Senate Dems: Give us tax hikes or you get no tax reform

posted at 12:41 pm on July 26, 2013 by Kevin Glass

Over the last two years, a groundswell of movement has happened behind the scenes on Capitol Hill. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) has been working to convince his colleagues of the need for tax reform. Recently, Max Baucus has begun to spearhead that same initiative on the Senate side. And indeed, with Orrin Hatch signed on, it has looked like this is something that could happen.

It’s important to note that we’re only talking about tax reform, not cuts. That’s what has kept this tenuous bipartisan movement together. The approach is largely revenue-neutral and would likely end up distributionally similar to what we have now. But with economists estimating that the cost of tax complexity could be up to $1 trillion every year, merely having a revenue-neutral and simpler tax code could be hugely beneficial for the American economy.

Ed wrote yesterday that the path has not been all candy and sunshine. Baucus and Hatch promised their colleagues that some of the details of these Hill negotiations would remain secret for fifty years. And Ed isn’t all that optimistic on this push for tax reform more generally, either. Still, it’s the best opportunity in years.

Senate Democrat leadership wants put a boot to all of this. Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer appeared yesterday to demand that any tax reform must actually be a tax hike, as reported by Bloomberg:

Any tax overhaul “has to be under the total understanding that this can’t be revenue-neutral,” said Reid, a Nevada Democrat. “It can’t be even close to neutral. It has to be a significant tax target.”

That target, according to Reid and Schumer, should be what the Senate Democrats’ tax-hiking budget aimed for – a tax hike of nearly $1 trillion. Needless to say, that’s a non-starter. Republicans in both the House and Senate agreed to more than $600 billion in tax hikes – mostly from upper-income-earners – on January 1 this year as part of the fiscal cliff deal.

Schumer and Reid’s bluster threatens to kill the tax reform movement before it has a real chance. If Democrats are going to marshal around the idea that the tax code is fine as it is and that Republicans will have to give up substantial tax hikes just to simplify the code, we’re not getting reform.

It’s too bad, too. The Baucus-Hatch plan in the Senate would challenge legislators to have to defend special interest tax subsidies on an individual basis. It’s an approach that’s been endorsed by the Alan Simpson/Erskine Bowles coalition. It would grow the economy without growing government revenues. And Senate Democrats would rather exact a pound of tax-hike flesh in order to allow it to happen.

This could all just be petty politics on the part of Reid and Schumer. Their supposed “baseline” for tax hikes is taken from the Senate Democrat budget that was passed this year because Republicans demanded it. Max Baucus was one of a few Senate Democrats who voted against the budget of the Senate Democrats. Baucus is retiring. This might just be Schumer & Reid’s last parting shot at a member of the Democrat caucus who has not always towed the party line.

Whether it’s their love of bad policy or merely the pettiness of personality politics, Schumer and Reid’s move is bad news for simplicity, reform, and economic growth.


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I believe the second word in the proper three-word response to Dingy Harry is “you”. The other two can’t be published here.

Steve Eggleston on July 26, 2013 at 12:44 PM

If Republicans wont learn that you do not make deals with liars and crooks, they will be no use to conservatives.

Valkyriepundit on July 26, 2013 at 12:44 PM

The best thing we could do is to allow Dems to raise taxes on every American that will cover the $16T deficit.

Then wait for the pain.

faraway on July 26, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Senate Dems: Give us tax hikes or you get no tax reform

Senate GOP : No. Let’s just reform taxes.

Senate Dems: No.

Senate GOP : Ok. We should raise taxes now I guess.

Gatsu on July 26, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Democrats are the ultimate of the shopaholic type of insanity.

Where are they going to get this new revenue, anyway?

Liam on July 26, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Just as an aside – every time since the end of World War II that the federal tax take approached 20% of GDP, the economy entered a recession until the tax take fell well below the post-WWII historical 18.1% of GDP average.

Steve Eggleston on July 26, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Democrats are the ultimate of the shopaholic type of insanity.

Where are they going to get this new revenue, anyway?

