James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

A terrible day for tax hikers

June 23, 2011

Was it just a week or so ago when the GOP’s 30-year commitment to lower taxes was supposedly in shambles? That sure didn’t seem to be the case today:

1) Eric Cantor bolted from debt ceiling talks with VP Joe Biden, saying the tax issue was an obstacle and that Obama and Boehner needed to hash things out directly. Now three sources tell me that Cantor and Boehner are against any net tax revenue increases, whether from higher tax rates or the elimination of tax subsidies.

2) Mitt Romney signs the tax pledge of Americans for Tax Reform, as he did when he ran 2008.

Of course, the weird thing is that Romney just declined to sign a pro-life pledge. But in any event, it is good to see him take a hard line against taxes and for Schumpeterian, pro-growth economics.

3) At a House Budget hearing today, the director of the Congressional Budget Office said the following: ”Higher marginal tax rates do reduce economic activity.”  This is  a point yesterday’s CBO report made repeatedly.

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