40 House Republicans Sign Letter Signalling They're Open To Raising Taxes

Well, the presidential candidates may be falling all over themselves not to raise taxes (although, if you notice, all of their flat tax plans would raise taxes on the lowest income earners, so it's not strictly correct to say that they won't raise taxes), but in a surprisingly bipartisan move, there are some congressional Republicans who are starting to look more reasonable:

Breaking with party orthodoxy, 40 House Republicans urged Congress' supercommittee on Wednesday to consider all options for raising revenue as they hunt for ways to trim the gargantuan $14.8 trillion national debt.

Though in a letter to the special debt-reduction panel the GOP lawmakers studiously avoided specific proposals that the signees admitted could shatter the group's unanimity, it seemed to at least crack the door open to the potential consideration of tax increases.

That seemed to separate the 40 Republicans from many of their GOP colleagues, who have said they would only consider new revenue generated by a stronger economy.

The GOP lawmakers joined with 60 House Democrats in the letter, which also called on the supercommittee to keep the door open for savings culled from benefit programs like Medicare, a path opposed by many Democrats. In addition, the letter said the special committee should aim for $4 trillion in 10-year savings - more than triple the panel's mandated minimum target of $1.2 trillion.

At a news conference and in separate interviews Wednesday, Republican participants shied away from expressing an unconditional willingness to accept tax increases as part of a final deal.

The Republicans are still focusing on the cutting of expenses side of the equation, without question. However, to have them acknowledge that their dogmatic and inflexible stance on no raising of taxes may be the answer for Grover Norquist, but not for the rest of the country I think shows that the messages of the Occupy movement is piercing through the Beltway Bubble.


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