Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sen. Reid: Republican Extremism Prevents Tax Deal

A month ago, we looked at an article by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein stating that the Republicans are responsible for the dysfunction in Congress. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) expressed much the same view in a letter released this week stating that the Republicans' submission to Tea Party extremism makes any tax deal impossible before the elections. Of course, the Republicans' lack of cooperation has been longstanding; this is the same party that threatened to crash the economy over the debt ceiling. There's little reason to believe that the GOP will be more reasonable after the election. Regardless, Reid's points on the Republicans' fealty to the Tea Party extremism, refusal to budge on wasteful tax cuts for millionaires and adherence to Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) plan to destroy Medicare are all well taken:

Responding to GOP demands to immediately extend Bush-era tax cuts, Reid released a sharply worded letter Tuesday saying the right wing's refusal to entertain new taxes would prevent any deal before November. Republican senators have abandoned deal-making for "fear of retribution from tea party extremists," Reid wrote in the missive to Senate Republicans.

Reid said the GOP must accept higher taxes on those earning more than $1 million and corporations, and drop its leading Medicare overhaul proposal, in order to reach a consensus with his party.

"Unfortunately, it appears that Republicans’ blind adherence to Tea Party extremism is making it impossible to reach this sort of balanced agreement before the election,” he wrote.

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