Liam on July 26, 2013 at 12:47 PM

They’ll just shrink the economy until the tax take is 22% of the permanently shrunken GDP.

Steve Eggleston on July 26, 2013 at 12:48 PM

How STUPID does ANYONE need to be to vote for a SECRET tax deal?

EVERY CORRUPT senator, or congressman, that is involved in such deal making should be primaried and removed from public office.

And I mean by ALL SIDES!

Freddy on July 26, 2013 at 12:49 PM

faraway on July 26, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Yes, and that theory has proven to be successful since 1913 and WOW are we better off for it!!

katy on July 26, 2013 at 12:50 PM

counteroffer – you get your new taxes, but only by adjusting things to bring a huge portion of that 47% back on the tax rolls.

No new taxes on those currently paying taxes.

chasdal on July 26, 2013 at 12:51 PM

To me tax reform means flat tax. Obviously it means something different to Harry Reid.

ctmom on July 26, 2013 at 12:52 PM

“Toed” the line. Please.

alwaysfiredup on July 26, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Don’t give those left wing charlatans another cent.

rplat on July 26, 2013 at 12:53 PM

The democrat party is pure evil. The people in their leadership should be on pikes.

jukin3 on July 26, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Hostage takers!

tommer74 on July 26, 2013 at 12:54 PM

To me tax reform means flat tax. Obviously it means something different to Harry Reid.

ctmom on July 26, 2013 at 12:52 PM

To Dingy Harry (and to be honest, too many “Pubbies”), it means at least 51% paying $0.00 (or preferably getting a net tax credit).

Steve Eggleston on July 26, 2013 at 12:54 PM

“Schumer and Reid’s bluster threatens to kill the tax reform movement before it has a real chance. If Democrats are going to marshal around the idea that the tax code is fine as it is and that Republicans will have to give up substantial tax hikes just to simplify the code, we’re not getting reform.”

Are you kidding? This is great! Every Republican can run on “we think taxes are too complex. The Democrats think they’re great. Vote for us if you don’t like dealing with the IRS!”

Greg Q on July 26, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Yes, and that theory has proven to be successful since 1913 and WOW are we better off for it!!

katy on July 26, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Dems used to be the party of tax and spend. That was a losing issue, and they figured out in 2008/2012, that they would become the party of spending only.

The GOP stupidly became the party of increased taxes. And that’s a big part of why we lost.

faraway on July 26, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Entrepreneurs of America, just go out and buy a burial lot.

Lazy do-nothings of America, celebrate and throw a party.

And there you have it.

fogw on July 26, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Schumer and Reid’s move is bad news for simplicity, reform, and economic growth.

Since they are never good news for simplicity, reform, and economic growth the above is an oxymoron.

chemman on July 26, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Give them a flat tax at whatever rate they choose. But.

- NO deductions — all non-profits become taxable(phase in over 5 years)
- CUT the IRS so that it only does random audits — eliminate ALL the provisions of Obamacare related to the IRS — Obamacare funding will come out of the flat tex

When GOP gets a majority, they get to set the rate.

gh on July 26, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Senate Dems: Give us tax hikes or you get no tax reform

Hmmm, so the Corruptocrats are going with the stategy of
Tax hikes is OUR TAX REFORM!!

Annnnnnd, the Republicans go along with it
in….oh about 2 days tops.

Why don’t the RepublicaN politicians in DC just put cardboard
cut outs of themselves up in the Chambers….

..these would have more SPINE.

ToddPA on July 26, 2013 at 1:05 PM

we’re not getting reform.

Nope, we aren’t. Neither side is an honest broker. The US citizenry is largely unengaged. Nothing will occur. Except you will all be paying higher tax rates. This scenario is unlikely to change.

Bmore on July 26, 2013 at 1:06 PM

No.

And if you represent me, and you vote for this crap, I will crawl naked over broken glass in order to get you removed from office. And I don’t care what party you belong to.

Chris of Rights on July 26, 2013 at 1:08 PM

It’s too bad, too.

