyright 2011 The National Memo
  • Milton Schwartz

    Crafty, irresponsible politicians like Perry and the tea baggers and republicans atre not interested in the public good. They are dedicated to raising money for elections and nothing else.

  • rasputin1952

    Perry is a joke. Another moron from TX would kill the country. I give him about a month before he implodes. In fact, the entire GOP clownfest is something to watch. This should be interesting, macabre, but interesting.

  • Newborn

    Sorry, but Americans already got big morons like Reagan and Bush. That they now want new ones like the Bachmanns, the Palins and the Perrys is beyond my understanding.

  • Newborn

    If it’s for the circus, well let the circus go… We need after all some hilarious moments before the US Titanic sinks…

  • kurt.lorentzen

    Here goes the idology again. The problem with this article and the supportive replies is that neither the author nor the respondents have a clue as to why Republicans don’t want to raise corporate taxes, or increase the percentage for the wealthy.
    1) Corporations have left the country for more favorable tax treatment. That means jobs and MONEY have sailed with them. Raising taxes on corporations is going to make this better how? How will this stimulate private sector jobs? You do realize that government jobs contribute zero to the economy, don’t you? That ALL government jobs (right up to the President’s) are paid for BY the private sector?

    2) The wealthy don’t pay much in taxes. Not because their tax rate isn’t high enough (I think one-third is obscene), but because they have so many ways of shielding their income from taxable status. Raising their tax rate won’t do much if the income remains non-taxable, will it? 40% of nothing is still nothing.
    A revised tax code with a 3- or 4-tier bracket, and deferments for only fixed amounts, not percentages of income, and NO Loopholes are the only things that will ever get the wealthy to pay more.

    We need more tax revenue AND huge spending cuts. But in order to have tax revenue, you have to have a tax base. And you’ll never have that as long as we keep shipping our dollars out of the country.