Do Republicans Have Ratio-Myopia?

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Ezra Klein is confused about why Republicans are holding out on a sequester deal that cuts spending but also raises revenues by limiting deductions for high earners. After all, nobody believes Republicans will get bigger spending cuts by holding out, nor does anyone believe that Obama will eventually agree to some future deal that pairs up deductions and lower tax rates without a net increase in revenues. So maybe it’s this?

A third answer is that the anti-tax pledge holds that cutting deductions to reduce the deficit is a tax increase, and Republicans won’t vote for a tax increase, even if it results in a policy outcome they vastly prefer. In other words, it’s ratio-myopia.

And perhaps that’s the real answer. But it’s a bit hard to believe. Perhaps I’m missing something?

I’m confused about the confusion. Republicans have been the anti-tax party for more than 30 years now. They’ve never been willing to trade tax increases for spending cuts, and they’ve been vocally, implacably dedicated to this during every budget showdown of the past three years. A deal that includes both spending cuts and tax increases is very much not a policy outcome they vastly prefer.

So yeah, #3 is the real answer. I don’t quite get why this is hard to believe.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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