Not if GOP Senate candidates next year can grow a spine, and use this as a dagger on the Senior Pedo from NV…

JohnGalt23 on July 26, 2013 at 1:09 PM

I’ve got a better idea: go to hell.

Chuck Schick on July 26, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Not just no, but hell no

22044 on July 26, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Yeah! ‘Cuz, like, um, ya know, all of those tax rises at the beginning of the year really jump started the economy and narrowed the income inequality gap!

When Is MSNBC Going To Start Giving Obama Credit For This ‘Amazing Economy’? (charts)

Obama’s Version of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’:

Every time I ‘create’ a job, two angels enroll in the food stamp programme.

And, if you think that’s a bad thing, then you are Mr Henry F(ucking) Potter!

Delusion: It’s what’s for breakfast at the White House.

Resist We Much on July 26, 2013 at 1:12 PM

By the way, who is Kevin Glass?

22044 on July 26, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Who are the fill in editors?

Schadenfreude on July 26, 2013 at 1:14 PM

I’ve got a better idea: go to hell.

Chuck Schick on July 26, 2013 at 1:10 PM

…and burn, slowly, in the coldest layer of it.

Schadenfreude on July 26, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Increasing taxes while the economy is in the toilet qualifies as insanity.

Of course the whores in congress are completely unaffected by the crazy excrement they fling at the electorate.

They need to cut taxes and spending to get our economic engine going again.

dogsoldier on July 26, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Are you kidding? This is great! Every Republican can run on “we think taxes are too complex. The Democrats think they’re great. Vote for us if you don’t like dealing with the IRS!”
Greg Q on July 26, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Since 47%+ of the population doesn’t deal with the IRS, that is a huge “don’t care” chunk of the populace right there.

SunSword on July 26, 2013 at 1:16 PM

22044

Bmore on July 26, 2013 at 1:17 PM

This article is great.

Schadenfreude on July 26, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Nope, we aren’t. Neither side is an honest broker. The US citizenry is largely unengaged. Nothing will occur. Except you will all be paying higher tax rates. This scenario is unlikely to change.

Bmore on July 26, 2013 at 1:06 PM

They’ll be more engaged when the system self-corrects whether they want to be or not, that much is certain. Joblessness and the resulting poverty and hunger will focus quite a few minds.

This is uncharted territory, tax rates that dwarf economic logic and debt in numbers that simply don’t mean anything any longer because it’s almost impossible to imagine $20 trillion in any real form.

Bishop on July 26, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Agreed. Collapse seems all but eminent.

Bmore on July 26, 2013 at 1:21 PM

The opposition is limp – this is the biggest problem in the USA today. It makes the Rs most culpable. They enable the Utopian and thuggish Ds.

May all the traitors of the land go to Hades, and roast slowly, in the coldest layer.

Schadenfreude on July 26, 2013 at 1:21 PM

They keep pumping.

Bmore on July 26, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Thanks, Bmore.

22044 on July 26, 2013 at 1:22 PM

And as far as that walking corpse and his overly-botoxed mannequin crack buddy go, they can both pound the entire Sahara, I’ll supply the sledgehammer for free.

Pretty damn sad what America has become when two complete jackass bugwits such as Reid and Schumer can get and stay elected as reps in our federal government. If those two criminal pedophiles were to start on fire in front of my house and I was holding a garden hose, I would water the plants and whistle a happy tune.

Bishop on July 26, 2013 at 1:23 PM

; )

Bmore on July 26, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I wouldn’t waste my piss on them.

Bmore on July 26, 2013 at 1:24 PM

The Repubes are going to cave on everything anyway.

They’re going to cave on defunding Obamacare. Conservatives need to just get out of the way, let it implode our healthcare system so we can move on.

They’re going to cave on amnesty. They’re just looking for way to do it.

They’re going to cave, AGAIN on the debt ceiling. We should just get rid of the d*mn thing, because it obviously means nothing.

They’re not going to hold Obama, or anyone else accountable, for anything.

They’re going to eventually cave on the tax hike anyway, so just get it over with and do it already. And the establishment Repubes don’t want tax reform anyway, so that’s not going to happen either.

