Matt Yglesias wants to know why the Republicans keep holding to their no new taxes pledge, even while rejecting deals that are overwhelmingly in their favor. I can’t really believe that he is being serious. Yglesias is a smart guy and in no way naive. If he has a fault, it is intellectual arrogance that causes him to think he really knows what’s going on when he doesn’t. But in this case, he’s just being dense. He seriously thinks the Republicans are interested in deficit reduction!
I wrote about this only yesterday, Major Media Have Sequester All Wrong. This all comes down to the Republican commitment to the rich. Republicans do not care if the poor are taxed more. Republicans do not care if the poor receive less money from the government. The only thing that Republicans do care about is giving more government money to the rich and taking less money from the rich in taxes. That’s all there is to know about the Republican Party.
Just look at why the Republicans now claim to be against reducing tax loopholes that they were supposedly for only two months ago. They don’t want to close loopholes because they want to use them later to lower tax rates. For a long time, I thought there was some great reason that was unknown to me why this made sense rather than just moving around who exactly paid what. There is a little economic theory behind it. Basically, it is distortionary and causes people to make investments that they wouldn’t normally make. That’s it! So the question naturally arises: why do Republicans care about this?
They don’t. But they know that it is really hard to raise tax rates. Just look at the Fiscal Cliff deal! So they want to get tax rated lowered by claiming that they are revenue neutral due to eliminating the loopholes. But in coming years, it will be easy to reintroduce loopholes. Given that loopholes most affect the rich, you end up with a big tax cut for the rich! And once again: making the rich richer is by far the most important concern of the Republican Party.
I am willing to believe that a lot of political pundits don’t understand this. But Matt Yglesias?! I don’t think so. I think he’s being coy. Or maybe he just doesn’t have much to write about. It is a slow news day after all. Except that C. Everett Koop just died at 96.