Paul Ryan: Tax Hikes Must Be Revenue Neutral

Over the holiday weekend, conservative columnist for the New York Times David Brooks issued a rebuttal of current Republican brinkmanship by writing that cutting-spending while also closing tax loopholes is a "no-brainer" while also expressing doubts that the Republican party is even up to the task of serious governance.

But we can have no confidence that the Republicans will seize this opportunity. That’s because the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party. Over the past few years, it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.

Aside from the fact that David Brooks was struck by an epiphany and arrived at this conclusion a few years or perhaps even a decade late, he is absolutely correct.

Republican budget wizard Paul Ryan responded to David Brooks today and, in an attempt to explain the philosophy behind Republican Tax-Cut Magic, dug the hole a little bit deeper.

RYAN: What happens if you do what he’s saying, is then you can’t lower tax rates. So it does affect marginal tax rates. In order to lower marginal tax rates, you have to take away those loopholes so you can lower those tax rates. If you want to do what we call being revenue neutral … If you take a deal like that, you’re necessarily requiring tax rates to be higher for everybody. You need lower tax rates by going after tax loopholes. If you take away the tax loopholes without lowering tax rates, then you deny Congress the ability to lower everybody’s tax rates and you keep people’s tax rates high.

Revenue neutral? What the fuck does that mean?!

For those who were unable to follow along -- Paul Ryan is saying that the only way they would agree to close tax loopholes, and by extension raise revenue, is by offsetting the new revenue with additional tax cuts to cancel the revenue out. This is what he calls "revenue neutral." Meaning you simply end up back where you started.

If you thought the GOP's nonsensical demand that all legislation be "deficit neutral" would never be eclipsed in its absurdity, consider the implications of "revenue neutral."

via ThinkProgress

  • dildenusa

    Reverse Robin Hood Ryan is one of the clowns who signed Gopher Nosetwist’s no-new-tax-pledge. Now they are falling over each other as they drive around in the republican leadership clown car while Nosetwist and President Obama throw darts at the car to see who can let the air out of the tires first. In the case of the President he wants to force them out of the car while nose twist wants them to stay in the car.

    It was Ken Kesey who said, “There are going to be times when we can’t wait for somebody. Now, you’re either on the bus or off the bus. If you’re on the bus, and you get left behind, then you’ll find it again. If you’re off the bus in the first place — then it won’t make a damn.”

  • “more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.”

    Which I’ve been preaching since Lil Obama showed up at a Palin rally…BEFORE the election.

  • andrewdski

    This is what the republicans do. This is their game plan:

    “If you take a deal like that, you’re necessarily requiring tax rates to be higher for everybody.”

    See, the Democrats want to raise YOUR taxes. This isn’t just about closing loopholes used by the rich. By insisting that we close them without offsetting cuts, they are effectively INCREASING your taxes.

    How long before they figure out that they can also insist that all budget cuts be “spending neutral”? Every cut in education or welfare must be matched by an equal increase in defense spending or corporate subsidies. The campaign money will come rolling in!

    • muselet

      Good lord, man, don’t give them ideas!


  • hanadora444

    The Republicans are always going on about how governments should be run like businesses. Is there one business anywhere which, when faced with hard times, refuses to increase its revenue? No business with any hope of surviving would ever waste time with “revenue neutral” policies.

    • mrbrink

      “No business with any hope of surviving would ever waste time with “revenue neutral” policies.”

      That’s a great point, which only highlights the absurdity of the statement.

      I’m so sick and tired of hearing how government should be run like a business– while at the same time hearing that government should be run like a family of four tightening their household belts.

      So it’s, cut food. Healthcare. Education— to turn a profit.

      It’s a sick fucking outlook.

      Corporations need to be punished for their direct class warfare wealth hoarding while attacking labor with said wealth and using that accumulated power to consolidate more power.

      This country’s collective workforce hasn’t seen a raise in decades, and with it, watched as their democratic power eroded throughout the growth explosion in national wealth– which has trickled up and up and stayed there. Productivity is up, which means we’re being over worked and underpaid with the jobs that are still here in America. I love the chart that depicts job losses pre-stimulus and post stimulus and if republicans have their way, we will continue to see the policies of their debunked lunacy wreaking further havoc on an already scared and demoralized main street economy. This is the path to power for them. They find strength in their fellow American’s weakness and inability to defend itself as long as they keep stabbing it to death like a hired henchman for the mob.

      So, on one hand, Republicans have advocated and lobbied, successfully, for wage stagnancy in the labor force for the jobs that haven’t been spirited away to the lands of government controlled slave labor and government indifference to the environment, and on the other, they’ve successfully undermined economic DEMAND by virtue of cause and effect.

      Their policies are crazy, as in clinically insane and psychotic with serious cause and effect in full view, and they’re still lying about them all the time.

      What the fuck is “revenue neutral?”

      Is this what we’ve come to? Looking into the straight face of sociopaths and calling them serious brokers for democracy?

    • The GOP misses several points while insisting that government be run like a business: 1) Government isn’t a business. There is no profit motive (or at least there shouldn’t be). 2) Government should seek to serve and protect and should (in a perfect world) spend every dime it takes in to do so. Where we get lost in this country at the national, state and local levels is that people, by and large, want Cadillac services and protection but are only willing to pay for Kias. 3) Any business (or family for that matter) when facing a fiscal crisis will seek to both cut spending and raise revenue. In the case of a business, they may cut some personnel and try to raise their prices, either by actually raising prices or by putting less product in the same box and charging the same price as before (think cereal). In the case of a family, they may cut their cable and cell phone bills and have someone take a second job if they can get one. Only in the government of GOP fever dreams do you try to close a gaping fiscal hole only by cutting spending. 4) Just saying something enough times may get some of your more gullible camp followers to believe it (think Tea Party) but it doesn’t necessarily make it so. There is still such a thing as objective fact in this world. Most of us call it “reality”. 5) In real governance, policy is made by both sides compromising and making an actual good faith effort to find common ground that both sides can live with. This is how our Constitution was born, this is how we’ve been governed for 235 years.

      That they’re attempting to undermine this to serve their short-term interests and those of their corporate benefactors is tantamount to criminality and should be shouted from every mountain top.

  • Zen Diesel

    Bizzaro world mathematics is what the Retardicans are subscribing.

  • GOP & Teatard Math: 1 + 1 = 0


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