Conservatives need to just get out of the way, get it over with, and let this fcker burn.

Meople on July 26, 2013 at 1:25 PM

F’um

Delsa on July 26, 2013 at 1:26 PM

That target, according to Reid and Schumer, should be what the Senate Democrats’ tax-hiking budget aimed for – a tax hike of nearly $1 trillion. Needless to say, that’s a non-starter. Republicans in both the House and Senate agreed to more than $600 billion in tax hikes – mostly from upper-income-earners – on January 1 this year as part of the fiscal cliff deal.

Dems to GOP: Thanks for the “compromise”, now give us the rest.

You can’t compromise with a criminal with a gun or a liberal.

Socratease on July 26, 2013 at 1:27 PM

If the NRSC doesn’t hammer the Senate Democrats for keeping in place a system of tax loopholes, complex recordkeeping, and long form tax returns, then they’re lost.

blammm on July 26, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Senate Dems: Give us tax hikes or you get no tax reform

Well, this is the Senate – the Reps led (principally) by ‘Maverick’ McClain. The Dems are bound to get their demands… we still haven’t recovered from the recession, have we?

socalcon on July 26, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Republicans should be forced to accept tax hikes to cover every penny of spending they vote for. You want the spending? You get the taxes.

EddieC on July 26, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Doesn’t seem to have the ring that “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” does.

Another Drew on July 26, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Give us tax hikes or and you get no tax reform

Fixed to reflect reality. Like the kid said in The Emperor’s New Groove, that’s a pretty crucial conjunction!

bandarlog on July 26, 2013 at 1:37 PM

It’s nothing more that re-arranging the deck chairs on a sinking ship…

The whole damn thing is coming down…and soon…

PatriotRider on July 26, 2013 at 1:40 PM

If those two criminal pedophiles were to start on fire in front of my house and I was holding a garden hose, I would water the plants and whistle a happy tune.

Bishop on July 26, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I don’t know how the hoses work out your way, but mine spray napalm.

That being said, I would gladly give them a gentle shower.

Its the least I can do.

Gatsu on July 26, 2013 at 1:41 PM

And as far as that walking corpse and his overly-botoxed mannequin crack buddy go, they can both pound the entire Sahara, I’ll supply the sledgehammer for free.

Bishop on July 26, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I’d claim it as a tax deduction.

Liam on July 26, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Prediction:

Final deal will be no reform and trillions in tax increases.

bgibbs1000 on July 26, 2013 at 1:51 PM

If Harry Reid is on record as wanting HIGHER taxes, Republican candidates for Senate should hammer the Democrats by telling voters that the ONLY way to reduce taxes is to get a Republican majority in the Senate, after which Reid cannot singlehandedly prevent legislation from being brought to the Senate floor.

Reid just gave Republicans the rope to hang him with.

Steve Z on July 26, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Give us tax hikes or and you get no tax reform

Fixed to reflect reality. Like the kid said in The Emperor’s New Groove, that’s a pretty crucial conjunction!

bandarlog on July 26, 2013 at 1:37 PM

It’s the J. Wellington Wimpy Gambit they use on everything;

I will gladly give you border control tomorrow in return for amnesty (and 20 million new Democratic voters) today.

I will gladly give you budget cuts (and more and bigger Federal programs) tomorrow in return for a stimulus package today.

I will gladly give you a real energy program (restricted to Holy Wind and Holy Sun) tomorrow in return for a ban on coal and oil today.

And now

I will gladly give you tax reform (by my definition) tomorrow in return for $1 trillion in new taxes today.

The trouble is, as my mother used to say, “Yesterday is gone forever, and tomorrow never comes”. Especially when it’s “progressives” making promises about what they’ll do tomorrow.

What they really do is sneer, flip you the bird, and go, “Ha-Ha! Fooled you again, f**ker!”

It’s the Charlie Brown and the Football Syndrome. And there’s only one cure, unfortunately.

