That Will Do The Trick

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I had an interesting day in Washington, largely centering around the bizarre dance over whether House Republicans will consent to tax rates going up for income over $250,000 a year when in fact no one is asking for or requiring their consent. It’s already the law. The main Republican leverage is tied to their ability to refuse to allow a new tax cut for everyone else — something they have the power to do but which nevertheless sits oddly with their brand. Now amidst the weird mix of denial and braggadocio there are signs that the Flat Tax may be emerging as the Hale-Bopp Comet of the GOP anti-tax cult.Today Louie Gohmert (R-TX) far right Congressman from Texas introduced a new Flat Tax proposal which like most flat tax proposals would both starve the federal government of revenues and amount to a massive tax cut for the wealthiest Americans.

Newly elected Texas Sen.-Elect Ted Cruz toasted Gohmert’s proposal and declared that “a flat tax is an ideal antidote to the short-sighted Washington drive to raise tax rates.”

In other words, the answer to public belief that taxes on the wealthiest Americans should go up as part of an effort to rein in the federal deficit should be addressed by dramatically cutting upper income tax rates and ballooning the deficit.

Good times.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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