Taxation Russian Roulette

by pdxblake

When I wrote a post arguing that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should be allowed to expire, I wondered what ridiculous argument the Republicans would come back with to respond to Patty Murray’s  suggestion that the whole law could expire if the high end tax cuts were not extended.

And it’s in.  Mitch McConnell said “What’s becoming increasingly apparent … is that our Democratic friends are willing to play Russian Roulette with our economy,” while John Kyl went further: “It’s actually worse than Sen. McConnell said because Russian Roulette implies that you’ve got 5 chances out of 6 that you won’t kill yourself”.

The idea that not extending tax cuts for the wealthy would be playing Russian Roulette with the economy is ridiculous.  There is some justification that the economy could be hurt if the entire tax cuts are allowed to expire, but that should, if anything, lead to the Republicans shifting their position on either the tax cuts or on their attempts to shift the defense cuts from sequestration onto discretionary spending.

Of course, they won’t actually bring a reasonable attitude to the table, and will steadfastly oppose anything that doesn’t give a continued tax break to their rich donors, and especially something that might help President Obama’s reelection chances.  Their logic is twisted enough so that they are “raising taxes” (shocked face) if they let a bill expire on schedule (even if they voted for the bill in the first place).

Instead, the Republicans are likely to play brinksmanship themselves, much as they did with the debt ceiling last August when Republican intransigence nearly led to a US default and in any case led the US to get a downgrade because of its dysfunctional political system (which I might add, is nearly all one sided).