At some point, Charlie Brown has to take careful aim… and kick Lucy.

clear ether

eon

eon on July 26, 2013 at 1:55 PM

When will the pols learn that there isn’t enough money in the world to pay for current obligations AND continue to grow the government at this rate?

Just look at Social Security…

Beginning on 01.01.10 and extending through the end of 2020, 10,000 Americans will become eligible for Social Security (and Medicare, for that matter) every single day.

According to the CBO, baseline SS expenditures are projected to be:

$11 trillion over the next decade.

$20 trillion over the decade after that.

$34 trillion over the third decade.

For a grand total of $65 trillion on Social Security payments alone.

Medicare and Medicaid are even worse and throw Obamacare on top of that! What most people do not realise is that, if we were paying the same interest rate on the national debt that we were during the Clinton Era, debt service alone would eat up every dollar of tax revenue.

In 2010, John Kitchen of the US Treasury and Menzie Chinn of the University of Wisconsin published a study entitled:

‘Financing U.S. Debt: Is There Enough Money in the World—and At What Cost?’

By 2020, Kitchen and Chinn project the amount of US Treasury debt that foreign governments will have to buy in order to finance our spending and debt will have to rise to about 19 percent of the rest of the world’s GDP, which they say is . . . do-able . . . BUT TOTALLY NEVER GONNA HAPPEN UNREALISTIC.

Whether the rest of the world will want to do it is another matter. A future that presumes the rest of the planet will sink a fifth of its GDP into U.S. Treasuries is no future at all.

Progs always say that we are 5% of the world’s population, but use 25% of the planet’s resources, which, according to them, is a very bad, racist, oppressive, selfish, and mean thing to do.

Evidently, being 5% of the world’s population and expecting the equivalent of the Coolies to build our modern-day railroads, which are known as Obamacare, Social Security, Medicare, free college, subsidised housing, cradle-to-grave welfare, etc., by demanding that the rest of the world spend 19% OF THE GLOBAL GDP EVERY YEAR ON US TREASURIES beginning in 2020 while we sit on our couches eating Twinkies watching American Idol while our solar-panel-generated air conditioners are blasting away because ‘we are so trying to save the planet, fighting for a woman’s right to choose, believe in SSM, and protecting the oppressed Muslims from those dastardly Middle Eastern Christians and the JOOOOOOOOOS, man’ is perfectly acceptable.

Resist We Much on July 26, 2013 at 2:08 PM

What!!!! Where is the fiscal responsibility? Democrats ruin Detroit and now they are hel* bent on running America in the ground. That has to stop.

karlinsync on July 26, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Anytime I see Schumer and Reid together in a pic, I get this almost knee jerk reaction to rack the slide on my riot pump 12 Ga.

what is that?

44Magnum on July 26, 2013 at 2:19 PM

.the picture!…where’s Rubio and McCain and Cracker?

KOOLAID2 on July 26, 2013 at 2:20 PM

People need to understand the facts. The sequestration was enacted during the debt ceiling debate in 2012. This was going to happen regardless of the tax increase discussions that happened this year. The GOP has raised income taxes on the wealthy and received nothing in return, but empty promises. Now, the Democrats are yelling for more tax increases. They need to hold up their end of the bargain and reform some of our entitlement programs.
Let people understand without these reforms, this will turn out the same way Detroit’s issues will turn out.

djaymick on July 26, 2013 at 2:24 PM

According to the tax publisher, CCH…

In 1984, the number of regular, 8.5″ x 11″ pages in the tax code and regulations was 26,300.

In 2003, the number of regular, 8.5″ x 11″ pages in the tax code and regulations was 54,846.

In 2013, the number of regular, 8.5″ x 11″ pages in the tax code and regulations was 73,954.

No, we don’t need no steekin’ tax reform AT ALL!

Resist We Much on July 26, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Baucus and Hatch promised their colleagues that some of the details of these Hill negotiations would remain secret for fifty years. 

There’s a problem that may require a constitutional amendment!!!

These clowns work for us, ergo they can’t try to keep anything secret from us. Everything discussed should be released before the applicable votes. Even on national security save severely limited exceptions, but certainly the framework etc without the sensitive details.

