Boehner's Fear of a Tax Increase

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 10 2011 10:26 AM

Boehner's Fear of a Tax Increase

Early yesterday evening, the Speaker's office published the entirety of his speech to the Economic Club of New York. The debt limit stuff had been telegraphed; I covered that yesterday. The portion about whether taxes can ever be raised was not previewed.

I ran for Congress in 1990, the year our nation's leaders struck a so-called bargain that raised taxes as part of a bipartisan plan to balance the budget.

The result of that so-called bargain was the recession of the early 1990s. It wasn't until the economy picked back up toward the end of that decade that we achieved a balanced budget.

Today some seem intent on recycling the 1990 budget deal, only this time with much larger tax increases.

That's not going to happen, and I've told that to the president. A tax hike would wreak havoc not only on our economy's ability to create private-sector jobs, but also on our ability to tackle the national debt.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Advertisement

It's not exactly settled that the tax increase of 1990 caused the recession. There were a lot of causes -- the S&L aftermath, Middle East unrest, Fed policy, etc and etc. Tax policy didn't help, but that barely matters. What matters it that are several Republican articles of faith on taxes. To name three.

1) Tax cuts increase revenue.

2) The economy grew out of recession the 1980s because Reagan cut taxes.

3) The tax hike of 1990 hurt the economy and led to the defeat of George H.W. Bush, proving for all time that there is no upside to a deal with Democrats on taxes.

The first point is objectively untrue; the second and third points are debatable. Republicans don't think they're debatable. Boehner certainly doesn't. And so: No discussion about tax increases on any horizon, as revenue stays meager and stagnant.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.