GOP members of Congress continue to contort themselves over Grover Norquist’s “no new taxes” pledge. They don’t want to seem tied to the pledge in the run-up to the fiscal cliff, yet they can’t quite get serious about serious tax reform.
Today’s profiles in courage come from John McCain and Lindsey Graham, two of the GOP’s leaders in the Senate:
On the Sunday talk shows, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called for raising revenues by scaling back tax deductions and credits.
‘I would be very much opposed to raising tax rates, but I do believe we can close a lot of loopholes,” McCain said on Fox News Sunday. He said that could be achieved by imposing ‘a limit on the amount of deduction on charitable giving, a limit on the amount you can take on your home loan mortgage deduction.’
McCain and Graham are trying to seem like heroic realists for supposedly sticking a finger in Norquist’s eye. They say they want to raise revenue, yet they remain wedded to current tax rates.
The candidate that proposed this exact type of “courageous” tax policy during the presidential campaign lost the election. There simply are not enough deductions that can be limited or eliminated altogether to make a real difference.
The GOP needs to get serious on tax rates, instead of trying to save face with gimmicks that purport to raise some revenue but without increasing the rate of taxation.