AH_C on July 26, 2013 at 2:33 PM

The Baucus-Hatch plan in the Senate would challenge legislators to have to defend special interest tax subsidies on an individual basis.</blockquoteThat may be true, but If that's what Baucus and Hatch wanted then they wouldn't negotiate in secret.

Fenris on July 26, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Note to Dingy Harry: “eff ewe”…

No deals… Let it burn…

Khun Joe on July 26, 2013 at 2:53 PM

According to the tax publisher, CCH…

In 1984, the number of regular, 8.5″ x 11″ pages in the tax code and regulations was 26,300.

In 2003, the number of regular, 8.5″ x 11″ pages in the tax code and regulations was 54,846.

In 2013, the number of regular, 8.5″ x 11″ pages in the tax code and regulations was 73,954.

No, we don’t need no steekin’ tax reform AT ALL!

Resist We Much on July 26, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Somewhere in my stack of photos I have a pic of Sam Brownback’s handcart of the tax code he toted around during his abortive 2008 2007 Presidential campaign. I’m thinking he’d need a forklift now.

Steve Eggleston on July 26, 2013 at 2:58 PM

By the way, who is Kevin Glass?

22044 on July 26, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Who are the fill in editors?

Schadenfreude on July 26, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Kevin’s the managing editor over on the Townhall side of the Salem operation.

Bruce McQuain is the propietor of Questions and Observations.

Steve Eggleston on July 26, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Repubs will be blamed and it will stick because Repubs don’t have the sense to defend themselves

neyney on July 26, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Reid and Schumer can go to hell! They want an additional trillion on top of the $600 billion they just got…screw them! Where do they think this additional ‘revenue’ is going to come from?

It seems on the other side of the pond, Spain has gone to new heights in stupidity. They have found it necessary, so that consumers keep buying from energy producers, to…and this is NO joke…TAX the SUN by royal decree. The possible penalty for setting up your own home solar panels without approval, 30 million euros!

The Secretary of State for Energy, Alberto Nadal, signed a draft royal decree in which consumption taxes are levied on those who want to start solar power systems on their rooftops. The tax, labeled a “backup toll” is high enough to ensure that it will be cheaper to keep buying energy from current providers.

I guess that is one way to ensure that solar takes off in Spain or Europe, make it cost prohibitive for anyone to do it themselves.

WTF is this world coming to?

Patriot Vet on July 26, 2013 at 3:34 PM

bayam! Come out to play…

Del Dolemonte on July 26, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Cut 1 trillion in spending and I’d be willing to pay a little more in taxes..assuming you clowns also eliminate programs going forward..let’s start with Obamacare and work our way down from there.

On a side note, who exactly controls the purse strings in Congress and why aren’t we making even bigger demands for cuts over a trillion?

That’s a trick question of course given who the weeper of the house is…

celt on July 26, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Reid got it right…

Any tax overhaul “has to be under the total understanding that this can’t be revenue-neutral,” said Reid, a Nevada Democrat. “It can’t be even close to neutral. It has to be a significant tax target.”

Both taxes and spending have to be cut.

sadatoni on July 26, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer can bend over and I’ll give ‘em a “hike”.

Here’s a thought; go ahead with a tax hike. Then, come 2016, if you don’t pay any federal taxes, YOU DON’T VOTE in federal elections.

Sounds like a win-win to me.

GarandFan on July 26, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Throughout the decades, what has all these tax hikes gives us except less money on our paychecks, also name a politician that died in the Poor House.

RdLake on July 26, 2013 at 9:51 PM

towed the party line.

Toed the line.

Keeping the language accurate is kind of like cleaning graffiti off of buildings in NYC.

AesopFan on July 27, 2013 at 12:18 AM

OK, how about a flat tax with no exemptions that draws in $1e12 more per year? Over all that would still be a break even or win for most of America, it would free up money for people who create jobs, and likely heavily boost the economy.

{^_^}

herself on July 27, 2013 at 4:56 AM